Had our NCT BF class last night, and during the agenda setting, it became clear that people in the class had been told different things about integrating bottle and breast feeding. The instructor said she'd get to it, but we are such a chatty group it never happened.
I seem to remember reading that BF should be exclusive for a certain period of time before introducing bottles (2 months I think??). Another person said her MW told her the bottles should be introduced at least once or twice in the first month so the baby would know how to take a bottle and get used to it early on.
IS there a right way? Is there research someone can point me at? Is it just individual to the baby? My sense is that there are babies who've done it successfully either way...is one way statistically easier than the other?
All the advice I have ever received was quite consistent... no bottles while establishing breastfeeding as they may cause nipple confusion, however it is true that some BF babies do not take to bottles introduced later on. I guess it is all down to what is more important to you, ie that you breastfeed in the beginning or that DC takes the bottle later on. If BF is most important then I would not risk nipple confusion, but if it is essential that they take a bottle later on then introduce one early on and hope for the best. If you need to itroduce a bottle for feeding once your DC is older (for example to go back to work) then remember you can skip the bottle altogether as most will drink from a cup. Mine was never very keen on bottle and preferred to drink from a cup.
I was told to wait four weeks before introducing ebm in a bottle to ds. He never had any problems switching between the two, but I'm sure every child is different. It's very hard to predict how they'll react.