I've had a few questions from friends and followers about moving from breast feeding to bottle feeding and thought I would share 5 tips from personal experience.
1. Trust your instincts on when the time is right for you and your baby. Maybe your baby has started self-weaning due to the introduction of solids, you are going back to work, you have medical reasons or it just isn't working for you anymore. Either way, people will have ...their opinions but only you will know when the circumstances are right for you and your baby.
2. It is best to first try a bottle/formula when your baby is in a good mood and not excessively hungry. Trying to give a screaming/crying baby a bottle for the first time is bound to be an anxious and stressful time for you and bubs. I recommend trying a bottle up to half an hour prior to usual feed time as they are likely to eat but not be as frantic.
3. Have a few different types of bottles on hand ie. different brands and/or flows. Some babies struggle adjusting because they aren't able to regulate the volume coming out of the teat as effectively. It may be a bit of trial and error.
3. Start by dropping 1 feed per day only, I found that giving a bottle before the main night sleep worked best (and it might just give you a little bit more sleep overnight)
4. Do it slooowly, so you don't end up with mastitis or being incredibly uncomfortable. Start by only dropping a feed every week or so, keep expressing if necessary but try and reduce how often you do, because don't forget it is all about 'supply and demand'. It took me about 5 weeks to fully transition!
5. Regardless of your reasons for wanting to stop breast feeding, you may still feel a little sad and miss that connection. This is completely normal but you will continue to bond with your baby in other ways, promise!