Baby Bottles and Breastfeeding: How to Work Bottle Feeding Into Your Nursing Routine

Baby Bottles and Breastfeeding: How to Work Bottle Feeding Into Your Nursing Routine

Did you receive a breast pump as a baby shower gift, or did you plan on buying one after testing out breastfeeding first? Many expecting moms assume that breast pumps are most useful for women who plan to work shortly after giving birth, but the reality of breastfeeding is that breast pumps are a helpful tool for stay-at-home moms too. If you pump breast milk and feed your baby a bottle at night, you can not only cut down on nursing time (and maybe get back to sleep) but you can also get your baby used to taking a bottle. Even if you’re breastfeeding exclusively, you should introduce your baby to a bottle between three and five weeks after birth.

“I wish I had known to pump breast milk sooner and get my husband used to feeding our daughter a bottle regularly — it didn’t occur to me that she might reject it.”

One mom expressed the above sentiment on a Babycenter.com forum dedicated to sharing bits of motherhood wisdom to expecting moms. When talking about breastfeeding, there’s a lot of focus on how to get a good latch, how often to nurse, and why your nipples will hurt through the first few weeks—but not a lot of focus on breast pumps, bottles, and how to combat nipple confusion. By mixing up nursing sessions between breast and bottle (after five weeks of solely breast!), your little one will feel more comfortable taking a bottle instead of demanding only your breast.

But what happens if your baby does reject the bottle? There are a couple of steps you can take help coach your little one into taking a rubber nipple again. The Palo Alto Medical Foundation shares some of its expert advice for new breastfeeding moms: don’t change bottles if your baby is refusing the rubber nipple while nursing. The foundation stresses that your little one isn’t frustrated with whatever type of bottle you’ve been using; the problem is that your baby probably wants only to nurse from your breast. To help get your baby to take the bottle again, keep pumping breast milk and offering the bottle as a nursing alternative, but try to do so in places that will not remind your baby of breastfeeding. If possible, have a person other than yourself bottle feed your baby. If you’re not visible during these feeding moments, your baby will be more likely to accept the bottle. Until you get over the bottle-refusing hump, try keeping your schedule as consistent as possible and remaining hopeful that your little one will return to bottles too.

Did you experience this problem while breastfeeding? Leave your advice for new moms in our comments.