Bottles and pacifiers
Okay, I know some people are not a fan of artificial nipples while breastfeeding but I am :) My last two babies would not take a bottle or a pacifier. I waited until 8 weeks with DD2 and at that point she wanted nothing to do with it. With DS I waited until 4 weeks (maybe 3 but I'm pretty sure it was 4) and he took that one...but DH works a ton and it was just easier for me at that point to not use bottles and by the time he was 8 weeks he wouldn't take one either (he came down with RSV at 6 weeks and was hospitalized so I just nursed him rather than deal with bottles and pumping while in the hospital). On the other hand DD1 was a born at just under 35 weeks and they threatened that she'd have to stay in the hospital unless they knew she could take a bottle, so I gave her bottles in those first few days and by the time she was 4 weeks old I had given up trying to get her to latch and exclusively pumped for her first year. It was a pain in the butt exclusively pumping but at times, bottles are definitely more convenient...I couldn't leave my last two in the church nursery for the service or drop them off at the grandparents houses so dh and I could have a child-free dinner out, not to mention now my other kids are older and are in extracurriculars where it'd be so much easier to not take all 4 kids with. It was frustrating and I definitely want this baby to take a bottle, and I'd be happy if he'd take a pacifier too (again, my oldest took one and I think it helped her sleep longer...my last two wouldn't), but when to introduce them?? I don't want to too early or too late, or maybe DD1 was just a fluke and it wasn't nipple confusion? She would only take a haberman feeder for her first 6 months+ so maybe she couldn't latch right due to her prematurity?
Anyways, what's your experience with bottles/pacifiers if you introduce them? Do you find a certain brand works best?
This is a big stress point for me too. I waited the "recommended" 6 or so weeks to introduce a bottle and by then DD absolutely refused. To this day she barely takes one and I work. I've been debating with myself about when to introduce the bottle next time. I think I'll try earlier so long as BFing is going well. If things go wrong, I'm willing to let my baby go hungry for a little while if that's what it takes to get him/her back on the breast. IMO, its worth it and DD was such a chunker it wouldn't have hurt her to go a few hours. There's got to be a sweet spot in there when baby is still open to it but unlikely to get too attached. That sweet spot is different for every baby.
As for pacifiers, I'm glad I didn't try to get DD to take one. I see their benefit now but I'm also glad I don't have to worry about taking one away. I no longer see them as something evil like I did when DD was a NB but I doubt I'll give the next baby one.
DS has always refused pacis. I stopped trying at 4 months. lol. I started bottles at 3 weeks. And at 9 weeks he completely refused them. He did fine with them and then all of a sudden, nothing. Just flat out refused. He'll now take pumped BM out of a sippy if I'm not around and he's desperate enough. I probably won't even try bottles with the next baby. I really didn't mind being attached to DS until he spread out his feedings and I could get away for a few hours at time. I don't pump for whoever is watching him unless I plan to be gone for 5+ hours.
Our pedi recommends introducing a bottle after 2 weeks. We did that with both kids and they easily transitioned from bottle to breast and back again. As for pacis, my son took one right off the bat, but my daughter didn't take one until almost 10 months of age. We weaned our son off the paci at 2 and would like to do so with our daughter as well, although I'll (hopefully) be weaning her from nursing at 2 as well, so we'll have to see!
We introduced the bottle with DS around 1 1/2-2 weeks and he did just fine. I really think it depends on the child. I personally didn't give him a paci until the same time as well I think but my mom later told me that the night we came home from the hospital (she stayed with us for a few nights) that she gave him a paci so I could get a bit longer sleep. DS never had any problems with either. I think if Ihad filled a rubber glove with milk he would have suck it out of the finger from that!
This time around I think we'll wait about 2 weeks and see how he does. I work FT and he'll need to take a bottle and I want DH to be able to feed him some and for DS to be able to help out with that but it will mostly be the boob.
My take on the pacis is that they can be helpful for some babies, and that benefit is definitely worth it if stress is reduced - - for babies AND parents, lol. But I try to keep it for just when it's a real need. I also used to be more worried about them then I am now. I found my daughter used one for a while, but around 6 months she didn't seem interested so I just quit, and found that she never needed it again. My son just wouldn't take one in the first place, which was annoying sometimes, but I'm glad I didn't have to break the habit with either one of them!
As for bottles, DD was EPed right from 6 weeks, but we had introduced the bottle around 2 weeks. With DS I waited longer before trying it, but he refused and never once took a bottle.
DD was born at 36 weeks and I was adimant about BFing, so at first I didn't want to use pacis at all, but by the time I gave into trying, she was at least 8 weeks old and had no interest. At 6 weeks, we gave her a bottle just to see if she'd take it and we occasionally bottle fed.
When her teeth started to bother her around 4 months, I would have to tease her with the bottle and some EBM to get her to nurse. We stayed on the slowest flow nipples and went to Philips Avent and Tommy Tippie close to nature at our LC's recommendation so she'd have to open her mouth wide to suck like at the breast. Thankfully we got over it.
Now she hardly takes bottles and mostly just likes to chew on a sippy.