Becoming a parent for the first time is an exceptional experience that truly cannot be put into words. There are so many amazing things to do and experience with your little one, but there is nothing that quite matches the bonding experience that is feeding your baby.
One of the toughest parts of having a newborn is weaning them off breastfeeding to bottle feeding with as little fanfare or fuss as possible. If this is the situation you find yourself in, it’s completely understandable if you are feeling a little bit lost with what is happening.
If you want to wean your baby from breast to bottle feeding with as little fuss as possible, this article covers some of the most effective tips and methods to get you on your merry way.
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Give Your Baby Bottles of Breastmilk First
Even the formulas designed to directly mimic breastmilk cannot offer the same sort of taste and texture as breastmilk itself. There are no doubts that your baby’s acute sense of taste will have no difficulties differentiating between the two!
If you can initially pump bottles for your baby, it will give your baby the type of familiarity that they need, even as they are actively transitioning to a bottle.
Use a Specially Designed Bottle
The sheer number of baby bottles available on the market is pretty impressive — to a point where it can become overwhelming! Despite this, there are bottles out there that are specifically designed for breastfed babies, which will help you along your journey.
As your baby is used to the process of breastfeeding, we’d suggest using a bottle that best mimics the experience of breastfeeding. Here, the type of nipple on the bottle is very important.
You want one that initially offers a slower flow to mimic the flow of milk that typically comes from the breast.
Let Someone Else Bottle Feed Your Baby
Unless you have been giving your baby some bottles of pumped breastmilk for a considerable time, they’re likely going to be very confused when you begin trying to offer them a food source that is from anything other than a breast.
Allowing the baby’s father or another caregiver to give the first few feeds via bottles may work in your favor and help the baby to take more easily to a bottle feed. It’s a pretty big adjustment, so make sure that you take little steps to help them get used to the new feeding technique.
Avoid Weaning During Major Life Changes
If you are planning on going back to work, for example, then it’s best to refrain from weaning your baby. This is because these sorts of major life changes can have a significant impact on your baby as they have to readjust themselves to a new situation. The solution is to wait until everything has calmed down before weaning.
Skip Ahead to Feeding Solids
If your baby is over 6 months old, then it can slowly begin to eat solids. They’re already being gradually introduced to new and exciting flavors and textures, so this can be a good time to transition to a bottle of formula.
Just remember that all milk-based feeds must happen before introducing solids. You also need to keep in mind that a lot of your baby’s overall nutrition will be sourced from breastmilk or formula until they’re a year old.
If your baby is over 9 months old, it’s probably best to wean them straight to a sippy cup and some solid food. Doing this avoids putting your baby through additional transitions from the bottle to a cup when they reach their first birthday.
Take Things Slowly
If you have the option to slowly wean your baby from breastfeeding to bottle feeding over a couple of weeks, you must take it. It’ll allow your baby time to get used to this change and also gives your body time to recover and adjust to these feeding changes, too!
Weaning your baby from breast to bottle feeding may be a bit more complicated in theory, but it isn’t an impossible task. Provided you help them to feel as comfortable as possible as they adjust to this new period in their life, you shouldn’t encounter many issues.
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