Introduction of the bottle is usually the simplest form of weaning. Breastfeeding, as always is strongly recommended for babies at least until the 6th month. Breastfeeding is easy; how to stop breastfeeding is slightly difficult, especially if you don’t know how.
If you cannot directly feed baby from the breast, then don’t go out to buy formula as quick as a wink. Try expressing milk first. Why? This will give your baby the benefits of your breast milk (Higher immunity to infections and sickness, a healthier digestive tract, etc.) and also lessen the chances of you contracting breast inflammation (due to incorrect stopping of lactation.).
It is best suggested to start baby for bottle-feeding until he is 4 to 6 weeks old. This will ensure that you will still have a well-established milk supply and lessens the chances of baby getting confused between breast and the bottle. Sucking on a bottle would require different mouth, tongue and swallowing movements from breastfeeding, so don’t fret if it may take a while for the infant to get used to it.
Bottle-wise, use a silicone nipple. Warm the nipple under water (or you can dip it in a warm cup of water) before giving the bottle to the baby. Since babies are used to breast milk, most of them will accept expressed milk instead of formula ones.
Usually, weaning starts off with giving her a bottle just before feeding time. It would be perfect, as the baby is not too hungry but may eye and try the bottle out of curiosity. Giving the bottle to her while she is in the throes of her crying is a bad idea as baby will be confused and frustrated due to the hard nipple of the bottle.
You can also try giving him the bottle when she is already sleepy or not yet fully awake (and most of the time, about to go to sleep again). Most mothers attest that this is effective in eventual introduction of the bottle while their babies are already fully awake.
Try to have someone else in the family give him his first bottle. It could be the dad, the brother or sister, a partner, grandparents – anyone who will feed her in your absence. Your presence will make your baby confused as to why he’s getting the bottle and not your breast. He’ll soon go along with the notion that you can breastfeed him or bottle-feed him and it wouldn’t matter what you gave him anymore.
You don’t need to force the bottle on baby. If he cries at your first try and insists on the breast, then back-off and try at a later date. He’ll eventually get the idea that you’re just trying to feed him, so don’t worry.
With time, dedication and effort, your baby will eventually wean to the bottle. This is in preparation for the inevitable weaning to solids.
What are the difficulties encountered in weaning breastfeeding your baby? Know how to stop breastfeeding Click on the links for more info.
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