Breast AND bottle feeding ? — The Bump
Babies: 0 - 3 Months

Breast AND bottle feeding ?

Hi there, I'm just visiting from the second trimester boards as my LO isn't born yet, and I have searched all over the parenting/breastfeeding boards but not finding the answers to my particular questions (send me a link if I'm wrong and I'll check it out)!
So, I've seen many mothers talking about breast feeding and maybe pumping for the nighttime feeds so other people (DH/mothers/etc) can help out. But when I mentioned this to my mother she said never would that ever work as the baby would be extremely confused and probably refuse to breastfeed altogether. Now she is very ''my way or the highway" and when I try to do things my way she says she would know better and gets mad that I'm not listening to her. ANYWAYS, this is now 2015 and I'm sure the bottles they make now are very similar to our breasts and was wondering:
If you pump and also breastfeed what bottles do you use?
At what stage should I introduce the bottle (couple weeks maybe after breastfeeding is working well)?
And does it cause a lot of confusion for your LO ?
I'm aware breastfeeding might he thrown out the window altogether after birth as many things do happen, but I'm going to give it my best shot and just want to be prepared.
Thanks in advance !

Re: Breast AND bottle feeding ?

  • When my LO was born we had a lot of trouble breastfeeding, she couldn't latch well at first and I had to use a nipple shield for about a month. Around the 3 week mark we started to figure things out and she got the hang of eating without the shield. Once I felt really comfortable in her ability to breastfeed, I started pumping and had DH give her one bottle a day. LO never had any problems going back and forth, she even takes a bottle from me no problem. We use a few different bottles: Tommee Tippee, Nuk, and Munchkin Latch! She eats from all three without a problem.
  • My step mom said similar things.
    I just smile and nod, correct when I get a chance.

    From my understanding, nipple confusion is not really a prominent issue for most.

    My niece is a year old, and from day one took a bottle and breast. She is still bf just fine!

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  • I do about 50% bottle feeding and 50% breast. Nursing has been an absolute struggle from the start and 2 months later we have come a long way, but are still not comfortable with it enough to do it while out and about. I started with a shield in the beginning (big mistake) and then Dr Brown's bottles (at the recommendation of a friend), but ended up switching to Avent Natural because I felt it forced her to open her mouth wider and made it easier to nurse without a shield. Every baby is different, but mine can go from breast to bottle and back. She's a terrible eater though, so maybe a baby who is much better and more efficient at nursing would have more trouble.
  • So we nursed very well for about 5 weeks; then when I started back to work and would BF, my daughter would lose her ever loving mind. It took a few days to figure out why but essentially bottles (we used Avent natural) didn't make her work as hard so when it came time to feed off me- she wouldn't want to work as hard or be patient for letdown. Because of this, my supply took a huge hit and at one point I couldn't get her to latch at all (with or without a shield). We played around with bottles for a bit -Avent, Tommie tippie, Medela but have found that the Munchkin Latch is an absolute Godsend. The flow is incredibly slow and she has to work the exact same as she would if it were me. Things aren't back to normal by any means- it's a total uphill battle BUT she is latching anywhere from 5-30 minutes and will be semi patient. When my letdown is too slow or she's not getting enough (which is still every feeding) we've supplemented with formula or now that things are getting better supply wise pumped breast milk. This isn't the same for everyone obviously but our experience. I think nipple confusion is more what I've been going through were baby prefers bottle over breast.
  • We started giving my LO a bottle of pumped milk when he was 4 days old. He went between breast and bottle no problem. He did start refusing to nurse when I was admitted and had surgery at2.5 weeks pp. I think that was due more to having a bottle exclusively for 4 days, we worked on it and he is nursing again.

    Once lo is latching well, and yiu have a good supply I think you can pump and bottle feed whenever l. Just make sure you are pumping to replace each bottle or your supply will suffer
  • I had no problems giving LO breast or bottle. We had to start bottle feeding at day 3 because of a lip tie issue. Nipple confusion CAN happen though so I believe it is recommended that you breast feed without bottle for at least a month until BF is established.

  • LO never had a problem going back and forth either. We use the Avent Naturals bottles. I gave her two bottles at about 10 days old bc my nipples hurt so badly, and after that DH would give her one a day when he was home on weekends during my maternity leave to get her used to them. When she started daycare at 12 weeks she was getting bottles for all but two feedings a day during the week, but mostly nursing all weekend (unless we have bottles leftover from daycare during the week, then DH would give her those while I pumped over the weekend).

    I will say that even though LO has no problem taking bottles, we never used them for night bedtime or MOTN feeds. Breastfeeding makes her drowsy and bottles really don't. So I always nursed her at those times. DH will give her bottles pre-nap and then put her down though and she'll put herself to sleep after a few minutes. I also never got more than a size 1 (newborn) nipple because I feel like it mimics the breast more. I don't think faster nipples are ever really necessary.

    Bottles were given out of necessity (bc I went back to work) more than convenience. It's not convenient to bottle feed if you're breastfeeding bc you always have to pump to replace that feed to keep up your supply. And pumping kind of sucks (pun intended). So unless I'm at work I try to just nurse her instead of pumping, even motn. If I have to be awake to pump anyway, it's faster and easier to just nurse her. Some women don't have that option, and need to pump or supplement, and I've been lucky to be able to EBF, so if I can avoid pumping I won't do it.
    Me: 37 DH: 37
    Married 5-31-14
    DD1 born 6-21-15
    DD2 born 6-11-17
    DS born 9-5-18

  • I thought the same thing about pumping to be able to use bottles at night but until your supply is well established and you're producing extra you would still need to wake up to pump at night. My husband and I tried this one night and it was the worst decision ever because I was up to pump and am a light sleeper so I'd be up when LO woke up too. Which meant pretty much no sleep that night.
  • I bottle feed during the two early morning feedings.  Usually around 12-1 am and 3-4 am. I have given him a bottle at the 6 am feeding too, because I pump and DH feeds him during that time.  At this point, we are sort of crammed into two small rooms because we're renovating and it's too hard to maneuver around the bedroom during those morning hours without waking up DH and getting myself prepped to nurse.  My LO was born 6 weeks early and in NICU they gave him a pacifier right away to build up his jaw muscles and to establish his ability to swallow and suck.  So far he's taken to the pacifier, the bottle during the feedings and BF with the shield. My concern is that when I go to ween him off of the shield as he matures a little bit more and gets to his original due date, that he will struggle. We shall see. I have a few more weeks before that time comes.

  • Most LC and hospitals will probably tell you to not introduce the bottle until breastfeeding is efficient cause of nipple confusion. However I watched a video from an LC who mentioned that the bottle should actually be brought in earlier cause sometimes babies will learn to never take a bottle which makes it impossible for you to be able to leave and have someone babysit and such.

    I decided to take this advice and introduced the bottle when she was 3 days old. We started with Medela cause that's the brand my pump was. She takes the bottle fine but I noticed it gave her a lot of hiccups so I tried Mam. I love it and hiccups became more rare. Still happened just not as often. My LO just loves to eat so she's taken pretty much every bottle we give her, I just chose which ones worked better. Like the playtex ones had a faster nipple so she would leak a lot of milk out. Tomee tippee she made a weird suckle sound I didn't like and I didn't like the weird shape of it.

    You may want to get bottle samples to try. I've heard some babies are really picky with their bottles so I bought one of like 4 brands to try out and then see which works best. I love Mam also because it comes apart so it's really easy to clean.

    In general I just try to breastfeed majority of the time and only give her maybe 2 bottles a day.

    Good luck!!
  • Unica1302+Unica1302+
    250 Love Its 100 Comments First Anniversary Name Dropper
    edited January 2016
    I was also told over and over not to introduce a bottle or a pacifier until breastfeeding had been established for several weeks if not months. Reality for me was that my milk took a solid 3-4 days to come in and once the colostrum started to run low on day 2, she was hungry. We had to supplement with formula 1-2 bottles a day for 3 or so. Due to tongue tie issues my baby directly breastfed 50% of the time and drank bf from bottle the other 50% until about 4 weeks. She never seemed to have issues going back in forth. Around 4 weeks we began to exclusively breastfeed and she only had bottles of expressed milk when my mother babysat her. FYI we used Avent naturals and PS- my baby completely refuses pacifiers (now going on 9 weeks). I should note that my cousins baby (I'm told) was also supplemented in the beginning and then exclusively breastfed but had lots of issues taking the bottle. When this babys mother tried to give him expressed milk down the line he flat out refused- they tried several brands with no success. 
  • We introduced the bottle at about 3 weeks because DH and I had a friend watch her while we went to see Star Wars. She's been EBF and has had no issues going between breast and bottle. I have DH give her a bottle every few days so that she stays used to it for when I go back to work in a few weeks. I use the Kiinde direct-pump system to store milk and use the bottles that come with the system, which are supposed to encourage active latching.

    We introduced a pacifier around 5 weeks when she started getting mad at my breast at the end of a feed. Turns out she wanted to keep sucking, but was mad because she kept getting milk because I have so much supply. The pacifier allows her to suck and soothe herself without getting milk.
  • I was unable to breastfeed when DD was born. She was three weeks early and very small. I tried everything, saw an LC, but we had to pump and bottle feed. We used avent naturals for five weeks before we were successful at breastfeeding. Now I breastfeed the majority of the time and she gets a bottle maybe once every other day. She also takes a paci. 
    So we haven't had any problems with nipple confusion. She does prefer the breast but when she gets really fussy and tired we give a bottle because it's less work for her. 
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