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My DS is almost two weeks old. She is breastfeeding really well, and her latch is getting better all the time. She can almost latch herself on at this point.
:

Is it still too early to introduce a bottle (so dad can feed her on occasion)? I think I've heard 3 weeks or a month as the ideal time. But I wanted to hear from some mamas with experience.

Thanks!
 

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I introduced a pacifier at four weeks and a bottle at five, and never had any nipple confusion issues. DS weaned himself off the pacifier at 6mos, and now no longer takes a bottle at 12 (I think he nightweaned himself at about 10mos, and I work nights).
 

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DS was a BF champ so we introduced a bottle at 3 weeks but it was one bottle every other day. At one point we got up to a bottle a day (because I was so sleep deprived...it allowed me to sleep through a feeding in the evening) but the whole bottle thing ended by the time he was 2 months old. It was just too much trouble to pump. After that point I think he's maybe had 3-4 bottles.
 

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My DD was introduced to a bottle in her first week - I did continue to exclusively BF her til 6 months - and continued to BF til 16 months.

We limited it to one bottle a day - reason was I had a lot of blistering issues and stuff. But it sure helped for when I had to work 1 or 2 days a week, she would take the bottle from DH just fine. But she BF just fine too!

Some may disagree, but I think if it is something that is going to be used now and then, starting early just so they can learn it is good. I've talked to a few moms who never tried a bottle until 4 months and the baby refused no matter how many times it was offered which dampered on some of their plans.
 

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We introduced a bottle around 6 weeks, which according to some LCs is the best time. He caught on pretty quickly. However, after that he refused to nurse at the breast a few times - he would howl every time I got him close. So we took a break from the bottle for a while, introduced it again a week or so later, and it went fine that time.

After that I got lazy and didn't pump any more for a few weeks. Now, today, at 11 and a half weeks I pumped just a couple of ounces so I could be out of the house for a few hours, and he refused to take the bottle! We'll keep trying and hopefully he'll pick it up again, but DH had no luck while I was out of the house earlier today.

So, whether you introduce the bottle now or wait until he's 6 weeks old, keep in mind that once you introduce the bottle, it's important to give him one at least every few days to make sure he will continue to accept it!
 

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I would say 3 or 4 weeks is ideal as long as breastfeeding is going really well. We have DD her first bottle at 3 weeks and she took it just fine. But it freaked me out a little so we waited a little over a week to try again and it was much harder that time. Then she refused to take another one even though we kept trying until she was 7 weeks. Now she gets about 4-5 bottles a week just to make sure she keeps taking it.

I agree with the PP who said that once you give her a bottle, make sure to keep giving it 2 or 3 times a week.

Congrats on your LO and on successful breastfeeding!
 

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I'm going to through a different point of view out there. I waited to give my DD a bottle until I returned to work at 12 wks. It's worked out really well for us. She has no problems with the bottle and no problems nursing when I'm home. I waited that long because we had a hard time nursing starting out. We didn't have all the kinks worked out and a consistently good latch going until she was 9 or 10 weeks old. The other thing we do is that she NEVER gets a bottle if I'm home, only when I'm gone. So she knows that when she's home with Dad (WAHD) and Grandma she gets bottles; when mom gets home she gets it straight from the tap!
 

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We started at 2.5 weeks. I had intended to wait until at least 3 but desperately needed a break (SO glad we have a pump!). He only gets one or two a week & has had no confusion issues.
 

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Breastfeeding-friendly sources usually say 6 weeks. I would not consider it before 4.

Be very very careful. Artificial nipples at ANY time can cause breastfeeding issues.

I would not personally ever risk it just for dad to feed.

-Angela
 

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As Paula mentioned above, one of the biggies is that whenever you introduce a bottle, it's a skill that, to keep up with, needs practice. I guess my perspective is different cause I worked when both my kids were little, and pumping is such a pain! Guess cause I had to, vs. doing it because I wanted to. I am looking forward (if/when the day comes) to another baby where I never, ever have to pump.

ETA: for older babies who may not be interested in bottles (if they never learned or got out of practice), they can often take various types of cups younger than you'd (okay, I'd) expect, so for older babies, the whole learning to suck on a bottle thing can be skipped, though there's still the pumping to do.
 

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I'd say between 4-6 wks is the best time to avoid nipple confusion. I introduced the pacifier at 4 wks and the bottle at 6 wks (I had to go back to work at 8 wks) and we have had zero nipple confusion thus far (thankfully).

I'd also suggest looking into the most bfing friendly artificial nipples out there to lessen the change as much as possible. I use breastflow bottles because they are the most like the breast in the way that babe has to move his tongue/mouth/jaw in order to eat. (You can get them at Target and Toys R Us) This way the babe doesn't get a "lazy suck" from a regular bottle.

Good luck.
 

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I wish I had done it sooner and more consistently. DD never took a bottle at all. I worked from home and had a nanny. So I guess we got lazy since it was usually so convenient.

She took one or two around 3-5 weeks, and again around 8. But we didn't try again until 10 or 12. By then, she wouldn't take anything but the real thing. It was such a drain on me and the $$$ ... to try every type of fancy bottle out there.

I'm proud she is still BFing at 15 mo (alot!) ... but it sure would have been nice to have had her able to do bottles. The 3-4 times I HAD to go somewhere (work or family emergency at hosp) she had a few drops from a medicine dropper, but basically waited for me.

I was SO nervous about BFing actually working, that I erred on the side of caution, and was TOO cautious!

Good luck mama!
BTW - she has been doing sippies better and better since about 10.5mo and now does them great.
 
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