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If you are breastfeeding, I recommend you give your baby a bottle on occasion. For both of my kids, I gave a bottle of formula once a week. This way, they were accustomed to both the bottle and the taste of formula.
I do this because you don’t know what the future holds. I breastfed Brayden for a year and plan to do the same with Kaitlyn. You never know if you will lose your supply. You never know if you are going to have some sort of emergency and need to go away. You never know if you simply need some sanity back and want to go shopping or something through a feeding while DH or someone else takes care of the baby.
The timing of when to start is debatable. I have read to not start before a certain age because the baby will find it easy and reject breastfeeding, but if you start too late you risk the baby refusing a bottle all together. Brayden’s first time was about a week old. No problem. Kaitlyn was a few weeks old and it took her a long time to get the hang of it. She hated it and didn’t eat well from it until she was about 4 months old. I think most babies like to breastfeed and breast milk is a lot better tasting than formula. You will have to decide for yourself if you want to, and when you want to.
Tracy Hogg, author of Secrets of the Baby Whisperer, suggests introducing a bottle three weeks or younger (see page 122) even if you are breastfeeding. [added August 6, 2008]
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