Tips for Adding Bottles to Your Breastfeeding Routine

Newborn (0-4 months)
Supported Sitter (4-6 months)

switching from Breast to bottle

Tips for introducing the first bottle


  • The first bottle can either be expressed breastmilk or formula.
  • Not all formulas are the same, and the first formula you introduce to your baby may make a difference. Investigate all the infant formula differences. Your baby’s doctor is a great resource.
  • Introduce a bottle when your baby is calm and not so hungry.
  • Briefly nurse on each breast. Then, offer the bottle to your still-hungry baby. If your baby fusses and refuses, calm them by returning them to your breast. Try a bottle again at another feeding.
  • Some parents find that mixing infant formula and breastmilk together in a bottle provides a familiar smell and taste for your baby.
  • Try to keep the skin-to-skin contact that your baby is used to while you feed a formula bottle.
  • Prepare baby formula according to label directions, but make the formula about the same temperature as your breastmilk by placing the bottle in a warm bowl of water.
  • Some babies are more receptive to their first bottle of formula if Dad or another loved one offers that first taste.


Creating a schedule

Whether you're trying to introduce bottles with breastmilk or formula, try to make the process gradual. The ideas below should help guide you, but it's important to stay flexible.


  1. Midday feedings are often the easiest to change. Try offering a bottle at 1 midday feeding for 1-2 days.
  2. Then try offering a bottle at the midday feeding and the one after that and keep the switch going for 2 days.
  3. Replace a 3rd breastfeeding with a bottle and keep that routine up for a couple of days.
  4. Add a 4th bottle feeding after that.
  5. Continue adding feedings until you reach the number you’d like to maintain. This should take about 10 to 11 days to maintain at least 3 feedings.