how to start bottle feeding?

Priyanka - posted on 03/21/2011 ( 11 moms have responded )

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My baby is 6 mnths old now and is breastfed. I want to start him on a bottle but he just doesn't seem to accept it anyhow. I need to start working now and its getting really tough for me. His cries makes everybody go weak :( Please suggest some ways I can start him other source of milk than my breast. (I tried the formula too but they're too sour for him to like :( )

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Carolyn - posted on 03/22/2011

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like Ginny said, he wont let himself starve.



I have had my son go on nursing strikes, where he would flat out refuse to nurse for several days. I got tired of the pumping and bottle feeding so one day i decided just to see what would happen if i didnt nurse on ournormal routine. He was fine for almost 7 hours, then latched no problem. I have done this a couple of times succesfully.



So interchange that breast with your bottle. Offer the bottle , but dont try to force it, if he doesnt want it, let him go play, in an hour or 2 try it again. If you press the issue, frustrate her or make him upset, he can start to associate those negative feelings with bottles and it will only make it harder.



He wont starve himself.



you can also try a straw. He still gets to control the flow to an extent, I picked up these great take and toss cups with lids and straws. Logan loves it ! sippy cups mostly get chewed on or tossed over the highchair

Aicha - posted on 03/21/2011

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have some one else give him a bottle of breast milk if you are pumping then leave them alone when he would normal eat he may cry at first but he will take the bottle when hungry, that's how I had to do it to get my daughter to take a bottle

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Danielle - posted on 03/24/2011

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What somebody told me is: breastfed babies are used to working for their food already, that straws are easy for them. I never really thought about it until somebody made a comment when my youngest was 8 mos old - they were shocked when he drank from my daughter's juice box. I have so many young cousins & neices all my kids got straws shoved in their faces by 'helpful' little kids who were 'nice enough' to share.

Playtex has some nice sippy cups with straws that don't spill easily. I also recently saw bottles that have straws and the nipple goes in the mouth like a binky so no one has to hold the bottle. (One of my cousins in CA had it - very neat!)

Also, I used to pump while I was feeding. Probably not the best way to do it, but I found I got more that way. And it took less time. And by the time I got to #4 especially, time was in short supply. I would hook up to 1 side & then start feeding on the other, then switch when the baby was ready. I think having the baby eating at the same time, helped me relax & increased the flow (just my guess). My daughters still gained weight very well while I did this & my sons didn't gain weight well even when I supplemented with formula, so I don't think it affected what they got.

Priyanka - posted on 03/24/2011

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Hey.. Thanks Danielle.. I've tried one sippy cup (with a hard spout) but that he uses more for the irritation in his teething gums rather than sipping stuff out of it. And even when he does try to take in, most of it generally gets waisted. And with my milk its like I'm hardly able to pump 2-3 oz everytime (n I try to do it atleast 2-3 times a day).
I tried to give him formula too, but it was too bitter for him. He never ever took a sip of it. So i'm kind of trying it both ways - first I try the bottle and then the cup. But in both he gets irritated after few minutes :(
Though I can definitely try and ask my mother in law or husband to help me feed him through bottle.
How come such little ones manage to sip from the straw? Never tried that before.. Now that's something I didn't know.

Danielle - posted on 03/24/2011

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If he won't take a bottle, try a sippy cup with a straw. All 4 of my children used straws very well at that age & I have heard that it's probably because they were breastfed. There are also regular sippy cups with soft spouts. Having someone else give it to him is also a good idea. If you're holding him, he can smell your breastmilk & will be more likely to ignore the bottle.

I had to supplement with formula for both of my sons & would have someone else give them their bottles. My 2nd daughter was exclusively on breastmilk until she was 6 mos. After I stopped pumping, I started to send give her some formula & some breastmilk bottles during the day, until I ran out of my stock. She didn't give me any problems with that, but did not like the switch to regular milk.

If you can pump, I would suggest trying that for a while to help get him to take a bottle or cup. As a working mom of 4, I know how difficult it is to pump, but it can be done.

Good luck!

Priyanka - posted on 03/22/2011

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Thank you so much Ginny, Aicha and Carolyn for your lovely inputs. Will definitely try them and hope something works out this time :)

Aicha - posted on 03/22/2011

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my daughter was really stubborn it took a good 2 months before she would take the bottle , now she is 18 months and is refusing to give up her bottle. With her younger bother he is only 7 weeks old I started him on the bottle no problem he didn't even cry each child is diffident if the bottle causes tears try a cup some breastfeed babies like drinking out of a cup better

Ginny - posted on 03/22/2011

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I just remembered that my sister told me that her daughter wouldn't except a bottle either. She lost her milk supply around 7 or 8 months and had to go to formula. Her daughter would cry everytime she tried giving her the bottle, but there was nothing she could do. She just was persistent on it and eventually gave in and took the bottle. She made a comment saying that a baby isn't going to let themselves starve and will get hungry and just except to take the bottle. They will keep protesting knowing that eventually will get what they would rather have. Good luck, hope everything works out

Priyanka - posted on 03/22/2011

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Hi Aicha. Thanks for the reply. I've tried this technique on and off but he tends to cry a lot during that time, which kind of concerns me. Does it harm if the child cries too much? Did your daughter cry too ? And in how much time did she finally accept the bottle?

Priyanka - posted on 03/22/2011

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Hey Ginny.. thanks for the reply.. I have been pumping my milk into the bottle and then giving him so that atleast he starts accepting the bottle. And I would need to go to work full time :( (which is sad) and thus I would need to prepare him for a whole day of feed without me. He shows some initial interest in the sippy cup, but then retrieves after 2-3 mins. He doesnt seem to like my milk from anywhere except the source.

Ginny - posted on 03/21/2011

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Are you trying to stop giving him breastmilk all together?if not, you could try pumping and see if he'll drink that from a bottle. Are you going back to work full time? If so, I could definitely see pumping during the day pretty hard to do.



I've never tried formula with my daughter....she was always breastfed or drank breastmilk from a bottle or cup, so I'm not exactly sure how to go from breastmilk to formula...but I have heard that other moms will pump, give breasmilk in a bottle, then start mixing it with formula, and slowly decreasing the amount of breastmilk

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