Introducing a Bottle
Shortly before you return to work, it may be a good idea to begin introducing your baby to a bottle. Don’t get frustrated if your baby refuses – chances are, he is just used to the closeness and familiarity of nursing with you. You may need to have someone else introduce the bottle.
Find The Right Time
• Try offering a bottle when your baby is just beginning to show signs of hunger or a just before his regular feeding time.
• You want him to be hungry, but not so hungry that he doesn't have patience for trying something new.
Set The Mood
• Make sure the bottle is filled with your breast milk. Your baby will be comforted by the familiar taste.
• Leave something you've worn recently with your baby's caregiver, such as a t-shirt. Your scent will comfort your baby and encourage him to take the bottle.
• Put a few drops of breast milk on the nipple of the bottle. This will encourage your baby to suck.
• Don't worry if your baby checks on the nipple. He might get comfortable enough to eat.
• There are many kinds of bottles and nipples, try different kinds until you find one your baby likes.
Be Casual About Refusal
• If your baby refuses the bottle, try again in 5-10 minutes. If he still refuses, do not breastfeed him right away.
• Take him outside, change his clothes or give him a bath before breastfeeding. You don't want him to see breastfeeding as a reward for refusing the bottle.
• Try the bottle again the next day or in a few days or weeks.
• Ask your WIC peer counselor or another breastfeeding expert for help.