While experts say that “breast is best,” the bottle gives families the flexibility they often need to ensure that their baby is properly fed at every stage of their young lives. The problem with bottle feeding a breastfed baby, however, is often that your baby will be unwilling to give up the comfort of mama’s breast for a latex or silicone nipple.
Bottle feeding your bub doesn’t have to be a challenging or stressful event. In fact, it can be a fun way to get everyone involved in caring for and connect with your newest addition! Below are our top tips on how you can successfully breastfeed a bottle-fed baby.
Choose the Right Bottle
Today’s baby bottles come in a variety of shapes and sizes. If your baby is used to breastfeeding, choose a bottle that features a nipple modeled after a mother’s natural nipple. Your baby will be more likely to accept the bottle, and some claim that such bottles will help reduce the risk of nipple confusion.
Warm the Milk to the Right Temperature
Too hot, and your baby is at risk of injury. But if the milk is too cold, your baby is very likely to refuse it because it is unfamiliar or may even “taste bad” as a result.
The best temperature for formula and breast milk for younger babies is 37 degrees (otherwise known as the typical human body temperature). Older babies may be willing to drink cooler drinks, but if they are refusing the bottle, try warming it up a bit and see how baby reacts.
Make The First Meals “Snacks”
Some feeds will the longer “meal” sessions, while others will be snacks or comfort feeds. Start off bottle feeding by offering your baby a bottle in between those longer and more rigorous feeds. If baby isn’t ravenous, they are more likely to give sucking on a bottle a try.
Give Mum a Break
Newborns can tell who is nearby simply by their keen sense of smell. If mama is trying to bottle feed her baby, and baby knows that their preferred method of feeding (breastfeeding) is nearby, they will be more resistant to trying a bottle.
Now is a great time to give mum a much deserved and appreciated break from feeding. Let dad, a grandparent, or even a responsible older sibling a try at bottle feeding during those first few days or weeks. As babies get used to using the bottle with others, they will be more willing to use it with mama bear, too.
Don’t Give Up on the First, Second or Tenth Try
The majority of North American babies switch from the breast to the bottle at some point during their first two years of life. If at first bottle feeding isn’t a success, consider yourself as being the norm. Most babies will take to the bottle after a few tries.
If baby isn’t accepting the bottle, you can go back and follow through the steps outlined above. Little changes can have a major impact on little ones, including how you feed your baby (i.e., some babies may prefer to be fed in one position as opposed to another way with a bottle).
Put Baby At Ease
Babies can sense stress from their mamas. Make the breastfeeding and bottle feeding process easier with hot new breastfeeding clothing threads from Peachymama! Whether on the bottle or breast, you and your bub will be ready to feed any time and anywhere in our trendy nursing attire.