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How to Introduce a Bottle to Your Baby?

Introducing the bottle to your baby sounds like a very easy thing to do, but from my experience it’s something that requires more time to learn than parents expect. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends breastfeeding during the first 6 months of life as the only nutrition for your baby, but each baby and situation is different.  

Some mothers want to breastfeed and offer bottle from birth, and others prefer to introduce the bottle when they need to go back to work (at around 2-4 months).

As an IBCLC qualified lactation consultant I wouldn’t recommend to introduce a bottle to your baby until your breastfeeding experience has settled; which is usually around 3-4 weeks. The main reason is to avoid any teat confusion and to protect your breastfeeding journey.

What to do if we don’t have a choice and we need to give a bottle

There are different ways to give the bottle to your baby, but from my experience after working with several mothers and babies the best method is the one called “Kassing method” or “peaceful method”.

This method is the most physiological way to give a bottle, because allows your baby to take the milk respecting their rhythm, optimizing the intake amount, and they need to place their tongue and mouth in the most similar way to that of your breast. To use this method, you’ll need a bottle (I always recommend glass bottle over a plastic bottle), and a teat (as anatomical and soft as possible). I’ll cover this on another post.

How “Kassing Method” works?

Now that we know what we need, let’s see what to do:

  • Place your baby in your lap as vertical as possible.
  • Keep the bottle as horizontal as possible (tip of the teat full of milk, not necessary the whole teat)
  • Stimulate the searching reflex by touching your baby’s nose, cheeks and lips (first touching top lip and then bottom one)
  • Introduce the teat into your baby’s mouth when their mouth is wide open.
  • Let your baby suck for 15-20 times and then remove the teat from their mouth with one swift movement.
  • Repeat the process as many times as you need until your baby doesn’t want to suck anymore or shows you clues that they’re full.

With this method your baby will be in charge of the amount of milk, speed and rhythm that they want to be fed. Also, keep in mind that the flow of milk will be also controlled by your baby (be aware that with this method it’s possible that your baby drinks less milk than he used to drink).

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