Dear Lactation Consultant,
My daughter is 12 weeks old and has been exclusively breastfeeding. We tried introducing a bottle a day at 5 weeks with varied results. She took the bottle at times and flat out refused at other times. We stopped after a couple weeks because I was tired of trying to express milk and frustrated with her resistance. Now I'm trying to introduce the bottle again with even greater difficulty. Now that she is older perhaps I should try cup feeding? Would you recommend a cup that has a lid and spout or an open cup? I don't know what to do.
Thanks for your help,
Hi Joo Joo,
With a three month old, you might want to try cup-feeding. Even tiny newborns can be cup fed, and if she is supplemented from the cup rather than the bottle, then she will have a stronger incentive to nurse because her sucking needs aren't being met by the bottle.
When cup feeding, make sure the baby is awake and alert, hold her in an upright position (you may want to swaddle her if she tends to flail her arms around) and gently tip the cup so that a few drops of milk go in her mouth. The small medicine cups that come with Nyquil or other OTC medicines usually work better for babies this young than the sippy cups with spouts. She will get the hang of it quickly, and set her own feeding rhythm. Use a towel or cloth diaper to protect her and your clothing -- this can be a little messy at first.
The article Introducing Bottles and Pacifiers to the Breastfed Baby may have some helpful suggestions for you as well.
I wish you all the best.
-- Anne, IBCLC
Dr. Kendall-Tackett is a health psychologist, International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, and Research Associate Professor of Psychology specializing in women's health at the Family Research Lab, University of New Hampshire. She is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association in both the Divisions of Health Psychology and Trauma Psychology. Dr. Kendall-Tackett is a La Leche League leader, chair of the New Hampshire Breastfeeding Taskforce, and the Area Coordinator of Leaders for La Leche League of Maine and New Hampshire.
Dr. Kendall-Tackett is author of more than 140 journal articles, book chapters and other publications, and author or editor of 15 books including The Hidden Feelings of Motherhood (2005, Hale Publications), Depression in New Mothers (2005, Haworth), and Breastfeeding Made Simple, co-authored with Nancy Mohrbacher (2005, New Harbinger). She is on the editorial boards of the journals Child Abuse and Neglect, Journal of Child Sexual Abuse and the Journal of Human Lactation, and regularly reviews for 27 other journals in the fields of trauma, women's health, interpersonal violence, depression, and child development. Dr. Kendall-Tackett is the "Ask a Lactation Consultant" columnist on Pregnancy.org and serves on the Board of Directors of Attachment Parenting International.
Dr. Kendall-Tackett received a Bachelor's and Master's degree in psychology from California State University, Chico, and a Ph.D. from Brandeis University in social and developmental psychology. She has won several awards including the Outstanding Research Study Award from the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children, and was named 2003 Distinguished Alumna, College of Behavioral and Social Sciences, California State University, Chico.