Making It Work
Every baby will react differently when introduced to a bottle. Some will love it from the get-go, others may be harder to convince, but most can soon learn to switch between breast and bottle effortlessly. Here's how to make the concept palatable to your budding gourmet.
- Let someone else serve up the first few bottles so your baby continues to associate you (and your smell) with breastfeeding. After a while, he'll accept a bottle from you, too
- Give expressed breast milk in the first bottle, if possible, since your baby is familiar with its scent and taste
- Choose the right time. Don't wait until your baby is starving before offering her a bottle for the first time-the surprise may make her more hysterical and less likely to accept it. Instead, aim for an hour or two after her last feeding
- Babies love skin-to-skin contact, so if Dad is doing the feeding, for instance, your baby may take to it better if she can nuzzle his bare chest at the same time
- Stay calm. Your baby can pick up on parental anxiety, so try to stay positive
- Don't force-feed. If she wants to take only a few sips the first time, that's fine
- Get help if you hit a stumbling point. If you find that your baby begins to prefer the bottle to the breast, seek help immediately from an understanding lactation consultant
Perhaps your baby isn't getting what she needs from breastfeeding. Improving your technique can make it more satisfying for her to nurse. Just be sure to keep pumping to maintain your milk supply while you work things out.
From The Babytalk Insider's Guide to Your Baby's First Year: Expert Advice That Tells It Like It Is -- Plus the Secrets That Nobody Else Reveals. Reprinted by permission of Grand Central Publishing, New York, NY. All rights reserved.