After dealing with Landon’s breastfeeding issues and bottle preference, I had a lot of anxiety building up about introducing Noelle to a bottle. I was so determined to have our breastfeeding relationship work that I didn’t want any obstacles in the way. However, I was going back to work at 6 weeks (I only work twice a week, so I felt comfortable doing this), so I knew I had to transition before it was too late. I did a lot of research leading up to this, so today I’m partnering with Munchkin LATCH to share my tips on transitioning baby to a bottle.
Wait until 4 weeks to introduce. We were forced to introduce Landon to a bottle at 2 weeks due to latch issues and severe nipple pain. He developed a bottle preference and started refusing nursing altogether. Granted there were other factors that I believe contributed, but I didn’t want to chance this happening again. We waited a full 4 weeks before introducing Noelle to a bottle.
Find the right bottle. Not all bottles are created equal, and my fear was having Noelle experience nipple confusion and develop a bottle preference. I wanted one that mimics the breast as far as feel and flow, so I did my research ahead of time. I also wanted to avoid possibly colic and gassiness, so that was an important feature to look for in my quest to find the perfect one. Munchkin’s new and improved LATCH bottle fit all of my “requirements.” The accordion style nipple stretches like the breast, which helps baby latch with ease. The LATCH bottle also mimics the breast by releasing more milk as baby pushes against the nipple base with his or her chin. This is a really important feature, as this is exactly how nursing works! The new LATCH bottles also have an anti-colic valve which avoids air bubbles from forming, and the accordion nipple reduces ingestion of air because it moves with baby’s head. The slow flow nipple is also key because it’s similar to the flow of the breast. So many features in one little bottle, but all ensure a smooth transition from breast to bottle.
Leave the house and have your spouse or a family member introduce it. I know, this pulls on your mama heart strings. But it will be okay! Take the opportunity to have a little “you” time, even if it’s for just a half hour. Baby will most likely not accept a bottle if you’re home (my daughter still doesn’t…she wants that boob!), so the transition will be easier if you’re not around!
Introduce at the right time. Don’t wait for baby to be starving and upset to introduce the bottle. Partially feed baby from the breast at their normal feeding time, and have your spouse/family member try introducing the bottle a little bit after. Baby will be more open to trying something new and not distressed due to hunger.
Since Landon was bottle fed, it was easy for me to have my husband take the next feeding so I could step out and recharge my batteries a bit. Successfully nursing Noelle was an entirely different ball game because she needed ME to be feeding her every 2-3 hours. That was very tiring! And while I truly enjoy our bonding time during our nursing sessions, I also really enjoy having some time to myself. My husband has also admitted to feeling as though his bond with her is not as great at it is with Landon since he doesn’t get to participate in feedings as frequent as I do. Transitioning Noelle to a bottle was a great decision for our family because mom gets some alone time, dad gets to bond with his daughter, and baby is happy all around. Also, I was headed back to work at 6 weeks, so it was necessary!
I’m really grateful Noelle transitions to and from the bottle and breast seamlessly because it also means I can spend some one-on-one time with Landon. Every couple of weeks I plan for a babysitter to watch Noelle so Landon can have some mommy time by himself. I’ve noticed that implementing this special time has done wonders for his behavior with his sister. Our dates have consisted of trips to Target, lunch, visiting a bookstore, having fun at a moon bounce, and even stopping at Starbucks for a special cookie treat. I always pump well in advance so our sitter has enough milk to make it through our outing.
Having Noelle take a bottle has also helped me have some “me” time back. Exercise is a large stress reliever for me, so being able to head to the gym for an hour at the end of the day is a really great way to release some endorphins. I’ve noticed that when I don’t take care of myself, I’m short tempered and have significantly less patience with my toddler. Having some “me” time allows me to recharge and helps me to be the best mom I can be.
If you’re preparing to transition to a bottle, I highly recommend the Munchkin LATCH bottles for all the reasons listed above! The entire LATCH system makes transitioning a breeze, including the Bottle and Valve Brush, Sterilize Bags, and Miracle Nursing Pads. Perfect for the pumping mom!
Thank you to Munchkin LATCH for sponsoring today’s post!