Offering a bottle — The Bump
February 2016 Moms

Offering a bottle

Hi mamas. So my LO turned 6 weeks on Monday and has been EBF until now. I just ordered my breast pump and return to work in 6 more weeks. My question is, at what age did you begin to offer a bottle to your LO's? For now I would like to continue to breastfeed but have him begin to take a bottle or 2 per day. We will increase the amount of bottles as my return to work gets closer. I guess I'm concerned on when to start offering a bottle, like should I wait a few more weeks? I don't want to disrupt the good groove we have with breastfeeding but don't want to wait until the week before I go back to work to start this. I'm asking my doctor as well but wanted to hear your experiences as well. Any advice appreciated. Thanks! 

Re: Offering a bottle

  • My LO was in the NICU and they gave him bottles. Once he was home I would pump bottles so daddy can take part in feeding since I'm EBF. My LO hasn't had any nipple confusion or any troubles latching on. I read you can give 1-2 bottles a day so baby gets adjusted and you get to see how they like it. Hope this helps! 
    Fullerj21
  • chilady12chilady12
    Third Anniversary 10 Comments 5 Love Its Photogenic
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    edited March 2016
    My son's doctor actually recommended that we start doing a bottle a day around 3/4 weeks since I'm EBF and will return to work around 12/13 weeks. My husband will usually give the bottle at one of the evening feedings and I will pump while he feeds our son. We haven't had any issues in terms of breastfeeding since beginning the bottles. One of my coworkers waited until a week or two before she returned to work to start introducing a bottle and her daughter refused to take it and made the first few weeks back at work pretty terrible as she wouldn't eat at daycare. That made me nervous so I'm glad we started early! I'm sure it wouldn't be a problem for all babies though.

    ETA: updated - should have said a bottle a day
    Fullerj21ashton2190
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  • hnullhnull
    100 Comments 100 Love Its First Anniversary Name Dropper
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    My daughter will be 1 month this Saturday and I gave her, her first bottle last night she did great. I EBF and will not return to work, but wanted to indroduce it so my husband can feed her occasionally as well as whenever it is we leave her with family for a date night or whatever she takes it. A firend of mine waited until her daughter was 9 weeks and her daughter wouldn't take the bottle at all. once she returned to work she has to go the babysitters (thank goodness we live in a tiny town) every 3 hours to feed her daughter! 
    (Yikes)!!!
    I would say you are good to introduce it now If you want- every baby is different and every mom and Doctor will probably give you a differnt age! 
    Fullerj21
  • I think we started around 8 weeks. You don't need to increase the number of bottles you give per day, though (unless you want to).. Just give one a day or even every other day to make sure LO gets used to it. We actually just did weekends because that was the easiest when H was home, then a couple feeds with my mom in the month before I went back to work. 

    Also, it's better to have someone else give it, since a lot of babies won't take it for mom. Why take the bottle when she has the real thing! :) 

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    Fullerj21
  • Also, make sure whoever is giving the bottle learns how to do paced bottle feeding, and always stick with a slow flow nipple with a breast fed baby, even when they get older. 

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    Fullerj21TheBeesBonnettAchaepaytonpedro
  • Thank you all for the suggestions. I think once the pump gets here we will start with my H offering one bottle per day.... Maybe during the night ;)  I also need to look at the nipples we have to make sure they are the slow release. 
  • We started giving our baby a bottle at 6 weeks. He's 7 weeks now and still is refusing the bottle. We've tried Dr. Browns (preemie and size 1 nipple), Lansinoh mOmma, and Comotomo bottles. I go back to work at 13 weeks, so hopefully he gets used to it soon. The only time he had taken it without a major meltdown was when I wasn't home.  I've tried being on a different floor of the house, being in a different room, none of it works for him. Our LC said that most breastfed babies have a "bottle window of opportunity" between 4 and 6 weeks, I think we missed it!
    ashleyandjody
  • I'm EBF and gave LO her first bottle this morning (she's 4 1/2 weeks). She gulped it down and wanted more so I put her on my breast to finish. She will only need a bottle once in awhile when I'm away but I'm planning to give her one 2-3x a week just to keep her in the routine of it. 
  • VitaLunaVitaLuna
    Eighth Anniversary 250 Answers 2500 Comments 500 Love Its
    member
    edited March 2016
    mommaz1 said:
    We started giving our baby a bottle at 6 weeks. He's 7 weeks now and still is refusing the bottle. We've tried Dr. Browns (preemie and size 1 nipple), Lansinoh mOmma, and Comotomo bottles. I go back to work at 13 weeks, so hopefully he gets used to it soon. The only time he had taken it without a major meltdown was when I wasn't home.  I've tried being on a different floor of the house, being in a different room, none of it works for him. Our LC said that most breastfed babies have a "bottle window of opportunity" between 4 and 6 weeks, I think we missed it!
    My DD refused for a long time or just took a little bit. She was probably 12wks before she took much, and she only took a full feed once before I went back to work at 18 weeks. It was incredibly stressful. Im gone for 14 hrs on work days and was terrified that she'd refuse to eat, but she did just fine after I went back. 

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    mommaz1
  •  @mommaz1 have you tried Tommee Tippee. We tried 4 or 5 different bottles with DD and that was all she would take. DS seems to like them too, he probably has a bottle once a week. A lot of my friends have had success with them too. Bonus a lot of times TJMaxx has them for cheaper
    mommaz1
  • My daughter took her first bottle at three days old. I had difficulty breast feeding in the beginning. We use Tommee tippee as others have mentioned. She did exclusive bottle until one week old and she magically latched after that (she also was three weeks early I've heard that could of been reasoning for some of our difficulty early on) I've ebf since she has taken on. I've also pumped from very early on due to our difficulties . She's never had a problem going bottle to boob and I've even fed her bottles. She also takes a pacifier when she's going down to sleep . Good luck !!
  • We had to give LO a supplement the day we came home. I was planning on EBF but she came home borderline jaundice. The pediatrician said to have DH feed her. She said that if LO can smell me, she may have a harder time taking the bottle. Plus it gives LO and DH some bonding time. She's done great and it hasn't affected her BF at all. I'm going to back when she is 8 weeks and I wanted to make sure that she was ready to take breast milk from a bottle there. 
    Cherylaf83
  • Ugh I need to do this too. My doc said to start at four weeks (lo is five weeks today) and give a bottle at least once per week.  I hate pumping - but I know it has to happen. I'm not going back to work until he is 6 months old but he will still need bottles and I'm sure I'll want to be able to get away before then. I've really been putting it off just because I don't want to pump and finding the time is hard with a toddler around. I need to suck it up and just do it. 
  • Update: my pump came today (super fast) and after I fed LO this afternoon I pumped a few ounces and put it I n the fridge. I went to the gym tonight and my H fed LO the pumped milk without issue. He is 6.5 weeks and we used our Dr Browns bottles. I am so glad he took the bottle! 
    VitaLunacharliegoldengirllilqt3929mommaz1
  • I've been supplementing with breastmilk bottles since we were in the hospital after delivery. DD is 3.5 weeks old now. I pump twice a day in addition to breastfeeding (usually morning and evening). I give her 1 bottle every day or so as supplement and have a stash in the fridge/freezer. I never had any issues with DD refusing any kind of food, bottle or nipple. She's kind of a pig. We are trying to get her to take pacifiers now as she nurses on me for hours at a time. She's not fond of nipples that don't give her food  ;)
    Fullerj21rainbowminion
  • rainbowminionrainbowminion
    500 Love Its 100 Comments First Anniversary Name Dropper
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    edited March 2016
    I think a lot depends on the individual baby. We started supplementing with formula before we came home from the hospital due to his low blood sugar. He will happily nurse or take a bottle, and he doesn't care what type of bottle. If it's got milk he will figure out how to get it out! 

    ETA: It wasn't anything I did or didn't do that made my little guy easy to feed. He just came that way!


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  • 4N6s4N6s
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
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    We introduced a bottle within the first week. OOPS. She takes it and we've never had a problem. 
  • My LO had to take a bottle in her first week because I got re admitted and had a ct scan and had to pump and dump until the dye was out of my system. She took the bottle right away. But now we are back to EBF. But we will have to start bottles again when I go back to work. 
  • I agree, every baby is different. We introduced a bottle to DD (now 2) at 2 weeks because of weight concerns and after that she no longer had the patience to nurse and would scream when I tried to breast feed her. She preferred the bottle from then on, which led to me pumping for 7-8 months. 
  • We were using Tommie Tippie bottles but they were spilling out she wasn't latching on well. So we started avent bottles and she is doing lots better. 
  • I started having my fiance give our baby a bottle on the weekends at 2 weeks.  He just did the midnight feeding so I could get a little more sleep.  We were using the Medela bottles that I use with the pump but she was getting a lot of air.  I'm back at work part time now,  so my mom gives her 2-3 bottles while I'm gone.  I switched to the Nuby brand, they are more breast shaped if that makes sense?  Her gas issues have gone way down since we switched to this bottle.  But I have no issues putting her back on the breast.  

    To make sure I have a good milk supply, I pump after every feeding.  I'm not gunna lie, I probably have a bit of an over supply but I'm so afraid of not having enough milk I would rather just deal with being engorged sometimes.  But at least I have piece of mind knowing I have a 3 day milk supply at any given time!
  • My husband gave the first bottle this morning. It went well and he drank about three ounces of the 8 I pumped.  I'll try to pump and offer a bottle once a week. Kind of hoping that I'll be able to pump extra each time to have some in the freezer :)
    Fullerj21rainbowminion
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