If you have decided that you are going to breastfeed your baby, not matter how long your decided to breastfeed, there will come a time when you will have to be apart from your child and you will need him or her to take a bottle. Unless you make giving your child a bottle a part of your weekly routine, he or she will most likely reject the bottle at some point. This happened to me.
Here is my story:
I have 3 child. My first child, Cooper, I gave a bottle to at 3 weeks old after we had established breastfeeding. He did well taking the bottle and it really presented no issue for him. Cooper got a bottle at least twice a week if not more when he was a small infant. I would pump and then offer him the breastmilk in his bottle. When Cooper got older, around 5 months old, I started having issues making enough milk for him at his bedtime feeding. So I began to pump before I went to bed. I used that breastmilk in a bottle to supplement his bedtime feeding after I had finished feeding him. So Cooper got a bottle every day from that point on. When it came time to wean Cooper, he took all his feedings from a bottle so well. He weaned at 10 months and it was so easy. I cried having to stop breastfeeding, but Cooper did not seem to care one bit. I really think that the weaning process went so well because Cooper was so use to getting a bottle every day prior to weaning.
Then I had the twins. I tandem breastfeed my twin girls using a double nursing pillow. The girls took to bottle pretty quickly around 3 weeks of age too. They got an occasional bottle with daddy and we use to use the bottle to give them a dream feed for a short while. I soon dropped the dream feed and giving bottles was difficult for me to do with two babies at the same time so I decided to exclusively breastfeed for ease. Plus, my husband needed to occupy my toddler son while I was breastfeeding in the evenings so I did not have an extra pair of hands to feed the babies bottles. The girls did get bottles at church or when my mother-in-law would watch them, but that was very infrequent. Around 5 months old, I started to not make enough to satisfy both girls at their bedtime feeding again. The solution was to give one girl a bottle of expressed milk at bedtime and the other to breastfeed. That allowed for enough milk for them both. Anna got the bottle and Molly was breastfeed. BIG MISTAKE! So Molly almost NEVER got a bottle from 5 moths and on. Anna got a bottle every night. Guess what, now at 11 months old, I cannot get Molly take a bottle. It does not matter if I hold the bottle, if Daddy holds the bottle, or if she holds the bottle, she just will not take a bottle. Anna on the other hand, will take a bottle no problem.
Closing Thoughts: I think it is important to introduce a bottle at least 2-3 times a week with your infant even if you choose to breastfeed. There may be a time when you will not be able to be around to breastfeed, and you will want someone else to give your child their milk. I am very “boob-bound” because my daughter Molly will not drink from a bottle. How I wished that I would have done bottles with Molly more often so she would be more willing to drink from a bottle, giving me some more freedom to come and go without having to race home to nurse. I am trying to wean Molly to a sippy or straw cup since she will not take a bottle, but it is a very slow process. Hopefully, I will be able to wean Molly in time.