Bottle suggestions?

Jennifer - posted on 08/09/2009 ( 10 moms have responded )

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Sorry if it's been posted before, but I have no idea how to search within the forum.

I'm planning on breastfeeding when I deliver in ~10weeks. In trying to get ready for baby, I've been researching different bottles to use. My husband will be the stay at home dad, and I'm going back to work as soon as I can. So, obviously, I'll be pumping, and he'll be doing bottle feeding with breast milk.

Most of the advice I see about bottle feeding seems to come from formula feeding parents. I want to know what breast feeding parents think. What bottles/systems worked well? What didn't? Was there any nipple confusion? Any difficulties with going between bottles & breast?

We plan on buying a couple of different bottles from different companies and seeing what our baby likes. But, there seem to be a billion choices! I'd like some suggestions on what to get. Thanks!

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[deleted account]

The nurses at my hospital told me not to wait longer than 4 weeks to introduce the bottle, I guess because baby is less likely to accept it after that if they get too used to breast... I think I did it at 3 weeks, so my husband could give her a bottle of expressed milk in the evenings and let me sleep for more than 3 hours!! (which rocked)

[deleted account]

i strickly breastfed until my daughter was 4 months. she is also now on stage 1 baby foods....
i gave her a pumped bottle at 2 weeks. she did fine w/ no nipple confusion at all.
she did NOT like the evenflow bottles that came with my breastpumps
and she did not like the gerber nuk bottles
but she really took to the dr browns bottles. however there are a lot of parts to clean and you must make sure the parts are COMPLETELY dry before putting them back together because if there is moisture then mold will grow...not a good thing for babies!!!

Jennifer - posted on 08/11/2009

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Thanks for the suggestions! :) Unfortunately, I have to go back to work ASAP (ie 4-6 weeks at the latest), and pumping while at work and bottle feeding can not be avoided. I definately plan to breast feed as much as possible. My husband was actually a little put out on the idea that he wouldn't get to feed the baby for several weeks! lol. Right now, the plan is for me to go back to work part time around 4 weeks and full time around 6-8 weeks. When would you suggest introducing the bottle? It sounds like we'll need to try it once in a while for at least a week ahead of time.

Michelle - posted on 08/10/2009

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yeah ... Dr. Browns are also BPA free and have the same amount of parts that theAvent ones have. I hand wash the bottles 4 days out of the week and dishwash them one day a week. I also have one of those baskets for the dishwasher.... make sure to get a bottle brush so you can "hand" wash them... I use really hot water with soap for the parts to soak in for awhile then I wash them. I also have a really cool drying rack next to the sink for them to dry. Works really well, its a two tier spinning contraption! umm... trying to think of anything else for you. I will let you know if I think of anything else ... Hope this helped!

[deleted account]

You got lots of good advice so far about when / how to start with the bottle, so I won't reiterate, I'll just say that we have always used AVENT Born Free bottles and loved them. They have a system of parts in the bottle (as does Dr. Brown's bottles, but this is a different set up) that helps baby not to suck in too much air. My daughter never really had any problems with a gassy tummy that burping her didn't fix right away. I don't know if this can be attributed to the bottle, but I'm pretty sure the bottle didn't hurt!

The Born Free line of AVENT bottles are also BPA (Bisphenol-A, a chemical used in some plastics) free, which is actually why I got them. In Massachusetts, where I live, the state just issued warnings about avoiding products, ESPECIALLY baby products, that contain BPA because babies are so tiny and who knows how the chemical affects their development?...

I will say that a down side to the Born Free bottles is all the parts to clean: there is the bottle itself, the nipple, the screw cap that holds the nipple on, the bottle's cap, and two parts that fit together and go inside the top of the bottle... I still get sick of cleaning everything (and don't forget, if you are pumping you will be cleaning those parts several times a day too, oh boy the fun!), but you can always get a dishwasher basket and throw the parts in if you have enough of them (I finally figured this out after about 9 months of scrubbing by hand). Another down side is the Born Frees are more expensive than other bottle brands, but most BPA-free bottles are a little more... worth it if you can afford it! Good luck!

Michelle - posted on 08/10/2009

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I introduced the bottle at 4 weeks and my daughter never ever got confused!!! I use Dr. Brown bottles too ... they are amazing!

Chelsea - posted on 08/10/2009

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Jennifer,

First and foremost you need to establish your milk supply before you begin bottle feeding. The trap that most mothers fall into is that they introduce a bottle too soon (before 3 weeks of age) and the infant has not signaled your body to make enough milk to meet their demands yet. You begin pumping and your infant becomes attached to the bottle and will not nurse. Your pump is not as efficient as the bottle so slowly your supply starts to drop. After a few weeks or months you are unable to pump any milk and your infant will not latch to get your supply up.

To avoid this vicious cycle get your supply up before giving a bottle. In the beginning (first 2-3 weeks) pump whenever possible to build up your supply and store the milk in the freeze in 4 oz. amounts. It is completely normal to only get 1 oz. of milk at a pumping session while still nursing your infant full-time. At 3 weeks pick a feeding that you would like to pump for and feed a bottle. It should be the same feeding each day. When you have picked a time give your husband the bottle of milk and leave the house (your infant can smell your milk when you are in the house). Leave before its time to feed so that your infant isn't hungry and waiting impatiently. Have your husband offer the bottle before the hunger cues start and not in the same place that you breastfeed. The best time for him to feed is when your infant wakes up from a nap. Continue this daily until you go back to work. If you do not introduce the bottle daily your infant runs a big risk of rejecting it (my daughter didn't have a bottle a day and therefore rejected it at 10 weeks of age after being introduced at 4 weeks).

When you go back to work make sure to pump as many times as she feeds a day or at least every 3 hours. If you don't you will have a drop in supply and will have to supplement at some point. Pump for 10-15 minutes. There is no need to pump longer than that!

You need to look for a bottle that is hard for your infant to get milk from. Nursing is hard work and an infant that discovers that bottles are easier runs a higher risk of rejecting the breast. The bottles that are known to be the best for breastfed babies are:

The First Years Breastflow

http://www.amazon.com/First-Years-Breast...

Adiri Natural Nursers

http://www.amazon.com/Adiri-Natural-Nurs...

Both of these bottles allow you to adjust the flow so that your infant has to nurse the bottle instead of merely sucking a bit to get the flow of the bottle going.

Good luck and remember to wait until your infant is AT LEAST 3 weeks old to introduce the bottle. If you don't wait you will more than likely find yourself using formula down the road.

[deleted account]

I needed to use a bottle from the beginning as well as the breast- my daughter uses a nipple guard due to my flat nipples so I would use the pump after she fed to get all the collustrum out and to help my supply to come in for her. At first the lactation consultant gave me a "haberman" bottle to help her practice sucking. After a couple weeks we switched to the "breastflow" bottles. I love them! I needed to return to work at just 9 weeks so I wanted her to be used to breast and bottle. Luckily she has not had trouble switching back and forth (although I have heard it recommended above and by many LC's to wait a while), and in those first few weeks, having the ability to sleep while my husband gave her a bottle of pumped milk really helped with my sanity/ sleep deprivation.
I had the unfortunate experience of a cold-induced nursing strike, which I wish on NO ONE, but the "Breastflow" bottle really seemed to help since the baby needs to work hard to get them milk out, so they tend to be less likely to favor the bottle. Babies are very smart and just like adults, if they know they have an easier food source out there, they'll likely go for it.

Good luck with your birth and breastfeeding!! Have fun!

Emily - posted on 08/10/2009

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Hi Jennifer
I would echo what Lucy has said - you don't want to go to the bottle too soon... you want to give the breastfeeding relationship a chance to develop - then you can keep breastfeeding in the morning and at night and on weekends. It's SO much easier and more convenient than pumping, I don't think you'd want to go to pumping exclusively because while there are certainly benefits to feeding breastmilk over formula, some of the benefits of breastfeeding are from the actual nursing (more time with mom, skin to skin contact, more exercise for jaw and face muscles than plastic nipples provide, closer match between antibodies in the milk and viruses and bacteria in the environment than when mom and baby are separated). We didn't start bottles until 2 1/2 months when I went back to work some evenings and my husband took over the last feed before bed. When our guy was really little he liked the Adiri Natural Nurser but now he prefers the Born Free bottles - both are designed specifically for kids who are breastfed with some bottle feedings. Good luck!

Lucy - posted on 08/09/2009

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It's advised to wait 4 weeks before introducing a bottle or a dummy to avoid nipple confusion. I tried my daughter with a bottle when she was 5 weeks old, she is now 17weeks old and has never drank from it!!!!!!!! She will now sort of drink from a cup but she isn't best pleased about it!



When are you planning on returning to work? Many of my friends have very succesfull breast/bottle routines going and it seems to me that the tommy tippee closer to nature bottles seem to be reccomended (not that my lil girl would take it!)



Anyway please don't be put off by what i've said, i may just have a fussy baby! I would probably speak to a breastfeeding specialist with regard the nipple confusion this, as like i say i think i left it too late!

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