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  1. #1
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    Default When to introduce bottle of breastmilk

    My LO is 3.5 weeks old and I am hoping to introduce a bottle of expressed breast milk in the near future. Breast-feeding has been going okay - her latch is good and she is gaining weight really well; I had some cracking at the beginning but that has healed and we haven't had any more issues. The problem is that some days she wants to breastfeed literally all day long and that causes me pain and frustration. I'd like to pump and give her the occasional bottle on these days. Does anyone have any advice as to when I should start? I was thinking 4 weeks but a lot of what I have read says not to go by age, but to wait until bf-ing is well established. How do I even know if it's "well established"? I think it is...? Any advice would be appreciated. TIA.

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    I was told not before 6 weeks.
    my daughter nursed all day too. Its time consuming but totally normal. Its good to let her.
    that being said my daughters never had a bottle. We tried last week just to see and it was a bust. Oh well.
    Last edited by Nemo; 08-13-2013 at 06:44 PM.

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    start as soon as you can, most bf babies will not take a bottle as they get older.

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    I was told it was okay as soon as breastfeeding is well established. Could be 4 weeks for some, and 8 weeks for others.

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    I would wait until 6 wks, as well, and try to not be too disappointed if it doesn't work. It would be much worse to get into problems with nipple confusion vs. her not wanting a bottle. Are you giving her a soother at all?

    Btw, just a heads up that unless you've already tried and had great success with it, some women, not all, have difficulty with pumping and honestly, it's much easier to sit and nurse a baby than to pump, IMO.

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    We introduced a bottle to DS who is 8wks today when he was about 6wks and going through a growth spurt he took it fine but he still felt the need to nurse after that, so it really was waste. We are still hoping to introduce a bottle but it is hard for me to fit it in on a reg basis. Also the constant nursing helps to build your milk supply and by taking away a nursing session you could mess up your milk, at least that is what I believe happens.

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    Warning......if you give her a bottle this young, you do run the risk of her rejecting the breast later. Once my daughter figured out how quick and easy it was to drink from a bottle, she would no longer breast feed. I would wait a bit.
    "Anything is better than lies and deceit". Leo Tolstoy

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    Oh and it gets easier!! So much easier!
    my daughter can drain a breast in a few minutes flat.
    Also 90% of the time I can stop crying by shoving a boob in her face

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    I'm kind of a fan of the earlier, the better... I had trouble getting my last one to switch from breast to bottle which is a bit problematic when you have the opportunity to go out for a couple of hours!
    I have 4 boys ages 7, 5, and 3 and newborn

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    Thanks everyone for your responses. I guess I will wait a bit longer to introduce a bottle, sounds like 6 weeks would be a safe bet but I know every baby is different. Can anyone tell me how I will know if breastfeeding is "well established"? I think it is...she has a good latch most of the time, she sucks and swallows vigorously when she's on the breast, she has plenty of wet/poopy diapers, she's gaining lots of weight, I don't have any more cracking or bleeding....but it's still painful, especially when she nurses all day long. It's not unbearable, toe-curling pain but it's painful enough that I don't want to do it.

    Doda94 - I haven't given her a soother at all, and I don't plan to if I can avoid it. I tried pumping when my milk first came in (for storage, I didn't give any expressed milk to my LO) and I didn't mind it at all. I found it far less painful than nursing. It's definitely not as convenient, but I don't know how much more my nipples can handle. I guess they are more sensitive than other women's since most people say nursing doesn't hurt...

    Katie - Thank you for your encouraging words. I know it's going to get better eventually but it can be so frustrating in the moment. Right when I think it's getting better we'll have a bad day or a bad feed and then I am discouraged again and want to give a bottle. It's nice to know my baby isn't the only one who feeds all day. I was getting a little worried.

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    Nope so normal. After about 2 months it didnt hurt anymore either. When she'd first latch I'd clench my whole body it hurt, and now it doesnt hurt at all. Someone told me nipples just need to toughen up, and then its painless.
    I think the problem with the pump is its not effective always. I could only ever pump an oz or two. I gave up.

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    I gave my daughters a bottle early on (sorry I don't remember how many weeks they were) and successfully went from breast to bottle no problem the entire time I breastfed. I would only give a bottle maybe once a day at most.

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    I started my dd right from the beginning doing both.. breastfeeding and bottled breastmilk. I think it depends on the baby, but my daughter loved to eat and in the end I don't think it mattered to her how she got it. I have heard from people though that the longer you wait the harder it is to get a breastfed baby to take a bottle. I know first hand when I once babysat a baby that was exclusively breastfed. I got to watch her on her first day with a bottle and it didn't work out well at all. She was about 4-5 months then. Best of luck! I am sure it will work out

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    I breastfeed and have been pumping every am, and use bottles when I make a trip into London when i am shopping for convenience, I use medela and she seems to adjust ok breathing is off compared to bf due to a different suckered but she has no problem finishing it I think there is something called calma that allows a breast fed baby to feed like a bf baby with a bottle....but it does get better my daughter just turned a month and hadspurts of all day and night feeds around 3. And4 weeks I was about to give up as it is hard to do with a 21 month old...hang in there mama!!!





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