I remember when our first born was about 4 weeks old and my hubby wanted to have the experience of feeding her. She was a little gobbler- but had the tiniest mouth, cherry shaped- ala mini Angelina Jolie! I had been a midwife for over a decade then so was used to several types of bottle types (avent, tomee tippee, natures first, pidgeon, and medulla systems), so had a little of understanding about flows, suction, colic reducing techniques etc)- couldn’t be that hard huh?
So at 5 weeks of age after 1 week of traipsing around baby bunting I had selected my bottle system, had my electric sterilizer ( gift at birth), and my hand expressing machine! All set- pumped away, proudly got 50mls (hell would that be enough?) and put it in the bottle all ready for the next feed for hubby- and guess what all hell broke loose. It was on- it took 5 weeks…5 weeks before my child finally took a bottle!
So here are my tips for introducing a bottle 101:
– Make sure your bub is showing hunger cues- you want to make sure you are feeding at the right time and that your baby is hungry.
-stroke around the bubs mouth to elicit the rooting reflex- bub will open mouth wide.
-Put a little of your breast milk on the tip of the teat
-offer it a little earlier than your normal feed time so bub is hungry but not starving and likely to crack it and refuse out right!
– get hubby or someone else that the baby knows to give him/ her the bottle- less likely to cause immediate confusion as to why she is not getting the breast.
-Position, position, position- the bottle feeding position on a bub is more upright, so support around the back of the neck (head in the crock of your elbow) until bub is comfortable sucking and swallowing is important.
– test the temp of your milk- I just shook a little onto my forearm or wrist- now it will be body temperature if it is just come from you..
-bib on- highly likely with the first time bub might spit up.
– put bottle in baby’s mouth- making sure that the milk always covers the inside of the teat to prevent bub sucking air.
TOP TIP- look at Mimijumi Bottles- with these the baby has to suck and draw back just like breastfeeding. [su_permalink id=”http://mimijumi.com.au/”][/su_permalink]
Simple huh? Any refusal- patience- let bub lick the nipple and play, most times bub will just start to suck.
Try again at another feed but remember introduction of a bottle can take time- so if you have an event to attend or are going back to work allow at least 2 weeks of trial.
Remember it will be easier the earlier on you introduce a bottle for a smooth transition- but if your bub is older don’t anticipate a fight- bub will sense this. The number 1 main reason for bottle refusal is the difference in learning how to suck with a bottle.