When I gave birth Philips Avent products were used in the hospital and they were game-changers in getting my little one to eat with ease from day one. Ideally a baby will take to any bottle, so I was armed with every brand imaginable at home. My little one sucked on every single one, but Philips Avent was the only one he was able to actually draw the milk out of. Incidentally, he will also suck on any dummy, but Philips Avent’s are the only ones that will actually stay in his mouth for a measurable amount of time. I was shocked because they look gigantic, but they’re made with a genius hole you stick your finger in so that your baby can more easily latch on to the dummy.
Speaking to both friends and experts I hear of their positive experiences with Philips Avent over and over again. This all led me to Doula Mandy Major, who was such a fan of the brand that she now works with them. I reached out to her to get her expert insight on how to balance bottle feeding and breastfeeding, which can be one of the most stressful and overwhelming challenges new mums face in the first few months of new parenthood.
Establish breast/body-feeding, then bottle feed.
“Unless your baby has medical needs that necessitate bottle feeding from the get-go, I recommend establishing breast/body-feeding before introducing a bottle. Nursing is work for babies, and we want them to be comfortable and physically capable of nursing before introducing an easier, more passive way of receiving calories (a.k.a. the bottle).”
Be specific about the bottle you choose.
“Let’s hear it for wide, flexible nipples! A nipple that mimics the shape and feel of your own body will provide the most seamless experience when mixing nursing and bottle feeding. The Philips Avent Natural baby bottle is my go-to favourite because of its wide shape and soft nipple. The design encourages Baby to feed similarly to how they latch, which is exactly what you want.”
Triple feeders may need more nurturing.
“Triple feeding is when you’re blending breast/body-feeding, pumping and bottle feeding. You may be doing this because of your little one’s needs or your own. Whatever the case, it definitely adds layers of physical effort and logistics, which can be stressful. Don’t discount that work. Honour it and yourself!”
Turn to a lactation expert early.
“We often wait until something is worst-case or really bothering us before we turn to others for help. Please don’t let it come to that! Lactation takes practice, education and dedication. If you have questions, concerns, or are experiencing any pain, reach out to a professional. Lactation services can be in-person or virtual, and many are covered by insurance. That said, even if it’s out-of-pocket, I can’t think of money better spent.”