Many mothers find the need to introduce a bottle to baby for many different reasons. Some mothers may need to introduce a bottle because they must go back to work and others may want to give a bottle to baby so they can get away for a bit.
No matter what the reason for wanting to introduce a bottle, supplementing breast milk with a bottle can create may different feeding issues. However, it’s not impossible to supplement breastfeeding with bottle feeding! With a few helpful tips, you can successfully switch between breast and bottle.
When switching from breast to bottle, many babies develop what’s called nipple confusion. The mechanics used to get milk from a breast can vary significantly from the mechanics used to get milk from a synthetic nipple. As a result of nipple confusion, babies can develop some bad breastfeeding habits, including:
Bottle nipples allow more milk to flow than the human breast does. Initially, a baby may be overwhelmed by the amount of milk coming from a synthetic nipple and clamp down to slow the flow of milk. When switching back to boob, a baby may continue to clamp down out of confusion.
When learning how to breastfeed, most new mothers are taught how to properly latch their baby onto their breast. When a baby takes a bottle, there is no “correct” position. If the nipple is in his mouth, he can get milk. As a result of switching between breast and bottle, he can get confused and won’t always remember how to latch onto mom. Incorrect latch on techniques can cause sore nipples, and frustrated moms and babies.
Mothers who would like to continue to breastfeed should wait to introduce a bottle to baby until he is at least 6 weeks old. Six weeks is usually enough time to sort out any breastfeeding kinks and establish a breastfeeding routine before potentially confusing him with a bottle.
When making the switch to bottle, it can be very helpful to choose a nipple that is specifically designed for breastfeeding mothers. Most bottle manufacturers make nipples designed to be more like mother. Also, what bottle you choose may make a difference in a babies bottle-feeding experience. Today, manufacturers make bottles with many different features, and you may have to try a few before finding one that baby likes.
As mentioned above, synthetic nipples allow more milk to flow than the human breast does. Babies can get used to the faster flow of a bottle and become frustrated when feeding from a breast.
Babies who seem to be frustrated with the slower flow of breast milk may benefit from the “let down” technique. To perform this technique, hand express breast milk until the let down (faster flow of milk) occurs. Once let down has happened, latch baby on to the breast.
If you have tried every tip and your baby is still having problems with nipple confusion, don’t despair. It’s not impossible to retrain your baby to latch on to your breast properly! Follow these simple tips on how to retrain your baby to latch on:
With a little hard work, practice, and time, your baby will be switching between bottle and breast without any issues. The team at My Organic Company is committed to giving your baby the best possible start no matter what feeding option you choose – breast milk, formula or both. For questions about bottle feeding and breastfeeding or for questions about any of our products, please contact customer care firstname.lastname@example.org
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