If you want to know when to introduce a bottle to breastfeed your baby, we’ve got you. Everyone is aware of the importance of breast milk for a baby. One still has doubts, and seeking reliable and authentic online information is challenging.
Malnutrition can occur if you feed your child only on cow or buffalo milk. Also, there is a specific time to introduce your baby to bottled milk and some precautions to remember.
This is the right place if you’ve encountered these problems before. We have gathered all the information you need to know about when to introduce a bottle to breastfed babies.
1. What is Breast Milk?
Breast milk is the best food for newborn babies. It consists of a proper quantity of nutrients for the babies.
Human breast milk incorporates 87% water, 3.8% fat, 1% protein, 7% carbohydrates (1 to 2.4% oligosaccharides), and 4% lipids. Fat and lactose provide 50% and 40% of the whole milk energy, respectively.
However, the composition of human breast milk is dynamic, growing through the years and adapting to the conversion of a developing baby.
Young ones suckle on human milk, and suckling stimulates the ejection of milk, for which the nipple is responsible.
It is suggested to breastfeed your baby while it is six months, then breastfeed with solid foods until at least 1 to 2 years old.
Myoepithelial cells of the breast secret fluid are then stored in the ampulla. From there, lactiferous ducts must take the milk to the nipple.
1.1 What is So Special About Human Milk?
Breast milk is unique as it consists of antibodies like IgA. If you don’t know what antibodies are, they are immunoglobulins, proteins in the blood. Antibodies are proteins that help to fight against disease and infection.
Breast milk also contains specific vitamins(A, D, E and K) and micronutrients crucial for essential body functions. Micronutrients play a vital role in biochemical reactions happening in our body. One can never notice deficiency diseases in their early stages because our body stores some vitamins.
For the same reason, many conditions can affect your child, and we find them at a very later stage.
New ones have small stomachs, and their appetite is less as compared to healthy adults, so to cover all the nutrition, breast milk is the best choice.
New ones don’t have such a strong immunity, and they can get intestinal or stomach infections, so to prevent serious diseases, we provide breast milk, which gives them immunity. Breast milk has all the electrolytes, so it is a better choice for your baby than artificial milk.
One additional thing: breastfeeding your young ones will increase the emotional bonding between mother and child.
1.2 What if Baby Doesn’t Get Breast Milk?
Do you know why nutrition is essential in an initial month? Plants cannot grow appropriately without correct seed sowing. The skyscraper reaches heights and shines out other buildings only because its foundation is solid and different from ordinary buildings.
As described earlier, breast milk is essential for child development. It is necessary as starting months; one is not provided with any other nutrition than breast milk. So, if you want to ensure your child’s proper growth and development, human milk is perfect for your child.
It plays an essential role in the growth and development of the primitive organ system of the baby. If you don’t provide baby human milk, baby growth can be interrupted.
Newborns can easily catch infections as they don’t have any solid protective mechanism to fight pathogens. Also, babies can go through a malnutrition phase, delaying their milestone development.
Children are vaccinated throughout their early years to protect against various diseases, starting from a few weeks of age.
Breast milk also contains a proper quantity of iron and other micronutrients in vitamins for the child’s development. They may not directly act as enzymes for many life-saving processes.
Many children are affected by various diseases due to vitamin deficiency. Some of the vitamins are deposited in our body, so immediate lack cannot be noticed in an early period, because of which we get to know about the disease at a very later stage.
To protect your child from many diseases, providing breast milk in the initial days can do half the work. Immunization provides the other half of protection for your children. Milk powders are certainly not going to feed your baby with all the nutrition, so don’t go for them.
2. How Many Months do Newborns Need to Feed on Breast Milk?
Breast milk contains all the essential properties required for the growth and development of an infant. You might have heard of colostrum earlier. During the initial seven days after pregnancy, the body secretes highly nutritious, concentrated, yellowish milk known as colostrum.
Does that mean that breast milk is of no use after seven days? No way, because it is concentrated, it is more beneficial, so one should not miss them.
But often, due to infection in a child, premature delivery or any other issues in mothers’ health, the newborns cannot get breast milk. In that case, take all the advice from doctors.
When you feed your baby breast milk over one year, you miss other nutrients. As the body grows, not only does the demand for nutrients grow, but the spectrum also extends.
The milk produced by the mother after a certain period loses its nutrient-rich nature and is not fit for the child to fulfil all the requirements. Breast milk starts to dilute and becomes unsuitable for meeting the demands of a growing young child.
Children with small appetites will drink milk and see if the quantity will be enough for them, not the quality.
2.1 What Are the Advantages of Breastfeeding?
The most crucial advantage is lactational amenorrhea. If you don’t know what it is, wait; I will explain.
2.1.1 Lactational Amenorrhea
Amenorrhea is the absence of periods in healthy young females. This one is secondary because it is essential that there was a period cycle present for one to get pregnant and then stop because of lactation.
As you know, the neural and endocrine systems coordinate everything in your body, not just producing milk during lactation. There are many hormones like oxytocin, which is released during parturition and is responsible for milk ejaculation from cells that produce milk in the women.
A hormone called prolactin suppresses many hormones that activate the ovaries in your body to produce hormones that regulate the menstrual cycle. When one goes through the birth-giving process, prolactin is high in the body after that for several months and prevents periods.
So, for many months, you get no periods, which means no pregnancy, and so you can keep space between your children, and your body can repair from the first one.
2.1.2 Reduced Cancer Risks for Females
It reduces the risk of breast and ovarian cancers in young females who have gone through pregnancy at an early age. Exposure to a high quantity of hormones is quite dangerous if someone is susceptible to such malignant diseases.
2.1.3 Hormone Profile
Breastfeeding introduces recovery for the body and also gives women an excellent hormonal profile. Pregnancy and parturition are both like exposing high levels of certain hormones. Breastfeeding is the period that balances the hormone level of the female body.
The risk of high blood pressure and cancers among adult women can be influenced by a variety of factors, including the hormonal system, genetics, lifestyle, diet, and environmental factors.
2.1.4 Effective Solution
It is a cost-effective and reliable way to provide nutrition to someone. Furthermore, human milk provides safety from biohazards like heavy metals, plastics, microplastics present in packaging, and other materials.
Breast milk provides numerous immunologic and nonimmunologic factors that provide passive and active protection to the newborn. It is convenient and includes nutrition at the body temperature, which is generally suitable for newborns.
3. Why Introduce Bottle to Breastfeed Baby?
The quantity of milk remains the same, but the quality of milk gets comprised after a certain period. Any supplements not given with breast milk can introduce the risk of your baby getting a fatal infection. As described earlier, they have very few conditions.
3.1 Why Do You Need Supplements?
There is a risk of new ones getting severe malnutrition. Malnutrition is supposedly one of the critical problems of developing countries and can affect any child.
Appropriate feeding practices for infants and young children are essential to prevent malnutrition.
These include early initiation of breastfeeding within one hour from birth, exclusive breastfeeding till six months of age, complementary feeding at six months while continuing breastfeeding for up to 2 years or beyond, and avoiding using breast milk substitutes like bottle feeding.
3.2 What Kind of Supplements Do You Need?
We all know what micronutrients are, which has made us all well-informed about vitamins and micronutrients and their importance in our body.
So here are some supplements which are provided to lactating females and their children
For the same, you must try contacting your pediatrician for adequate supplements that are needed for the young one, but here are some commonly used supplements listed below:
3.2.1 Vitamin D
Breast milk does not provide enough vitamin D, so one needs to get supplementary doses. While sunlight can initiate the production of vitamin D in the body, this may not be sufficient in certain regions, including tropical countries like Asia and India, due to various factors.
Therefore, it is recommended that you seek advice from your pediatrician regarding vitamin D supplementation.
We all know iron is essential for blood. So, taking iron supplements is sometimes necessary because many women also suffer from iron deficiency.
4. When Should We Introduce the Bottle to Breastfeed the Baby?
The ideal period to introduce the bottle to breastfeeding is six months, as breast milk cannot fulfill your baby’s growing demands. Until now, even water or any other substance that you consider highly nutritious cannot be suitable to provide all the components of a diet at once.
Also, the digestion ability of the young is meager compared to young, healthy adults, so don’t try to expose your children to complex protein structures because they do not have such a developed system.
4.1 How Do You Introduce the Bottle to Breastfeed the Baby?
It can be challenging to change, but it is a gradual process, and everyone has to go through it. Yes, indeed, it was much easier to feed the baby in your busy life. It was convenient, but as mentioned, every diet is not permanent; the body keeps changing, and so do the demands.
Here are some steps to introduce a bottle to breastfeed baby easily.
- First, try to have someone else around the baby doing this job, not you, because then it will be impossible for the baby to feed as the baby will demand you to provide them.
- Always take precautions to clean the bottle after and before feeding. You know how important it is. It can transfer many bacteria and viruses from the bottle. If you have more children at home, do not use the same bottle for each child.
- Use breast milk first instead of directly shifting to general dairy, which is used in our home. It will be familiar in taste to the baby and more accessible to accommodate this change.
- Don’t rush into the process or get upset if the baby refuses to take the milk. It is a gradual process, and one must proceed with patience. Don’t depend on your baby. Maybe they put their mouth on the mouthpiece for a long time but will not suck it or drink from the bottle because they don’t know how. For that, try to do that by yourself for the first two to three times. When you think a baby is ready by him or herself, shift this work on them. A baby may be slow but can do this with themselves.
4.2 What Kind of Precautions to Ensure When Feeding Baby From Bottle?
If you want to know more from experts, here is the YouTube video to help you learn quickly.
- First things first: Choose the slow-rate nipple mouthpiece bottle.
- Don’t take a mouthpiece too hard for your baby. Choose the one softer at the distal end. Use age restriction nipple to prevent choking.
- Take proper sterilization, like boiling water, to wash down all pathogens. Try an incubator-included washing technique.
- Do not leave it alone with the baby. Try comforting the baby in your lap, and make sure you position the bottle correctly.
- The baby may also need some break; for them, it is impossible to gulp the bottle instantly. So give them some leaves. Instead, introduce playing and make it as enjoyable as you can so they become excited for the time when you feed them. So, your bond with the baby grows more robust.
- Do also clean after feeding and take all the necessary precautions.
- The temperature of the bottle of milk is also essential. So maintain it as the newborns need. A temperature that is too low can cause some reactions because children are too sensitive in the early stages.
5. In The End
Many of us don’t realize that the foundation of health is in those prime years of our age when we, as individuals, cannot do anything. So our mother milk provides everything we need. Breast milk lays a strong foundation for achieving all necessary milestones promptly. Do not think everything depends on your genes and immunity; proper breastfeeding is also essential, along with all precautions.
Motherhood can be new and nurturing a whole new life with all the turmoil that comes with it, which can be easily tackled with the correct information at the right time. We have tried to give you all the details in one place.
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