How do I introduce a bottle for some feeds

Cathryne - posted on 11/08/2013 ( 1 mom has responded )

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My baby girl is almost 4 months old and had been exclusively breastfed since birth. I will be returning to work in January and need to introduce expressed milk in bottles before then. I have tried giving her a bottle a couple of times but she wont suck on it and makes herself gag until I give up and breastfeed her. We have tried other people feeding her a bottle while I'm not around and she does the same thing.

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Lori - posted on 11/10/2013

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I can only tell you what I know others have done. Personally, I couldn't get my 2nd daughter to take a bottle. EVER. But as I didn't have to go back to work, it wasn't as big of an issue as it is for those returning to work.
Having other people feed her is a good start. Try a few different types of bottles with different shaped nipples. You may find one she likes better than others. Try different positions. Some babies like to be held the same way they would be held while breastfeeding, others want to be held in a different way. I had a friend who's LO would only take a bottle if he was laid on his left side, facing the caregiver, a pillow behind his back and one leg hitched up. I watched him one day, and even though he'd been taking bottle from other caregivers for months, he wouldn't take the bottle from me. I finally had to call his mom at work and she walked me through the right position for him, and sure enough he settled in and drank it.
And finally - just be persistent. Keep offering the bottle. You still have more than a month, so offer it every single day between now and then. Offer it when she's not hungry to see if she'll play with it a bit. Offer it when she's only a little hungry, and try offering it when it's time to eat. With continued exposure to the bottle, she may grow used to it and accept it.
Another friend of mine had a very rough start with her 2nd. When she returned to work her LO refused a bottle also. She tried many of the tricks stated above, and none worked. For the first month that she was back at work her LO refused to eat the entire time she was at work. She ended up reverse cycling. That's when baby eats more at night than during the day. It was rough on the mom as baby was up every 2 hours at night again, but at least the baby was getting fed. Finally the baby started accepting a bottle. Only a little at first, then a little more. A few months later and she was drinking from a bottle like a pro.

I wish you the best of luck with your journey!!!! It may be hard at first, but you'll both get through it!!!!

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