introduce a bottle feeding

As your baby grows, you may be thinking about how and when it’s best to introduce a bottle. This can be a big milestone for exclusively breastfed babies.

Blogger and breastfeeding advocate Jenny Silverstone of MomLovesBest.com has some great advice to share with us about how to start your little one on bottles without stress or worry….

Introducing The Bottle to a Breastfed Baby Without the Tears

You’d heard that “breast is best,” and you delivered. You’ve been breastfeeding your baby and should be commended for the work and commitment it takes to do so successfully. But at some point, most breastfed babies need to take a bottle – whether it’s due to mom needing a break, medical necessity, or other family members simply wanting to bond with your infant. If you’re wondering how to get your exclusively breastfed baby to take a bottle, check out this visual guide from Mom Loves Best.

Avoid Giving the First Bottle:

Your little one knows exactly what to expect from you when nursing – and that can be both to your advantage and disadvantage when trying to bottle-feed. For baby’s first bottle, have dad or another caregiver take over the feeding duty so your baby isn’t confused when you don’t offer your breast. Also have your stand-in hold the baby in a similar position to breastfeeding so your baby understands it’s time to eat and the position feels familiar.

Choose Your Nipple Flow Carefully:

When you breastfeed, your milk is released rather slowly, and it only occurs after your child has worked for it and triggered a let-down. Bottles flow automatically, so choose a slow-flow nipple as you transition your child to a bottle to ensure they are not choked or overwhelmed by the flow. You should also expect that your baby will finish the bottle more quickly than they will finish a nursing session, so don’t force a baby to continue drinking if they show signs of fullness or begin to reject the bottle. They are probably full faster than when breastfeeding.

Remember to Take Frequent Breaks

Finally, mimic breastfeeding by taking frequent breaks. When nursing, your child has to work to trigger multiple let-downs and is also accustomed to a mid-feeding break when switching breasts. Remove the bottle from your baby’s mouth every once in awhile and watch for their cues as to whether they want to continue the feeding session or if they are satisfied.

Jenny’s also got a great infographic on bottlefeeding at MomLovesBest.com. Click here to see it!