Introducing bottle help - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 06-25-2006, 09:58 PM - Thread Starter
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I can't do a good search of this forum right now b/c of the server problems, and I know these issues are probably in billions of threads on here, but please excuse the repetition!!!

I will be going back to work sometime in August (I'm actually a grad student, and so is DH). DH will be watching her while I work, as we can't afford any childcare. So far, I've pumped 4 bottles of 2-3 oz each, and a few 1 oz bags to supplement, but that's it (and all are frozen)! I can't imagine having DH give my little girl a bottle already (she's 6 weeks Tuesday), but from what I've read, I should have already done this. It's making me a bit sad to finally do this.

My questions are: Am I screwed b/c I haven't done this earlier (even though I still have 6+ more weeks before going back to work)???? And, how should we start? Do I pump tomorrow in the a.m. after she eats, then leave the bottle in the fridge, then the next day, give DH the bottle, and go pump while he feeds her?

Any other tips for getting used to this schedule? Do I have to do this every morning, or can I get away with maybe 2-3 times/wk (which is how often DH will watch her during most of the next year)?

Amy, mama to "Pumpkin" (DD1, 5/16/06) and "Squashy" (DD2, 7/10/09)
"Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance"- Confucius
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#2 of 5 Old 06-26-2006, 08:45 AM
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We didn't start Luke on a bottle until about 8 weeks (2 weeks before I had to head back to work). It took him awhile to get used to the bottle, but I think it was a matter of finding a bottle that worked for him. (Playtex Nursers are what ended up working for us.)

I don't really remember how I got my initial EBM bottle. I suppose I just pumped between feedings. But I pumped at work at the times he would normally eat to keep up with his bottle feedings. (Does that make sense?) I think (it was so long ago! LOL) I still pumped between feedings at home, so I could build a freezer stash. I had quite the stash in the freezer! Ha ha!
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#3 of 5 Old 06-26-2006, 03:24 PM
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Hi, bamboomama. This was us a year ago--we were both students, and we traded off childcare between two of us. It worked out really well for us--it's a bit of a logistical headache, and we were certainly short on time, but ds really did get the best of both parents, I think.

You're not screwed, not by a long shot. A couple ideas (there are lots more out there, of course, once the search function is back up):

--this early in the bf relationship, what I did was put an extra pumping session in at roughly the same time in the mornings, whether or not I was going to be gone that day. This meant I got a freezer stash built up pretty quickly, and that I wasn't stressed if on one particular day I didn't get much milk from a pumping session. Later on, I could get away with pumping 3 times a week without it making my supply go haywire.

--I second the Playtex "natural latch" nipple (with slow flow !!). I really like their milk storage system as well--it uses disposable "bladders." While not as environmentally friendly as glass, it also doesn't contain the bisphenol-A that the hard clear plastics (like Dr. Brown's or Avent) do.

--You should plan on disappearing for a little while while dh feeds dd. What dh found that worked well:

--Try feeding in a sling or other carrier. Something about the contact made ds a lot happier about taking a bottle. On a couple occasions, dh took off his shirt and stripped ds down to a diaper and put him in the sling, and that worked really well too.

--Let dd play a little with the nipple. Woo rather than force! Your dh shouldn't expect dd to drink a lot the first couple times (or even the first week or two). Really, you're just trying to get her used to the idea that milk can come from a plastic nipple. Your dh should tease dd's mouth with the nipple, just like you would to get a good latch on the boob.

--Try feeding before your dd is starving. Make sure she's dry, happy, etc, before introducing the bottle. The verge of a meltdown is not the time to try it.

Good luck! I heartily recommend that your dh get a sling that he's really comfortable using for the times you'll be away. If nothing else, dh would pop ds in the sling and go for a walk, and it would make him a happy camper.
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#4 of 5 Old 06-26-2006, 06:51 PM
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Why don't you try pumping one side while she nurses on the other? That is how I got my first back to work bottles, and what I did when I needed an "extra" bottle. I never got a lot of milk this way- only an ounce or two at a session, but it added up. Sounds like you have a great stash started already. Milk tends to be more plentiful in the morning, so do this in the morning, until you feel comfortable with your stash. Your body will produce enough milk to satisfy her and give a little for the pump- plus its a lot easier to get a let down with the babe nursing on the other side.

Don't worry about not introducing the bottle earlier. IMO it doesn't really matter- babes who are hesitant to take a bottle are hesitant whether it is introduced at 4 weeks or 4 months. It is much better to forget about the baby needing to take the bottle and establish a good bf relationship and good milk supply. My DS wouldn't ever take a bottle if I was even remotely near, yet my first day back at work he only protested for a few minutes before taking the bottle from DH. If she has problems taking the bottle after you are back at work there are lots of people with experience with that.

You got lots of other great suggestions on having DH feed the bottle. I would add that my DS loved to be sung to and rocked and have his head stroked when he took a bottle from DH. He needed a little routine that involved a lot of interaction and contact- just like when he nursed with me. He even called it (or madethe sign for) nurse when he got old enough- to him nursing was yummy warm milk and lots of contact and love. That could come from Daddy too (with a little bit of help from mama and a pump).
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#5 of 5 Old 06-26-2006, 09:41 PM
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We started at 4 weeks but DH only gave him a bottle a couple of times a week. Just enough that it wouldn't be a foreign idea when it became necessary.
I could never master pumping and nursing at the same time so I would just pump when DH gave the bottle. I think I got the first few bottles by pumping when I was too full. It really helps to reduce the stress of going back to build up a freezer supply in advance.
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