How To Get Your Baby To Take A Bottle
Many families want their baby to be able to take a bottle but what if they refuse? I'm sharing my top tips and tricks to help your baby accept the bottle, or an alternative.
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*This podcast is not "medical advice". Please consult with your Healthcare Provider about your specific situation.
Welcome to the Breezy Babies Podcast, where we talk about all things boobs, babies and breastfeeding. This is episode 106, how to get your baby to take a bottle. I'm Bree the IBCLC and I made Brisbies with you in mind to help ease your transition into parenthood. Becoming a parent changes your life in every way imaginable. Bumps in the road are going to come up as you move into your new role, but my goal is to help smooth out those bumps and help you become the most confident parent you can be. With good education and support, I know you can meet your breastfeeding and parenting goals. Let's do this together. Hey friend. Hey friend. It is still nap time, which means that I'm here to record another podcast episode. So fun to hang out with you today. Thanks for listening in as you're driving, folding laundry, feeding your baby, whatever you're doing, I love that you are here. I love seeing the thousands of downloads this podcast gets every single month. Thousands and thousands of downloads, which is so fun for me and I hope that it helps you as well. My favorite thing is when I meet with one of you in a lactation consult and you say, oh, I listen to your podcast. It just makes my day. Because guess what? Recording a podcast is a lot of work, so I always love hearing that it is helpful for you. I wanted to start this episode today reading a podcast review to you. This is Catherine Eleven and this is what she said. The title gets kind of cut off on Apple podcasts. I wish that it even sent me a notification. When you leave reviews, I just have to go in and check to see if they're there, which is kind of weird. Maybe I have something set up on the back end, have something set up wrong on the back end. But it says, I feel so prepared to be successful. So here's what Catherine said. She said, I have been listening to this podcast for over a year now and wasn't even pregnant when I started listening. I am now 27 weeks pregnant with my first and feel so ready to be successful with breastfeeding simply because of breed. I've also purchased her more Milk Latch 101 and infant massage courses and planned to watch them this summer with my husband. We even met with a pediatrician yesterday to interview him and I felt confident in what I was looking for with regard to breastfeeding philosophy, thanks to the information I have gleaned from this podcast. Thanks for your amazing work, Brie. You have helped me and my family so much already. Isn't that just the nicest review that seriously made my day? Catherine first sent this to me in a DM on Instagram and it seriously just made my day when I read that. So Catherine, if I didn't already tell you I can't remember I have really bad mom brain if I didn't already tell you I want to give you a freebie, so please send me an email. Brie@breezybabies.com if I ever don't respond to send me another email. You can always send me a message on Instagram. Sometimes my emails don't quite make it through or get a little lost in the shuffle. So, Catherine, I know that you've already purchased a lot of my workshops. If you're interested in my baby biters or my baby gas workshop, I will totally send that to you for free. Since you've already purchased a lot of my products. I would also love to share a discount code with you for either a pumping plan or a consult. We'll make it happen for you as a huge thank you for leaving me a review. If you listen to this podcast and you have not left a review yet, I would so appreciate it. That helps me so much, helps other people to find this podcast and listen to it, especially when they see your review in your honest review of what you like about this podcast and how it's helped you. And that's always a great way to say a small thank you. It's a small thing for you to do, but it's so huge for small businesses like mine when you leave a review. All right, today we're talking about how to get your baby to take a bottle. This is always a huge thing, especially because I make bombing plans for people returning to work. So I hear a lot from the families who do want their baby to take a bottle. Most families nowadays, at least in the United States, most families do want their baby to take a bottle, even if you're returning to work, not returning to work. I've just found that that's kind of just like our societal norm is sometimes maybe you just want that flexibility to go away for a weekend trip or just be gone a couple of hours longer than you planned and you just kind of want the flexibility of your baby to take a bottle. So we will talk about all those my tips and tricks for you. I will start by saying that in the end, your baby has to accept the bottle. Your baby is a human with a personality and likes and dislikes, and sometimes it's a bit of an uphill battle, and other times it's really easy to get babies to take a bottle. So you never know, right? Because we are dealing again with another little human that come out with a personality and they have a say in things as well. So we'll get to that a little bit later. But I wanted to also talk to you about something that's kind of come up. Recently, I just had a lot of clients who say, man, I just wish I had some mom friends. I just wish I had some help. And I've just found that for most people, when you have your first baby, you just feel a little bit alone because your single friends that you had before you had your baby don't always want to hang out with a crying, needing to nap baby. Maybe the things that you did before aren't really compatible with taking along a little baby. And at the same time, you also may not really know the other moms who live close by you. And I'm telling you, I have gone to so many consultations where the mom had said to me, I just wish I had some other mom friends to talk with and go out with. And I think this was especially true after the height of COVID. I think people were just starving for human interaction. They did not want another Facebook group, they didn't want another zoom call. They just wanted real human interaction. So tell me if this has ever happened to you. Have you ever seen someone else on social media and you see their girls trip or their kids play group or their girls night out, and you think, oh man, I don't do anything like that? I know I have. Sometimes you feel a little left out, right? So one thing I've learned over the years is that sometimes you have to make your own girl group or make your own fun. So, quick story for you. Eleven years ago, we moved into a new neighborhood with my first daughter when she was only about five months old. I felt really lonely. Not only was it a brand new neighborhood, but I also just had a really young baby and I was trying to figure out friends with having a baby. So we did have a church group where we lived and it seemed that everyone already had their friends and my baby was really just too young to have a playdate. I couldn't really say, oh, can you bring your five month old over to play? Because it just felt kind of silly because she was so little. She just laid there and wasn't really interacting a whole lot. So I felt a little stuck and not sure what to do. So a little bit later, I finally decided I really wanted to make more friends in the neighborhood that we lived in. And I didn't get the courage right away. But about nine or ten years ago, I decided I was going to make a bunko group. I don't know if you know what bunko is. It's just this really simple dice game, that's all. Luck. Everyone puts in a little bit amount of money and you have some fun prizes and it's all just basically, again, luck. There's really no skill or anything involved. It's kind of just a good excuse for a girl's night to get together, have some fun, eat some food, maybe win a prize, maybe not. So when I grew up, my mom was in a bunko group, and I guess that's probably why I chose bunko. So that's why? That's the example in this story. If you don't know what bunko is, that's totally fine. You can choose something else. So continuing on with my story, I went out and bought $60 worth of prizes. My husband accidentally broke a bunch of them. There was all these glass jars that I had bought. It was the first bunker group, so no one had even paid me money yet. And as he was bringing them from the car, my daughter was kind of like falling and he dropped all the glass to go and help her, which it sounds pretty noble. Thanks babe, for doing that. If you're listening to this, he does listen to my podcast every now and then, which is really sweet of him because he obviously is not currently breastfeeding a baby. So I had to go out and buy all of the gifts for a second time. At least most of the gifts. I invited over eleven women who lived around me. I probably set out a few snacks. It was honestly a little awkward, a little lame, to tell you the truth. It really was. But I did it. I put myself out there and I committed to just keeping it going every month. That's usually what you do with Bongo, it's every month and you need exactly twelve people to make it work. You can do a little less, a little bit more, but it really works best if you have twelve people there every time. And I thought, I'm just going to do this the second Tuesday of every month. Everyone's going to bring $5 and we're just going to come and have a fun time. And honestly, it was not easy to get it going. There was many times, so many times over the years, where we were three, four people short. At the last second, everyone would cancel. And to speed up the story a bit, all these years later, I can't remember exactly how long, but it's been at least eight, nine consistent years. I have kept this bunker group going, and I just have to say that it is stronger than ever. We've lost many members over the years and new ones have joined. We found really close friendships with the ones that have stayed. And this is going to sound so silly, you're going to laugh, but I've seriously thought over the years that I could put running this bonko group on a resume because it has been no easy task to keep it alive and also keep it fun at the same time. So recently, just this last month, this summer, we met for our first bunker pool party and we had such a fun time. We were rolling inflatable dice in the water, we were hanging out. We had the low table on one side of the pool and then the middle table on the other side of the pool. And then the high table was in the hot tub and we had yummy food and it was so much fun. So I tell you all of this just to tell you that sometimes you have to make your own fun. Sometimes you have to attract your own tribe. And you can only do that when you put yourself out there and make yourself vulnerable. You might have to do that to find some mommy friends in your area, either to hang out with and have fun with, or just someone who can help you out, who you can swap time with. Hey, while I go to this appointment, could you watch my baby? Or hey, could you come over and sit with my baby while she's taking a nap so I can run to the store or go for a walk or go to your favorite gym class or go get a massage or do whatever you want to do. And just know that sometimes it takes some work and sometimes for things like this to really catch on and really take off. So go and make your own group, make your own fun. And I found that you attract who you want by you being the person of who you want to attract. Does that even make sense? You attract who you are is what I'm trying to say. So you can at least act confident. Even if you don't feel confident, just act confident until it sticks. And basically that's what I've done with this podcast. To tell you the truth, I really didn't know what I was doing. I just knew that I wanted a podcast. I knew that I wanted to help people. And that's basically why this podcast is here today. Is it perfect? No. Is it a little bit low quality? Yeah. But it has helped so many families. I hear that every single week that this podcast has helped other people. So there you have it. A little side note for you that may have been a little bit long, but let's jump in now into how to get your baby to take a bottle. So tip number one for you is start early. I have found, and I teach this in my personalized pumping plans, that three to four weeks after giving birth is kind of the magic window to introduce a bottle. Can you do it later? Yeah, you can, and you might be just fine. But I found that babies are more likely to reject a bottle after three to four weeks, especially for those babies that kind of just have a personality where they don't really want to take something other than the breast. Okay, so that's tip number one. Start early. Tip number two is offer it often. Now, this can look a little different for every family, but you're going to want to offer the bottle frequently. Now, that might be every week, that might be every few days. That might be at least every couple of weeks. Offer the bottle just to keep it familiar. And if your baby has trouble taking a bottle, then be consistent with offering it without forcing it. Okay, so that's tip number two. Offer it often. Tip number three is get creative. You may need to offer a different temperature of breast milk. Maybe it needs to be a little bit warmer than normal. Maybe it needs to be cold, like even straight from the fridge. That's fine to do. Maybe you need to use a different nipple, a different flow. Maybe a slower flow or a faster flow. Maybe you need to give freshly pumped milk instead of stored breast milk. Maybe you need a different person offering the bottle. Maybe you need to put your baby in a different position, such as facing out instead of kind of a cradlehold that they use while they're breastfeeding. Now maybe you've done all of this and your baby still won't take a bottle. Maybe you're listening to this and you're like, yeah, we've done it all, we've tried all the things and my baby has not taken a bottle and we're already past that three to four week magic window. Then you're going to have to get even more creative. There's always other options. Some of my favorites are an open cup. You can give an open cup even to a newborn baby. Now you have to help them. Obviously you can't just hand the cup to them and they're not going to just feed themselves. But families all over the world use open cups very frequently with young babies and bottles are not even part of their culture, not even part of their norm. So something like an easy peasy open cup could be an option. We also love the Honey Bear straw cup, which you kind of squeeze it to help the liquid come out. Of course, if you ever need more personalized advice, work one on one with me for a consult. Of course, you know, right, that this podcast is never medical advice. I just want to give you some options that you can consider. And here's a little pro tip for you. When giving your baby a bottle, hold your baby in different positions. For example, don't always hold your baby in your right arm with your left hand holding the bottle. Why? Because you want your baby to equal eye stimulation, brain stimulation by swapping sites. Now, if you mostly breastfeed and rarely give a bottle, then it's probably not even going to matter if you always hold your baby on the same side. But if your baby is getting bottles frequently, then you really want to switch your baby between your left arm, your right arm, all different positions while they are feeding. Okay, so I've also seen some crazy things like, oh, you have to bounce your baby and do this crazy position and this crazy rocking. And maybe that works, maybe it doesn't. But I found more than anything that just persistence and patience works best without forcing the bottle. You don't want this to be a hostage situation. You don't want it to be a stressful situation. So it's more about offering. When your baby is kind of sleepy, not starving, and you want to be patient and persistent with it. Now, if you have tried all of these things you're like, I've tried everything and more, I am going to tell you, please work with an IBCLC. We can help look at your baby's oral anatomy. Now, an Ivclc cannot diagnose something like a tongue tie or a lip tie, unless they are also like a medical doctor and can actually diagnose. But sometimes there are deeper things like that going on. Maybe your baby does have restriction that is making it so that they cannot latch onto a bottle. And maybe the breast works fine because it shapes differently, but a nipple does not work. So anyway, sometimes you have to dig a little bit deeper, look more underneath the surface. So, of course, work with an IBC. If you want to see if your insurance covers free consultations with me. I meet with families all over the world. Everywhere around the world, I have met with families. Just click the link in the show notes, and you can check and see if your insurance covers six free consultations with me. So before I wrap up again, those top three tips for how to get your baby to take a bottle is number one, start early. Number two, offer it often. And number three, get creative. All right, you guys, it sounds like my baby is awake from now, so I've got to go. Of course I'm going to leave you with you are strong, you are smart, you're beautiful, you're a good friend. All catch you next week. Bye.