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Moving from breast to bottle(6 Posts)
Hi, my DS is 5 months and EBF at the moment but I have to go back to work when he's 6 months old as I'm the main earner. I've started to try and move him from breast to bottle (formula as it takes so long to get very little when I express) but he's not having any of it!
I've tried a couple times but mainly it's my DH or mum trying - does anyone have any tips or tricks? I have to go back to work full time (day and night shifts) and I'm guessing he'll be still on at least 5 feeds per day! Help!!!
Has he accepted a bottle up to now? The best time to introduce it is reputed to be between three and six weeks, so if he hasn't had bottles up to now then he may never take to them. You could try posting in Breast & Bottlefeeding but very often a bottle-refuser is a bottle-refuser (and I speak as someone who tried every day for four months to get DS2 to take one. And failed).
HOWEVER I would start trying him immediately on open and sippy cups. He'll be weaning at six months anyway and yes, milk should still be his main food then so he will still be on many feeds, but he may take more readily to drinking rather than sucking and then you won't have to try and get him off bottles. You can also breastfeed him mornings and evenings, of course - you might find that if he's not taking many feeds during the day then he'll want to feed at night more, but at least he'll be getting the milk he needs. You'll be out of the house for - what - ten hours? So the remaining 14 he can feed as normal!
I went back to work 3 days a week (out of the house for around 12 hours) when DS1 was around 7 months and he wouldn't take a bottle - despite having taken one previously.
Essentially, I just made the decision to encourage him to reverse cycle so he fed at night, as Zuleika mentions. I fed him before I left for work and when I got back and he fed every few hours through the night. During the day he might take some water from a doidy cup and a bit of finger food, but I figured that even if he didn't, it was no different to a baby that sleeps through for 12 hours and doesn't take any food or drink for those 12 hours. I fed him normally through the days I was at home.
I'm sure you'll find a way that works for you.
I'm in exactly the same situation, 5 months old DD and we have 3 weeks until FT nursery settling weeks. Have just this week tried with a free flow sippy cup (NUK) targeting the after lunch feed, and DD will for the most part drink enough to replace a feed. Will be looking to offer the sippy cup for all day feeds over the next couple of weeks and continue BF in the morning, bedtime and night.
Feeling a lot less stressed now that she takes some liquid from the sippy cup - otherwise my hope/plan is that she would reverse cycle until she starts taking more solid/finger food.
I've done this twice. Both dc ebf, I returned to work at 6m with DS and 8m with DD. Both total bottle refusers. With both I introduced a sippy cup (tommee tippee most basic one) from about 12 weeks. Hint of a sip at first, building over weeks to managing a couple of ounces well by 6m.
Both kids went to nursery only managing a couple of ounces at a time and got by on remarkably little for the first few days (DD)/ weeks (DS). Both had a massive evening bf for the first 3-4 weeks after I went back but my job requires me to be away for sometimes 36 hours at a time, so bf had to end.
Both became extremely skilled with a sippy cup v quickly after I stopped all bf, despite me worrying each time that the bf was the only decent fluid intake they got.
So I'd give up in bottles and push the sippy cup. Given with any solid meals (water), and ebm offered before every bf.
It will work out. Good luck with your return to work. I still find it provides a nice rest, despite being a fairly high pressure job!
Thanks for the advice everyone! I'll start trying with the sippy cup tomorrow. Unfortunately I'm going to have to give up BFing altogether when I go back as I work shifts which are sometimes unpredictable!
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