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If bf, when is a good time to introduce a bottle?

(20 Posts)
Twiga Tue 29-Mar-05 15:13:40

Dh and I expecting our first in August. We're both really keen that I breast feed but dh is also wanting to help with feeding (using expressed milk). I understand that the first couple of weeks can be really hard going so wouldn't think about adding the complication of getting baby to take from bottle then as well. When is the ideal time to introduce a bottle and would you restrict the number of bottle feeds in any way ie according to age of baby etc?

starlover Tue 29-Mar-05 15:18:26

I think that they say between 3-5 weeks is ideal.
My ds however was started on a bottle (refused breast point blank), but is now exclusively breastfed after he suddenly decided he DID like booby after all! He will still take a bottle though if it's offered. In fact, he will suck on anything
I think a lot of it depends on the baby. When I was a baby I wouldn't take a bottle at all.

Lolasmum Tue 29-Mar-05 15:18:50

We gave dd her first bottle when she was 1 month (exactly). She gulped it all down with no hesitation and I then went back to soley breast-feeding as I hated expressing. When she was 2 months we tried to give her another bottle which she refused. We kept trying daily/every other day and it wasn't until she was 5 months that I could get her to take another one. 2 friends had similar problems.

From my, and from friend's expereinces, I would introduce a bottle at 1 month and then 1 a day/every other day.

Good luck! If you don't like breast feeding at first don't give up. I hated it to start with, but ended up loving it and cried when I gave up when dd was 16 months old!

PrettyCandles Tue 29-Mar-05 15:19:22

The big thing about introducing a bottle is that it can be much easier for the baby to feed from the bottle, so they loose interest in the breast. Also, you need to stimulate your breasts to produce milk, so if you skip breastfeeds in order to give a botttle your breasts miss the stimulation. In the early stages that can cause them to rduce the amount of the milk they make (supply-and-demand), but after a few weeks you can skip the occasional feed without any supply problems.

I combined abreast and bottle from 2w for ds. Not something I would do by choice! It's much harder than just breast or bottle, but it worked for me and ds didn't reject the breast at all. With dd I managed to bf completely, but dh wanted to get in on the act, as he had done with ds, so she had the occasional bottle from about 3-4w.

I used Avent because they have very wide teats and made sure that the babies took the whole of the teat in their mouths, so they gaped just as if they were breastfeeding. I also use the slowest teats so that the baby had to work hard, just asif they were breastfeeding.

Preggars Tue 29-Mar-05 15:22:49


I had the same problem with DS1 so ended up fully bfding until he was 6 months, then had to force him through a stressful cold turkey (as was going back to work). I am now expecting no.2 soon, and plan to introduce a bottle at 1 month, and get DH to give this feed every day. I will express this so I can keep the milk regular.

Preggars Tue 29-Mar-05 15:24:13

I meant to say - will give a bottle once a day.

Twiga Tue 29-Mar-05 15:28:18

Thanks for your replies, given me some extra stuff to think about. Good idea on the bottle/teat front Prettycandles. I really want to include dh as much as possible, he's been so supportive during this pg and will be a fab Dad, it's good to know that a bottle won't necessarily muck up the whole breastfeeding thing. Do you still have to heat expressed breast milk in the same way as you would formula/Can you just microwave it? Does heating breast milk make any difference to nutrional value? Sorry for all the questions - don't really have a clue about all this but eager to learn

Sponge Tue 29-Mar-05 15:33:52

My ds also took a bottle happily from about 3 weeks with no problems for breastfeeding.
It's certinaly a good idea to get him/her taking some bottles and if you can get dh to do alternate night feeds with you it really helps you get through the early sleepless phase.

You can heat breastmilk but you're advised not to microwave it as this affects its nutritional content.
If you're expressing in the morning (easiest time to get a decebnt amount) for later you will need to refrigerate or freeze the milk so you will need to warm it up.

Lolasmum Tue 29-Mar-05 15:42:34

Preggars, I'm expecting no.2 shortly 2 as well. I will be religiously giving it a bottle daily! I had to do the cold turkey thing too. Very upsetting.

Preggars Tue 29-Mar-05 15:45:45

Yes, it was extremely upsetting wasn't it. The thing is, the advice you get is 'stick to one or the other', so I stuck to breast. DS absolutely loved it and I found that so easy. Wow, didn't we pay when I tried to introduce the bottle at 2 months. I consistently tried once a day for another 4 months before I finally HAD to do the cold turkey. 22 bloody horrible hours before he took a bottle!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The only plus from this is I met a lady at Post Natal who had the same problem and we're the best of friends as my god did we need to support each other!

kama Tue 29-Mar-05 15:51:09

Message withdrawn

juicychops Tue 29-Mar-05 16:09:54

i breastfed for about 5 weeks. Started weaning him off it after about 2 1/2 - 3 weeks by expressing so that he got used to taking a bottle and then by starting to give him formula for his last feed before bed. slowly introduced formula for day feeds over about 2 weeks. He didn't have any problems with it

juicychops Tue 29-Mar-05 16:10:25

and my boobs soon withered away back to nothing!

Fran1 Tue 29-Mar-05 16:27:16

As others have said, my mw recommended introducing bottle at 4 weeks and thats what we did. Any later and the baby becomes to "used" to breast feeding. I have a few friends who waited longer, and had a much harder time.

I used to express just before dp gave the bedtime feed each night, so my boobs didn't get engorged and to keep the supply up. I think i did this for a few weeks. After that, i used to express every evening when dd had gone to bed to keep a supply in the freezer which we used when i went back to work at three months.

DD took to the bottle great, and also carried on bf until 2 years.

starlover Tue 29-Mar-05 17:57:07

twiga, if you're going to use the milk straight away then give it as it is... it'll be just the right temp!

if you've had it in the fridge then just warm it in hot water

Leogaela Tue 29-Mar-05 19:51:56

I don't want to get my ds stuck on bfeeding - it happened to my sister - and we wnat dh to be involved in the feeding. ds is 5 weeks and we have started trying bottle feeding him with expressed milk - he is already being difficult about taking it.

If expressing it would have been too much for me to do it in the first few weeks but I would try it fairly early. Be aware though, ds is already quite fixed on my breasts and very clingy to me, you and your dh shouldn't be disappointed if it takes time for your baby to accept the bottle - I think dh was a little disappointed that it hasn't worked magically as there is no doubt that he is a really fantastic dad.

All the advice I read is not to microwave breast milk as it destroys nutrients. Avent do a bottle heater (which seems to heat the milk up too much but very quickly)

Juicychops - i love the idea that my boobs may wither away! They have gone up 3 sizes and were already a size bigger than I wanted them before I was pregnant!

mamabish Tue 05-Apr-05 12:50:30

Advice on cold turkey!
Go back to work in 1 week, 4 month old baby refuses a bottle. Help!....think I will have to do the cold turkey thing. How long can a baby last without food?????

jane313 Wed 06-Apr-05 21:42:30

Its amazing the different advice people give you. I was advised to try at 6 weeks and I did and it was fine. Later on I read that if you do it after 3 weeks it will be a problem. What a load of rubbish. There is something about waiting till the milk supply had settled itself by about 6 weeks. He only had a bottle now and again when I was out so he never got hooked and the transition to a cup was dead easy.

bobbybob Sun 10-Apr-05 09:10:51

I would say that if your dh wants to give EBM make sure he faffs about sterilising bottles, heating them etc. It's enough that you have expressed the milk, let him do everything else.

beansprout Sun 10-Apr-05 09:14:59

We did at 6 weeks and it was fine. Since then, ds has had phases where he has not wanted to feed from the bottle, only from me, so it is worth persevering if your baby doesn't go for it first time. We have also used avent teats with only one or two holes (ie for newborn, so it is still similar to b/f for him). He is now 5 months are we still use the new born teats. Best of luck!!

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