Introducing baby to bottle feeding

Introducing a Bottle to a Breastfed Baby

The information in this post is also contained in our Working & Breastfeeding.

Here is one approach to beginning pumping and introducing bottles that has worked well for many mothers as they prepared to return to work:

  • Once breastfeeding is well established – usually after about four weeks – begin pumping after one feeding a day where your breasts still feel a little full. Remember you are pumping “leftovers” and should only expect a small amount.
  • Freeze that first pumping immediately. You can add other pumpings to it after they have been cooled in the freezer.
  • Your pediatrician may have given you a total number of ounces your baby may feed in a day or a range from the smallest probable amount to the largest, based on your baby’s weight.
    • If dealing with a total volume over a 24-hour period, divide that by the typical number of times your baby feeds for a target volume for the first bottle.
    • If dealing with a range, store volumes of the lower amount.
    • Store some extra small volumes in case baby is hungrier than expected.
    • When you have enough stored to equal the expected volume and a bit more, you can begin to plan a time to introduce a bottle.
    • EXAMPLE for offering the first bottle:
      • Your pediatrician suggests that your baby probably takes about 24 ounces a day.
      • You know that he feeds between eight and 12 times a day.
      • That means he could take anywhere from 2 to 3 ounces.
      • You pump until you have a 2-ounce bottle and then have several 1/2 ounce bottles to equal at least three ounces or more saved.
      • Choose a day that your primary support person will be available and a feeding time where baby tends to be more pleasant and patient for his feeding.
      • Baby may accept a bottle more easily from someone other than you. He knows milk comes from you and may not understand why he’s not going there instead of to this foreign object.
      • Thaw out the 2-ounce bottle in the refrigerator overnight.
      • When baby begins to stir, place the bottle from the refrigerator in a bowl of warm water (bath temperature) or a bottle warmer while the person offering the bottle goes to get baby from his bed, changed and ready for the feeding.
      • Often it helps to run the bottle nipple under warm water, if it was also in the refrigerator, to make it more acceptable to the baby.
      • Baby should be held in an upright, almost sitting, position that is similar to the position usually used by the support person.
      • The warmed bottle should be held at an angle tilted just enough to fill the nipple to allow baby to keep control of when and how fast the milk comes.
      • Tickle the baby’s mouth to encourage an open mouth then bring baby up onto the bottle nipple, aiming the nipple toward the palate.
      • Some have found that it can help to have an article of clothing you have worn, like a nightgown or t-shirt, to place on their arm, shoulder, or chest where the baby can smell your scent.
      • It is usually best if you are close but not present in the room during this first “experiment” with bottle feeding. Your baby is very wise and will wait for you to come feed her if she knows you are nearby.

Once the feeding is completed, you will pump to create a bottle equal to what the baby consumed. Remember that the baby is always better than a pump! If you do not pump as much as the baby took, it is more likely a pump issue than an issue of not enough milk. Just pump after another breastfeeding and add that amount to what you pumped to get the amount baby took.

You will continue this pattern until you have enough milk stored in your freezer to get you through a normal work day plus a few extra for any hectic day at work where you may not have been able to pump as often. Plan to fully breastfeed for all feedings when not separated from your baby.

Working and Breastfeeding 
Feeding Breastmilk From a Bottle
Cleaning and Sanitizing Pumping Accessories
Hand Expressing

Published August 2018.


Eight Tips for How to Introduce Bottle-Feeding

As a nurse in the Institute for Maternal-Fetal Health at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, I meet many moms who are intimidated when it comes to knowing when and how to introduce bottle-feeding to their babies. It can be especially intimidating because of the many myths associated with starting bottle-feeding. My experience helping moms on this issue is what inspired this post and I hope to help ease the anxiety for those who wonder when and how to introduce bottle-feeding.

There are no mandatory rules about when to add a bottle to a baby’s feeding routine, but here are some expert tips that may make the process easier. (Tweet this)

1. Add a bottle after a healthy milk volume is established from your breast. If you are exclusively breastfeeding and want to keep it that way, then only introduce a bottle after you have established a healthy milk volume and breastfeeding routine. This can take up to four weeks after birth.

2. Continue breastfeeding or pumping to maintain milk volume. When your baby is feeding from the bottle, make it a priority to pump (and breastfeed when your baby is not using the bottle). Decreasing the amount of times milk is expressed from your breast can lead to a decrease in the volume produced.

3. Nipple confusion versus nipple preference. Many people believe that babies don’t want to be breastfed after bottle feeding or don’t want to bottle-feed after exclusively breastfeeding because of nipple confusion. This is not true. Babies do not get confused about the different feeding methods. But they do get accustomed to the breast or bottle and establish a nipple preference, which only means that they prefer one method over the other!

4. Use a bottle nipple that is wide-based, which is similar in size and shape to your nipple. I recommend wide-based nipples. Purchase a bottle with a nipple that is more similar to the human breast. These nipples are usually wide-based with shorter nipple heights. The nipple requires that the baby take a larger amount of the nipple into its mouth, similar to breastfeeding.

5. Purchase one nipple and bottle style at a time. Some babies are very picky when it comes to bottles, especially if they have been exclusively breastfeed. It is a good idea to buy one set of a certain bottle and nipple style at a time to make sure your baby can feed well before buying a larger supply. Sometimes babies will try out multiple bottles and nipples before they decide on a favorite.

6. Use a slow-flow feeding style. A slow-flow feeding style with a bottle closely resembles that of breastfeeding. Babies that breastfed are used to working for their food and it comes out at a slower rate. Whereas, bottle-feeding is easy and takes little effort. The rate is much quicker and babies can get used to this fast rate, making breastfeeding more frustrating when returning from bottle-feeding. If you are using a regular nipple allow the baby to take five to ten sucks and remove the bottle. Allow your baby to swallow and breathe. Then reinsert the bottle and start again. This process should encourage your baby to slow down their feeding. The feeding should take roughly 15 minutes, similar to that of a breastfeeding session.

7. It takes time. Many exclusively breastfed babies do not accept a bottle right away, so it may take a couple of attempts before your baby gets the hang of it. Be patient and continue to offer the bottle to your baby.

8. Introduce bottle-feeding two to four weeks before going back to work. By doing this, you can establish a pumping routine, allow your baby time to adjust to the bottle and give you a chance to see that your baby is able to feed from the bottle effectively. The above tips will help you a lot when you begin your journey of bottle-feeding your baby. Most of the time a baby will accept a bottle very well, but there are a few that can really make the transition frustrating. If you are having a difficult time introducing bottles or your baby does not seem to be feeding as well with a bottle, please enlist the help of a breastfeeding expert.

Thank you for taking the time to read my post, I hope you found this information helpful. If you want advice on a specific topics please feel free to write a comment and I can address your needs in future posts.

Baby won't take the bottle | Philips Avent

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any problems. If your breastfed baby refuses a bottle, don't worry. This is a common occurrence in many babies who are used to breastfeeding. Obviously, this can create certain difficulties for moms, especially if you need to return to work in the near future. nine0003

3 Philips Avent products to help you bottle feed:

So why is your baby refusing to bottle and crying? There are many ways to quickly and easily teach a breastfed baby to a bottle. Here are important tips on what to do when your baby refuses a bottle.

Is the baby refusing the bottle? Take a step back

If your baby cries while bottle feeding, the first thing to do is to start over and rethink your feeding approach and technique. Try the following steps when bottle feeding your baby: [1]

  1. Lift and tilt your baby's head forward. Before inserting the pacifier into the baby's mouth, make sure that the baby's head is raised and tilted over his body to avoid choking: so that the baby does not choke and have the opportunity to burp during bottle feeding.
  2. Insert the pacifier. Bring the pacifier to the baby's lips and gently guide it into the baby's mouth. In no case do not try to press the nipple on the baby's lips and try to push it into his mouth. After touching the pacifier to the baby's lips, wait for the baby to open his mouth and take the pacifier. nine0036
  3. Hold the bottle at an angle. Tilt the bottle at an angle so that the nipple is only half full. So the child can eat at his own pace.
  4. Let the baby burp during and after feeding. It can be useful for a child to burp not only after feeding, but also approximately in the middle of the process. This will help reduce gas or tummy discomfort that your baby may experience from swallowing too much air.
  5. Stop in time, do not overfeed the baby. If the baby begins to turn his head away from the bottle or closes his mouth, then he is full and you need to stop feeding.
  6. Perhaps the flow of milk from the nipple to the baby is weak or, on the contrary, too fast, so he is naughty and refuses the bottle. Try changing the nipple to a nipple with a different flow.​

Other tips if your baby refuses the bottle

If you've followed the steps above and your baby still refuses the bottle, don't worry. There are other ways to help bottle feed your baby. Here are some simple tricks you can add to your bottle feeding process. nine0029 [2]

1. Remind your child about mom.

Sometimes a child can be fed by someone other than his mother - dad, grandmother or, for example, a nanny. If your baby fusses while bottle feeding, try wrapping the bottle in something that smells like mommy, like a piece of clothing or some fabric. This will make it easier to feed the baby when the mother is not around.

2. Try to maintain skin contact while bottle feeding. nine0006

Some babies need contact with their mother, so try bottle feeding while leaning against you. However, some babies are better at bottle feeding when they are in the exact opposite position than when they are breastfed. For example, there is a position with bent legs. Lay the child on your bent knees, facing you, pointing the child's legs towards your stomach. During feeding, the baby will be able to look at you and contact you in this way. If your baby refuses a bottle, experiment to see which works best. nine0003

3. Move while feeding.

Sometimes all it takes to get your baby to take the bottle is a little wiggle or walk. The next time your baby starts crying while bottle feeding, try moving around a little rhythmically to calm him down.

4. Try changing the milk temperature.

If the baby still does not want to take the bottle, check if the milk in the bottle is too hot or too cold. Before feeding, put some warm breast milk on the inside of your wrist to check the temperature. Milk should be warm, but if it seemed hot to you, just place the bottle for a short while under a stream of cold water. nine0003

Choosing the right bottle for your baby If you plan to combine bottle feeding with breastfeeding, it is advisable to choose bottles with a nipple that will have a wide base as the bottle will grip closer to the breast. Also pay attention to the fact that the nipple is firm and flexible, the child must make an effort to drink from the bottle, as well as from the breast.

Give preference to nipples with an anti-colic valve that vents air out of the bottle. nine0003

​Natural bottle allows you to combine breast and bottle feeding. 83.3% of babies switch from a Natural bottle to breastfeeding and back.*

If you choose a bottle for artificial feeding, traditional bottles are fine, but it is desirable that the nipple is made of a hypoallergenic material, such as silicone, has an anti-colic valve and did not stick together when bottle fed. In case your baby spit up often, then use special bottles with anti-colic and anti-reflux valve, which reduces the risk of spitting up and colic.​​

Bottle with unique AirFree valve reduces the risk of colic, gas and spitting up. With this bottle, you can feed your baby in an upright or semi-upright position to reduce spitting up. Due to the fact that the nipple is filled with milk and not air during feeding, the baby does not swallow air, which means that feeding will be more comfortable.

Both bottles are indispensable if you want to breastfeed, bottle feed or just bottle feed your baby. nine0003

“My baby refuses to breastfeed but bottle feeds – help!”

Sometimes a baby gets used to bottle feeding and refuses to breastfeed. Therefore, it is important to use bottles that are suitable for combining breastfeeding with bottle feeding. If, nevertheless, you are faced with the fact that the child refuses to take the breast, try using silicone nipple covers to make the transition from the bottle to the breast and back more imperceptible. nine0013

Remember that if you want to combine breastfeeding and bottle feeding, it is worth waiting at least a month before offering a bottle, so that you are lactating and have time to get used to each other and develop a breastfeeding regimen.​

Breastfeed and bottle feed your baby with pleasure

Remember that it takes a while for your baby to get used to bottle feeding. This is completely normal. If you have to go to work, be sure to set aside enough time to bottle train your baby beforehand. nine0013

Remember that every child is different, so what works for one may not work for another. With a little time and patience, you will find out what works best for your baby when he refuses a bottle.

You will identify your child's unique needs. However, if your baby still refuses the bottle after all the steps above, check with your pediatrician.

Articles and tips from Philips Avent


*O.L. Lukoyanova, T.E. Borovik, I.A. Belyaeva, G.V. Yatsyk; NTsZD RAMS; 1st Moscow State Medical University THEM. Sechenova, "The use of modern technological methods to maintain successful breastfeeding", RF, 10/02/2012 3 - The Baby Who Doesn't Nurse - Introducing a Bottle to a Breastfed Baby

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How to bottle train your baby: tips for parents

Article content

  • When is a bottle needed?
  • Possible difficulties and their causes
  • How to teach: 5 main rules
  • How to choose?
  • Bottle feeding rules

Sometimes mothers are faced with situations where it becomes necessary to teach the child to bottle. With seeming simplicity in this matter, various problems can arise - some kids refuse innovation, act up. Let's look at what these difficulties are and how to overcome them.

When is a bottle needed?

We note right away that a bottle should be offered to the baby only in case of artificial feeding. When breastfeeding, nipples and pacifiers should not be used, as the baby will get used to them very quickly and may refuse to breastfeed. Babies, along with milk, receive everything necessary for full development, so they do not need any additives. nine0003

In what situations does it become necessary to teach how to drink from a bottle? There are several of them:

  • Lack of breast milk. In this case, you have to transfer the crumbs to the mixture.
  • Maternal use of strong medications leading to lactation disorders.
  • Premature babies are often converted to bottle feeding.
  • The need to give the baby medication. So, many children suffer from problems in the digestive tract, colic, gas formation. For their treatment, decoctions (for example, fennel) are used, which are most conveniently given with the help of a bottle. If taking the drug will be one-time or short-term, you should not resort to innovation - the medicine can be given from a spoon or using a syringe without a needle. nine0036
  • Soldering. With fever or poisoning, the child needs more liquid than he receives from mother's milk. Therefore, there is a need for supplementation. A similar situation is also possible if the baby in the hot season is forced to constantly be in a warm room and needs an increased rate of water.

There is no certain age that is optimal for accustoming: it all depends on the circumstances that force the mother to transfer the baby to artificial feeding. Note that with breastfeeding and the absence of health problems for mother and baby, it is quite possible to do without accustoming to a bottle and it is even better to do just that. nine0003

Possible difficulties and their causes

Bottle training can sometimes be quite difficult due to a number of reasons.

  1. The simplest is the absence of hunger. Mom offers food at a time when the baby does not want to eat yet, which is why he begins to act up and cry.
  2. Incorrect fluid temperature. It is important that the mixture is at the same temperature as breast milk (36-37°C). If this condition is violated, the baby may refuse food. To check, it is best to use a special thermometer, if there is none, try the proposed mixture. nine0036
  3. The container or nipple itself has a specific smell that the baby does not like. In this case, only a replacement will help.
  4. The mixture has an unpleasant odor or taste. You will also have to give up in favor of a more acceptable option.
  5. The shape of the nipple or the rate of flow of fluid from the nipple is not suitable.
  6. The kid is trying to drink in an uncomfortable position, so he does not succeed, he cries and is naughty. You have to choose the right position.
  7. Finally, if an atmosphere of constant conflict reigns in the apartment, parents swear, then the child experiences severe stress. Getting used to a new action only exacerbates it. nine0036

It is important to make sure that these negative factors completely disappear, then the training will be easy and without problems.

How to teach: 5 main rules

To teach a child to use a bottle of formula for its intended purpose, you should use the following rules:

  1. The process should be constant - the baby is asked to take at least one sip every day, gradually increasing the dosage. It is best to conduct such “lessons” at those moments when the baby wants to eat, in such conditions he will quickly stop being capricious and try to satisfy his hunger in an accessible way. So, bottle feeding in the morning is the best option for beginners. nine0036
  2. The transition to a new type of food for a child is the strongest stress, so the mother should try to create conditions in which the baby will be as comfortable as possible. So, it should be fed in the same position as before, with breastfeeding, and the bottle itself should be placed so that it is approximately in the same place as the mother's breast.
  3. There are situations when it is worth entrusting the feeding of the crumbs in a new way to one of the relatives, since the child smells milk coming from the mother, and may categorically refuse the mixture, demanding the usual "delicacy". The method is only suitable if the child is used to this relative and does not cry in his presence. nine0036
  4. Moms need to be prepared for the fact that they may have to buy several bottles and nipples before the right one is finally chosen. Therefore, it is better not to chase after beautiful expensive models, the main requirements are safety and convenience for the baby.
  5. Do not leave your baby with a bottle alone, especially if he is less than 4 months old, as there is a risk of choking.

Some mothers may make the following mistake: if it is necessary to give a child an unpalatable medicine, they start “training” with it. In this case, it is quite natural that the baby will be capricious and refuse, because the bitter, healthy decoction is very unpleasant for him. Therefore, the first acquaintance with the pacifier and the bottle should be made using a delicious formula similar to breast milk, or mother's milk itself. Having placed the nipple in the baby's mouth, you should lightly press it so that the contents get to their destination and the baby feels its taste. nine0003

Another trick is to lubricate the nipple with a small amount of breast milk, in this case, the likelihood that the baby will spit it out is reduced. Do not swear and be nervous if the baby does not understand what they want from him. Only patience and systematic work will help to defeat the child’s reluctance to eat a mixture from a bottle.

How to choose?

The key to success is choosing the right bottle for your baby. Consider what you need to pay attention to when buying. nine0003

Start by defining the capacity.

  • For the little ones it is better to stop at small sizes, 80-120 ml is enough.
  • Then you can switch to a volume of 150-350 ml, such containers are convenient for the complete saturation of babies.

Then choose the best shape:

  • for water and beverages - wide neck;
  • for mixtures, complementary foods - with narrow.

The next step is material selection. Safety is a priority here. So, high-quality food plastic will not break by accident, it is quite easy to take such a container with you for a walk, it is compact and lightweight. However, these options are not suitable for pouring hot drinks into them and for boiling. nine0003

Glass is an environmentally friendly material that will last for a long time and can be boiled. However, the glass container will be quite heavy. Handle it with care, because the glass can break.

Modern baby utensils are also made of soft silicone, which does not cause allergies. It is easy to squeeze such a container to give the child porridge, but this property makes it difficult to wash.

Experts also recommend paying attention to the following points :

  • It will be more convenient to choose a container with a scale - so the mother will always know exactly how much her baby ate.
  • If your baby is constantly suffering from colic, you can offer him a special, curved bottle shape, thanks to which air does not enter the nipple and, accordingly, into the mouth and stomach of the crumbs.
  • The bottle must be carefully monitored. That is why it is better to purchase disassembled models - such as should be washed much easier than solid ones.
  • nine0035 When buying a container, you should immediately purchase a cleaning brush.
  • When choosing a pacifier, you should rely on the age of the crumbs: numbering 0 is suitable for babies up to 3 months, 1 - for 3-6 months, 2 - from 6 months. In the first three months, latex is considered the preferred material for the pacifier, it is elastic and very soft. For babies from 3 months. it is best to use silicone. During teething, a rubber model is well suited, but you should not dwell on it for a long time.
  • Children love everything bright, so when choosing a bottle, you should also pay attention to the attractiveness of its appearance. nine0036

The quality of the product is also important - the lid must fit snugly on the bottle so that the contents do not leak.

Bottle Feeding Rules

Start by preparing the formula correctly by following the instructions on the package. Further, the procedure is as follows:

  1. Put a bib on the baby. Mom should be dressed in such clothes that it is not a pity to spoil.
  2. Check the flow of milk from the bottle. That's right, if it drips when tilted. nine0036
  3. The kid should be in a good mood. It is unacceptable to feed the child, if he cries, you first need to calm him down.
  4. During feeding, the bottle is tilted so that the milk fills the nipple.
  5. The baby's head should be slightly raised, the baby should not be held horizontally. In general, the position of the crumbs should be approximately the same as with breastfeeding.
  6. When feeding, it is important to take several breaks during which the baby can burp.

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