Introducing Your Baby to a Bottle | Why, When & How Series
Before introducing your baby to a bottle there are a few things everyone can benefit from knowing. Whether you’re introducing your baby to a bottle straight away, planning to exclusively breastfeed or to breastfeed and give a bottle, we have you and your babies in mind. In this three-part blog series, we will cover why, when, and how to introduce the bottle!
I want to preface this blog by saying, bottles get a bad rap!
Bottles are often blamed for “ruining” breastfeeding relationships because of nipple confusion. When this term is used widely by people who have not personally experienced this the term does more harm than good.
I feel pretty strongly that nipple confusion would be better referred to as nipple preference.
Babies aren’t easily confused they are smart creatures of habit. Feeding in the newborn period is a complex activity demanding efficient coordination between the rhythmic processes of suck, swallowing, and respiration. There are some big differences between how a baby gets milk from a bottle and how they get milk from a breast. When a baby breastfeeds they have to work really hard to pull the milk forward and out of the nipple using the “breastfeeding” suck. When they drink milk from a bottle they use fewer muscles and a different “bottle” suck. This can be frustrating for babies and for parents trying to breastfeed their infants after introducing a bottle. Understanding “flow” is one important part of the puzzle.
Why are you introducing your baby to a bottle?
Why you’re introducing your baby to a bottle happens for a number of different reasons. Those reasons boil right down to necessity and choice. Sometimes the mother needs surgery, has experienced trauma or abuse at some time in her life or is an adoptive mother. Other times there is no mother involved, only fathers. There are times that using a bottle is about preference, convenience, and choice. How and why people feed their babies the way they feed them can be very personal and honestly is no one else’s business.
When to give a bottle, how much to feed your baby, how to bottle-feed your baby, and why these guidelines are important are covered in the next two blogs:
- When to Introduce Your Baby to a Bottle
- How to Introduce and Feed Your Baby from a Bottle
Be sure to join Jacksonville Pregnancy and Parenting on Facebook where we will go live to demonstrate bottle feeding introduction and more!
Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest for updates when new blogs are posted! We hope you enjoy this series and as with anything else we share, take what works for you and leave the rest! Remember birth and parenting are very personal journies. Most parents are just trying to do the very best they can with the information they are given. What is best for one family is rarely what is best for another family exactly. Be gracious, kind, and show support to other parents in your life!