There comes a time in every baby's life when mommy has to go back to work or leave them with a sitter for a length of time longer than 3 hours. There also may be a time when another caretaker wants to feed the baby to share in that special bonding.
When the baby is exclusively breastfed, they sometimes don't want to take a bottle or eat for anyone but mommy- so how can you return to work or go out anywhere without keeping baby attached to your breast? There are some ways that can help women get their new baby to accept a bottle for daddy or another caretaker. Here are a few tips that worked for other people.
The first tip is to use the middle of the night feedings to help the father of the child. To increase bonding, he can hold the bottle of pumped milk under his shirt so he can put the baby up to his "breast" to help the baby transition.
Have your caretaker wake up in the middle of the night to help with the late night feedings to make the transition smoother as well. Wait until the baby is just hungry enough (not too hungry or just starting to get hungry). If the baby is too hungry, feeding time will be a battle- even at the "breast" of times. If the baby isn't hungry enough, they may just cry and scream until they get their way.
[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="1200"] Via Tesco Baby Club[/caption]
Make sure you stay out of the baby's sight, don't talk and don't show any indication that you're around. Daddy (or another caregiver) needs the baby to be fully alone in a quiet room.
Another tip to help the baby eat for someone else comes from the bottle itself. Companies make all sorts of bottle nipples, some are more lifelike and made for primarily breastfed babies. Not every nipple works for every baby so buy a wide variety of nipples until you find the right one. Make sure that if the baby is very young, to start with a slower flow and work up as baby gets accustomed. Too fast can choke any young infant if they aren't ready.
Making sure the other close care taker is close while mom is nursing can help as well. It can help baby associate someone else with eating as well and help them join the bonding moment.
Finally, "kangaroo care" is a term NICU parents are very familiar with. When mommy (and any other caregiver) holds the baby under their gown so baby gets some skin to skin contact with parents. It has a lot of benefits for baby and can help them form the bond with baby as well when trying to transition baby to feeding from someone else.
Try these tips, and before you know it, your little one will be eating for just about anyone!