Breastfed babies often become attached to the comforting feeling of feeding on their mother’s breast. Mostly, they reject the rubbery bottle nipples in favour of the real thing. However, in some cases, bottle feeding might be the only option. For example, the mother needs to go back to work, illness and inability to continue breastfeeding.
There are several reasons why bottle-feeding might have to replace breastfeeding, but how do you successfully bottle feed a breastfed baby?
There are no hard and fast rules, every baby is different, the key is to empathise with the baby and understand why they prefer breastfeeding.
Here are some actionable tips to help to facilitate the process of bottle feeding a breastfed baby.
Get the Right Equipment
The right equipment is key, choose high-quality bottles with BPA free nipples and containers. Speak to your pediatrician or healthcare professional, they can provide you with high-quality recommendations to help you make the right decision.
Let Your Baby Get Familiar with The Bottle
When you are buying a new car, you always check if it feels right first. Let your baby get familiar with the bottles first. Obviously, you can’t test bottles but you can buy the best bottles for your budget and allow your baby to touch and play with the bottles before you start feeding her/him.
Create a Calm Environment
A calm environment will reduce the anxiety that is often associated with bottle feeding. Soft music and a calm, cool ambience. Check the room temperature to ensure that it’s not too hot or too cold for both of you.
Make sure you are sitting comfortably and remove any doubt or fear from your mind while visualising a positive outcome. Your baby might not be able to drink all the milk from the bottle the first time around, but just rest assured that as long as you keep trying, eventually your baby will grow accustomed to drinking from the bottle.
Whether you are expressing your breastmilk or using a formula like S-26 Alula Original Formula for toddlers, bottle feeding a breastfed baby will take time.
Don’t Rush the Process
Take your time, don’t rush the process. Give yourself time and give your baby all the time that he/she needs to get used to this new way of life.
One Feed at a Time
Take it one feed at a time. Don’t bombard your baby with multiple feeds, when you first start, pick one feed in a day and try to bottle feed. If he/she rejects the bottle, keep trying for some time and then go back to breastfeeding. Continuing this approach every day, it might require a bit of patience and persistence but eventually, your baby will begin to understand that bottle feeding is the new way of feeding.
Create Alternative Bonding Routines
Breastfed babies are used to the comfort and nurturing feeling they get from being breastfed. Therefore, you will need to come up with new ways to bond with your baby. This might come in the form of extra cuddles, read more, play more and go for long walks with your baby. Your baby will eventually get used to these new routines and forget about breastfeeding.
Bottle feeding your breastfed baby might be difficult in the beginning, or you might luck out with your baby as some babies settle into bottle feeding with ease. However, if you do struggle with bottle feeding remember that no condition is ever permanent and with time. Your baby will grow into the new way of feeding, you just have to give it time, your baby will certainly grow accustomed to bottle feeding eventually.