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When to introduce EBM from a bottle? Do I need to!?

(12 Posts)
LauraB83 Wed 06-Jul-11 12:43:44

My DD is 4wks, and I think we are getting the hang of this BF business and are really enjoying it. However somehow I would feel better knowing she would take EBM from a bottle, and was wondering if there is a best time to introduce it so as not to interupt BF? It's silly maybe, but I worry she would suffer if I couldn't be there to feed her for any reason. It would also be nice for my DH to give her the occassional feed of expressed milk.

I want to EBF her as long as she wants, and don't want to switch her to formula (which was the assumption of my MIL when I mentioned it. I then struggled to explain my reasoning). I'm just a bit overwhelmed with the desire to look after, and would be reassured to know feeding wouldn't be a problem in my absence.

Am I alone in this? Any advice would be much appreciated. x

LauraB83 Wed 06-Jul-11 12:47:07

Oops managed to post this twice somehow. I'm new, please forgive me!

kimberlina Wed 06-Jul-11 12:50:30

Hi LauraB glad it's going so well - that's great at 4 weeks grin

My DD had her 1st bottle of EBM at 10 weeks and took it fine - but I think we were lucky that she took it so well. Some people really struggle to get BF babies to drink from a bottle o I think it's worth trying from about 6 weeks on.

If your doing a bottle then she is more likely to take it from your husband who won't smell of milk - and it's best if you leave the room (or even the house!) otherwise she might hold out for Mum!

Have you tried expressing yet? Don't panic if you don't get much the first few times. It's not an indication of supply and you need to train your body to let down the milk. I find expressing a real faff so only bother if I'm actually going to be away from DD at a feed time - otherwise it is far quicker, easier, and more pleasant to just BF DD (imo!)

Good Luck

Cosmosis Wed 06-Jul-11 13:00:07

It's generally recommended not to try until bfing is established – which assuming all going ok, is usually though of as 5-6 weeks. As said above, don’t be worried if you can’t express much at first, some women can express loads and some nothing, and of course everywhere in between. If you do want to do it regularly, try to express at the same time each day and your body will think it’s another feed and adjust your supply accordingly.

As for taking a bottle, some babies do and some don’t and some take one happily for ages and then refuse. It’s really the luck of the draw which you get! I’d agree with the advice above to get your DH to give a bottle as your DD might get confused having one from you when she associates you with bfing.

Congratulations on your baby!

Cosmosis Wed 06-Jul-11 13:01:06

Ps you only need to if you want to!

LauraB83 Wed 06-Jul-11 13:24:59

Thank you both.

I did think that there would be no way she would take a bottle from me. And why would she want to suck on a funny plastic thing which doesn't smell right when the real thing is wafting under her nose!?

I haven't tried expressing yet, I was worried about messing around with my milk supply before we are definately settled. I'll give it another couple of weeks I think then just see how I feel.

I'm sure I'll learn to panic over her less eventually -20yrs or so has been suggested!

Parietal Wed 06-Jul-11 13:47:47

If you want to be 100% confident that your baby will drink from a bottle, I think you need to give 1 bottle per day from age 6 or 8 weeks. But expressing & putting it in a bottle is a big hassle, so if you are with your baby for the next 6 months, wouldn't bother.

MovingAndScared Wed 06-Jul-11 13:51:34

Hi - I expressed and gave bottle for mainly same reason as you eg to be a bit less tied - also went back to work at 6 months with DS1.
I would do it earlier rather than later if things are going well ,as it sound like they are
we waited about 10 weeks with DS1 and it took a bit of time for him to get used to it - with Ds2 it was about a month and he took it straight way
and then give at least one bottle a week - although some babies will randomly refuse just at the most inconivent time -
however when BF babies are older (more than 6 months or so) they will often wait for mum to come back - both my DS gave up bottles in the day from 9 months or so
expressing I found it easier first thing in the morning and as above you probably won't get much the first few times - but you only need a couple of oz to get baby used to it
I used to express most mornings and freeze it so I had a stock in

TruthSweet Wed 06-Jul-11 14:01:18

Laura - I never really bothered to give either DD2 or DD3 a bottle (DD2 had one at 2 weeks but refused it so syringe fed her instead and DD3 was offered one at 4m but refused it). I was rushed to hospital when DD3 was 6m and was unable to feed her due to being so much pain so Paed A&E gave her a bottle of formula which she took. I was then in for a week and whilst she would take bottle from DH she wasn't so keen on taking one from my mum or MIL.

It's not an essential skill that babies need, if they have to take milk from someone other than you then an open cup, syringe, spoon, straw & cup or beaker could all be used to give baby milk instead of a bottle if they just won't take it.

Plus it's a huge faff to express, sterilise bottles/pumps, store milk, reheat milk, get someone else to feed baby every day, all on the off chance you will be hit by a bus grin If you want to do it by all means do but don't feel obliged to do it.

DuelingFanjo Wed 06-Jul-11 14:05:31

I found it too much hassle but that does mean I have been tied to the baby for six months. Last week I started offering my 6 month old son a sippy cup. We did try a doidy cup but he wasn't good at it. Anyway, the sippy cup is great (though I am sure there are some 'rules' about the kind you are supposed to use?) and he had some expressed milk from it yesterday morning - he had boiled cooled water first.

So I suppose I am saying that if you can wait until the baby is older you can skip bottles all together and intorduce a cup when you start weaning.

MovingAndScared Wed 06-Jul-11 14:42:41

dueling - not sure there are rules about sippy cups!
I personally didn't find it that much fuss

beancounting Wed 06-Jul-11 20:26:52

We half-heartedly tried to introduce a bottle of EBM at about 8 weeks but didn't persevere when it was refused as it all just seemed a faff and there wasn't really any need for her to be able to take a bottle at the time.

However, I wish now we had persevered as DD's nearly 12 mo, I've just gone back to work and she won't drink out of a bottle or - other than a tiny sip - a cup. So at the moment I'm going to her nursery at lunchtimes to give her a BF - not ideal!

Obviously that's an extreme example but if we ever have a DC2 I'm going to try harder with the bottle (it will also mean you can have an occasional break at night if your DD turns out to still be demanding night feeds a year on grin!).

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