Introducing the Bottle After Two Weeks. What If She Prefers It?

Updated on August 21, 2010
H.H. asks from San Clemente, CA
11 answers

My baby is just over two weeks. I've been struggling with a lazy eater and a just adequate milk supply. By direction of my lactation consultant, I have been pumping and syringe feeding with expressed breast milk. Its getting tedious to syringe feed since its not just two or so syringes she takes but needs more like 3-4 after a feeding. I want to give it to her in a bottle now, but am terrified. One of the reasons I could not breast feed my first is that she was introduced to the bottle and became too frustrated at the breast. I just couldn't fight her preference for the bottle with my low milk supply and ended up switching to formula at 6 weeks. I'm just scared it will happen again. So is it really safe to introduce the bottle after two weeks? I'd love to hear your experience with this. (fyi, she is still a few ounces short of her birth weight, and thats why I'm trying to supplement ((though with breast milk, not formula))).

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answers from New York on

Every baby is different, but when my daughter was born her first 3 days were bottle only. She was in the NICU and I had a fever and could not see her. All I could do was pump and watch the nurse walk away with the bottle. On the bright side, my husband was in the NICU with her and was able to feed her. After I was able to see her we started nursing and there were no problems, she took to it like a champ. The end result was that she would take either and I was able to pump and then be able to go out for a little while with out having to worry about her being hungry.

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

It generally is not recommended at the young of an age.... to introduce a bottle... and due to nipple confusion.
Perhaps, speak to your Pediatrician and the Lactation Consultant about your concerns and previous experience with nursing.

Ultimately, the priority for me personally is this: That whether by breast or bottle... the bottom-line is that, a NEWBORN needs to feed, needs to get adequate intake for development and growth... and nutrition.. .and so they do NOT get dehydrated. And be fed ON-demand. 24/7.
So, whether by bottle or breast... the well being and proper intake for the baby, is the priority. If she is not getting adequate intake... then, something needs to be done, so that she does get adequate intake. Daily. 24/7.

How is her intake? Via the syringe???
And, a newborn has growth-spurts every 3 weeks. And at those times they need added intake and they get hungrier.

No matter what your decision... don't feel guilty. You are trying your best.
Get additional advice from your Pediatrician and Lactation Consultant... then make a decision.

all the best,

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Austin on

I had a lazy eater too... I had to introduce the bottle a couple times while in the hospital due to health issues for both of us, but I put her to breast whenever I could (after some meds were out of my system...) But she was SUCH a lazy eater! I put her primarily on the bottle... but after a while (she was about 6 weeks by then) I decided to try putting her back to breast... It did take a few tries, but she got it! Now she is 3 1/2 months, and mostly breast fed. She still gets 1-3 bottles while I am working, and her last feeding before bed is from the bottle. (She got a LOT more efficient... now she takes 5-10 minutes to nurse...) I don't know if it matters or not, but I use the old-school bottles and nipples... I tried the Nuk and the Dr. Browns, and a few other "specialty" nipples but she always preferred the old fashioned ones. :) good luck!

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answers from Goldsboro on

I had a difficult c-section and my son wasn't brought to me until almost 3 hours after birth. Needless to say, that didn't bode well for breastfeeding. Throw in a bad case of jaundice and some pushy peds and by the time we got home from the hospital, I was frustrated beyond belief. My son had his first bottle of formula at 4 days old, and while he slept, I pulled out my brand new pump and pumped.
I ended up exclusively pumping for 4 months. It was the hardest thing I've ever done, like having 2 babies at once. I never slept when he did, as I was always having to pump or wash parts or wash bottles.
I didn't struggle with a low supply, as I double pumped and emptied both breasts every time I pumped. There was a period when he was about 2 months old that I was pumping in excess of 100 oz a day.
What I'm saying is, while I can't relate to the low supply issue, I can tell you I would be hesitant about introducing the bottle. Most childcare books tell you to wait until at least a month or 6 weeks before introducing the bottle.

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answers from Austin on

Amen what Susan said!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Des Moines on

Be sure and pick a SLOW FLOW, breast like bottle (First Years BreastFlow is a good one) and only offer it when you need to. Have you been to a LLL meeting? SUPPORT, in person, from moms who have been there and done that is SO helpful! You can find a meeting near you here:



answers from Los Angeles on

what about the little plastic shields that go over the breast to help them get used to the idea of nursing from the breast? I agree, introducing the bottle too early makes it too easy for them. I had two kids that had to supplement with the bottle though, because my wife didn't produce enough milk. Keep encouraging the baby by putting them to the breast. But if you have to pump and breastfeed, so be it. Try to get them all the nourishment you can from your breastmilk. Then, if you have to supplement beyond that, don't feel bad about using formula. Bottom line, the baby's need for milk trumps everything. All babies are different, we had one that refused anything but the breast, that includes no pacifiers. We had another, because he couldn't get sufficient sucked on everything he could. Lazy, sleepy eaters are the hardest, because you have to constantly tickle their feet, stroke their cheek, anything to get them to use their suckling reflex.
Overall, be sure YOU relax to help your milk flow!



answers from Seattle on

Well, one one hand your baby needs to feed. Period.

On the other hand I personally would want to be REALLY sure that there is truly a NEED to supplement, even with pumped breast milk. Is there a weight gain issue? Does your baby produce enough wet diapers?

If you do truly need to supplement with pumped milk, consider getting and SNS (Supplemental Nursing System) instead of the bottle/syringe. It will not cause nipple confusion and your daughter simply will get some additional milk, while she is already nursing.

Good luck!



answers from Boston on

Lazy eater how? Does she know how to latch/nurse and just is slow about it? Or are you still trying to get her into the right position, etc? If it's the first, just go ahead and introduce the bottle. If it's the second, give her a few more days to figure out nursing, then introduce the bottle. You don't want to wait too long - I've heard of more babies who refuse the bottle than the other way around. Good luck.



answers from Chicago on

My son was bottle and breast fed, with breast milk. He had no issues switching and also no problems when he started daycare. My Lactation consultant also recomend me pumping after each feeding to increase my supply so that it would come more easily for him. I was able to nurse for a year. We started doing the bottle thing for a few days and then some feedings (while I pumped) at 3 days. Have you tried the nipple protector ( I think that is what it is called) it is a plastic thing that you put over your nipple that helps them get a good latch. I used it for about a month then I did not need it anymore. Good luck and do not give up on nursing. Work with the lactation consultants and keep it up.. it is the best thing I ever did for my son.



answers from Los Angeles on

I was told by terrific lactation consultants not to introduce the bottle before 3-4 weeks, after they've MASTERED the breast which I did for each of my three children. Having said that, my heart goes out to you for having to syringe your milk since I did that for my first child, in addition to breastfeeding (are you breastfeeding too? I hope so.) and boy is it tedious and tiring! I don't blame you at all for wanting to stop using the syringe. Have you tried another lactation consultant to see if she could help you to get the baby to latch on correctly and suck efficiently? That's the ideal. I had amazing lactation consultants each time that I sought out and I couldn't have breastfed each of my three children without their invaluable help, guidance and support in those early, challenging days. I'm still breastfeeding my 14 month old and love it. It will get better. But if you can't bear it, wait at least one more week to 3 weeks, exposing the baby to your breast as often as possible. Good luck!

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