I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community and have been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification for #CollectiveBias and its advertiser. However, this bottle totally rocks!
I hope you enjoyed the 12ish tips I shared yesterday that I found invaluable when trying to survive the first 3 months with a newborn. While I know every baby will be different I think I’ll head into round 2 a little more prepared. Now that you have made it through the first 3 months it is time to break out of baby jail! What do I mean you ask? Well, it’s time to get out of the house and help your new baby’s schedule jive with all the things you need to accomplish during the day! You know, like grocery shopping…
So tip #11 was specifically for those of us out there who are nursing our little ones and need to break out.
11. Once nursing is established try and get your baby to take a bottle
Folks this is key to breaking out of baby jail! For the first 3 months Chickadee wanted to eat every 2.5 hours and nursing took up to an hour. Yes, she was a gourmet eater according to our lactation consultant! Since time between feeding is measured from when they begin to eat, this meant that I only had about an hour and half until we needed to start all over again. And since I wasn’t up for nursing in public, this kept me at home in baby jail. That is until she was comfortable going back and forth between nursing and taking pumped milk from a bottle! Once she would easily take the bottle we could constantly be on the go. If we wanted to try and make the 3.5 hour stretch of both church and Sunday School we could because when she got hungry I would have a bottle on hand. When we had family and town and I didn’t want to constantly be taking her away to feed and nap, others (like doting grandmothers) could feed her as well.
A few tips for helping your breastfed baby take a bottle….
1. Create a Stash First and foremost if you are a breastfeeding mama who wants their little one to take a bottle now and then you need a stash of expressed milk. Remember, you can check with insurance about a breast pump! They should provide one for you. Start by pumping for about 5-10 minutes after feedings here and there. Freeze in 3-5 oz increments as this is what your baby will most likely take each feeding. (A rule of thumb for breast milk: it lasts 5 hours out of fridge right after pumping, 5 days in the fridge, and 5 months in the freezer). Once you have a little stash you can pump in place of a feeding. So they will take a bottle of expressed milk (using tips below) and you will pump. What is good about this is you will probably pump more than they are actually taking, this will help your stash continue to increase. Last but not least, now that Chickadee is sleeping through the night I pump right before bed. I can continue to build the stash and it helps me to wake comfortably in the morning!
2. The Right Bottle Lots of moms have to try several different bottles until they find one their baby will take. Fortunately, Chickadee isn’t real picky. Recently, while at Walmart I grabbed the Playtex VentAire bottle. We LOVE it! It’s no wonder Playtex is the leader when it comes to bottles! With a little help from their design and a few efforts (listed below) on my part the transition back and forth has become seamless. I love how the bottle itself is angled; this promotes a semi-upright seating position. Not only does that require the baby to work a little harder to get the milk (mimicking nursing) it also helps to limit the amount of air baby girl takes in. And less air means less gas & less spit up! Wins all around.
3. The Right Nipple Make sure and you chose a nipple that mimics the real thing. Playtex has one called Natural Latch that does just that! Another suggestion is to use a nipple that is similar to the pacifier they use (if they take one).
4. Be Confident & Patient Your baby can sense if you are confident or have negative/uncertain feelings about him/her taking a bottle. Remember if they refuse it at first, they aren’t doing it on purpose. Speak to them in an excited voice….be positive! And try to start feeding them before they are hungry and frustrated. Frustrated baby leads to a frustrated mama. If they do get frustrated go ahead and nurse, then try again near the end of the feeding when they are close to satisfied, i.e. happy!
5. Warm Milk When babies nurse the milk is warm…make sure you have heated the bottle (not in the microwave!). Use a bottle warmer or let the bottle sit in very warm water for 5-10 minutes. Make sure and test it on your wrist before feeding your precious little one! It should be warm/lukewarm, not hot!
6. Cut Out Distractions Depending on when you start a bottle your baby might have started noticing the world around them. So try having them take the bottle in a quiet room with the lights dimmed. This way they can concentrate on eating.
7. Let Someone Else Give them the Bottle This one is key. They are used to nursing when you are holding them. They can smell your milk and will likely refuse the bottle at first if they are in your arms. Let this be a great opportunity for dad to step in. Obviously if he is holding them they have no other choice! Use this time to take a shower or eat with both hands!!
Hopefully these simple tips will help your baby take a bottle & give you the push you need to break out of baby jail!!! Do you have any tips you can share that helped your little one take a bottle?