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Old 12-15-2007, 12:37 PM   #1
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What's The Earliest You Can Give A Bottle?

What age would be the earliest you can give an exclusively breastfed baby a bottle of BM?

I intend to use Breastflow bottles, but I don't want to have any nipple confusion or create any nursing problems.

I work on Saturdays for less than 4 hours. I'd like to get back started with this as soon as I feel up to it since it's not a strenuous job (usually) and it pays well.

Would three to four weeks be too early to start pumping and feeding just two bottles once a week? If so, what is the earliest age you suggest?

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Old 12-15-2007, 12:57 PM   #2
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Re: What's The Earliest You Can Give A Bottle?

My baby is 5 1/2 weeks old. At a month I gave a try at the bottle (the Breastflow ones). She took it well and two hours later, latched right on to me again. :-)
As far as pumping, I found that the first two to three days I could only get ..25 to .5 of an ounce. But then, once I began, I quickly got to 3-4 ounces per sitting---and that was AFTER I had nursed her! Your body catches on quickly!
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Old 12-15-2007, 01:33 PM   #3
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Re: What's The Earliest You Can Give A Bottle?

They suggest you don't introduce a bottle until 6 weeks old. Introducing a bottle that early might lead to nipple confusion and might affect your supply. But I know that every baby is different. They say the same thing about pacifiers. I gave one to dd when she was a couple of weeks old. An LC told me that as long as she had a good latch and I wasn't supplementing we should be ok. And we were!
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Old 12-15-2007, 01:35 PM   #4
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Re: What's The Earliest You Can Give A Bottle?

I did it at about 5 weeks because she gummed my nipple so hard I couldn't nurse her and almost couldn't pump. It went fine and she had no confusion!
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Old 12-15-2007, 01:39 PM   #5
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Re: What's The Earliest You Can Give A Bottle?

As long as baby is nursing well, I'm sure it would be ok. I wouldn't do it before a month or so, but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do!
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Old 12-15-2007, 02:50 PM   #6
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Re: What's The Earliest You Can Give A Bottle?

no probs here after starting giving the odd bottle of bm at 3 weeks. certainly didn't affect my supply or latching

the only bottle problems I've had is ds rejecting them if he doesn't get at least 1/wk. He's better if he gets 2 /wk. At 4 months he started getting wise to the whole deal and tried to refuse
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Old 12-15-2007, 02:54 PM   #7
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Re: What's The Earliest You Can Give A Bottle?

My son was six weeks early and was bottle fed in the NICU for the first five days of his life with a little nursing when I came in and could produce milk.

He came home and nursed like a champ. We never had any confusion and my milk supply was good.

I don't know what is actually recommended by the lactation folks, but this was our personal experience.

(He still loves eating!!!)
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Old 12-15-2007, 03:06 PM   #8
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Re: What's The Earliest You Can Give A Bottle?

My first 2 babies got bottles in addition to the breast for the first few days after birth. Both were voracious little eaters and had to be supplemented with formula until my milk came in. Once my milk came in, the occasionally got bottles and never experienced any sort of confusion.

My third, who is now 7 weeks old, has gotten one bottle per week since he was 3 weeks old. Hubby tries to give me one night a week where I can nap, take a hot bath, shave, etc. and during that time, my little one gets a single bottle which I pump immediately before disappearing upstairs for a few hours. Since I'll only be "gone" for a bit, I din't even refrigerate it because my little guy never goes more than 2 hours without a feed.

My children have also ALL used pacifiers. It kind of makes me mad that LCs want to give nursing moms so many "rules" regarding what you can and can't do. They assume that everyone will have trouble brestfeeding and caution everyone against every little thing. The fact is that babies like to nurse and moms are made to do it. Most babies will have no issues, so it's silly that they act as if any little thing you do will jeopardize your nursing relationship with your baby.
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Old 12-15-2007, 03:08 PM   #9
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Re: What's The Earliest You Can Give A Bottle?

we introduced the bottle at 2 weeks....
not b/c we wanted to but b/c we had to she lost a lb in 2 weeks, b/c she wouldn't eat

anyways...she's now 9 months old and gets a bottle once a week (nurses the rest of the time)
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Old 12-15-2007, 05:22 PM   #10
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Re: What's The Earliest You Can Give A Bottle?

I introduced a bottle to mine at 2 weeks. We went to entirely way to many baseball games for my older ds and I did not feel comfortable nursing in public. Had absolutely no problems nursing him. No nippple confusion and if I had to redo it I would make the exact same decision!
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