Introducing the Breastbottle Nurser To Your Infant

Breast shaped baby bottle simulates breastfeeding. Ideal for feeding 
expressed/pumped breastmilk, or infant formula.

It is not uncommon for babies to refuse bottles on first introduction, and skillful technique may be required for a comfortable transition. Some babies who are bottle fed at the hospital may even reject the mother's breast in favor of the bottle to which they have grown accustomed. The Breastbottle nurser is designed to reduce confusion that often arises when switching between breast and bottle. To help minimize potential trauma involved in introducing a new feeding source, we offer the following guidelines:

1. Be sure to read and fully understand the instructions that come with every Breastbottle nurser or visit our instruction page. If necessary, adjust the flow rate of the Breastbottle nurser's nipple to fit your baby's age, then sterilize the parts for 5 minutes in boiling water. Generally it is best to start with only one duct open, unless your baby is accustomed to an above average flow.

2. Try to introduce the Breastbottle nurser when your baby is only moderately hungry, and is in a happy mood.

3. There are differences of opinion on the subject, but many believe that Mom should not be the one to introduce a bottle, since she reminds her baby of breastfeeding. In any event, the person giving the bottle needs to feel comfortable doing so. Babies have good instincts, and will feel more relaxed with a confident, loving care giver.

4. The care giver should cuddle and rock the baby, providing warm, secure feelings.

5. Try the hold shown in the photo above. Best results are often obtained using the typical breastfeeding position. Babies who can sit up may prefer to feed themselves, gripping the base of the bottle with both hands.

6. Gently stimulate the baby's mouth with the nipple, as is done when introducing a baby to the breast. Let the baby "mouth" it and become familiar with it. If you get an immediate rejection, don't try to force it, no matter how frustrated you may be. It may take many attempts over a period of weeks for your baby to get in the mood to accept any bottle.

7. Once your baby successfully latches onto the Breastbottle nurser, give her positive feedback. Try other holds and positions until you find the ones most comfortable.

8. If your baby repeatedly refuses the Breastbottle nurser, you can try different nipple temperatures. Put the nurser in the refrigerator (teething babies like this) or run warm, not hot, water over it.

9. Babies who are accustomed to breastfeeding will likely do best with breast milk, though in some instances older babies may accept only water on first introduction.

When none of the above approaches seem to work over a period of a week or two of repeated attempts, there are a few other possibilities. Although Breastbottle nursers have an unusually high acceptance rate, your baby may not be willing to accept any substitute for Mom. Talk with a lactation consultant or your pediatrician about other possible alternatives.

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