September 15th, 2011 • Comments: 0 • by Stacy-Ann • Pumping

Guest Post: Introducing the Bottle

This is the third of six posts in the "Pumping with Weather Anchor Mama" series by Stacy-Ann Gooden.

Stacy-Ann currently delivers the weather week nights in New York City, however considers her most important role being a wife and mom. She writes about balancing career and motherhood in her blog Weather Anchor Mama.

As the saying goes: "You have to kiss a lot of frogs before you get your prince." Well my Princess had to drink from many bottles, before finding the right one.

Tommee Tippee newborn starter set

Within the first couple weeks of having my daughter, nursing became second nature. Getting up for nighttime feedings was tough, as you parents already know, but I knew what I was getting into and complaining about it was out of the question. Nonetheless, my little Princess and I were doing just fine. That was until we had our first doctor's visit. I told the pediatrician that I planned on returning to work, and asked about the best time to introduce the bottle. He told my hubby and I that we basically should start right away. He then said, "If you don't, she may never take the bottle!" The thought of not being able to go back to work because my daughter wouldn't take the bottle was absolutely terrifying. That actually happened to a close friend of mine. After a few weeks of exclusively breastfeeding, her daughter refused to drink from the bottle. So she had no choice, but to quit her job in order to nurse. I applaud her for doing that because if it came down to it, I'd do the same thing. But, I also made a commitment to return to work after my twelve-week maternity leave. It wouldn’t have been an easy decision to become a stay at home mom. So on that note, my hubby and I took the doctor's advice and got the baby bottle introduction rollin'.

I didn't realize that it would be so difficult. We had tons of bottles that were gifted to us at our baby shower. We first went with the Tommee Tippee newborn starter set. I read good reviews and figured it would be the right choice for my baby girl.

I also read that the bottle was designed with a woman's nipple in mind. It has a wide nipple base, it flexes and stretches like the breast, and produces less air build-up. Princess had already been dealing with a lot of gas, so I thought that this would definitely help. Not!!! Milk leaked everywhere, and it was clear that Princess didn't like drinking from this bottle. It was a complete mess! I ended up having to return the set. I knew that introducing the bottle would take some time, but I never really thought we would have to go through a bunch of different ones.

Stacy-Ann's daughter

My sis had also given me leftover unused bottles from her baby shower. We tried those and Princess wouldn't drink from them either. There were a bunch of others that also didn't work out. I was beginning to lose hope when I remembered the bottles that came with my breast pump. I filled one with breast milk and my hubby gave it to her. She loved it!

Who knew that babies had a bottle preference? It was like auditioning for a role! Finally, everything was working out. My hubby and I even developed a system where we would give her one bottle every other day, and he'd be the one who fed her. Since I was nursing, it was only right that he experience feeding time. It also further strengthened their daddy-daughter bond.

Nursing was still my top priority and I didn't want to overdo the bottle feeding in the beginning. I heard that some babies end up losing interest in nursing completely if that happens. That's when nursing and pumping became my routine. I began expressing milk and storing it in the freezer.

I am a planner who likes to keep things in order. Call me crazy, but you never know what can happen. I could be sick and need to take medication (which could affect milk supply and/or my baby), or I could have to work late. I believe it's great to have extra breastmilk handy. Besides, pumping and nursing kept my milk supply up.

Princess still prefers drinking from the breast pump bottles, and I am still nursing. Of course, every baby is different and I am in no way endorsing any of the products mentioned above. But whether you're a stay at home mom or work outside of the home, I think it's so important to let your baby be the judge. Some nursing moms may choose to introduce the bottle with formula, while others pump their own milk. Either way, you may have to go through a few bottles before finding that right one.

How many different bottles did you have to introduce before your baby took one?

The content of this post is based on the personal experiences of Stacy-Ann Gooden and may not reflect evidence-based information. Your experiences may differ. Please consult your health care provider and/or a Board Certified Lactation Consultant for advice.

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