I will be returning to work at 12 weeks and I asked the pediatrician at our first visit about what I should do to prepare. She said I should introduce the bottle of pumped BM at 3 weeks and give one bottle per day because LO is more likely to accept it at that age. She warned against waiting till right before I'm about to return to work to introduce the bottle. She said babies are more opinionated at that age and LO is more likely to flat-out refuse it and that she's seen many parents go that route and then panic. I thought three weeks was pretty early, but I've since read a couple other sources, like What to Expect in the First Year, that said the same thing so I guess it's not totally out there.
I asked the LC today and she said no way, that three weeks is the absolute earliest that a bottle should be introduced and she doesn't recommend it. She said that the official AAP recommendation is to wait til breastfeeding is 'well-established', and she says that means at least 8 weeks. She doesn't think the possibility of LO refusing a bottle later on will be an issue. I really like this LC and trust her opinion, so now I'm torn.
I was initially freaked out by the idea of introducing a bottle at 3 weeks because it does seem early, but I'd gotten used to it and started to get excited about the possibility of being able to leave LO with my parents and have a few hours out of the house with my husband. But I am reluctant to do anything that's going to mess up our BFing routine this soon... I've been really lucky and had almost no issues, and LO is gaining like a champ, and I'd hate to mess with a good thing.
Does anyone have an advice, or any success stories or cautionary tales about starting a bottle early on? TIA.