Carol App Team
Community Questions - Breast to bottle transition.
"Do you have any advice on transitioning my son from breast to bottle feeding? He's 5 months and I'm really done with BF, ready to get him on the bottle but not sure where to start really."
Yes absolutely! Some tips for transitioning from breast to bottle that have worked for the Carol App Team have been:
Take your time - try to not rush the transition. Your little one might not be keen on taking the bottle at first, so trying things like skin to skin time when starting to introduce the bottle, lots of cuddles and affection, eye contact and try to keep the feed as relaxed as possible. If you have tried to feed your little one a bottle and it didn't go so well, it's completely fine to stop and try again later on. It's much easier to try introduce the bottle when both you and baby are calmer.
Timing is an important thing to note. Try to introduce the bottle an hour after your little one has had a feed, so that they aren't hungry and get stressed out when they notice you are feeding them with the bottle and not breastfeeding straight away when they are hungry.
If you have been expressing and bottle feeding your baby, a tip that worked for us with transitioning to formula was to mix a little formula with the breastmilk in the bottle and slowly increase the amount of formula in the bottle and decrease the amount of breastmilk to ease your baby into the different taste of milk from breast to formula.
It's important to also be aware of the different types of bottles and different flow types on the bottle teats/nipples, making sure you get the right flow for your babies age - too large will mean they are taking on too much milk and can cause excess gas and they may gag, too small they may find it difficult to get the liquid out of the bottle and cause them excess stress.
Remember you can always ask your health visitor for advice on transitioning and there are some brilliant lactation consultants out there who will be able to offer you specific advice too.
It does take a few attempts for your little one to become comfortable with being bottle fed, especially if they have been exclusively breastfed but it does get easier. You've got this!