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Thread: Best way to get bub used to feeding from Breast AND Bottle

  1. #1

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    Question Best way to get bub used to feeding from Breast AND Bottle

    I will have to be heading back to work part time in January when bub will be about 4 months old. I'm intending on expressing whilst at work so bub can continue to have breastmilk. When a friend of mine went back to work she had an awefully hard time getting her bub used to drinking from a bottle so I was hoping to get bub used to drinking from both breast and bottle very early on.

    Any suggestionson the best way of going about this?



    I have a little double electric breastpump so I thought maybe from when bub is born I could pump for a few minutes after each feed and store the milk then just get bub used to drinking from a bottle initially one feed a day or something?

  2. #2

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    Hun, many people will say that starting babies on bottles early works, but it didn't for me. I think they are either going to take one or not. But luckily for me I found that my boys could drink from a sippy cup from about 3 months, so we never needed a bottle. Worrying about a baby being able to drink enough while you are at work is a very common worry (I know from experience!!), but it always seems to work out. Try not to worry about it just yet - it will sort itself out when the time comes. Start by establishing breastfeeding, and then maybe try a sippy cup a couple of weeks before you start work. Sometimes it takes mum being away for the day for a cup or bottle to seem appealing, so don't stress too much if your first attempt doesn't go well. I do recommend starting to build up a stock of EBM early though - maybe start expressing about 4 weeks before you are due to start work. All the best hun.

  3. #3

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    Hey Spice, I'm no expert but did combine EBM with breastfeeding in the early months due to supply and weight gain issues. I would steer clear of a teat until you hit the 4-6 week mark and you feel like your supply has settled down and bubs knows what he is doing at the breast. That's just me though. Hopefully those wonderful women with more knowledge in this area will stop in. I started doing top up bottle feeds when DS was about 3 weeks old and there was constant stress that he was going to start to prefer the faster flow of the teat. Get the slowest flow teats possible and stop and start (putting it in and out of his mouth with short breaks) to try to mimic the breastfeed rate at first. You should only need to give him a bottle once every 1-2 days but be aware that some bubs don't like taking the bottle from mum cause they know the real thing is right there. DS never had this issue but we always followed a bf with the bottle so it was a little different.

    The ABA helpline will have some great advice too.

    Having said all of that, it might be best to just play it by ear once bub is here. You have 4 months to work it out and until you know what kind of feeder he's going to be, it can be hard to plan too much in advance.

    ETA - Great idea about trying the sippy cup MantaRay!

  4. #4

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    I am with MantaRay on this one, dd1 was more than happy to do both, but dd2 refused, she was ok in hospital before my milk fully come in but after we got home we had no luck she would refuse any type of bottle. She only started to take a bottle once she weaned herself at 8 months.

  5. #5
    jaskie Guest

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    Every baby is different so you don't know how yours is going to be until it happens. My bub was on BM for a week then had to be on EBM exclusively for 2 weeks - very, very damaged nipples - and was then back on the boob with the occasional bottle. She was absolutely fine with it. Yet I know other babes who would not handle this at all! I think what helped (possibly, who knows??) was having a bottle that resembled the breast as closely as possible. I am in love with the Adiri Natural Nurser. It is certainly worth checking out. The best part is it contains no bpa, phthalate plasticisers, latex, or vinyl chloride!!
    Best of luck!!

  6. #6

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    Every baby is different - however I introduced a bottle to my DD from 3 months for a lot of different reasons and that almost finished our BF'ing relationship.

    We don't comp at all now and she is back to BF'ing 100%.......my advice is to get another method that doesn't involve a teat....unfortunately the teat is an easier feed and they will take preference to it.

    Hang out til bub is 3 months then spend a month introducing another method like a finger feeder or sippy cup

    HTH xxx

  7. #7

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    I had to introduce a bottle (EBM) early on due to horrible damage to my nipples while breastfeeding. She took it no problem at all. When I healed, we didn't have such a need for it so didn't give her bottle for weeks. I then tried to go and get a spa treatment and left DH with some EBM and she screamed blue murder. Totally got herself in a state and now will not take a bottle for love nor money. *sigh*

    So, she took it when she was tiny but now all she wants is boobie.

    But like everyone says, see how you go and despite me being told that giving baby bottle early on interferes with breastfeeding, I certainly didn't find that to be the case and know a lot of mums who found the same.

    Good luck
    Sue x

  8. #8

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    DD was on a mixutre of NGT, breast and bottle from when she was born, we had to top her up with EBM from an early age, and she adapted well, but she was a crappy breast feeder until 5 1/2 months, so while she could do and take both, I don't know if the mixing of the two was cuasing probalems as well....

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by ~Kaz~ View Post
    Hey Spice, I'm no expert but did combine EBM with breastfeeding in the early months due to supply and weight gain issues. I would steer clear of a teat until you hit the 4-6 week mark and you feel like your supply has settled down and bubs knows what he is doing at the breast. That's just me though. Hopefully those wonderful women with more knowledge in this area will stop in. I started doing top up bottle feeds when DS was about 3 weeks old and there was constant stress that he was going to start to prefer the faster flow of the teat. Get the slowest flow teats possible and stop and start (putting it in and out of his mouth with short breaks) to try to mimic the breastfeed rate at first. You should only need to give him a bottle once every 1-2 days but be aware that some bubs don't like taking the bottle from mum cause they know the real thing is right there. DS never had this issue but we always followed a bf with the bottle so it was a little different.

    The ABA helpline will have some great advice too.

    Having said all of that, it might be best to just play it by ear once bub is here. You have 4 months to work it out and until you know what kind of feeder he's going to be, it can be hard to plan too much in advance.

    ETA - Great idea about trying the sippy cup MantaRay!
    I could have posted this exact thing Kaz As we had similar experience to you..... it really does depend on the baby Mamaspice. The girls have given some great advice, good luck
    I would however really try to stay clear of using a teat for the first few weeks to get bub used to BF etc first....

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mummato2 View Post
    Every baby is different - however I introduced a bottle to my DD from 3 months for a lot of different reasons and that almost finished our BF'ing relationship.

    We don't comp at all now and she is back to BF'ing 100%.......my advice is to get another method that doesn't involve a teat....unfortunately the teat is an easier feed and they will take preference to it.

    Hang out til bub is 3 months then spend a month introducing another method like a finger feeder or sippy cup

    HTH xxx
    is a bottle really an easier feed? Once let down happens the milk usually flows on it's own...?

  11. #11

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    Wow, thanks for all of the advice ladies. I guess the best thing to do is wait and see what happens and what bub is like. Will also look into what the ABA has to say.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Teagz View Post
    is a bottle really an easier feed? Once let down happens the milk usually flows on it's own...?
    Teagz, it can definitely be a faster flow with a bottle. Every breast is different - even the left and right side on the same woman can be different in terms of flow and let down speed. Mine certainly are and I could tell that by DS's different behaviour on each side. Sometimes the flow of the breast is faster for some women but usually (I think!) the bottle teat is quicker - the baby has more control. It does really depend on the type of feeder the baby is. In my case, DS wanted it yesterday and wasn't always patient enough to work for the let down, so he got frustrated and pulled off a lot to cry and protest and that delayed the let down further. Once 'we' achieved let down, he settled into the feed but he would become agitated and impatient again towards the end and I suspect the flow slowed down again as the breast emptied. When he got his mouth on a bottle, he seemed to be able to make it go as fast as he wanted it to. A different, more patient baby would possibly have just taken a slow and steady approach and worked consistently through the feed. I hope that all makes sense!!

  13. #13

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    is a bottle really an easier feed? Once let down happens the milk usually flows on it's own...?
    Yes, a bottle really is. The let down reflex ejects the milk, but the baby has to suck to get milk. This is a complex system but basically it is designed so that baby can't choke, and only gets what they want. If the baby isn't attached properly and moving their tongue and jaw the right ways, they don't get milk (if they attach and stimulate the let down correctly and then stop, they might get some milk when the let down first happens, but it's not going to be enough). Whereas with a bottle it pours into their mouths and they have to swallow.

    MummaSue, if you really want some time out, you could try her with a sippy cup.
    Last edited by MantaRay; July 14th, 2010 at 07:15 AM.

  14. #14

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    Hey MR, yeah, I am thinking I might get a sippy cup for her and try that soon. Is there any specific kinds that people have found to work well? Sorry to hijack the thread.
    Sue x

  15. #15

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    Quick question... in order to avoid painful nipple issues... is there any great debate against just feeding EBM from a bottle all the time? That way the baby is getting the BM it needs, and the mum avoids all the nipple issues that come with BF.

  16. #16
    jaskie Guest

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    I did this for a two week period due to damage. It was exhausting!!!! (not to mention time consuming). The day feeds weren't as bad if someone else was around to give the bottle but the night feeds were horrible. The feed would take twice as long as I had to first give the bottle when she woke then put her back to bed and I stayed up to express before going back to bed myself. Some feeds I was up for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.There are also the supply issues. Expressing does not empty the breast as well as BF does so in the early days when you are trying to build your supply this could cause problems. I was very lucky in that I had the opposite problem of over supply. I could have easily fed triplets with what I was producing but this runs in my family, both my mother and grandmother were the same. Also there are all the issues about when you are out and about. BF in public is common and accepted but you couldn't sit in a cafe expressing!! You would be restricted as to where and when you go out and also have to lug around all that extra equipment (as if you don't already have enough).
    If you have concerns about nipple issues then it might be worth going to see a lactation consultant before you give birth and also arrange for them to come and see you as soon as the baby is born so that correct attachment can be established from the beginning. My understanding (someone correct me if I'm wrong) is that damage is caused by incorrect attachment. Yes you may experience some discomfort during the first few weeks but if there are no attachment issues then it should settle down quickly.

  17. #17

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    Hmmm interesting... so expressing once a day and storing is isnt something that can be done?

  18. #18
    jaskie Guest

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    No this would not be possible if you intend on feeding only BM. If you expressed only once a day you would find that your milk supply would dry up very quickly. Also you would not be able to express enough for the day.

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