Updated on April 6, 2017
The Breastfed Baby’s First Bottle #LoveIsInTheDetails
There are two words every breastfeeding mom hears at some point along her breastfeeding journey. Maybe she heard them when she was still pregnant, or maybe she heard them when another mom was giving her some breastfeeding advice. What are those two words? Bottle refuser. Will your baby be a bottle refuser? Is there anything you can do to prevent this from happening? These are just some of the questions that might be swirling in your mind before your baby even makes his or her arrival. I know they were questions I thought about before The Heir was born. Introducing a bottle can be a nerve wracking experience for any new mom. I’m going to give you a few pointers that just might help encourage your baby to be more accepting of the bottle, and I’m going to tell you about a great option for introducing a breastfed baby to a bottle for the first time.
First, let’s talk about when to introduce a bottle to a breastfed baby. Presuming that breastfeeding is established, going well, and you’re not going back to work right away (here in Canada we get one year of paid maternity leave), you want to hold off on introducing a bottle right away. The clincher is that you don’t want to wait too long. Confused yet? So was I. This is something I discussed with my midwives when I was pregnant with Petit Prince because The Heir was never really that great with bottles. I wouldn’t call him a bottle refuser as he would eventually take one, but it certainly wasn’t the easiest thing to do. My midwives recommended that a bottle be introduced between week four and week six. This allows baby to become well accustomed to latching at the breast and avoids “nipple confusion”, but also introduces the bottle early enough that it reduces the likelihood that baby will refuse bottles altogether.
Now that I’ve covered when to introduce a bottle, it’s time to cover how to introduce a bottle. The first step is to pick a bottle. It can be really daunting to select the right bottle to start out with, but Philips Avent has taken the guess work out of this process. The Philips Avent Natural Bottle has a nice wide nipple base. In effect, it is more “breast like” than other bottles making it easier for baby to achieve a good latch. That’s not the only thing that’s so great for breastfed babies using this bottle. The nipple is also extra soft and flexible so it mimic’s mom’s breast creating the most natural way to bottle feed a breastfed baby. Something that I like to do when introducing a bottle for the very first time is to use freshly expressed breast milk if at all possible. You don’t need to overdo it, just a couple of ounces will do that first time. It can also help to have someone other than mom give the bottle to baby. Your baby will have this uncanny ability to know when there’s milk available “on tap” when being offered a bottle. If your partner or a grandparent can give that first bottle, baby may be more receptive!
Don’t forget to burp! Sometimes when giving baby a bottle, it can be easy to forget to give him a chance to take a breath and get a good burp out. As baby is drinking, it’s a good idea to stop every ounce to burp him. The Philips Avent Natural Bottle actually has an advanced anti-colic system to help prevent air from making its way into baby’s tummy. This innovative twin valve system allows air into the bottle, not into baby’s tummy. In combination with frequent pauses for a burp, this can help prevent baby from getting too gassy.
What about clean up? There’s nothing worse than investing in some bottles only to find that getting them thoroughly clean is almost impossible. I highly recommend purchasing a bottle brush to make bottle washing easier, but the Philips Avent Natural Bottle is designed to be super easy to clean. The bottle itself has rounded edges that are easily accessed with a bottle brush. In addition, the bottle has just three parts so when you’re done washing it, it’s easy to put it back together for the next feeding. There’s nothing more annoying than going to grab a bottle for a feeding only to find that there’s a tiny part missing and you can’t quite get it put together properly. This is not an issue at all with the Philips Avent Natural Bottle. Thank goodness!
How did the Philips Avent Natural Bottle work for Petit Prince? As a breastmilk donor there’s rarely a shortage of breastmilk in my freezer, but most of it is earmarked for donation to the Northern Star Mothers Milk Bank here in Calgary. When I want to go out with a friend without the kids, I’ll leave some freshly expressed breastmilk for King Dad to feed Petit Prince. This isn’t something that happens all the time around here, so Petit Prince’s opportunities to use a bottle are sometimes few and far between. Apparently he’s just a little particular about his bottle. Who knew? I wish I’d had this bottle to introduce to him as his first bottle. If I had, I bet it would have been a favourite! He did drink from it a little bit, and I noticed that his latch on the bottle was just like his latch on my breast, and that’s awesome. The features of the nipple that make it more like a natural breast are great, and something I think most breastfed babies would enjoy. The extra soft and flexible nipple allows baby to move easily from breast to bottle and back to breast. In fact, a good friend of mine swears by the Philips Avent Natural Bottle. It was the first bottle she tried with her son, and was their favourite through their breastfeeding and bottle feeding journey!
How would you like the chance to WIN 1 of 40 three packs of 9oz Philips Avent Natural Bottles? The giveaway is open to the USA & Canada (excluding Quebec, Alaska, and Hawaii) and closes on June 24th, 2016.
Disclosure: I am part of the PTPA Brand Ambassador Program with Philips Avent and I received compensation as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.