You don’t want to wean your baby, but at six months old, you’d like to complement their meals of breast milk with additional food that’s appropriate for their growth and age.
You’re wondering: when should you introduce a bottle to their diet?
Of course, switching to bottle-feeding won’t be done in the blink of the eye, but gradually, to keep it from turning into something unpleasant that will alienate your child.
- Choose a time to start when your child is not very hungry because they will not be patient enough to try drinking it but may burst into tears angrily.
- Avoid giving them the bottle for the evening meal; most children are very attached to breastfeeding at night because they need this dose of tenderness from their mothers before bed.
- There is no perfect bottle that compensates for the removal of their mother’s breast, even for one meal a day. Most bottles are similar. It’s up to you to experiment with your child and check the size of the nipple before feeding your child to avoid pushing too much food into their mouth and causing them to cough or vomit.
- It’s preferable that at first someone else, like the father or grandmother, handle bottle-feeding the baby so that the baby can learn to separate the matter from the smell of their mother and the need to breastfeed.
- You can always fill the bottle with breast milk to be reassured that the taste has not changed, and then add new food at a later stage.
- Don’t insist on feeding them with the bottle if they show a severe and repeated refusal leading them to stop nursing completely. Wait a few days and try again.
Breastfeeding—there’s a magical link between the child and their mother, so don’t deprive them of it once they get used to the other method. Still, maintain the warm and special moments that bring you together and hold them in your lap while they enjoy this new milk.