Tips for transitioning from breastfeeding to bottle-feeding

Babies are sensitive about their mealtime habits.

Bottle-feeding frees up time for busy moms. However, like most of us, breastfed babies don’t take too kindly to anybody messing around with their mealtime. You’re likely to meet some initial resistance when you decide to introduce baby to the bottle, but with a little patience, it is possible to transition to bottle-feeding without tears.

Moms transition from breastfeeding to bottle-feeding for a variety of reasons.

  • Your support system can take over some of the feeding sessions, allowing you to get rest.
  • You might be itching to get back to the office, and a bottle fed baby makes that easier.
  • Maybe you’ve never really taken to breastfeeding or it just feels like it’s time to move on.

When is the best time to introduce a bottle?

If you’re planning to add pumping to your breastfeeding routine or to transition completely to pumping, hold off on adding a bottle until you’ve established a breastfeeding routine and a healthy milk supply, usually two to four weeks. Beyond that, try to find a time when your household is settled so that the bottle isn’t associated with stress.

How long does it take for a breastfed baby to adjust to bottle-feeding?

Even if you’re ready to move baby to the bottle, it’s not unusual for breastfed babies to resist bottle feedings initially. Give yourself and baby at least two weeks to adjust to the change. During this period, evaluate how effectively your little one is feeding from the bottle and make any necessary adjustments.

How do I maintain my milk volume when I start bottle-feeding my baby?

Your breastmilk volume depends on how frequently and completely your breast is emptied of milk. In order to maintain your milk volume, continue breastfeeding whenever possible and pump based on your breastfeeding routine. The more you express, the more breastmilk you will produce.

What kind of bottle nipples do breastfed babies prefer?

Many breastfed babies prefer a slow flow bottle nipple that more closely resembles the flow of milk during nursing sessions. However, babies can be particular about bottle nipples. If your baby doesn’t like one nipple, don’t give up. Be prepared to try a few different styles before you find the perfect bottle nipple for your baby.

What is the best pump for moms who want to transition to bottle-feeding?

If your main goal is freedom, two wearable breast pumps stand out: the Willow Go™ and the Elvie Stride. Both of these breast pumps can be slipped into your nursing bra so you can pump while you work, run errands, or relax. Because they’re so discreet, you can easily maintain a pumping schedule no matter where you are.

What is the best milk for bottle-fed babies?

Breastmilk is still the best milk for babies, and switching to the bottle doesn’t have to mean giving up the benefits of breastmilk. Today’s sleek, comfortable breast pumps make it easy to maintain your milk supply and your freedom, and most health insurance providers cover breast pumps 100%. Not sure if yours does? Get in touch. We’ll find out for you.