If/when to start expressing and using bottles(5 Posts)
My DD is 4 weeks old and so far have exclusively BF (with the exception of some cup feeds in hospital when she was refusing to feed) but am starting to think about introducing bottles of EBM. At first I was sure I wanted to do this as I want to let my DP get involved with feeding, and would like to sleep for more than 2 hours at a time but now I'm worried it's not the best thing for her, especially as we had the initial feeding problems (although everything's fine now, she's feeding and gaining well). On the other hand, I know that if I don't introduce an occassional bottle soon I risk her never taking a bottle.
Never taking a bottle isn't such a bad thing, if you plan to breastfeed for 6 months or more. My DD was breastfed til 8 months then weaned straight onto the cup. It worked well and she never needed a bottle. However, if you want to share the feeding I understand that this wouldn't be an option for you. I didn't mind doing all the feeds, as I enjoyed that time with DD doing something only I could do for her. There are lots of other ways for Dad to get involved - bathing, playing, putting down to sleep, etc.
My DD is 21 weeks and is EBF. We gave her a bottle when she was 4 weeks old and she took it no problems, it didn't interfere with breastfeeding and there was no "nipple confusion". She doesn't have a bottle often but it has been a life saver for me as it means my DP can take her out and also feed her at weekends if she wakes in the night - also I had to go into hospital for day surgery and meant I could leave her knowing she would be fine. If you need to leave her unexpectedly it's good for your peace of mind knowing she will take a bottle. All babies are different though and as long as breastfeeding is well established it shouldn't be a problem. You may need to try a couple of times and get someone else to give it to her. It also will mean you get a break and can get a bit of much needed sleep!
I've been giving ds bottles two to three times a week since he was about three weeks old. We had a few battles with it, but overall he's been fine. It's been worth its weight in gold since I went back to work.
We've always had some milk hanging round the freezer for emergencies as well. Its been a life saver for us.
I never bothered and never wished i had. By the time i started part time work again at 9m he was fine for half days. My friend did full days and her ds never bothered with a bottle, just fed more in the evening.
Apparently in the early days it can be uncomfortable for you if you are away from the baby for a while and you may need to express to relieve this. It all sounded like too much faff to me and so i didn't bother!
It is not unknown for babies to happily take breast and bottle for some time, and then randomly decide they don't like one of the two.
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