My last Instagram post talked about my partner’s and my experience bottle feeding our exclusively breastfed baby.
The first time my partner tried to give my daughter a bottle did not work and was frankly almost comical.
He held her out at arms length silently tried to coax her to drink a bottle. She was not into it.
I was definitely frustrated with my partner for not knowing how to do this when, by this time, I was confident in breastfeeding. He should be too!
However as I took a step back I realized why should he know how to do something he’d never done before? No one had ever asked him to do this.
So we talked about it and figured out what we needed to do to make this experience successful.
Here are a few tips that worked for us:
- make sure the breastfeeding partner is nowhere around. Babies can smell you. If you’re nearby they will want ‘the real thing’
- mimic the nursing conditions – sit in the rocking chair and snuggle them close
- experiment with either skin to skin or swaddling – both can help calm and soothe baby
- make eye contact and talk to baby – this is a great bonding opportunity
- be relaxed – don’t force it or get frustrated
- get the timing right – don’t wait until baby is starving or overwhelmed
- if it doesn’t work the first time – try again later
Know that each parent is going to do things a little differently – this is not only ok – it’s encouraged! Both parents need to learn and develop their own style and figure out what works for them.
It’s certainly not necessary to introduce a bottle but it can help to lighten the load on the nursing partner and allow other people to help with feeding.
Breast or bottle feeding questions? Feel free to send me a message!