It is no hidden fact that breastfeeding is important for baby’s initial growth and development. It is recommended by doctors and pediatricians. But, at some point of time you have to make a transitions from Breastfeed to Bottle and trust me it is easier said than done.
When you want that transition to happen, it actually depends on many factors like work, your baby’s age, health of mom and sometimes it is just something you want to happen.
Why & When (Our Story): We all know the upsides of breastfeeding, so I will start with downsides. You can’t drink, everything kind of sucked out of your body every few hours, you have to dress according to how convenient it is to access your boobs for breastfeeding in public. And sometime you forget to pump, get ready for the milky shirts. I can go on and on but I think you got the idea. Besides all these factors, for me the reason of thinking about the transition was my fear of getting bitten by my baby’s teeth. It may sound funny but that was the truth. Baby J started to have strong gums and one day she bit my nipples. I was like what will happen when she have teeth. I obviously was ready for the pain but I thought to start my research and confirm the pediatrician that when is the best time to stop breastfeeding a baby. According to pediatrician, it’s important to breastfeed a baby till the time he/she is six months old and after that it’s completely up to mom. So this is the ‘WHY and WHEN’ in our story.
How: One Friday I decided I will not breastfeed the baby tonight. Reason for choosing Friday was: It was weekend and my husband will be home for 2 complete days. You need someone other than you for bottle feeding initially. So that night he tried to give bottle to our girl and it was the first time she cried for so long continuously. I was not allowed in the room because we both knew that she will cry more if she sees me. My husband kept trying but my typical Mom instincts could not bear her crying and we cancelled the idea and I breastfed her. On Saturday night, I specifically drank a glass of wine so that even if my motherly love comes in between my husband’s efforts, I should not just go and start breastfeeding. You can state it like
‘I didn’t stop breastfeeding because I wanted to drink; I drank because I wanted to stop breastfeeding’
That was the night, our girl started taking bottle and we never looked back. We followed few things that I would like to share. It helped us during transition and may help you as well:
- Baby Steps – Things like that takes time and cannot be achieved overnight. Your baby doesn’t understand that transition phase so get ready for crying and screaming. But it will work like it worked for us.
- Switch Turns – Thumb rule with plan is if Plan A exists, no one goes to Plan B. Likewise, if mom tries with bottle, baby may resist. Approach remains same, when breastfeed is available why go for bottle. To overcome that, for starting of transition my husband was the one who gave her bottle.
- Not one size fits all – You out shopping for bottles and nipples? Well, good luck with that as they come in numerous shape and sizes. You are lucky if what you choose at first place is actually liked by your kid. We had to try different brands of bottles and finally got the one she liked.
- Routine – When you are in middle of transition, routine is of utmost importance. Once started, pattern has to be followed. You out at party, doing shopping, work keeping you busy or anything else, make sure bottle is always ready at exact same time. You break the pattern and may need to start over.
- Avoid side noises – We are very particular about one thing. Our Kid, Our Rules and no judgement whatsoever. When you want the transition, why you want the transition is up to you. 6 months, 8 months, a year or two. But people will always talk about that. You should at least go for a year, should be minimum of 1.5 years. My suggestion is to avoid those noises. That will help you go a long way.
- Slow and steady wins the Race – Overall you know what bottle being liked, your routine is all set, and there are no side noises. So you start with one feed and slowly move forward. After one feed to night sleep, turns to evening meal and finally replace all meals.
Now this is something that worked for us and may suit you as well. Anyone has more points/tips to add, comments section is all yours. One last thing, if you have a motivation, you will do it faster. My motivation was my fear 😀 what’s yours ?