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How to get a breastfed baby to take a bottle

3 min read

 

It’s best to wait until your baby is 3 to 4 weeks old and breastfeeding has been established before introducing a bottle to a breastfed baby. If you’re planning on returning to work, try to begin bottle feeding at least two weeks before your start date, so you can work out any difficulties well ahead of time. Making a transition from breast to bottle may take your baby a while to get used to.

Top tips for a smooth transition from breast to bottle feeding:

 
  • Offer your baby a bottle a little later than their regular feeding time so they will be hungry and interested.
  • Let someone else feed your little one the very first bottle, so they don’t get confused about why you’re not breastfeeding.
  • Try to be out of the house when someone else bottle feeds your baby for the first time. Babies can smell their mother from a distance of at least 20 feet, and they may know that you’re around even if you're in another room.
  • Bottle feeding can feel as nurturing as breastfeeding if you cuddle your baby close.
  • Your baby may not feed well when you aren’t home, and if you are away all day, your baby may begin waking more frequently at night. Don't be surprised if this happens and use these quiet and intimate times to reconnect with your little one.

    See more below ↓
You may need

Philips Avent

Natural baby bottle

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    Philips Avent Natural baby bottle

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    The most natural way to bottle feed

    Our Natural bottle with an ultra soft nipple more closely resembles the breast. The wide breast-shaped nipple with flexible spiral design and comfort petals allows natural latch on and makes it easy to combine breast and bottle feeding. See all benefits

    Suggested retail price: $4.49

    The most natural way to bottle feed

    Our Natural bottle with an ultra soft nipple more closely resembles the breast. The wide breast-shaped nipple with flexible spiral design and comfort petals allows natural latch on and makes it easy to combine breast and bottle feeding. See all benefits

  • The most natural way to bottle feed

    Play Pause

The most natural way to bottle feed

Our Natural bottle with an ultra soft nipple more closely resembles the breast. The wide breast-shaped nipple with flexible spiral design and comfort petals allows natural latch on and makes it easy to combine breast and bottle feeding. See all benefits

Suggested retail price: $4.49

The most natural way to bottle feed

Our Natural bottle with an ultra soft nipple more closely resembles the breast. The wide breast-shaped nipple with flexible spiral design and comfort petals allows natural latch on and makes it easy to combine breast and bottle feeding. See all benefits

If your breastfed baby is refusing a bottle, you could try these techniques:

 
  • Use a bottle nipple that is similar to your baby’s pacifier.
  • Heat the nipple with warm water to make it more appealing.
  • Put some breast milk on the nipple, to encourage your baby to suck.
  • Let your baby play with the nipple so they can familiarize themselves with it.
  • Try holding your baby in a different position. Put them in a baby seat or car seat so they are semi-upright, and then feed them the bottle while facing them.
  • Once your baby is used to taking a bottle, you can try reverting back to your usual technique for feedings.
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