How to transition from breast to bottle-feeding in four steps?
The transition from breastfeeding to bottle-feeding is also called “weaning”. Weaning is the gradual replacement of breastfeeding with other foods and ways of nurturing. Weaning from breast to bottle is a very personal and sometimes difficult decision. Research confirms that breast is best, but there are many situations that require the introduction of formula. It could takes about one to two weeks to complete this transition. Every infant takes a different amount of time to get used to formula bottles, therefore do not panic if your baby takes longer or shorter to make the switch.
1. An important step can be to contact your Pediatrician to decide which baby formula best suits your baby’s dietary needs. When switching from breast to bottle, you want the healthiest alternative to breastmilk. An organic, eco-friendly formula, without hidden ingredients, can be the ideal solution. Organic European baby formula has quality ingredients, sourced from organic farming practices, and is manufactured under the strictest regulations.
3. Watch out for your babies hunger cues and start with offering the bottle. Slowly switch from bottle to the breast and continue nursing for a few minutes, then switch back to the bottle. Repeat this switch until your little one is satisfied.
4. Keeping your behaviour the same as when breastfeeding will give you baby comfort. Try to keep the infant’s movement to a minimum when switching to the bottle to prevent confusion. Keep skin contact with your baby, also when you are bottle feeding. This will help the baby feel connected to you when being fed through the bottle. Then, last but not least, if you also did/do this while breastfeeding, switch sides halfway through the feeding.
Weaning by age
Weaning from breast to bottle tends to be easier when you are consistent and follow your baby’s cues. Also, age plays an essential role in the approach when you decide to start weaning.
Weaning by 0–3 Months
The earlier a baby is weaned from breast to bottle, the easier it usually gets. Start slowly, allow your baby to get well acquainted with the bottle, which can be done by offering it before each time you breastfeed. When you feel like your newborn is ready, consistently replace one feeding a day with a baby bottle of warm breast milk or baby formula until finally tapering off nursing completely. Watch for babies’ hunger cues and feed on demand, not on a schedule.
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Weaning by 4-6 Months
You baby is often more attached to breastfeeding at this age. Unlike the newborn stage, your baby can start finding comfort as well as nutrition in the breast. Watch for when your newborn is most content during the day and start offering a bottle at that time.
Weaning by 7-12 Months
As soon as your baby can sit up, the weaning process can be helped by offering solid foods. Since your baby can get calories elsewhere, nursing will naturally be less often. This milestone can help the introduction of a bottle. When ready, offer your little one finely mashed banana or pureed sweet potato. While your baby is eating you can offer a baby bottle with warmed formula.