Ideally, breast-feeding mothers would be able to nurse their babies at every feeding and never need to give a bottle. Certainly bottles should be avoided until breast-feeding is well established (usually 3 to 4 weeks after your baby's birth). However, once breast-feeding is going well, many mothers want their babies to drink from a bottle some of the time. Women who are going to work outside the home want their babies to get used to bottle-feeding so other people can feed the baby during the workday. Mothers may choose to have their partners or other people feed the baby with a bottle of pumped breast milk. Rarely, mothers and babies need to be separated as a result of illness, and the baby needs to be fed with a bottle.
Some breast-fed babies readily accept a bottle, while others resist new methods of feeding. Many breast-feeding mothers get frustrated and discouraged when their baby refuses to drink from a bottle. Here are some ways to encourage breast-fed infants to accept a bottle.