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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.

Find the Right Position

Show others your baby's favorite way(s) to be held during nursing.

If your baby is fussy during the bottle feeding, try several different positions.

Try offering the bottle while baby is in the baby seat if that is a comfortable place.