Introducing your Breastfed Baby to a Bottle - Lynzy & Co.

Introducing your Breastfed Baby to a Bottle

This post is sponsored by Munchkin INC. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own and I only team up with brands that I truly love and believe that you will love as well. Thank you for supporting the brands that make this lil’ blog possible!

Transitioning your breastfed baby to a bottle // tips and tricks to getting your baby to enjoy a bottle!

I had quite a difficult beginning to my breastfeeding journey with both babes. When it came time to introduce the bottle, I had high anxiety worrying about whether my little one would prefer the bottle over the breast and quit breastfeeding all together. I waited too long to introduce a bottle with Ellie and she was SO difficult and refused to take a bottle for weeks. These two experiences gave me just a tiny bit of knowledge when it comes to getting your babe to take a bottle. Here are some tips and tricks I learned along the way (and also some tips and tricks from the mamas on my #latenightnursingfeed)!

& Yes, the munchkin LATCH bottle just happened to be one of the bottles that Ellie finally ended up taking. It’s hard enough living through sleepless nights and taking care of another little human. Why not make it a bit easier on yourself? Try out the Munchkin Latch bottles. They are great for breastfed babies and it even has an accordion style nipple that allows babies’ to latch on properly. It releases more milk as your baby presses up against the base and mimics a breast. The accordion style nipple also allows for less air to enter into his/her feedings, resulting in less colic. PLUS, it has an anti-colic valve at the bottom. 

Transitioning your breastfed baby to a bottle // tips and tricks to getting your baby to enjoy a bottle!

Breast to Bottle Introduction // When, How, What & Where

When: You will want to wait to introduce the bottle (if you can) until between 3-4 weeks of age. You want to make sure that you have established your milk supply before introducing the baby to another food source. You will also always want to check in with your pediatrician first, to see what is best for your particular situation and your baby. It is usually best to try to offer the bottle 1-2 times per day as a “snack” to see if your baby will humor you. When your baby isn’t starving for food, he/she may be more willing to try something different. It will take them a little while to figure out what the bottle is and how to use it. They will have more patience if their tummy isn’t empty. 

{My experience} We introduced Olivia around 7-8 weeks and she actually took the bottle like a champ after just a few tries. I didn’t go back to work until she was 4 months but I still wanted my husband to be able to help with some of the feedings, so we wanted to introduce her to the bottle. With Ellie, we waited until she was about 3 months. For us, this was a HUGE mistake. I have no idea if we waited too long, or she was just a fussy nugget about it…. but either way, she refused it for weeks. Ellie never cries (ever) and whenever either of us tried to give her a bottle, she would just cry and cry. We tried everything. Different person, different bottles (like 10 of them), different times of day, different ways. I have no idea what ended up working but eventually she took the bottle. She latched on to this Munchkin Latch bottle very easily. 

Transitioning your breastfed baby to a bottle // tips and tricks to getting your baby to enjoy a bottle!

How: Start out with a smaller amount of milk so that you don’t waste it if your baby won’t take it right away. I made this mistake a few times and unfortunately, you can only try to use that milk for another hour or so and then you have to throw it out because it was heated. You will want to gentle touch your baby’s top lip with the nipple of the bottle and wait to insert the nipple until your baby opens their mouth. You will also want to make sure that you have a slow flow nipple. Your baby works at the breast to get milk and you will want your baby to work on the bottle to receive the milk as well. The way you angle the bottle will also affect how fast the milk comes out. Try not to tip the bottle all the way upside down.  (Depending on how quick your let down is, your baby may be used to getting milk faster. If the slow flow nipple isn’t going well, go up to the medium flow and see if that helps)

{My experience} The only way Ellie would take a bottle (the first month) was if we were walking around, bouncing her and shushing her. The second we would sit down, she would stop drinking. 

Transitioning your breastfed baby to a bottle // tips and tricks to getting your baby to enjoy a bottle!

Where: Try introducing the bottle in a calm, quiet environment. A place where the baby can concentrate at the task on hand instead of responding to other things that may be going around her/him. 

{My experience} Ellie needed to be in a quiet darker room and liked to be sung to/or have a shushing noise

Transitioning your breastfed baby to a bottle // tips and tricks to getting your baby to enjoy a bottle!

What: Choosing the right bottle is the big battle with this transition. I would highly suggest trying the Munchkin Latch bottle given that I have had and seen so much success with it in breastfed babies. They also have these sterilizing bags that you can throw your bottle (or even breastfeeding parts) into to get them clean. They get rid of 99.9% of the bacteria and all you do is throw your bottle/parts in there and a bit of water and throw it into the microwave for 90 seconds! You will also need a bottle cleaning brush so that you can clean all the little crevices of the bottle!

Transitioning your breastfed baby to a bottle // tips and tricks to getting your baby to enjoy a bottle!

I asked the mamas over on my #latenightnursingfeed what tips and tricks they had for introducing your baby to the bottle and here is what they had to say! 

@megdashmade // “We had a hard time introducing the bottle too, definitely started too late as well. We’ve had some success lately but the temperature of the milk seems to be key for my little guy, he really likes it super warm and anything cooler he just won’t take!! Fussy little ????”

@erinvestring // “We introduced the bottle pretty early on, but at 6 weeks my son suddenly refused (out of nowhere!). We went through several types but he only took the Latch. He will also only take it with a #3 nipple.”

lydiakharrison // “Started 1 bottle of breastmilk a day around 6 weeks. For some reason, he took the bottle best from me first then gradually from others. He’s now 13 wks old taking bm and supplemental formula from the same bottles. The slow flow nipples are key!”

Transitioning your breastfed baby to a bottle // tips and tricks to getting your baby to enjoy a bottle!

@ginger_renee // “My tips: milk has to be super warm and we started out dream feeding him the bottle. He got used to it and is now taking it while awake. Getting him on the bottle was literally one of the most stressful things we’ve dealt with! But now it’s all good and looking back I probably stressed too much about it!”

@delvallex // “Dream feeding the bottle! That is brilliant.”

@caraxine // “We are EBF. When I returned to work we used the munchkin latch bottles. Our little lady did ok. We tried to introduce them before I started back but she wasn’t having it. Once I was out of the house she took the bottle just fine. ????”

Transitioning your breastfed baby to a bottle // tips and tricks to getting your baby to enjoy a bottle!

@almmah // “My son is 7 months and he is EBF unless I’m not feeding him. We didn’t introduce bottle until he was 10 weeks and it was brutal. Took a few weeks but he finally got the hang out it. He took avent but we also stayed consistent and kept trying until he got it”

 @amsmidt // “For both kiddos we introduced at 5 weeks. No problems whatsoever. Made sure to give a bottle every couple of days so they stayed used to it. I had my hubby feed the bottles since they associate the breast with me. I think the key is to do it early, between 4 to 5 weeks, (once BF is totally established) and consistency. And the pace feeding is key to mimic how breastfeeding feels. Pace feeding is a technique for feeding bottles to BF babies babies in a way that best mimics breastfeeding. It involves feeding them in an upright or almost sitting, non reclining position. This allows them to control the flow of the milk, so it doesn’t come rushing into their mouth. You also hold the bottle in a horizontal position, tilted only enough to keep milk in the bottle nipple. You allow breaks every few swallows, as they naturally do when they BF. The session should take approximately the same amount of time it takes to BF. Hope that helps! It’s amazing how sophisticated a BF baby’s suck is. They are able to comfort suck where they don’t get any milk out at all, if they are full but still want to suckle.”

@laurynjay // “We introduced the bottle to both our boys around 6 weeks. Daddy did the introducing with me completely out of the house (usually looking in from a window ha). We also draped the shirt I wore to bed the night before on his shoulder so he smelled like me. This trick helped in the early weeks. We also used the preemie sized nipple. It is a super slow flow. We actually never increased the size for my eldest even with he got older!”

Transitioning your breastfed baby to a bottle // tips and tricks to getting your baby to enjoy a bottle!

@meganaucutt // “With my first i Exclusively pumped so a bottle wasn’t a problem. With my LO now it was so stressful! I was able to BF her and I gave her a bottle randomly off and on and figured it would be fine and just got in a routine during leave of not offering it….then around 9 weeks I tried to offer a bottle because I was going back to work soon and she refused. Finally after a few weeks figured out she needed it VERY warm and a faster flow nipple. I think my supply started to plummet because I was so bent out of shape and stressed and pushing the bottle so much…..eventually she did take it and all is well…..but when you are in the thick of it like that it’s so overwhelming.”

@amsmidt // “Another good/reassuring tip I read one time is not to worry too much if your baby doesn’t drink as much milk when you are away, like when they are at daycare. The article pointed out that many babies want to wait until they are with their moms again to feed. Google ‘reverse cycling’. It noted that the baby won’t “starve” as many babies often go 8+ hours overnight without eating and are fine. (Of course you have to make sure they get to nurse as often as possible when you are together again).”

Transitioning your breastfed baby to a bottle // tips and tricks to getting your baby to enjoy a bottle!

@foureightlife // “I introduced the bottle for the first time to our now 7mo old son after 8wks at the discretion of the hospital where we delivered. They said that since I want to breastfeed, it’d be best to wait so that my son would still remember how to suckle for breastfeeding (vs. the sucking for bottle feeding). I had my husband introduce the bottle to him because when I tried to do it myself, my son kept leaning towards my breast (apparently this is very normal because babies know your scent, especially their food ????); it took a couple of weeks before our son got used to it. My advice would be definitely to not force it if your child is resistant to it; ease him onto it and definitely ask your partner and/or someone else for help with introducing bottle feeding! From my experience it took some patience and lots of prayer lol – there was a point where I was scared that he’d never want the bottle (which was the case for my sis-in-law and her son). But once he was able to accept a bottle (especially coming from me) – I was ecstatic since that meant someone else can feed him and I can take a break from breastfeeding from time to time ????”

@tauritucker // “Making sure it’s warm enough is my biggest tip! My baby will take a bottle but ONLY if it’s warm!”

Transitioning your breastfed baby to a bottle // tips and tricks to getting your baby to enjoy a bottle!

Thank you to Munchkin LATCH for sponsoring today’s content! 

OTHER GREAT RESOURCES FOR MOMS:

GENERAL // Things I Wish I Knew Before Our Baby Arrived (Written by over 50 other mothers!) //  What to Bring a Mom after she has a Baby // New Mama Must-Haves // How to Transition from a Bottle to a Sippy Cup // Why you Should Hire a Birth Photographer // What I’ve Learned as a Mom Thus Far

BREASTFEEDING // Best Foods to Eat while Breastfeeding // Nursing Essentials // 10 Tips for those that Plan to Breastfeed // Nursing Essentials II // How to Increase your Milk Supply including a recipe for Lactation Cookies!

BABY REGISTRY GUIDES // Baby Registry List AND Free Printable Checklist  // The Ultimate Baby Registry Checklist // 

FOR AFTER BABY // A Letter to My Postpartum Body // 10 of the Best Online Kids Shops // 30 Going on 13: A Tale of Postpartum Puberty // How to get your baby to nap // How to survive the 4 month sleep regression // 10 Things you need for your postpartum body

IF YOU NEED A LAUGH // Life as a drunk mom // Seven Deadly sins of parenting // Embracing the Chaos // 30 Going on 13: A Tale of postpartum puberty 

& don’t forget to join in on the #latenightnursingfeed!

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  1. Your little girls are so adorable! I wish these bottles were available when my kids were babies. Thanks for sharing on Toddler Fun Friday.