A couple of months ago I had a tough time getting my Arianna to take a bottle. She was exclusively breast-fed up until then (she was age 2-months). It seemed like the more I tried, the more she rejected this new feeding method mommy was trying with her. I felt helpless, but I kept persisting and even took drastic measures like only breastfeeding during night feedings; no bottles during the day. And just like that she got the hint. Today she takes the bottle with zero fuss.
Here are some other tips I got from friends and other moms that helped me during her intro to bottle feeding:
- Try the bottle when your baby is not too hungry;
- Hold her lovingly while giving the bottle–baby is probably used to your love cuddle from breastfeeding and is expecting the same with bottle feeding;
- Try wrapping baby in an article of your clothing so she can smell you, it will make baby feel safe & secure;
- Instead of pushing the nipple into baby’s mouth, try laying it near baby’s mouth and allow her to pull it in herself or try tickling her mouth with the bottle nipple, like the breast and wait for her to open wide, AHH;
- Run warm water over the nipple to bring it up to body temperature, the silicone + latex nipples tend to be cold on their lips;
- Experiment with different nipple types to find a shape, texture and/or hole size that she will accept (my daughter prefers a smaller latex nipple that fits completely in her mouth, it’s shaped like my nipple);
- Use different feeding positions (other than the nursing position);
- If none of the above work, try feeding her using a cup or spoon, but be VERY careful with this method;
- If all else fails, have someone else, like Daddy or grandparents try and give the bottle, baby associates you with breastfeeding, and
- Relax and be patient
If I know then what I know now: I would definitely give my daughter the bottle at 2 weeks old, if not earlier.
What was/is your experience with bottle feeding, any tip you would add to this list?