The World Health Organization recommends exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months and then continued breastfeeding combined with solid food for 2 years or as long as mum and baby desire. But for mums who need to go back to work, transitioning from breast to bottle becomes crucial if they want to continue their breastfeeding journey.
Don’t automatically assume your baby is going to take the bottle. It might take some time for your little one to warm up and get used to it, so here are some tips and essential things to remember when introducing bottle feeding to your bub.
Try each bottle variant and observe baby’s reaction.
Long before the end of your parental leave, or even as early as 8 weeks after birth, you may try expressing milk from your breast and giving it to your bub through the bottle. You know you’ve found the right one when your baby doesn’t fuss.
Make things easier for you and your baby by looking for bottles with slow flow nipples close to the real ones, like the Eonian Care Baby Bottles and Slow-Flow Teats. It has soft silicone teats that mimic a mum’s natural lactating breast and promote easy latch-on, retaining the baby’s natural sucking pattern. A built-in anti-colic ventilation hole prevents excessive air intake, protecting your little one from tummy upsets.
Let someone else hold the bottle.
If your bub can’t bear to be separated from you, ease them slowly into bottle feeding by letting your husband or another caregiver hold the bottle. As much as possible, do it when you’re not in the same room as your baby – some say this helps prevent nipple confusion.
Try different bottle-feeding positions.
Your baby might get confused taking milk from the bottle if mum holds or cradles them the same way. Choose a different position and find the best one that calms and comforts your little one while drinking milk from the bottle.
Start bottle feeding once every day.
When introducing bottle feeding, start with small amounts of breast milk. Offer the bottle at different times during the day or night. As they get used to the bottle, slowly increase the number of feeding times and the amount of milk your little one consumes.
To safely store your milk, try the Eonian Care Baby Bottles & Feeding Solutions Value Set. You can pump, store, and feed breast milk all in one container, minimising wastage, and safeguarding your bub’s health. It grows with your baby and comes with attachments that can be used at every stage of the feeding journey.
Don’t worry if baby consumes less milk when bottle feeding.
Your baby needs time to transition from breast to bottle, just like how you established your rhythm during the first few days of nursing. Let them get used to it, and try to make each session as comfortable as possible.
If your bub is still not keen, you can always supplement with direct latching once you get home from work. This also helps keep your milk supply up.
Bring on the cuddles.
Weaning from the breast can be difficult for you and baby, so make sure to leave them with positive feelings by providing extra cuddling and snuggling after each bottle feeding. If your little one still begs to breastfeed, say after a tiring day, don’t refuse to nurse, especially if other consoling tricks fail.
Take it slow.
The weaning process should be gradual, not just for your bub’s sake but for yours, too. The slower mum weans, the easier it will be on her breasts and milk supply. This will reduce the risk of clogged milk ducts, infection, and the pain that comes with engorged breasts.
Abrupt weaning can cause stress and cause extreme fluctuations in your mood. Be gentle with yourself and realise that this process takes time. Support is key, so remember to surround yourself with people and tools that cater to your needs. You’ve got this!