Making a Smooth Transition
Does considering stopping breastfeeding make you feel a bit sad? Don’t worry: you and your baby will reach this moment when it’s right for you both.
Make The Change With Confidence
Breastfeeding forged a strong bond between the two of you. It’s completely normal that the transition from breast to bottle might bother you. Remember that this change does not mean a separation of you from your baby, but, instead, the start of the next stage of your relationship.
When Is The Right Time?
From birth to the fifth or sixth month, breast milk is the only food your baby needs.
Early in the sixth or seventh month, diversification of your infant’s diet begins. The share of milk as a main meal decreases, with pureed fruits and vegetables, cereals and meat, completing diet.
Gerber encourages you to breastfeed as long as possible to give your baby all the benefits that your milk provides. The most important thing is to listen to your own feelings. Deciding to stop breastfeeding is your personal choice. To assist you in this decision, do not hesitate to seek advice from professionals: your pediatrician, a pediatric nurse or lactation consultant.
Often, weaning is associated with the return to work. But there is no reason why you have to stop breastfeeding when you start working again. Balancing work and breastfeeding is possible, if you wish to do it.
When you and your baby are both ready to move from breast to bottle, you'll know. If your baby starts to turn his head when you offer the breast, or bites your nipple, it could be a sign.
What is the Right Pace?
Weaning should be done at the pace that works for you and your baby. One way to start is by replacing a feeding with a bottle every two or three days. Choose the hours when you naturally you have less milk, such as late afternoon and mid-morning. The nursing that occurs first thing in the morning will be the last to go.
When introduced to their first bottle, some babies are curious, others more hesitant. Yours might make it clear that he prefers your breast. Be patient: this transition stage lasts about 15 days, and you can always slow down if necessary, or even go backwards and add back in more breastfeeding sessions if you decide.
On the choice of infant formula, do not hesitate to ask your pediatrician for advice. He can tell you the formula best suited to your baby, especially if he has any digestive issues, or colic.
Tips For A Successful Transition
- Prepare the first bottle with your own milk, so your baby will be less confused.
- Do not force your baby to drink the entire bottle. You will gradually be able to increase the amount of milk he drinks as time goes on.
- If you practice mixed feeding (breast and bottle), always offer the breast first before giving your baby a bottle.
- Don’t force your baby to take the bottle if he is reluctant. This is a normal reaction, as the bottle is new to him. Be patient and try again later.
- If necessary, try different nipples on the bottle to find one that your baby likes best. Or, opt for a pacifier that’s shape is reminiscent of the nipple.
- The transition from breast to bottle is also an opportunity for dad to get involved. Dad giving baby a bottle might help your infant better accept the transition.
- And finally, cuddle up to your baby to reassure him that everything is still fine.