One of the most frustrating parts of having a newborn is having to be readily available to give them milk. For the first couple of months of motherhood, you may feel stuck entirely being chained to your child’s stomach. But, what happens when you have to go back to work? What about when you want to go without the baby for an afternoon? This is where bottle-feeding your baby can come in handy. I suggest continuing to feed your baby your milk, through breast pumping and bottle-feeding. However, getting a baby who has been breastfed to accept a bottle is no small feat. Today we are walking you through tips to help get your baby comfortable with a bottle.
Offer Your Baby An Evening Bottle
After you have already fed your baby, try coaxing your child to accept the bottle. This will help them not to depend on the bottle too much, just yet. Start with a very small amount of milk in the baby bottle, like a 1/4 of a bottle full.
Slow-Flow Nipples For The Win
One of the most significant differences between baby bottles and a woman’s breast is that sometimes the milk can rush out too quickly from a bottle. Because the baby can control the mother’s breast better, they are not in danger of choking on too much milk. This is where slow-flow nipples come in handy. These are nipples, which are available on a wide variety of different baby bottle brands, which allow the milk to come out at a much slower rate. Slow-flow nipples are meant to release milk at the same rate as a mother’s breast. It is smart to be cautious of any slow-flow nipple, however, because some can still let milk out too quickly for your baby to be able to handle. This is why it is always smart to do your research before committing to a baby bottle. Lucky for you, we already did that hard work for you. You can check out our Top Baby Bottle reviews here.
Don’t Give Him The Bottle Yourself
If you are set on giving your baby a bottle, it may be best if you aren’t present when he or she tries it for the first time. This is because if you see his or her discomfort in trying the bottle, you may give in and just let them breastfeed. Also, the baby may be confused if you are offering them the bottle when they are used to feeding straight from your breast. They may have more trouble accepting it than they would if their father or another family member fed them the bottle.
Put Breast-Milk on The Bottle
Try to put a little dab of breast milk on the baby bottle when you first offer it to your child. This can help them to associate the bottle with feeding. It might give them more incentive to try the bottle, instead of fussing.
Don’t Be Afraid To Try Different Things
For instance, trying a different time of day to offer the baby the bottle. They may be too cranky to take a bottle in the morning, but much more relaxed in the night time. Try different breast milk or formula temperatures. Obviously, make sure that anything you are feeding your baby isn’t too hot, but sometimes lukewarm or colder milk can cause your baby to drink from a bottle more easily.
Finally, try different positions. When you are breastfeeding your baby, you don’t have the luxury to try a lot of different ways to feed. That is not the case with a baby bottle. You can hold your baby, as usual, elevate them, feed them as you face them, etc. But, don’t be afraid to try different tactics and tips to see what works best for your baby. The amazing thing is that there has never been and will never be a child just like yours. Every baby is unique, so every feeding time should be treated uniquely.
Use The Pacifier As A Trial
If you are already consistently using a pacifier with your child, they may take a bottle better. This is especially true if you compare the nipple on the bottle to the nipple on their pacifier. Also, look for nipples that mimic your breast, as close as you can. As you are researching different types of baby bottles, you will see that some nipples are made specifically to mimic a women’s breast, while some are not.
When you first introduce the bottle, be gentle with your child. Don’t insert it into their mouth directly. Instead, it is helpful to put the nipple near the baby’s mouth. This will encourage them to take the nipple into their mouth on their own.
Cranky Babies Will Be Cranky
By this I mean, it’s going to be hard enough to introduce something new to your baby when they are happy and well-fed. It is going to be even worse if your baby is tired, hungry, fussy, or upset for any number of reasons. Be wise when you first introduce the bottle and make sure that it is a good time for both you and the baby.
I hope that these tips can help you as you begin to bottle feed your baby!