There’s something about babies.
I swear there’s something biologically that makes you forget about (or gloss over?) the really rough parts. Excruciating labour, sleepless nights, and hours of crying? Oh, those somehow fade away into a lovely, rosy memory of newborn cuddles and sweetness.
And then you have baby number two and it allllllllllll comes flooding back. Good and bad.
I have to tell you, one of the bits that I had completely forgotten, was just how much time you spend with a newborn on (or attached to) you. And while I love the newborn snuggles just as much as the next parent, I’m also aware that if I don’t find some ‘me time’ sooner rather than later… I’ll end up burning out.
I’m so lucky to have a hubby who’s an amazing parenting partner, and he’s completely game to add a bottle feed each day with our babe so that I can have a little bit of me-time.
Introducing a bottle can be a tricky feat for a breastfed babe, but I think it’s an important tool to have in your back pocket. Even if you only use it occasionally, having a babe who feeds comfortably from a bottle can be a huge blessing in an emergency, and it’s a great way for the non-breastfeeding partner to bond with the little one!
So, needless to say, we’re advocates of introducing a bottle, and we’ve learned a few tricks about how to do it that I hope will help you out:
- Choose a bottle that’s breast-feeding friendly. We absolutely love the Philips Avent Natural bottles. It’s got a wide, breast-shaped nipple that mimics breast feeding as closely as possible, and makes the transition extra-smooth for both you and babe. It’s available in both glass and plastic options, and has a full range of nipple flow speeds so you can work with what your babe needs as they grow. It’s the bottle we used with Emmett, and the one we’re using with Charlie. And it’s the one used most successfully by all my mom friends. I always recommend mamas try this one first – it’s likely going to work for you too!
- Don’t let a deadline stress you out. Give yourself lots of time to add the bottle to your routine. Your babe might not take to it right away, and that’s perfectly normal. But if you’re stressed about making it happen the very first time so you can get away for a night out, you could add extra anxiety to the process.
- Pump milk ahead of time so you’re not stressed about having enough on hand for multiple trials. If pumping is new for you, or you’re looking for tips and tricks, check out the Philips Avent uGrow App (it’s another Avent product we love!). It’s not only provides feedback on medical and developmental milestones you’re your little one, but it has tons of useful tips on everything from how to choose the right pump to how much milk you should expect to pump.
- Try introducing the bottle at different points in your feed. You might think your babe will take to the bottle best when they’re hungriest, but if they’re fussy or anxious because they’re starving, it might actually help to let them eat a little first and then try introducing the bottle mid-meal, when you’re both nice and calm.
- Get your partner to try giving them the bottle. It might be confusing for your babe to smell you and your milk, but then have you present the bottle instead of the breast. If the bottle comes from another (non-milk-providing) source, your babe might have an easier time accepting it. This was definitely the case for Emmett – he took the bottle from my husband like a champ!
- Don’t give up. If at first you don’t succeed, try again. Make some small adjustments, ask for some help, and try again. You’ll get there – I promise!
And a little bonus just for you!
Want to try our favourite bottles out for yourself? Enter below to win a Philips Avent Gift Pack!
NOTE: I’m part of the PTPA Brand Ambassador Program with Philips AVENT and I received compensation as part of my affiliation with this group. That being said, we’ve been Philips AVENT since Emmett was born, long before we were Ambassadors, and we genuinely love and use every one of these products!