According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, breastfeeding is good for both the baby AND you! While the baby gets its best source of nutrition, you will also get protection from short- and long-term illnesses and diseases.
However, as a mom who also has other things to do aside from feeding her baby like working, you’d eventually want to be free from breastfeeding, correct? You love your baby and want it to be fed, but it’s tiring to always be the source of food. Plus, as babies get bigger and older, you’re going to experience more struggles getting them to feed, as well as lots of pain as they start to teeth!
Thankfully, there’s always the alternative to ensuring your baby gets fed the milk it needs to be healthy: the bottle!
However, if your baby has been breastfeeding constantly, trying to introduce the bottle will likely result in plenty of challenges. The major challenge is them refusing the bottle because it’s not your breast. And if they refuse to feed, they’re going to get hungry, which will definitely result in a lot of crying and frustration on both your parts.
But not to worry: as long as you have a lot of patience, experiment a lot, and don’t give up, your baby will eventually start bottle-feeding.
And to help you out, here are some tips from some of the best doulas in NYC (if we do say so ourselves), the Northeast Doulas, to help you get your baby to feed from the bottle. Let’s get to it, shall we?
What would make the baby not like the bottle?
Here are some common reasons why the baby doesn’t like to feed from the bottle:
- Your baby was just weaned but still wants to continue feeding from your breast.
- Your baby may not be refusing the bottle; it may not just be hungry enough to want to feed.
- Your baby isn’t feeling so good, so it doesn’t want to feed. It could be because of colic or some other usual reason.
- You might be holding your baby in a position that’s not optimal for feeding or is not comfortable in general. That would make them not want to feed from the bottle.
- The milk in the bottle is too hot, too cold, or is a flavor that your baby doesn’t like. It could even be the texture!
As soon as you figure out WHY they don’t like to feed from the bottle, you’ll be able to fix the problem.
Some tips to help
Here are some of the most common and effective ways to make your baby accept bottle feeding.
Try the transition slowly.
As with anything, if you force your baby to feed from the bottle immediately, they’re more likely to refuse. Hey, if you’re forced to do something you’re not used to, you’d refuse also, right? So just do it slowly and consistently.
Wait until your baby is really hungry.
If you’re not hungry, you’re not really in the mood to eat, right? The same thing applies to your baby. If it’s not hungry, it’s not likely to try out feeding from the bottle.
Wait for the signs that your baby is hungry before attempting to let your baby try the bottle. The hungrier they are, the more chances of success.
Try out different nipple shapes and sizes.
Even at a young age, your baby already has certain preferences – and that includes the kind of nipple they want to drink from. That’s also the reason why different bottle manufacturers have different nipple shapes and sizes. It can get a little expensive but do try to buy different nipples, as well as bottles.
The flow of the liquid inside the bottle will change as well depending on the manufacturer. That’s another factor to consider.
Get the milk temperature just right.
Breast milk is lukewarm, not hot or cold. So try to get the temperature of the milk in the bottle right. That makes the baby more likely to drink.
However, if your baby is starting to teeth, they may find colder milk soothing. Try to notice those little details.
Try different feeding positions.
If for example, you used to breastfeed your baby while you were both lying on the bed, your baby may prefer to bottle feed in a different position. That could be due to the bottle having a different flow than your breast. Try experimenting with positions to see what your baby responds to best.
And speaking of different, try having someone else feed the baby aside from you. The baby might have already associated your smell with breastfeeding. If you give your partner or mom the bottle and try to have them feed your baby, it might work!
Try different formulas as well.
If you’re not feeding your baby pumped breastmilk and you’re using formula instead, your baby might not like the formula you chose. Again, try different formulas to see which one your baby will like best.
However, it’s also best if you talk to your pediatrician first, as there might be a recommended formula for your baby.
What else can you try?
Aside from the tips above, you can try to create a more positive environment for your baby by doing the following:
- Try to be calm and not show your frustration. Your emotions will definitely affect your infant. If they can feel you are stressed, they’ll get stressed as well.
- Around feeding time, try to make your baby feel as comfortable as possible. You’d want them to associate the bottle with something nice, after all, not something to be avoided.
- At the same time, try to keep your baby focused on feeding. Avoid showing them distractions like toys, music, and other things that can remove their attention from trying the bottle.
Want to find a doula in NYC?
Those are some tips based on experience from our doulas. Please keep in mind that it can get hard especially when you’re just starting to introduce the bottle to your baby. Just keep trying and you’ll eventually get your baby to start feeding from the bottle!
However, if you still feel like you need help, there’s nothing wrong with looking for a doula in NYC to assist you in this challenging time. And if you need doula services in NYC, look no further than us at Northeast Doulas! You’ll get deeply personal care for this particular important – and sometimes frustrating – moment of your life.
We have been providing doula services in Greenwich CT, Westchester, and NYC areas with the best-trained and most experienced doulas available today for many years. We would love to do the same for you. And unlike others, we make sure to provide you with the professional, judgment-free educational, physical, and emotional support that you deserve.
So if you’re looking for a postpartum doula in NYC, reach out to us today! Not only will we help you with bottle feeding your baby, but we’ll also create a customized plan for you and your family to align your needs and desires in this journey you’re currently on.
We look forward to hearing from you!