Bottle-feeding Avery has been no easy feat! And if I’m being completely honest, sometimes it’s been a bigger hurdle than sleep-training. Gasp, right?! All of my babies have taken bottles differently and I’ve talked about those experiences here on this blog post. It’s been an adventurous journey breast-feeding and bottle-feeding 4 completely different babies. Nothing makes me feel like a first time mom as much as learning the quirks and preferences of each new babe. With my 1st baby, we did a combo of bottle and breast for the first 2 months and then she went straight to bottle. For the twins, we did a combination of bottle and breast for the 1st year until they went straight to breast for another 6 months. And Avery has been mostly a breast-fed baby with a weekly Philips Avent Natural bottle. I’ve enjoyed this last experience SO much but it has certainly come with it’s own set of challenges. I’d love to share tips for successfully bottle-feeding a breast-fed baby and I would be thrilled to hear yours!
I have LOVED my nursing experience with Avery but I also needed the flexibility a busy mom requires to have bottles as a reliable option. For a few months, I had a babysitter come over for a few hours 2x each week so that I could work on emails/ blogging/ errands. This, along with needing date nights with my hubby and girlfriends is what encouraged me to work on introducing bottles to Avery. From my experience, I don’t think it’s very healthy for a mama to have the sole responsibility to provide for the baby. Sometimes anxiety and resentment can build if that’s the case and I’m all about protecting myself from unwanted and unnecessary stress as a mom to a new baby (Can I get an amen?). The 1st month of breastfeeding Avery was incredibly difficult! She was trying to figure me out and I was trying to figure her out. It hurt, she started a new thing of popping off and on, etc.. It wore me out. I’ve had the same experience with all my babies and so I wasn’t surprised that it wasn’t going to be all unicorns and rainbows, but I knew that with time and effort (working on proper latching!) breastfeeding would become much easier. And, big sighs, it did. Since breastfeeding became easy for us, trying to remember to introduce bottles once a week was completely forgotten. And ugh! It was difficult for both Avery and I to juggle that into the mix. I highly recommend consistently adding bottles from the very beginning! As long as you pump while offering a bottle, you’ll be golden and baby will become flexible. Always pump when you give baby a bottle to keep up your supply. That was my mistake when I breastfed my 1st baby, I offered bottle often and never pumped to keep up my supply. By 2 months, my supply had dwindled and she preferred the bottle. I didn’t mind switching over to a bottle exclusively since I didn’t have a clue as to what was going on with my supply.
If your baby doesn’t like a certain bottle, try-try again! With my others, they were a little more relaxed, but Avery was SUPER picky with the bottle she would take. One night when she was around 3-4 months old, I went out with some friends and poor Avery and hubby had a terrible night because she refused over and over to take the bottle he made. (The one she liked was with me in the car because I brought my pump!) Avery LOVES Philips Avent Natural bottles. The nipple has an ultra soft texture, designed to mimic the feel of the breast. Our biggest problem with other “breast-like” bottles is that the nipples cave in, ugh! I found these had a flexible spiral design that created a more natural feel without nipple collapse. Avery naturally latched on to the bottle since it had a wide breast shaped nipple making it easy for her to combine breast and bottle feeding. The bottle was also designed to vent air away from the baby’s belly to reduce colic and discomfort. This bottle has everything Avery seems to be looking for in a feeding session.
I remember having such a rough time trying to get Avery to take a bottle one evening a few months ago. Her frustration matched mine. The standoff lasted over an hour. I warmed it up. I had sung every nursery rhyme in the books. I moved on to singing hymns because Lord knows I needed to feel the spirit to keep my nerves at bay. Nothing worked. I hadn’t given her a bottle in weeks (my fault). I threw in the towel and breastfed her until her eyes went heavy and she drifted off to sleep. I had the feeling that I should try again in the morning. The following morning I woke up before she did and pumped 9 oz. I put the milk in a bottle and warmed it up. I went into her room and woke her up and she drank 6oz from the bottle without even flinching. YES, Y’ALL. She figured it out and so did I. Consistency. Trying new times. New bottles. New milk temperatures. Bottle feeding a breast fed baby can be challenging and exhausting when you’re at the starting line. Have you had success at doing both?? What obstacles did you learn to overcome. Leave any advice you have in the comments; can’t wait to hear!
Thank you Philips Avent for sponsoring this post!
We also did a mixture of breastfeeding and bottle for the first 3.5 months and then Leo refused my breast and only accepted the bottle. He drank his first bottle at the age of 13 days and he loved it from day 1 😂Yet, we soon found out which bottle he liked most. We also had Philips Avent, but we quickly changed to „Mam“. I don‘t know if you can get them outside from Germany… Leo never was confused when I switches from breast to bottle or vice versa, but one day he suddenly cried at my breast 🙈Well, that was the beginning of saying goodbye to breastfeeding and to be honest: I love it that way! I am so flexible now as anyone can feed my baby and I can leave him with grannie for a few hours if I need to go shopping. I really like that you‘re suggesting a mixture of bottle and breast because I also think that there can only be a happy and relaxed baby if mama is happy and relaxed ❤️ Have a merry Christmas 2017 with your beloved ones! Season greetings from Germany
Love this post! I have an 11 month old and had a very similar journey with bottles. They are still not her favorite if dad or a babysitter is giving the bottle, but she’ll take at least half and will stay happy until mommy gets home! I LOVE breastfeeding, but agree you don’t always want to feel stuck! Thanks for the post!
I love that! I’m so glad you’ve had such a great experience with transitioning from bottle to breast!! And yes! Even getting a baby’s tummy half full is such a big help until you’re home to nurse (so then you don’t need to pump)! win win! Thanks for sharing!! xo
My little one took a bottle (my pumped breast milk) great until he started teething at 3.5 months and since then, (he is now 6.5 months) he screams when you put a bottle in his mouth. It has been very frustrating for me and daddy. I need to go to appts and my women’s bible study I lead and so it makes it very stressful to leave him and times I can’t leave him at all because he won’t take a bottle. I only tried 2 bottles so when I start back in 2 weeks to bible study we are trying different bottles to see if he will take a different one! I’m going to try this bottle you used and another one I ordered. Pray for us as this momma needs a break here and there! My other 2 exclusively breast feed babies also didn’t like bottles but they would take it when they had too. This little man just loves his momma!
Your little man sure does just love his mama! That can be tough when you have commitments, etc that need more flexibility in his feeding schedule. I’d certainly recommend this bottle and trying the bottle out first thing in the morning when he’s extra hungry. Position him as if you were nursing him. Sing a favorite song. Maybe, pop on a baby show on tv to distract. One time when Avery was refusing bottles, i turned the tv on and she relaxed (instead of screaming at the bottle ;-)). She played with the nipple’s bottle in her mouth for about 15 minutes while watching the tv screen and then she suddenly started to drink the bottle! She chugged the entire thing. Hope you find some relief! Let me know how it goes, xo
Love your post! I feel i have been successful at breastfeeding my first child only because of the advice of other seasoned mamas like you! Tomorrow will be six months of breastfeeding for me and my babe and I introduced a bottle at week 3. Thankfully this didn’t cause any confusion and little one takes a bottle when he first wakes up and sometimes at bedtime. The rest of the time he nurses. It works for us… I’m so thankful it’s been pretty easy for us. The next child might be a different story!? Question… I still use the 0-3 slow flow nipple for bottles, I’m hesitant because I don’t know if a breastfed baby should take a faster flow because then they may prefer bottle? What’s your take on this? Also, you being a mama to FOUR precious ones, how do you dedicate yourself to breastfeeding another all over again!? Pregnant for 9 months, breastfeed for one year (hopefully) then repeat??! I can’t imagine breastfeeding off and on for 4 years!! Lol
First off, you’re seriously the sweetest. Thanks so much for your encouragement for me to keep sharing. It means so much to me! As far as bottles go, if you’re hope to continue breastfeeding for the majority of the time I wouldn’t recommend the larger nipple size unless your baby appears frustrated at the slow flow. If you feel that it’s too slow for what’s comfortable for him then it won’t hurt to try the faster flow nipple. As long as he stays with his nursing patterns and doesn’t cut your nursing sessions short then he’s ready for it! 6 months into breastfeeding and you’ll be able to read him pretty easily. As for me, we do the slow flow just because she doesn’t seem bothered with it. And yessss, pregnant for 9 months and breastfeeding for 12+ months does feel like a lot of your body notttttt being your own, hahaha! I feel that taking care of myself just as much as I’d take care of my babies has helped me not feel burnt out from breastfeeding. I honestly love it and haven’t resented it. I can’t resent it because I know that it’s not the only option to feed a baby. I don’t feel “stuck” because I know formula is a perfectly fine option. So, i choose to breastfeed because i love the bond. I also have my babies on sleeping schedules and so I sleep well and I’ve always exercised regularly. And I have a good support of mama friends in my town and we’re all pretty honest with each other about the ups and downs of mothering. That’s been invaluable to have compassion on myself. I don’t expect too much of myself. I think all of those things helped me deal with the crazy toll pregnancy/nursing can take on my body. Do you think any of that has worked for you?? Hope this helps! Granted, we just moved and so I haven’t worked out or slept well in a while and I’m totally feeling it. Thanks for the reminder of those simple things that help keep me sane. keep in touch!! xo
Love this post! Where is your dress from?
It’s from @lunabybaby on instagram. Seriously the most buttery, cute house dress EVAH!