When oh when can I start trying a bottle? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 33 Old 01-23-2008, 05:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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For the sake of my sanity I need to have the option of leaving for an HOUR once in a while. My DS is only 2 weeks old...I'm sure it's probably too soon to try pumping and giving DH a bottle to try on him. I just can't be away from him at ALL because his sleeping/eating is unpredictable and don't want to leave DH with a screaming baby and no way to soothe him.

Andrea...wife, SAHM to 3.5 yo DS and 1 yo DD.

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#2 of 33 Old 01-23-2008, 05:36 PM
 
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6 weeks, I believe. That is if the baby will even take a bottle.



It gets better, really.
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#3 of 33 Old 01-23-2008, 05:55 PM
 
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Bottles are fine "when breastfeeding is well established" which is typically anywhere from 3-6 weeks. And yes, don't be surprised if the baby rejects the bottle at first.
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#4 of 33 Old 01-23-2008, 06:08 PM
 
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There will be a lot of people who will disagree with me, but with my kids I started with one bottle a day early on. With DS I had to go back to work (I work 4 hours every morning) at 6 weeks PP, so we started with one bottle a day at 4 weeks. It took him a few days to get used to it, but never had nipple confusion. With DD, I had to go back at 2 weeks PP. It's cruel that I had to go back so soon, but that's life. We started with one bottle each morning (2 hours after I nursed her and 2 hours before I would be home to nurse her again) when she was only 1 week old. It never hurt our nursing relationship, and she never had nipple confusion. I had extra milk in the fridge/freezer in case she needed an extra bottle. She easily went back and forth between the two without any problems. Maybe it was because it was just the one bottle a day, so she never got used to how easy the milk would come with the bottle compared to the breast?? I don't know. But it worked for us! I never gave either of my babies formula - only expressed breast milk. DD is still nursing and has never had formula or cow's milk yet.

I know every baby is different. But my sister had to go back to work early on too. She is an orthodontist and owns her own practice. With both of her kids, so started them at 2-3 weeks with one bottle a day and increased those bottles of expressed milk as needed when she had to go back full time. Neither of her kids had any problem switching back and forth either.
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#5 of 33 Old 01-23-2008, 06:14 PM
 
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I've een away from my ds a total of 4 hours--and thats 15 minutes here and there, never longer. You can start a bottle if you have a good bfing relationship, but I prefer not to in the early months.
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#6 of 33 Old 01-23-2008, 06:31 PM
 
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I started giving a bottle about 2 weeks.
If you leave it to 6 weeks, there is a real risk the baby will reject the bottle totally.
Just watch out for nipple confusion. If your baby is bf most of the time with only one bottle a day i don't think you will have a problem. I know far more people who have a breastfed baby who refuses to take a bottle at all than ones who refuse the breast!
What I used to do was give about 2oz of expressed milk every evening - that way I knew ds would take a bottle if he had to when I was away.

When I left ds with dh in the early months I would leave 3 bottles with 2oz in them -ds was big "sucker" (but didn't like pacifiers) and that worked out fine- as long as he could suck on something with milk coming out he was contented
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#7 of 33 Old 01-23-2008, 06:37 PM
 
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My thought is to wait until at least 6 weeks, preferably longer, so it doesn't interfere with bf'ing. Do you have a good sling or mei tai? That helps SO much in the early days and you can get around AND be with baby. Good luck!
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#8 of 33 Old 01-23-2008, 07:01 PM
 
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The consensus among the experts seems to be three weeks (if all is going well, no nipple pain, good supply).

Six weeks is late, you risk them rejecting it.
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#9 of 33 Old 01-23-2008, 07:21 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DoulaLMT View Post
For the sake of my sanity I need to have the option of leaving for an HOUR once in a while. My DS is only 2 weeks old...I'm sure it's probably too soon to try pumping and giving DH a bottle to try on him. I just can't be away from him at ALL because his sleeping/eating is unpredictable and don't want to leave DH with a screaming baby and no way to soothe him.
i did it at 12 days...left DD with my mom and dad for about 2 hours while DH and i went out to dinner. we had no problems from this. i think it's a personal call; once you are confident in your nursing relationship, go for it

dissertating wife of Boo, mama of one "mookie" lovin' 2 year old girl! intactlact:: CTA until 7/10 FF 1501dc
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#10 of 33 Old 01-23-2008, 07:29 PM
 
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I started DS on a bottle at 5 weeks, as I was planning to return to work at 7 weeks. I never used bottles consistenly with the girls.

Would you say that BF is already well established, or do you still feel like you're both learning how to nurse well? You might be OK introducing a bottle now, or you might be better off waiting another week or two.

Also remember that bottles aren't the only ways to feed ebm to a baby. I wouldn't hesitate to feed a newborn with a syringe or finger feeder if for some reason BF wasn't possible for that particular feeding. This can certianly work for a 2 week old as well, as long as your DH (or mother or whoever is with the baby) is willing to use whatever feeding method you've selected and you're able to pump an ounce or so before leaving.

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19 (in Israel for another school year), Hannah, 18 (commuting to college), and Jack, 12(homeschooled)
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#11 of 33 Old 01-23-2008, 07:30 PM
 
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Originally Posted by forestrymom View Post
I've een away from my ds a total of 4 hours--and thats 15 minutes here and there, never longer.
i never find comments like this to be very helpful when people post things like the OP posted. it's great that you are comfortable only being away from your baby for 15 minutes at a time during the first 4 months, but for many people that's not possible, and for many others, it's not desirable. FWIW, i fall into both camps

dissertating wife of Boo, mama of one "mookie" lovin' 2 year old girl! intactlact:: CTA until 7/10 FF 1501dc
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#12 of 33 Old 01-23-2008, 07:34 PM
 
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The first few weeks really can be miserable.
We started a bottle at around 5-6 weeks (would have tried earlier but the holidays got in the way).

In the meantime, try carving out some time for yourself anyway you can. After you feed the baby, hand him off to dh and take a nice long shower, or go for a walk, or have some really good chocolate or whatever. You're there in case of "emergency", but can get some solitude, plus it will help dh learn how to be a good parent too.

DS (2) and someone new in March 2011
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#13 of 33 Old 01-23-2008, 07:59 PM
 
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Breastfeeding-supportive sources say wait 6 weeks.

-Angela
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#14 of 33 Old 01-23-2008, 09:08 PM
 
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We started at 3.5 weeks with my DD because I will be returning to work at 8 weeks, but I did make sure that our BFing relationship was well established before we introduced the bottle. FWIW, we use the new Medela bottles and have not experienced any problems switching from bottle to breast. Good luck.

Jenn
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#15 of 33 Old 01-23-2008, 09:46 PM
 
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i thought it was 6 weeks.

Chrissy, lucky mama to Noah (9), Lilah (6), Rowan (3) and Laney (1).
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#16 of 33 Old 01-23-2008, 09:50 PM
 
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kellymom says 3-4 weeks. That is what I tried and it worked for about a month. Then she refused a bottle. Next baby did same. :


http://www.kellymom.com/bf/pumping/a...e-feeding.html
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#17 of 33 Old 01-23-2008, 10:35 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alegna View Post
Breastfeeding-supportive sources say wait 6 weeks.

-Angela
Oh, silly me, I thought kellymom, Dr Newman and LLL were breastfeeding supportive organisations. They all say three weeks, and no later than six.

http://www.kellymom.com/bf/pumping/a...e-feeding.html
http://breastfeeding.suite101.com/ar...arting_bottles
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#18 of 33 Old 01-23-2008, 10:41 PM
 
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i think 4-6 weeks. i wouldnt do it before 2 weeks personally. plus i just never wanted to leave my baby until he was about a year old. i know that sounds weird but its just how i felt. i have two friends who both nurse their kids and they both left baby for a couple hours at 2 weeks. so to each their own. the one friend has been successfully nursing for 2 years now, the other for 5 months.
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#19 of 33 Old 01-23-2008, 10:44 PM
 
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I waited until DD was 10 weeks and then had the DH give her a bottle. She did fine.
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#20 of 33 Old 01-23-2008, 10:49 PM
 
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We started our DS with a bottle at 4 weeks (one per day from DH). There were no problems with nipple confusion until we used a pacifier on a long car trip. Directly after having had the pacifier this one time, he couldn't get the hang of my nipple at the next feeding and I wound up with a horrible blister! We have not used a pacifier since and the bottle continues to work just fine (once sometimes twice a day when I work)
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#21 of 33 Old 01-23-2008, 10:52 PM
 
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I just can't be away from him at ALL because his sleeping/eating is unpredictable and don't want to leave DH with a screaming baby and no way to soothe him.
when my DH was a baby, his mom left him with his dad for a while and he was screaming inconsolably. FIL simply comfort "nursed" him and it worked like a charm!! and FIL was a macho Vietnam vet! just sayin'

DD1 7/13/05 DD2 9/20/10
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#22 of 33 Old 01-23-2008, 10:53 PM
 
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I can tell you not to wait until 12 weeks. I didn't realize that babies rejected bottles, I thought the only worry was breast rejection. Boy was I surprised. LOL

treehugger.gifAutistic pagan mama with five kiddos on the spectrum, learning through living life. autismribbon.gif  computergeek2.gif

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#23 of 33 Old 01-24-2008, 03:16 AM
 
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Looks like you got your answer... anywhere from day one (according to some) to 6 weeks would be okay to start.

I just wanted to add that I was told to wait until 6 weeks or longer but we ended up giving ds a bottle of ebm around 4 weeks at night so I could get to sleep earlier... or have a bath... or go out for a walk-- anything alone!?!

Hope you get some time to yourself!!
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#24 of 33 Old 01-24-2008, 10:17 AM
 
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You sound overwhelmed with a little one that needs you all the time. Having a baby is quite a life changing event. If you are unsure about giving DH the baby because you are concerned that the baby will cry while you and gone and you aren't sure about giving a bottle either, prehaps you could put the baby in a sling a good for a little stroll. Often the babe sleeps and you can get fresh air and clear your head. Or have a nice shower. It can be difficult in the beginning but as your body heals and you get to know your beautiful baby things will get better. HUGS
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#25 of 33 Old 01-24-2008, 10:28 AM
 
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You can offer a bottle whenever you want to. You can pump whenever you are ready to do so. Just know that skipping a feeding can decrease your supply the more often you do it.

Personally, we started at 3 weeks with baby #1. Baby #2 would never accept a bottle. Baby #3 refused a bottle until around 5 months (we'd offer every few weeks while I was exercising and he was with my husband). FWIW the one that had ebm in a bottle at 3 weeks and while I worked part-time was my longest nurser (weaned at age 3).

Giving your husband a little alone time with the baby is a great way for him to gain confidence as a dad...even if he has to develop his own calming techniques for a fussy baby. For a shirt time it will be alright.

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#26 of 33 Old 01-24-2008, 10:32 AM
 
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I offered a bottle and pacifier within days of each other at 5 weeks. She took the paci immediately but we're still working on the bottle. When she's fussy she won't take a mommy-substitute. I wouldn't introduce the bottle any earlier than about 4 weeks personally. I didn't stop having nipple pain until about the 3rd week and I wouldn't jeopardize the progress we made by doing it sooner.

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#27 of 33 Old 01-24-2008, 10:37 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruthla View Post
Also remember that bottles aren't the only ways to feed ebm to a baby. I wouldn't hesitate to feed a newborn with a syringe or finger feeder if for some reason BF wasn't possible for that particular feeding. This can certianly work for a 2 week old as well, as long as your DH (or mother or whoever is with the baby) is willing to use whatever feeding method you've selected and you're able to pump an ounce or so before leaving.
Good advice.

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#28 of 33 Old 01-24-2008, 11:17 AM
 
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So, I know other people have already posted similar things, but I wouldn't wait the full 6 weeks again for my second. I did with dd, and she still doesn't take a bottle well. I'll probably start at about 3 weeks next time as long as I feel like bfing is going well. And there's nothing wrong with wanting to take care of yourself - in the early days, I found that even a one hour workout or time reading a book peacefully could make a world of difference in my worldview and mood. (Heck, I still find this is true!)
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#29 of 33 Old 01-24-2008, 11:19 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Ruthla View Post
Also remember that bottles aren't the only ways to feed ebm to a baby. I wouldn't hesitate to feed a newborn with a syringe or finger feeder if for some reason BF wasn't possible for that particular feeding. This can certianly work for a 2 week old as well, as long as your DH (or mother or whoever is with the baby) is willing to use whatever feeding method you've selected and you're able to pump an ounce or so before leaving.
Just to follow up on this, we used a Hazelbaker finger feeder in the early days with dd1 (because of bf'ing issues to help her learn to nurse) and dh was able to do it sometimes. It's fiddly but I think it's more bf'ing compatible in the early days than bottles.
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#30 of 33 Old 01-24-2008, 01:03 PM
 
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ds will be 4 months on the first.... hes had one bottle, at about 3 months... he took it well enough, just ate slowly, and kept popping off, then wanting more a few minutes later (like when hes nursing, lol) it took him about an hour to eat 4oz

*~*Ashley*~* newly single mama to Tristan 10/01/2007
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