Breast milk is the best nutrition for babies. However, for working mothers who will soon go back to work, direct breastfeeding will not always be possible, so it becomes necessary to train the baby to drink expressed breast milk from the feeding bottle or shift him to infant formula altogether.
How to to introduce the bottle to your baby
However, a baby who is used to the comfort of his mother's breasts will not always take the bottle readily because the feel of the silicone nipple feels so foreign in his mouth. Here are a few tips you can try.
1. Don't give the bottle when your baby is very hungry.
Apart from nourishment, the boob represents comfort when he's hungry. Therefore, it's not surprising that he will refuse the silicone nipple. A baby in a good mood (a.k.a. not very hungry) may be more open to trying the bottle if he only has to drink from it leisurely.
2. Let your child take the silicone nipple AND your finger together.
One mom said said this weird trick worked for her. "I held the bottle from underneath and put my pinky in his mouth with the bottle nipple. I have no idea why this worked or what made me think to try it, but hey, whatever works! It sometimes takes a few tries, but once he's eating I can take my pinky out after a few seconds, and he'll continue to drink the bottle. Now he'll sometimes take it without the pinky trick. Even if he still needs that, he resists a lot less."
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3. Alternately give him the pacifier and the bottle.
Another mom suggested to train your baby's sucking reflex first by letting him take a pacifier in his mouth, then replacing it with a feeding bottle after a few minutes. Her baby has successfully been feeding on bottles since.
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4. Taste your milk.
Breast milk contains an enzyme called lipase that helps to emulsify fat and makes the milk easily digestible for babies. A high lipase content, however, could cause breast milk to taste soapy or metallic, which could be one of the reasons your baby won't drink it. To get rid of this, it is recommended to scald the milk as described here.
Remember that babies are used to sucking from the breast to draw milk, so a bottle nipple that flows freely can give the baby discomfort or even cause him to choke. Another advantage of using a slow-flow nipple is it won't feel too different from the breast so you can still do direct breastfeeding (some babies refuse the breast after getting used to the bottle).
6. Get someone else to give the bottle.
Holding your baby the same way when you feed him with the bottle as when you breastfeed him may cause some confusion. To avoid this, have someone else introduce the feeding bottle — dad, or a grandparent, for example — or use other means to give the milk to your baby, like a sippy cup or a syringe.