6 Ways To Introduce Bottle To Breastfed Baby

From the very first month I use to breast feed my baby and once in a day gave her  bottle feed.In early weeks baby doesn’t create any problem and can easily switch between breastfeed and formula milk. One of my relative shared her experience of how tough it was when she raised her boy without bottle feeding as he just refused to accept bottle. She therefore gave bottle to her baby from the very day she was born at least once in a day.

How I introduced bottle to a breast feeding baby

 For two months my baby accepted bottle easily but as I was shifting, I stopped bottle feeding thinking she is used to it and will accept it later too. More so, my doc  is totally against bottle .He feels that it has lot of sterilising issues so he doesn’t recommend it. However, as I keep traveling for work related issues, I thought that I can not manage without bottle feeding my baby and consulted another doctor who asked me to try bottle feeding the baby again ASAP otherwise she might refuse it for ever.

I had no idea that a simple bottle feeding can be such a frustrating thing.It has taken me almost a month to get her back to bottle feeding again  that too with lots of tricks and tactics and ofcourse with a lot (a lot !) of patience 🙂 Some how motherhood automatically imparts this to us.I don’t know how.

I am listing down few of the methods which got my baby back to bottle feeding  or if you have never introduced bottle to her then these tips might help you out –

1. I never gave my baby pacifier but when she refused bottle I bought her a good quality pacifier. Please refrain from local ones. Initially she didn’t like pacifier but later on started enjoying it for 30 seconds or so. My aim was to make her shift from me and in which pacifier helped. Slowly you can try transferring the baby to the bottle.

Introducing Pacifier

baby pacifier India

2. I have read it on so many websites that some one other than the mom should offer bottle to the baby as then the mom breast is not available but it never worked for me. The patience with which I could keep while trying bottle with her was some how missing with every one so ultimately I decided to take up the task.

3. It initially became a battle between me and my baby. I would keep the bottle nipple  for half or more minute into her mouth and she will keep resisting  and I keep persisting. It made me feel guilty. I cried too seeing her and after 2-3 days I refused to force the bottle in her mouth. I could easily see that babies understand very easily what is coming up and she too was prepared to pull off. It always works for me. Babies knows best what is required so I don’t force anything.

4. Problem with the babies is that they don’t like the bottle nipple and neither do they know how to suck it and nor do they like the formula milk. So trying bottle feeding with your own milk initially helps . Then slowly start increasing the ratio of formula milk  and reducing yours.It worked with my baby for  2-3 time but she never sucked the bottle nipple which was frustrating.

Giving Apple Juice To Babies

5.Giving Apple juice – I gave her apple juice in the bottle but she refused that too.

6.I got some 3-4 quality nipples and enlarge the hole in baby bottle nipple.This way she didn’t need to suck the nipple. Milk would keep flowing and even if she isn’t interested some of the milk she has to drink atleast initially. First few days I would press the bottle nipple from the back(never touch the area where the milk flows due to hygiene reason).She slowly then started sucking the bottle and after  two weeks I found her sucking the nipple by herself. Because of the bigger pore, flow of the milk was high and most of the milk kept coming out.So now the task was to get her accustomed to the normal size .I then gave her another nipple with little less size hole and slowly brought her to normal size hole.

What worked for me might not work for you and vice versa. One shouldn’t give up and keep trying all the time. Don’t just think of breast feeding immediately if baby is refusing bottle. Wait for a while and then give her your milk or if you don’t want to give her your milk then try spoon feeding but keep trying and don’t give up just after few trials .It took me almost a month to get my baby accustomed to bottle feed and it would have taken more time I would have still tried.

How did you introduce bottle feed your breastfeeding baby ?

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  1. it happens with some babies… my niece, however, did not create any fuss as she readily accepted bottle feed from her mother once a day when she was two months old…

  2. Tell me about it Anamika….My baby never took a bottle….I tried every brand, every size, all kinds of things in it…she will just not take it… I work full time and was able to somehow manage it…I nursed her till she was two and she weaned herself…

  3. i wonder how u managed it Priyanka ..and u nursed her for two years..hatts off to you..isn’t it easy to just give bottle ..fill her tummy up and sleep for 4-5 hours peacefully at a stretch.

  4. nice article….. I introduced bottle to my daughter when she was one month old. I still remember the day, I was so happy that she accepted it instantly… Bottle feeding was a must since I was a full time working mother..

  5. wow ana..finally u re able to do that….i had tried all the above mentioned things but nothing worked out for me and i used to cry like anything when she didnt adjust to bottle feed..there was a time that she got so much irritated that she stopped breast feed also and remained hungry and howling for the whole day…from that day i never tried giving bottle to her although i used to give a little bit formula milk with spoon!!!

    • yes Ritika ,finally i did manage too..although when she refuse it once my heart skips a beat…so u didn’t give her lot of formula milk then what milk was she on for whole year..don tell me yours because it can be really taxing as the baby wants to drink lot of it

  6. this happened with me..i was supposed to join office after my daughter completed 6 mnths and due to some emergencies i had to join when she was 4.5 mnths..I was in a concept that i had enough time and once she is 5 mnths will that bottle…but I had to join in a days notice…and thank God she didnt make any fuss in shfting to bottle. but when i am around she refused but in my absence she was okay. kids really understand the situation and adapt.

    • I have noticed that..when ever I keep my baby under some one else care she is really good with them but once i am there her tantrums starts..they know we will take it all 😀

  7. my daughter refused the bottle right away – i tried to get her to have pumped breast milk in the bottle for an odd evening or afternoon out – but she absolutely refused. She doesn’t even have the pacifier. But the docs here have advised me not to force the issue. They say, it doesn’t matter whether u start it from day 1 or at 4 months – if she wants to take it, she will else not. What they recommend is that for that odd day out, ask the caregiver (grandparent or whoever) to try using a spoon or something. Apparently, its okay for the baby to never get onto the bottle. All this works fine as long as I am not working or formula feeding. The real challenge will come when the formula starts – fingers crossed! I am skeptic about giving any water/apple juice etc. when breast feeding – but lets see!

    • You know Yuvika my doc said something different..when my family peditrician showed no interest in bottle feeding i asked another doc she said she will take if she had it after birth for a while..don force it but i will still suggest to try giving her every day ..if she refuse then just take it off and don’t mind the day out of surprise u will see her taking the 4 months it will be really difficult..u should discuss this with yur friends and family who have faced this..Anvika is 6th child in my near and dear ones and their experience have been quite different.

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