Breast and Bottle

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eislem's picture
Joined: 08/29/05
Posts: 172
Breast and Bottle

I plan on primarily breast feeding but this time I'd like to introduce a bottle as well. I didn't pump much with my first 2 kids unless I was leaving them with DH (which I can count on one hand the number of times I did) and knew they'd have to feed. This time around with having older kids involved in activities, I'd like to be able to do things with them and leave the baby with DH more... But I have no idea how to accomplish this. I have the supplies but not the knowledge. Is there a point that it is too early to introduce a bottle, can you confuse a baby with switching back and forth from breast to bottle or is this a myth? Any btdt moms suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

lby_mommyof3's picture
Joined: 11/12/07
Posts: 644

Melissa, I am not any help, but I was wondering the same thing. I have always nursed my babies for a year...except 1 and I weaned her to a bottle around 9 months. I keep telling DH that this baby WILL take a bottle, because sometimes I just need to get away and regroup...alone. Wink I just know that I plan on introducing formula early on.

Joined: 04/30/09
Posts: 2257

We had latch issues due to DD being born early so we had to syringe/finger feed and use a shield for a bit until she learned to latch (about a week). Our LCs told us to avoid bottles until nursing is well established, but that if you want to use one a good time to do it is around 6 weeks which is what we did. At first we used the medela bottles (the tops that screw onto the Pump N Style bottles you pump into) but we ended up switching to Philips Avent and Tommee Tippee Close to Nature bottles with the slowest flow per our LC when DD started a nursing strike at 4 months (also influenced by a supply dip and teething). The thing about bottles the LC said to watch for is that you want something with a wide base and use as slow of a flow as baby will allow to best mimic the breast. Once we got that figured out things were smooth sailing and we could use bottles as we liked though DD was at the breast 99% of the time until we weaned at 18 months.

I also think that having other people give the bottle instead of you is a big one if you want to keep them on the breast. I hope that helps!

jperry5683's picture
Joined: 02/13/10
Posts: 525

I too watied until six weeks to introduce bottle with pumped breast milk. I was told that by nurses and lc. Tommee teepee worked best for US. We had to try like 5 different bottles.

kristycoulter1's picture
Joined: 05/20/08
Posts: 625

Agree with PP that LC advised to wait until breastfeeding is established... but I'm not sure if there is a magic number of weeks before introducing. We started giving a bottle a day closer to 3 or 4 weeks and DD did great.... then she went through a phases at 3 months where we couldn't get her to take a bottle to save our lives. Based on the advice received we used slow flow nipples until she weaned... for reasons already stated, it acts more like the breast, plus baby could like the faster flow better then start to turn down the breast.

One thing to note, even if you plan on waiting to try a bottle for several weeks, you can start to pump and store whenever you are ready. Once we had sort of a routine in place and DD was sleeping 5-6hrs at night I started to use the morning session to feed her on one side and pump on another. Of course, this was more important for me because I returned to work when she was 14 weeks and establishing a good supply and extra to use was important.

I liked kellymom.com as a resource... pro breastfeeding w/o being too preachy. Last night I actually pulled out "the Womanly Art of BFing" to browse and remind myself what to expect the early days. Great book, but some of the commentary makes me laugh and also makes me feel defensive. When DD was born I felt a very strong drive to maintain independence. Not sure why, but I just needed to have separate interests/activities as part of keeping my identity. So of course that meant bottle feeding when I had other things going on. I remember reading this book and feeling guilty about that. Anyway - this time around I will probably feel the opposite - sine it's likely our last I'll want to treasure every second and be tied to baby at all times. lol. OK, now I'm rambling.

Good luck!

DrakePlusOne's picture
Joined: 06/29/09
Posts: 1889

I LOVED kellymom too, Kristy. For me, DS2 couldn't latch on because I was so engorged for so long. We were a nursing wreck. :/ I pumped and bottle fed him for the first week and a half then thankfully discovered nipple guards. He never was confused and ended up BFing for almost 2 yrs! But I'm sure he was a fluke.

NYMommy04's picture
Joined: 09/19/03
Posts: 281

my lil man is 7 weeks and just started both. He actually did better with breast, but took the bottle too. I would try to do every other for a little bit to get him used to both!!

eislem's picture
Joined: 08/29/05
Posts: 172

Thanks everyone for the replies! I bookmarked the kellymom website, it looks like a great resource!

jgriffith's picture
Joined: 08/20/10
Posts: 420

:lurk:
I have always followed the wait until nursing is established rule, but my last DD was full term, but spent two weeks in the NICU. She took both interchangeably with no problem. Now my new little guy does the same Smile

Joined: 09/29/09
Posts: 1346

Lurker... My LC told me no earlier than 2 weeks and no later than 6 weeks for introducing a bottle. I think I waited til DS1 was about 3 weeks. He was a great nurser so we neve had any issues. My second son I never got around to trying a bottle till he was about 10 or 12 weeks and he never took the bottle. I missed the window with him Smile

sunny_gal's picture
Joined: 06/04/07
Posts: 494

Wow, good info on this thread! I think I will bookmark that site too, thanks! I have always switched back and forth from the breast to the bottle and I never paid much attention to when I began introducing the bottle--just gave the bottle whenever I first needed to. I'm pretty active and I go to school full time, and just really enjoy my independence so I was glad that my babies never had any issue or confusion switching back and forth between breast and bottle. I produce quite a bit of milk so I would try to pump one side each time I fed the baby (at least for the first couple of months) so that I had plenty of milk in the deep freezer.

I hope breastfeeding or bottlefeeding or both goes well for all of us!