Wow. Another thing no one tells you about when you start out on your breastfeeding journey. Which would never have changed my choice to breastfeed. Maybe because not all babies are so fussy or just prefer breast. The comfort, smell and warmth of being so close to mommy clearly triumphed the bottle. My goodness. I never realised that it would be such a struggle to get our little girl to take a bottle of expressed milk, so that daddy could enjoy some bonding time with his precious little girl.
No one said motherhood was easy but it most certainly is worth it. After we had established a good milk supply and breastfeeding, it was time to introduce baby to bottle. As much as I loved and enjoyed breastfeeding it’s nice to have a break and catch up on some sleep. Have a nice hot bath, wash your hair. Well the struggle was real. Our little girl took a bottle for about a whole two weeks twice a day. Once in the morning with granny and once in the evening with daddy. Then the teething or a mental leap began and that was the end of our bottle feeding twice a day. Which left me with the task of trying everything possible to get our precious little girl to take a bottle again.
I tried different times of the day, letting her nurse first and then offering the bottle but she wasn’t having any of it. I also read not to force the issue as this creates a negative association with the bottle. So if she played with the teat in her mouth for a while it was a small step forward in the right direction. I tried different bottles and teats, Dr Browns, Medela, Minbie to name but a few but if the flow wasn’t right she would end up choking on milk and when she eventually did take a bottle it didn’t last long. Leaving me back at square one. Luckily I received 2 of the above as gifts at my baby shower so only ended up having to buy one or two new bottles to try.
Eventually I just gave up and resigned to the fact that I would probably be breastfeeding until I went back to work. Until I spoke to my sister, who’s best friend said to try a variflow teat. A what? I said. I’d never heard of these before, which by the way only Tommie Tippee make! I have included a link to the Tommee Tippe variflow teat on amazon, the only teats she uses. I was so excited and couldn’t be happier to finally be able to enjoy a lie in and catch up on some sleep or not have to stop half way through drying my wet hair, to feed our little girl and enjoy the luxury of going out to get a mani/pedi again.
Breastfed babies have to work harder to get their milk so by using a variflow teat she was in control of the flow of milk. Bottle fed babies you usually increase the teat flow as they get older but this isn’t the same for a breastfed baby, which was news to me. I wish I had know this sooner after struggling for nearly 6 months to try and get our little girl to take a bottle giving me a little more freedom to do the things I needed. The last 2 months of my breastfeeding journey our little girl slowly started weaning her self off the breast and would take a bottle during the day and nurse only at night, which I’m assuming is a comfort thing. Meaning daddy could finally have some bonding time with his little girl and share the feeding early morning or just before bed giving me a much needed break at time.
To save yourself some time and money buying different bottles and teats I would recommend trying the Tommee Tippee variflow teats first.
Did any of you ladies have any issues making the transition between breastfeeding and taking a bottle?