Baby Bottle Blues? These Tips Can Help
When it comes to sucking babies are experts. After all, they spent most of their time in the womb practicing by sucking their fingers. After birth, it is very easy for infants to pick up sucking the breast or the bottle. This essential skill ensures that babies will get the nutrients they need as their little systems start to develop. While most infants have no problem feeding, sometimes they do pop up. For some, it may be a refusal of the bottle and for others, it may be refusing to give up the bottle. Bottle refusal and other roadblocks can lead to a case of the baby bottle blues at any time during an infant's life. Thankfully Mommy Formula has some tips to help you deal with common bottle feeding issues that may arise.
The nipples on a baby bottle and that on a human have a similar look but they work and smell different from each other. For parents who plan to supplement in addition to breastfeeding, it is normal to introduce the bottle during the third to the fourth week of life. Of course, infants who are exclusively bottle-fed will get it from day one. Bottle feeding can be done with breast milk, infant formula, or both. At times an infant may have trouble accepting a bottle nipple due to nipple confusion or simply preferring the breast over the bottle. Every child is different, and their feeding habits will also be unique.
Determine The Cause For Refusal
Identifying the reason for bottle refusal is the first step in fixing the problem. For infants who already have a breastfeeding routine, adding a bottle may simply be outside of their comfort zone. It can also be hard to get a baby to latch when they can smell their mother’s milk nearby. One way to reduce this complication is by having a partner feed the infant with a bottle until a bottle-feeding routine is established. Also, consider mimicking the same environment of breastfeeding by using skin to skin contact when bottle feeding.
Try Feeding In A New Location
Infants who are transition from breastfeeding to bottle-feeding or those who are just starting out with supplementing can be very choosy. It is a good idea to change feeding locations when introducing the bottle to reduce the chance of refusal. If mom usually sits in a certain room and a certain chair during breastfeeding, her smell may cause the infant to resist the bottle. Try a variety of locations and positions to make bottle feeding more comfortable for both you and the infant when dealing with bottle refusal.
Consider The Milk
People can be fussy eaters but infants have the market cornered on being the fussiest. Although an infant's main meal is only milk, they are very particular about the vintage and the source. For breastfed babies, even a change in the mother's diet can cause them to refuse the nipple, so it makes sense they can be extra picky when it comes to a bottle. If you are starting out with infant formula from the start, you may need to go through several different brands and formulations before you find one that your little one loves. European infant formulas are all gentle and made to provide infants will all the nutrition they need to thrive from birth onward.
For parents who are supplementing, consider transitioning to a bottle using breast milk first. This can help the infant due to familiarity. Once they are used to the bottle, then you can introduce a European infant formula in place of breast milk. Make sure that both breast milk or infant formula is served at body temperature to reduce the chance of bottle refusal.
Consider Changing Bottles
Baby bottles and baby bottle nipples come in so many different varieties that it can be hard to pin down the perfect one for your child. The nipples on bottles are very different than human nipples and infants will need to use a whole different set of muscles to drink as a result. There are hard nipples, soft nipples, and even nipples made from specialized materials. In some cases, the location of feeding or the food itself is not the problem, but the bottle is. It may take a few tries with different nipples before you find one that your infant likes. Thankfully, you can often change only the nipple without having to buy a large selection of new bottles. Once you find a nipple and flow that your infant prefers, feeding times will become a breeze.
It can be frustrating as a parent when an infant is cranky and hungry but refuses to eat. It is important not to force an infant to take a bottle as it will increase their desire to refuse, Instead, gently brush the nipple of the bottle over the infant's mouth. If needed, express a small amount of milk onto the surface to entice the infant to feed. Most often their natural latching instincts will take over, and they will happily start sucking away.
Another option is to try dream feeding your infant if all other bottle-feeding ticks have failed. Though feeding a baby during their sleep cycle is not recommended, it is a great way to get past bottle refusal. When your infant is on the cusp of sleep, or right after they have dozed off, feed them a body temperature bottle of infant formula. Since they are already tired, they may be more amenable to accepting a bottle at this time.
Be Consistent With Your Efforts
It is important to be both flexible and consistent when working a bottle into your infant's feeding schedule. It will take some time to get to know just what your baby likes and the reward for your patience will be a happy, full baby. Just like breastfeeding takes time, the same is true when it comes to bottle-feeding. With the help of a nutritious and delicious European infant formula, you will soon be on your way to a wonderful bottle feeding relationship with your child.