As a mom of three, breastfeeding my babies has been one of the biggest joys of my life. Next to creating and giving birth to three of the most precious children in the entire world, it is my biggest accomplishment.
Each round of breastfeeding has taught me so much about myself as a mom. I have learned how to sacrifice my own comforts for my child day in and day out. I know what it is like to be 100% responsible for feeding a baby. I know the joy that comes from providing what’s best for my child. Breastfeeding my children has been my greatest success as a mother.
But it hasn’t always been easy. Breastfeeding can be pretty demanding at times. Being the only one who can feed the baby is overwhelming. Thankfully I’ve been able to get all three of my babies to take a bottle so that someone else can take over a feeding for me so I can have a break, a date night with my husband, or run some errands. However, getting a breastfed baby to take a bottle is sometimes difficult! After doing it with three different babies I can tell you that every baby is different! Drinking from a bottle is a learned skill, so it makes sense that most babies need to practice. Today I’m sharing my best tips for helping your baby be successful at drinking from a bottle.
1. If you are breastfeeding, wait to bottle feed until breastfeeding is well established. Usually this takes between 3 and 5 weeks.
2. Have your spouse or partner offer baby a bottle. This will help them learn that they can get milk from someone other than mom.
3. Leave the room. If you are in the room when your baby is trying a bottle for the first time, they may refuse it. I typically leave the house whenever my baby is learning to take a bottle. It’s just easier for me to be completely out of sight! Plus, a “hovering” mama can make the person trying to feed the baby nervous.
4. Do not introduce a bottle to your baby when they are fussy or very hungry. My babies would get very mad when we would offer them a bottle when they were really hungry. So don’t wait until they are starving to try!
5. If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. It may take several attempts for your baby to accept a bottle. This is normal! Don’t give up!
6. If you are returning to work after maternity leave, try to allow for at least two weeks of bottle practice.
7. In my experience, the best time to teach a baby how to use a bottle is after they start putting things in their mouth…usually around 5-6 months old. I know this is a very long time to wait, and not realistic if you work outside of the home. But if you can wait that long, you might have an easier time with the bottle transition. If your 6 month old previously refused a bottle, try it again. My babies were always much more willing to accept a bottle when they were in the “put everything in your mouth” stage. Belle is 9 months old and breastfed about 95% of the time…but she recognizes a bottle right away and totally knows what to do!
8. Pick the right bottle for your baby. There are a ton of options out there, but we love the new Philips Avent Anti-colic bottle with AirFree vent and the Philips Avent Natural bottle. Both are easy to use, hold, and clean.
The Philips Avent Anti-colic bottle is designed to help your baby swallow less air as they drink by keeping the nipple full of milk during the feeding. This helps to reduce the amount of air your baby ingests, making feeding more comfortable for your baby. It also helps reduce colic, reflux & gas. In fact, the nipple is clinically proven to reduce colic, reflux, gas and fussing. It also has different flow rates to keep up with your baby’s growth. This bottle can be used with or without the AirFree vent, which gives moms the freedom to pick what is best for their baby.
The Philips Avent Natural bottle features an ultra-soft nipple that more closely resembles and mimics the breast. The wide breast-shaped nipple with flexible spiral design and comfort petals allows natural latch on and makes it easy to combine breast and bottle feeding, which is perfect for Belle!
The Philips Avent Natural bottle also has an anti-colic Airflex vent technology that was designed to reduce colic and discomfort, by venting air away from your baby’s tummy. I love that they also offer different nipple softness and increasing flow rates for every development stage of your baby.
Both bottles are super easy to clean and only have a few parts, which moms know is super important!
Compensation for this post was provided by Philips Avent via Momtrends. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions of Philips Avent or Momtrends.