Unlocking Bottle Success: Trust, Patience, and Expert Guidance
Just because your baby aced the bottle in their early weeks, doesn't mean it's a guarantee for life. Introducing bottles takes time, trust, and a relaxed environment.
In fact, I recommend the mother (or default parent) as the main person to try, creating a safe and trusting space for your little one during the process.
It’s important to give yourself time when thinking about introducing a bottle to your baby as a sense of pressure and stress can make refusal more intense.
To support their sucking skills, introduce a dummy and let them explore the bottle teat as a playful experience. You can also try;
- Dip dummy in breastmilk or formula to build a positive association.
- Start with small amounts after or during a breastfeed, gradually increasing.
- Trying to introduce the bottle at different times of the day may also be helpful - generally avoiding when your baby is tired or hungry is best.
Keep an open mind, experiment with different times and stages of the day for bottle feeding. Remember, if tension arises or your baby shows resistance, back off and maintain a positive and curious atmosphere. It is better to stop altogether and try again another time.
If you need guidance or troubleshooting with introducing a bottle to your breastfed baby, reach out to a local IBCLC Lactation Consultant for expert support, as navigating bottle feeding and bottle refusal can be really stressful.
Joelleen Winduss Paye, IBCLC Lactation Consultant, Midwife & Naturopath