This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Playtex BabyTM #ForBetterBeginnings #MomsFirst
I’m a huge breastfeeding geek – some of my favorite memories with my kids involve breastfeeding and it still blows my mind that MY body created the milk that fed THEIR bodies. The thing that I don’t love, though, is never being able to get away for more than a few hours at a time. As a breastfeeding mom who wants a happy, healthy baby but also wants some freedom every once in a while, it’s really important for my baby to be able to take a bottle of breastmilk.
My youngest is almost 2.5 years younger than her older brother, so new bottles were on the list of baby supplies this time around. We grabbed some Playtex BabyTM Nurser with Drop-Ins® Liners at Walmart – you can save $3.00 on a 3-pack of the Playtex BabyTM VentAire® or Nurser bottles in-store – find a store near you here. And we set off on a mission to get baby Emmy to take a bottle.
Here are the 14 tips from real moms on how to get a breastfed baby to take a bottle:
Be Patient and RELAX
I know, it’s easier said than done. But babies can truly pick up on stress and they will follow your lead.
Get a Great Bottle
Try a good bottle that mimics the breast. The Playtex Baby Nurser with Drop-Ins Liners are a good choice because the sterile liner collapses like a real breast as baby feeds. This results in a sucking and swallowing pattern that’s closest to natural during a feeding. I bought the bottles at Walmart and you can choose either 4oz or 8oz liners, which is nice because you can use the 4 oz liners with the 8oz bottles if you want. The liners are pre-sterilized and super easy to use – just drop it in the bottle and recycle it after you’re done. No bottle to wash – super nice when you’re out and about. The Most Like Mom® NaturaLatch® Nipple that comes with the bottles is wide and helps baby latch on naturally. Overall a great choice – Emmy loves it!
Go With the Flow
They say to stick with the lowest flow so that baby has to work as hard to drink from a bottle as she does the breast. Which may work for some babies, but as a mom with an overactive let-down (glamorous, I know), a faster flow is more realistic. Don’t be afraid to try what YOU think your baby will respond to, even if it breaks “the rules.”
Have someone else give the bottle. Why? Babies are smart – they know you’re the momma and momma’s have the freshest milk. Have grandma, a friend, your husband, anyone who isn’t you, give baby a bottle. Even your 4-year-old can try 😉
Like I said, babies are smart. They can smell your presence, so it may be that you need to physically leave the house for her to take a bottle. Enjoy a drive around the block or a little coffee break outside.
If you have a usual “nursing spot,” don’t try to bottle feed there. Go somewhere that baby won’t associate with nursing and the results might be better.
Adjust the Temp
Some babies want milk that’s the exact same temp as fresh breastmilk. Others will take it cold. You just never know until you try.
Sweeten the Deal
Make sure you get a little bit of breastmilk on the outside of the nipple. Baby doesn’t know the awesome goodness that’s inside the bottle unless you give her a taste.
Make Them Root
Jiggle the nipple on baby’s lips to stimulate the rooting reflex. Don’t shove the bottle in, but allow the baby to suck the nipple in.
Warm it Up
Not just the milk, but some babies want the nipple itself to be warm like mom. It’s worth a try – run the nipple under warm water to up the temp.
Keep it Real
Mimic actual breastfeeding patterns as much as possible – feed when baby is hungry (but not starving) and don’t make him finish a bottle the same way you wouldn’t make him finish a breastmilk feeding.
Switch it Up
Hold baby in a different position than the one you usually breastfeed in. Sometimes babies want the bottle experience to be the same as the breastfeeding experience, sometimes they want nothing to be similar. Every babe is different!
Time It Right
Don’t wait until baby is starving but try feeding when she’s awake and alert. Or you can try to feed with a bottle while they’re asleep or really drowsy. So many options!
It’s a transition, you have to teach baby what to do. Be persistent but give them time; don’t give up after a couple failures. And stick with it! You’ll be rewarded with a night out every so often 🙂
More Breastfeeding & Pumping Resources:
Any tips you have for getting a stubborn baby to take a bottle?