From breast feeding to bottle feeding
It is recommended to breastfeed baby for at least six months before weaning baby from breast to bottle…read the benefits of breast milk and why this is so important.
Why would mom change from breast to bottle feeding?
(permanent and partial)
- Some moms feel that this would be best since they are returning to work… read more on continuing to breastfeed when returning to work.
- Moms might want to start switching from breast feeding to bottle feeding because of personal preferences. Read more on weaning here.
- Mom wants to be able to take a break every now and then and let somebody else feed baby.
- Sometimes dad feels left out and also wants to feed baby.
- If mom does not like to breastfeed in public
- Mom wants to wean baby from night feedings.
- Baby loses interest in breastfeeding.
- Medical issues
Moms should remember that weaning from breastfeeding needs to be done gradually to make it an easier process for baby (emotionally) and also it will keep mom safe from engorgement, plugged ducts and mastitis.
Switching over to the bottle does not always mean mom wants to wean completely…breastfeeding can continue while using a bottle… read more on combination feeding.
Tips on changing over from breast to bottle feeding (partially or completely)
- Babies that are introduced to bottles earlier on, will take an artificial nipple easier, but this should only be done after your breast milk supply is fully established (usually after four to six weeks)
- Breastfeeds can be replaced one by one gradually. Two to three feedings skipped per week in the beginning is best if possible.
- Try introducing a cup or spoon before trying the artificial nipples, even small babies can be taught to do this and you will not need to wean from the bottle again later… read more on alternative feeding methods.
- Decrease baby’s emotional need to breastfeed by replacing the time spend breastfeeding with fun things done together like reading or playing.
- Offer the bottle to baby first then offer the breast.
How to persuade baby from breastfeeding to bottle feeding
- Put breast milk in the bottle, mom can then later introduce a little formula mixed with some breast milk and afterward go completely over to formula or cow milk if baby is over one year of age.
- Put some breast milk on the teat, if baby tastes the breast milk he might want to drink more.
- Feed baby before he becomes too hungry…extreme hunger would just aggravate him further.
- Get somebody else to feed baby. This is because baby associates mom with the breast. Mom must keep out of the vicinity while baby is feeding, babies can smell breast milk.
- Let baby play with the bottle and become familiar with it, he might start sucking it on his own, helping with the transitioning from breast to bottle.
- Try introducing the bottle only during times when baby is fresh and relaxed and not looking to comfort feed.
- Try different ways and positions ~ You could try mimic breastfeeding or try something completely different like letting baby sit and drink.
- Try baby with different types of teats (artificial nipples) also with different flows (fast or slow releasing teats)
- Heat the teat before offering it to baby (pour some hot water over it)
If baby is over a year old you can start feeding him cows milk with a cup instead of changing from breast to bottle feeding
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Site by BFeeding Mamma, Tracy Behr. Currently studying through Child birth International (CBC, CBD). Also an accomplished author and Mommy of two.