How to Get Your Baby to Take a Bottle

If you’re a nursing mother, it can be a source of stress for both you and baby when the time comes to try and give your child a bottle. If the baby doesn’t take the bottle, then you may very well give up hope of ever going out of your house again, or, at least until your child is weaned. But if she does accept the rubber nipple in exchange for your own, you may spend countless hours worrying about whether or not your child will self-wean and will only accept the bottle from now on. It’s a bit of a catch-22.

But it doesn’t have to be! Here are a couple tips on how to get your baby to accept a bottle, and how to choose the best formula when you’re ready to transition your child from nursing to bottle feeding.

Allow Someone Else to Bottle Feed Your Baby at First

If you’re making the transition from nursing to bottle feeding for your newborn, let someone else bottle-feed your baby for a few months. If you, as the source of your baby’s milk, switch back and forth between the breast and the bottle, your child may develop nipple confusion. She may reject the breast and therefore lose weight, which obviously isn’t good for her!

To prevent this problem, give your spouse, trusted friend or family member the bottle and let them feed your child with pumped breast milk, at least until your baby is about six months old. This will keep her from being confused; you are still the source of most of her food while your spouse or other family members are the source of the bottle.

Evening Feeding

If your baby rejects the bottle at first, try bottle-feeding your baby at night, when she is sleepy enough to take a nipple that’s different than the one she’s used to.

Change Position

Don’t stick with just one position when bottle-feeding your baby. Try several different holds – cross-cradle, football, etc. Because the bottle’s nipple may be a little confusing to her, she might be uncomfortable in a typical nursing position. Experiment a little until both you and baby seem to be satisfied with the hold.

Slow-Flow Bottles

Choose a bottle that is most comfortable for your baby. Look for a bottle that best mimics the breast, so that the flow of milk is slow and steady. These types of bottles can be pricier, but they will help your infant make an easier transition to bottle feeding.

Transitioning to Formula

The next step in bottle-feeding your infant is to choose a formula to help her transition from breast milk. Organic baby formula is usually best as it guarantees no genetic engineering, is pesticide-free, and sourced from animals fed on a strict organic diet. This results in a higher quality product with higher levels of nutrients and lower risk of exposure to pesticide.

As the organic movement has been gaining in popularity, several good brands of organic formula have been developed for families to choose from, however, the exceptional taste and quality of certain European formulas is preferred.

Holle formula, made from 99% organic material (compared to the industry standard of 90-95% organic usage), is sourced from humanely treated animals that freely graze in open pastures, leading to superior quality milk.  Additional ingredients used in the formula also meet the strictest of organic requirements and do not contain added sugars, gluten, preservatives, and Fluoride.

Lebenswert formula, made from the same manufacturers of Holle formula, is another excellent organic formula brand that values animal welfare and goes above and beyond industry standards to create a high quality formula. Not only do the farming and manufacturing processes Lebenswert formula employs produce organic formula any mother would happily feed her baby, but they also meet sustainability requirements.

In addition, Hipp Formula is also an excellent choice for your child. Certified organic and containing nutrients found in breast milk, including prebiotics, DHA and AA, Hipp formula has been on the market for over 50 years and is one of the biggest provider of organic formula.

Overall, it is possible to successfully transition your baby from nursing to bottle-feeding. Just follow some of these tips, and you should have little to no trouble getting your child to accept both the breast and the bottle. However, if you do experience any problems, you can call a pediatrician or midwife, and they should be able to give you additional advice on making sure your child is getting all the nutrients she needs.

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