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Whats the earliest you can try expressed milk from bottle?

(22 Posts)
TettyLouBar Tue 01-Jul-08 14:36:04

DD1 is now 16days old, and we have established BF well. But because I am intending to express and get DH involved with feeds when possible I have been reading around subject lots. Not one piece of literature/website/book seems to have a definitive answer.
When did you guys first try a bottle?? how did it work out? I told if you start to early you can confuse LO.
confused!!! hmm

RoRoMommy Tue 01-Jul-08 14:40:19

i waited until ds was 12 weeks to avoid nipple confusion, and by then we were quite well established and though it took a few times (he always preferred the boob!), eventually he got the hang of it and i didn't have any confusion issues.


love2sleep Tue 01-Jul-08 15:32:47

I think the problem here is that all babies are different and so there is no easy rule. With DS1 I expressed a couple of times very early on (about where you are now I think) and had no problems. But then he was (and still is) a greedy boy so I was pretty confident that he wouldn't much care how the milk came as long as there was plenty of it! I found it reassuring to know that he would take a bottle and kept a feed in the freezer as a backup. After these first few bottles I then didn't express much until I went back to work at 6 months.

I think this is a case where you have to trust your own instincts about your baby rather than looking for guidance about a specific age where it is ok.

Good luck smile

Mummy2Freya Tue 01-Jul-08 15:41:28

my dd had her first bottle of EBM at two weeks old, midwife said to start getting her used to it ASAP and she never had any confusion.

Good Luck

mummyeme Tue 01-Jul-08 15:45:22

Sooner the better, as she will be more likely to accept a bottle. If you leave it a while you may find that she doesn't accept bottle feeds too easily.

TettyLouBar Sun 06-Jul-08 15:35:04

Thanks ladies, expressed first bottle at 2.3 and she took it like a dream, DH fed her and was soooo pleased with himself! bless! wink

littlemisssplendid Sun 06-Jul-08 15:51:40

3 weeks (although not every day - she has a bottle 2-3 times a week). I found bf really hard so wanted to keep my options open incase it all got too much and I wanted to give up. Now at 10 weeks she will have boob, expressed bm in bottle, a mixture of ebm and formula or just formula (only once though when I had too much wine and got a bit paranoid).

She'll take a bottle of anything off anyone - would probably have a bottle of wine if she got the chance. It's totally helped me to persevere with bf

ruty Sun 06-Jul-08 15:57:03

word of caution - i am now struggling with my 8 week old after doctor and HV suggested bottles of expressed milk at 10 days old because she was sleepy hmm She swiftly showed bottle preference and i am not struggling to get her back to breast. I think it is suggested you wait until they are around 12 weeks for a bottle if you want to continue breastfeeding. Of course i didn't realise that. sad

ruty Sun 06-Jul-08 15:57:43

'not struggling' - i mean now struggling..

nappyaddict Sun 06-Jul-08 15:59:57

I think they advise that you don't try until at least 2 weeks.

nappyaddict Sun 06-Jul-08 16:04:15

my friend however gave her lo a bottle of ebm when she was less than 24 hours and switches from breast to bottle absolutely fine.

ruty Sun 06-Jul-08 16:05:11

was it just the one bottle nappyaddict or did she continue to give bottles?

nappyaddict Sun 06-Jul-08 16:11:56

she had 1 bottle of ebm a day.

nappyaddict Sun 06-Jul-08 16:19:13

actually i think she might have been 2 days old not 1 day ....

NellyTheElephant Sun 06-Jul-08 21:29:56

I think the main advice is to get bf well established first, but when that is will vary for everyone. I was lucky never to have any problems with bf my two and so introduced an occasional bottle of EBM from about 10 days with both of them. The advice I was given was that if you introduce a bottle prior to 6 weeks they'll usually take it with no problems, but after that it can be very difficult to get a bf baby to take a bottle. This certainly turned out to be true for me. DD1 took a bottle of EBM around every other day from about 10 days and I never had problems with bottles - she regularly had bottles of EBM throughout the time I bf. DD2 took a bottle of EBM every other day or so from about 10 days with no probs, but by 7 weeks she was sleeping so much better and settled into a great routine so I didn't really need help with the feeds anymore and I stopped bothering with expressing and bottles. When I was desperate to get her to take a bottle a bit later (around 3 months ish) she was having NONE of it. I never managed to get her to take a bottle again (tried everything) until I stopped bf and went cold turkey around 6 months. So I think if you do get her used to taking an occasional bottle it's definitely worth keeping up with giving the odd bottle of EBM regularly so she stays used to it.

nappyaddict Mon 07-Jul-08 19:12:58

This is an email i received from an mner about this.

"I did give my ds a bottle of ebm from early on - for the first few days after he was born he was really sleepy and seemed to have no appetite. I tried putting him to the breast for the first 36 hours but he just wasn't interested. By that point the midwives were getting twitchy because he hadn't fed at all, so we offered a cup of ebm. He took this ok but I ended up tipping most of it down his front, so I decided to offer him a bottle when he wouldn't take the breast. He took to the bottle very easily - it was a bog standard Avent newborn teat.

I was having to wake him every 3-4 hours to encourage him to feed - he just slept otherwise - and I always offered the breast first. By about day 3 he would take a short breast feed but was really hard to keep awake and he'd drop off after a couple of minutes, so I gave him ebm top ups after most feeds.

By the time he was about 10 days old, he was taking a full feed from the breast and I didn't have to bother with top ups.

All this was very much trial and error, though. There was no grand plan! I hadn't discovered Mumsnet in those days and just did what seemed right.

I wanted to keep him familiar with the bottle though, so he had a bottle of ebm every night at about 10.30 pm, with DH, so I could go to bed early.

He was fully breast fed until 5 months, when I started winding down in preparation for returning to work. It was only for that reason, not because he wouldn't feed, or I didn't have enough milk. If I hadn't been going back to work I'm sure he'd have carried on much longer.

He never seemed to favour the bottle over the breast or vice versa, and I never had a problem with my milk supply.

I think the reason that it worked for us was that I pumped from day 2, so my milk supply was stimulated when ds had no appetite to stimulate it himself. Also, I always put him to the breast first, before the bottle. He was so sleepy at birth and ended up with low blood sugar levels due to not feeding enough, and this made him sleepier - it was a vicious circle that we needed to break by getting milk into him another way. In this instance, the oft-quoted advice of putting him to the breast frequently wasn't enough.

I found it a lifesaver too - being able to leave him with DH or a granny and have a bit of time off and not have to worry about him taking a bottle - it was fab being able to do either.

I hope that helps - good luck with your lo :-)"

mumoftwinz Thu 10-Jul-08 17:39:49

IMHO nipple confusion is a myth.

Libra1975 Fri 11-Jul-08 09:42:24

Nappyaddict thanks so much for that post, I am hoping to use both breast and bottle (EBM) as early as possible but there is not much information out there (well that I have found) about how to do this.

ButterflyMcQueen Fri 11-Jul-08 09:43:28

i do it pretty much straight away with all mine - no probs to date

Notanexcitingname Fri 11-Jul-08 10:26:05

Rubbish, I'm afraid, mumoftwinz. It doesn't bother some babies, and that may be your experience. I know enough who've refused the breast after meeting a bottle to be wary.

The reson there's nothing definitive given, is because there's no definitive answer. some (rare) babies are fine swtiching from birth, and their mother's milk supply is robust/plentiful enough to manage growth spurts even when bottles being given. Many more are not.

Personally I'd wait until clear of teh 6 week growth spurt, and wouldn't give any bottles at the 12 week spurt, either. My son's latch was noticably worse after a bottle, so he only had a very few until he went to childcare, by which point we were both established enough for there to be no isse.

catec Fri 11-Jul-08 13:26:58

I am also wanting to try EBM as soon as poss but thought I'd wait until LO is bfing okay. Any tips about best time to express if combining with bfing?

BasementBear Fri 11-Jul-08 14:03:27

I started expressing after 2 weeks, cos I was so knackered! Was wonderful as I could get an early night and DH did late feed just before he went to bed. DS1 took to it straight away and never had any problems. He knew that Mummy had breasts and Daddy had bottles! DS2 however, refused the bottle completely - I must have tried every type of bottle and teat on the market. So what I am trying to say is babies are all different, give it a go and see what happens!

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