Are you a new mother, trying to figure out the best way to feed your baby? For some families, a bottle needs to be introduced in addition to breastfeeding. If you’re wondering when it might be the right time to introduce a bottle into your breastfeeding routine, then this blog post is for you!
As a new mom, it can sometimes feel overwhelming to figure out how to successfully offer a bottle to your breastfed baby can be tricky.
Many new parents find themselves asking questions about the best approach and how soon their baby should be introduced to the bottle while still maintaining the breastfeeding relationship.
However, it can be challenging to get into a routine and figure out when’s the right time to introduce a bottle so both you and the baby are comfortable with transitioning from breast-to-bottle feeding. We understand you may need to ease back into work or school if necessary, so we have put together some tips on when it might be the best time to begin bottle-feeding your breastfed baby!
With our advice and support, you’ll have your sweet bundle using both methods equally in no time!
Breastfeeding: When to Introduce Bottle to Your Baby
It can be overwhelming for new parents when it comes to deciding when and how to introduce a bottle to a baby.
While it is ultimately up to the parent or caregiver to decide what is best for their little one, there are a few key points that should be taken into consideration when introducing a bottle.
First, it is important to know that introducing a bottle isn’t a necessity for every child. Some parents may choose to exclusively nurse from the breast and have no desire to give a bottle. That’s okay!
Next, how is breastfeeding going? If you are struggling with latching, it is a good idea to focus on those issues first before introducing a bottle (unless a bottle is necessary). Working with a lactation professional can help you manage this situation.
Now, consider your situation. Does your baby absolutely have to take a bottle at some point? Is a bottle optional but something that might be convenient? Your approach may vary.
If your baby needs to take a bottle at some point, introducing a bottle around three weeks is a good idea. You will probably want to offer it 2-3 times a week with a small amount of milk. Starting at around four weeks, you should consider giving a daily “snack” bottle to keep your baby familiar with the bottle.
If you don’t have a particular reason for your child to take a bottle, offering a bottle starting at 3-4 weeks is a good idea. You probably don’t need to give a daily bottle after that, but I would consider offering one once a week.
Some babies may be less interested, so introducing the bottle gradually over several weeks can help not to overwhelm your little one with a sudden change in routine.
As part of this gradual transition process, make sure you select a bottle type and nipple size that works best for your baby’s particular needs. Our favorite bottles for breastfed babies are:
- Dr. Brown’s
- Evenflo Balance+
Keep in mind that it can take some experimenting to find the right bottle and nipple flow. We recommend starting with the slowest flow nipple your child can tolerate.
With anything, practice makes perfect. If your child isn’t a huge fan right away, keep trying and make it a positive experience.
How to introduce a bottle to your breastfed baby
When introducing a bottle to a breastfed baby, there are several important steps that can help make the transition smoother and less stressful.
- Introduce the bottle and its contents slowly. Start by offering just one or two ounces of milk at a time and gradually increasing the amount over time.
- Make sure that you are using an appropriate type of bottle for your baby’s age and experience level with drinking from nipples. If they are too fast or slow for your baby, they may become frustrated and reject the bottle altogether.
- Create a comfortable atmosphere when giving your baby their first bottle. Make sure that you are in a quiet place where you can both focus on the task at hand without being distracted by other people or noises. You may also want to consider
- Hold the bottle in a horizontal manner, parallel to the floor. You should also hold your baby in a seated position. There are some side-lying positions to consider, as well, that still allow you to keep the bottle horizontal.
- Remain patient with your baby as they learn how to drink from a bottle correctly. Some babies may take longer than others to adjust; others may never develop an interest at all! It is important not to get frustrated or give up too soon if your child isn’t taking well to the new feeding method right away.
If your child keeps rejecting the bottle, this article might be helpful to you – 12 Tips for Overcoming Bottle Refusal in Breastfed Babies
You may need to try different types of bottles and nipples until you find one that works best for them, and make sure they get plenty of practice each day until they start feeling comfortable with their new routine.
If you’re a breastfeeding mother who is interested in introducing a bottle, there are some things to keep in mind. It’s important to do your research and try different techniques until you find what works best for both you and your baby.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help from a lactation consultant or your doctor if you need it. With a little patience and perseverance, you’ll be able to successfully introduce bottles into your feeding routine.
More Articles You May Enjoy:
- The Top 5 Best Glass Bottles For Breastfed Babies
- 8 Bottles For Breastfeeding Babies Who Refuse Bottles (From Experienced Moms)
- 7 Best Reusable Storage Containers for Breast milk
- 11 Best Breast Milk Storage Bags – Mom Approved
- The Best Breastmilk Freezer Storage Ideas All New Parents Need to Know!