How do I start a new feeding routine?
Whether it’s an upcoming return to work, a change in your schedule, or baby simply starts to show signs of readiness, you may want to help your baby learn to drink from a bottle or a cup. Here are a few suggestions to help you make changes to your feeding routine:
- Continue to nurse the baby at all the regular feedings.
- Have pumped milk available in the fridge or freezer for use in the bottle or sippy cup.
- Choose a feeding when you would want to offer a bottle or cup, for example if you are feeding your baby every 3-4 hours, then nurse at 6:00am or 7:00am, then offer a bottle or cup at the 9:00am or 10:00am feeding (pump if the baby takes the bottle).
- You can choose to feed the baby yourself, or use this opportunity to have your partner or a family member give baby the cup or bottle. If you have a home care helper, they can introduce the bottle or cup as well.
- You may want to continue to offer one bottle or cup a day at this same time so the baby starts to get used to the bottle-feeding or cup-feeding pattern.
If you need to steadily increase the number of times you offer a bottle, take it slow. Consider offering one additional bottle every 3-4 days. When you have reached the number of bottles per day needed, then stop and continue with this plan until you need to make any additional changes. Follow this same plan each time a change is made.
To keep your milk supply up, you will still continue nursing at all the feedings you can when you are home and available to do so.
On the days or evenings when you are home with the baby, offer the breast or bottles as you see fit. Try to keep the routine as consistent as possible for the baby, as they will start to develop habits around the different feeding sessions.
Need more support helping baby transition from breast to bottle and back again? Share your concerns with one of the healthcare professionals on our team today.