10 Tips For Introducing Bottles to Breast-fed Babies

17 November 2017

This post is sponsored by Philips Avent. All opinions are my own.
If you've been following along on Insta-stories, you might have spotted that we took a short trip down to Louisiana last week prompting Indiana's first bottle experience. Until now, he wasn't too keen on anything that wasn't the 'real deal'. He was initially interested in pacifiers but they were promptly discarded once he realized nothing was coming out. But since we knew that I was going to be out of our usual 2-5 hour nursing window, I decided to go back to an old tried and true resource: Philips Avent, to make the transition go flawlessly. First off, their bottles are great for breastfed babies. The wide breast-shaped nipple makes for an easier, more natural latch. The unique petals make for a flexible, non-collapsing nipple and they're easy to hold for you and baby. I love using them with the Philips Avent Manual Pump. It's super easy to use, small, and perfect for traveling. We've been using this particular model since 2009 with Aiden and honestly wouldn't go anywhere else, especially when you can pump directly into the bottle, then add the nipple and go.

All that being said, since Indy's first bottle was on our trip we teamed up with Philips Avent to document his experience with the Philips Avent Natural baby bottle through his point of view, and with some additional tips below on how to make the transition painlessly. From my perspective it went off without a hitch; and snapping off the shots of him trying to figure out what the bottle was 'all about' for our first test run, was pure entertainment.

"Here I am, minding my own business in my car seat in this new place when my 'food source' hands me something new and weird. It looks kind of familiar but I'm not sure what it is and what to do with it. Naturally my first thought is to put it my mouth, like everything else I do. I'm intrigued. I examine this further and try to get a grasp on holding it to my mouth. I like it. Then 'that guy' jumps in to help me a long and shows me how to use it. It's food! I'm pretty sure it's the same stuff that comes from her but I can't be sure. Let me try it again. It is! I think I like this – it is just like her and now I don't have to wait for her to come home and feed me. It is also easy to hold, even with my tiny hands.

...more please!"

- Tips for transitioning breast-fed babies to bottles -

1.  Let Dad give the first bottle. If you're holding him and trying to give him a bottle, he's going to start rooting for your nipple making him less likely to take the bottle. If Dad gives it to him, they're now BFF's.

2. Pay attention to positioning. If he's held the same way you position him for nursing he'll be more comfortable and ready to eat.

3. Take breaks. While nursing, baby takes little breaks here and there so take the bottle out every few minutes to make it more like nursing and to avoid over doing it.

4. Don't try to match breastfeeding time. It's different.

5. Take visual cues from baby.

6. Make sure he's hungry before giving him the first bottle. If he's not hungry he's not going to care or take it.

7.  Pick a bottle that best imitates breast-feeding, like Philips Avent Natural bottle which mimics mom’s breast. The nipple is key. Start with a slow-flow nipple.

8. Stay close and cuddle. Bottle feeding can be just a nurturing as breast-feeding.

9. Don't feel guilty about bottle feeding. We have plenty of other things to feel guilty about as the time progresses and this isn't one of them...

10.  Alternate and let Dad join in. Now he can help out with middle of the night feedings while you catch up on Zzz's.