Hey Baby, Meet Bottle
by Melissa Clark Vickers
When baby's milk arrives without the mama, your baby may need some coaching
• Wait three to four weeks until breastfeeding is well established. Introducing a bottle too soon can interfere with your milk supply.
• Let someone else offer the first bottle. A breastfed baby knows mom has the "real stuff."
• Give the bottle when your baby isn't extremely hungry. Bottles are a novelty to babies. He won't understand that this piece of plastic will alleviate hunger pains, and may become too upset to eat.
• Gently introduce the bottle nipple. Use it to tap a little milk onto his lips. Wait for him to open up and draw the nipple in.
• Try different positions. Some babies prefer being held in a nursing position. Others will do better with a bottle if they're facing outward. You can also try standing and swaying gently during the feeding.
• Use your baby's sense of smell. Have the person who is bottle-feeding wrap the bottle in your nightgown or nursing bra. That person should avoid wearing perfume or other strong scents.
• Be patient. Some babies will take to bottle-feeding immediately; others need practice. If your baby becomes frustrated, stop and try again later.