I probably don't need to spell it out...but there is so little credible information out there for parents looking to introduce a bottle, mix feed, express feed or just formula feed.
YET...our exclusive breastfeeding rates are only 53% of mamas at 6 weeks, down to 22% by 6 months! With so many mamas doing some degree of formula feeding...why don't we have information?!
When it comes to introducing a bottle, if you plan to keep on breastfeeding...
1. USE A NARROW TEAT
Whilst a wide bottle looks great (latch wise) from the outside, the teats are often too short for babies to feed effectively. A narrow teat is much closer to what the breast and nipple do inside bubbas mouth. It's important the teat be able to reach deep and high into the mouth to stimulate sucking.
Years ago we used to talk about nipple confusion and thought that babies preferred bottles because of the teat shape - hence wide bottles gained popularity. However, the preference was to do with the speed of the teat. So second tip...
2. USE THE SLOWEST TEAT POSSIBLE
@drbrowns Preemie are probably my favourite because they're one of the few brands who go down slower than level 1. Many babies gag and spit it out because the dripping of the milk in their mouth without sucking confuses them.
I've also found parents saying their babies refuse to breastfeed as they get older (if having regular bottle feeds) and that's usually because we feel the need to increase levels as baby grows. If you're still breastfeeding...
3. STICK TO THE SLOWEST TEAT FOR AS LONG AS YOU BREASTFEED
Babies dont need to increase so stick with a preemie or level 1 teat...even if bubs is 10months old. This helps prevent a preference for a faster bottle feed.
And last but not least...
4. PACE BOTTLE FEED
This is super important for not overwhelming baby. It's also really helpful for preventing wind, gut issues, colic, reflux etc. because baby doesnt overfeed. Check out @mykidslickthebowl and search Paced Bottle Feeding. She has great recipes and tips as well!
And remember, all of this applies to babies who are exclusively formula fed as well. You can choose to increase teat size if you want but the slower a feed the more bubs can regulate how much they take.
Kekoa's owner Alexis is a midwife and nutritionist and loves to help new parents navigate all that comes with parenting. She regularly presents new topics to help inform you, and always aims for a balanced approach.