Will my baby be able to transition between bottle and breast? Transitioning to a Bottle

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mom sitting down and feeding baby with a bottle.
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Moms share tips and suggestions for helping baby naturally move from breast to bottle -- and back again.

Wait Until Breastfeeding Is Well Established

"When babies are still learning to breastfeed, sometimes it's difficult for them to transition between the breast and bottle. For this reason, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine recommend waiting until breastfeeding is well established to introduce a bottle. This usually takes around three to four weeks. Once your baby is able to latch without any difficulty, he will most likely be able to easily transition between the breast and bottle." -- Sahira...

"When babies are still learning to breastfeed, sometimes it's difficult for them to transition between the breast and bottle. For this reason, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine recommend waiting until breastfeeding is well established to introduce a bottle. This usually takes around three to four weeks. Once your baby is able to latch without any difficulty, he will most likely be able to easily transition between the breast and bottle." -- Sahira Long, MD, medical director, Children's Health Center at Anacostia, part of Children's National Health System in Washington, DC

Always Use the Newborn Nipple

"They tell you to replace bottle nipples every three months or so, but when you do, buy only newborn nipples again. The flow will be slow enough so that your baby won't end up preferring the speed of the bottle over the breast. I used newborn nipples for the whole first year and changed them a couple of times in between."

It Can Help You Out

"It's nice to go grocery shopping without a baby and have my husband give her a bottle if she needs it. I just use the slow flow nipples and only give 3-ounce bottles at a time."

Some Babies Have It Easier Than Others

"My daughter has had a few bottles and I've never had a problem getting her back to the breast. In fact, she prefers it. There are working moms who pump at work and then nurse in the evenings, so I assume it's fine for most babies who have both."

It May Take a Few Days

"My daughter struggled with the bottle initially, but after about three days at daycare she gave in and took the bottle with no problem. She still nursed in the evening, during the night, and in the morning."

Many Babies Prefer the Breast

"I worked full-time, so my daughter was fed a couple of bottles each day, but she never once refused the breast. As long as the bottle is fed correctly following the suggestions for breastfed babies, it should be fine."

Feed Slowly and Burp Frequently

"I recommend bottle-feeding slowly and burping the baby frequently. If the person feeding baby doesn't take these suggestions, you may run the risk of nipple confusion and flow preference."

The advice on CafeMom aims to educate, inform, and provide a range of solutions to the issues moms care about. It is not a substitute for consultation with a medical professional or treatment for a specific condition. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem without consulting a qualified professional. Please contact your health-care provider with questions and concerns.