The transition between breastfeeding to a bottle, the struggles are real… 

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?

Nursing in public

I thought I would share some handy little tips for breastfeeding around friends and family or out in public that really helped me. 

It’s amazing how one simple thing can feel so overwhelming and stressful when you have a hungry crying baby while you’re out and need to find a place you can sit and feed with out feeling exposed or making others around you feel awkward or uncomfortable. 

This is something I seriously struggled with in the beginning and as our little girl started getting older for various reasons. At first it was about finding a way to feed her and still be able to see what I was doing and making sure she was comfortable. My goodness. The struggle was real and infuriating when I had to think about making sure I was covered up and still try and get my precious little bundle of joy latched on so she could nurse. I just couldn’t get the hang of using a nursing shawl. I was just too much for me. Thankfully I had my mom or MIL or partner with me to ask for help making sure I wasn’t exposed so I could concentrate on my daughter. 

A friend of mine who I previously mentioned, the breastfeeding consultant, with loads of experience suggested wearing two tops when going out to make nursing easier and more comfortable. Which in turn meant I was less stressed and baby wasn’t picking up on my energy making it more stressful. Babies pull off the breast and as they get older and become distracted to look around leaving you exposed. So when my friend suggest wearing two tops it was a breathe of fresh air. A sigh of relief. Why hadn’t I thought of this before! Or read this somewhere!

So what I used to do was wear a spagetti strap top under a tank top. Or a tank top under another top, so that when it was time to nurse all I had to do was unclip my nursing bra and pull down the side of the top I was nursing from just enough for baby to nurse. Which meant any exposed skin on my chest was covered as well as my belly. Meaning I felt more comfortable feeding in public and more able to concentrate on making sure my little girl was properly latched on and able to feed comfortably. 

As she got older I would tuck a muzzi, as I call it, (another word for muslin), just under the strap of my tank top in case I needed to cover up if she got distracted for any reason. 

This also saves you money in the long run and gives you freedom to still dress in way you usually would. Dresses unfortunately didn’t make it out the wardrobe for months, until our little girl eventually decided to take a bottle when we were out. 

I hope you found this as helpful as I did. 

Below a photo I found online for you two see what I’m talking about.