Transitioning from Breast to Bottle
Even if you plan on giving your baby bottled breast milk, the transition from boob to bottle can be difficult for you and your baby. When making the transition from breast to bottle, it’s important to remember:
- What works for one baby may not work for another.
- Your baby’s age when transitioning from breast to bottle. Older infants may take longer to adjust to a bottle than younger infants.
- Your baby’s preferences and needs.
With a little work and a lot of patience, you can make the transition from breast to bottle easily.
Tips for Transitioning to Bottle
To reduce the number of issues that may arise during the transition from breast to bottle, the team at My Organic Company recommends you:
Getting your baby to take a bottle may require the help of a family member or friend, especially is your baby is older. Keep in mind: if you have exclusively breastfed up until this point, your baby is expecting you to nurse when you are present. If you try to feed her a bottle, she may get angry.
The transition may go more smoothly by having a family member or friend feed her while you are not present in the room. If she is hungry and you’re nowhere in sight, she may settle for a bottle more easily than if you are in sight.
Select the right nipple and bottle
After making the decision to switch to a bottle, choose a nipple designed to emulate breastfeeding. Also, make sure the nipple flow is appropriate for the age of your baby. You may also need to try a few bottle brands before finding one that works for you and your baby. Bottle shape and anti-colic features can have an effect on baby’s comfort level.
Maintain your hold
If your baby has been exclusively breastfed, you must be aware of the bond that is created when breastfeeding. When you nurse, your baby is comforted by your warmth, breath, and voice. As tempting as it may be to let her feed herself from a bottle (especially when she’s older), it’s important to maintain the same bond you created when breastfeeding by continuing to hold her while she eats. If you’re unable to hold your baby while she eats for whatever reason, ask your caretaker or family member to do so.
Making Bottle Feeding Special
As you can see, it’s possible to make your baby’s bottle-feeding time just as special as her time breastfeeding, even if she initially refused a bottle. If you plan on supplementing breastfeeding with bottle-feeding, please see My Organic Company’s blog on Supplementing Breastfeeding with Bottle.
For more information about choosing the right infant formula, please read, “What Infant Formula is Right for Baby?”