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Breastfeeding and bottles

I introduced a bottle to my 6 week old to a bottle (w/ breastmilk) at 4 weeks. Now she's 6 weeks, and she doesn't seem to want to stay on my breast long enough to get full. But if I pump, she'll drink at LEAST half, then an hour later finish the other half. But I'm lucky if I get her to drink a 1/4 of the milk if she drinks from my breast. But I can't keep pumping cuz my nipples get so sore, cracked, dry and it's a lot more work than just feeding her my breast.What can I do? Did I mess it up already? Will she never go back to the breast? Or can I just feed her my breast from now on, and she will get back into the habit of the breast? This sounds sort of bad, but I don't mean it to be a mean 'mom' , but if she wants the milk bad enough and is hungry enough, she'll take the breast. Or will she not even take it then?

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Asked by BigBellyMom at 5:25 PM on Nov. 27, 2009 in Babies (0-12 months)

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Answers (9)
  • Some babies realize that getting milk from a bottle is much easier than getting milk from a breast so some babies WILL refuse to nurse if they have had a bottle too many times. If you want her to keep nursing, I would limit the bottle as much as possible. That should get her back in the habit of nursing. But the more she has a bottle, the more she is going to prefer than to nursing.

    Answer by Ash9724 at 5:29 PM on Nov. 27, 2009

  • Get some "Tender Care Lanolin" creme for your nipples, if you want to switch to bottle. My nipples are too sensitive to feed from my breast everytime. So I have to pump, that creme really helps if your nipples are sensitive.

    Answer by melissaeady at 5:40 PM on Nov. 27, 2009

  • Babies tend to drink more from a bottle than from the breast because the milk flows faster from the bottle with less work. That doesn't mean that your baby isn't getting what she needs from the breast. Over time, babies become far more efficient at nursing, and the breast changes, too, to accommodate your baby. For instance, my newborn son nursed for about 15 minutes at each breast at the beginning, but now at 11 weeks, will nurse about 6 minutes from 1 breast and get his fill. I also pump, and what took me 25 minutes to pump now takes me only 15 minutes.

    I do agree that you should nurse as much as possible if you want to maintain your milk supply and keep your child breastfeeding. Pumping doesn't stimulate the same sinuses on your breast as your child. I also agree with the lanolin-- it works wonders!

    Answer by Busimommi at 5:57 PM on Nov. 27, 2009

  • maybe you have to give her bottles for some reason (work, school,), but if not than just take away the bottles. No, it's not too late! she will come back to you.

    nipples are still hurting.... maybe there's a latch problem?

    Answer by charisma10 at 6:15 PM on Nov. 27, 2009

  • Sounds like nipple preference. Reserve those bottles for when you're not home. Mom = breast. Mean? That's your job, hon. If you're not mean a dozen times a day you're doing it wrong. **grin**

    Answer by gdiamante at 6:24 PM on Nov. 27, 2009

  • "Mean? That's your job, hon. If you're not mean a dozen times a day you're doing it wrong"

    that is horrible advice! i hope you are just joking, but even if you are do note that someone might see your "advice" and actually use it!

    Answer by Anonymous at 6:36 PM on Nov. 27, 2009

  • It is not too late at all. Just stick your lil one back on the boobie if that's what you would like to do! However, if you'd still like to switch back & forth from boob to bottle try finding a nipple that is more like your breast to ease confusion & preference (check out the Nuby Natural Touch bottles from Babies R Us or the BreastFlow bottles from Target). Oh & for the cracked sore nipples, try some Lanolin & a cold cloth. GOOD LUCK MAMA!

    Answer by WannabeMommy87 at 6:40 PM on Nov. 27, 2009

  • throw away the bottles!

    get to a La Leche League meeting ASAP!

    continue offering the breast. good luck hun!

    Answer by Anonymous at 6:48 PM on Nov. 27, 2009

  • I would try to not give the bottle very often... if you want to keep her in the habit of taking a bottle... because we all know that the bottle to get a breastfed baby to take one can be awful (my niece got kicked out of daycare because she wouldn't take one)
    I would give a bottle once/day and that is it. And then let her breastfeed as often as possible.
    Then make sure you have a bottle that works well for a breastfed baby... make sure you have a very slow flow nipple and don't go up in flow even when the baby gets older.
    With my son we did breastflow bottle and they worked very well for us... but I would look for a bottle that is the most similar to the breast, there are a few types.
    As for your nipples... check her latch, they shouldn't be cracked anymore at this point. If it hurts take her off and re-latch and do it until she gets it right. If you pump is causing cracks there is something wrong.

    Answer by AmiJanell at 7:07 PM on Nov. 27, 2009

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