By now, everyone knows about the benefits of breastfeeding your baby. It’s too bad that it’s not always convenient to do so.
This doesn’t mean that you have to feed your baby formula; you can get yourself a good breast pump and pump your own milk for later feeding, too. It’s what I personally do and would definitely recommend it!
Getting your baby to take a bottle isn’t always easy, and anyone who has been through it will tell you that it’s easier said than done.
However, there are some tips and tricks you can try out to make the whole thing less of an ordeal. Here is a list of tips from real moms to help you on your mission to introduce your baby to a bottle!
1. Pump Your Own Breast Milk
It’s far easier to make the switch to bottles if what comes out of the bottle tastes familiar! If you make your first bottle one using your own milk, it will make things a lot easier.
Researching and finding a good breast pump is an excellent idea that will make switching to bottles a lot easier. It also means you’ll be able to feed your baby milk instead of formula, which has a lot of great benefits, too.
2. Get Some Quality Nipples
Again, making things easy for your baby to adjust to is the name of the game here. Getting some good, quality nipples is highly recommended. Chances are, if you’ve never breastfed before, you’re going to be overwhelmed by the choices available!
If you’re starting to bottle feed at an early age, go with a slow flow nipple, which will slowly release the milk instead of making it into one big gush. There are also nipples available that are supposed to more-closely mimic the feel of a real one.
You might have to try a few different ones before you find one your baby likes, but it’s worth it to do a little looking around before buying any.
3. Breastfeed and Then Try The Bottle
Another way to make things as painless as possible is to make sure your baby isn’t cranky and hungry!
Try breastfeeding your baby a little at first, and then hand the baby and bottle over to dad to let him finish the job. Over time, this can really help your baby get used to the idea of bottle feeding.
4. Hold Your Baby Differently Than When Breastfeeding
Most moms have a particular way they hold their baby while breastfeeding. If you do this all the time, they’ll also expect the breast instead of the bottle when it comes time to feed!
Find a different way to hold your baby when introducing them to the bottle and you’ll make things a lot easier.
If you hold your baby upright, it makes it easier for them to drink from the bottle, too.
5. Get a Helper!
Sometimes it’s just easier to have someone else try to introduce your baby to the bottle.
Babies might get frustrated or confused when they’re cranky and hungry and mommy’s around, but they’re not fed in the usual way. Hand the job off to dad, or a friend or family member who’s no stranger to bottle-feeding.
You might also find it easier if mommy leaves the room entirely: it might be worth a try!
6. Express Some Milk
Babies can be confused by the whole new experience of using a rubber nipple, but if you express some milk and put it on the nipple before giving it to baby, it can help familiarize them with the situation.
They’ll be much more likely to take to it!
7. Try Different Temperatures
Your baby might find it a shock to drink milk that’s colder than she expects. You could experiment with different temperatures to see if there’s one your baby prefers.
Warm up the milk by placing it in a bowl of warm water. Don’t leave it any longer than 15 minutes, as this can cause bacteria to grow.
The water should be hot, but not too hot that you can’t comfortably place your hand in it.
Test the milk to see how warm it is, and go from there! Just experiment and you’ll be able to figure out which temperature your baby likes best.