On the 7pm to 7am Sleeping Baby Routine method, is it OK to swap things around and give a bottle pre bath and breast post bath? 

This is a commonly asked question, especially if the post bath bottle isn’t quite going according to plan.

The post bath bottle feed is to make up for mother natures annoying breasts design fault! Your milk supply is typically at its lowest from the afternoon to early evening which is exactly when your baby needs their biggest feed of the day to set them up for a long stretch of sleep overnight.  

Milk supply naturally depletes throughout the day, but by how much will vary from mother to mother.  The bedtime/ post bath feed is also when a baby is at their most tired and sensitive. Starting a bottle as part of your bedtime routine no later than week two should mean you encounter less issues with this feed. .. but starting this part of the routine weeks in, can lead to bottle rejection.  

I’m regularly asked about boob and bottle confusion with many parents worried about breast rejection if they introduce a bottle before bed. The reality is that if you’re exclusively breastfeeding and offer one bottle a day your baby is likely to reject the bottle not the breast or if you bottle feed by day and give one breastfeed a day then the breast is most likely to be rejected. Your baby will favour the feeding method they predominantly get throughout the day. 

So this means for some breastfed babies the bedtime bottle can be a challenge. If a full night sleep is your end game, and for long term sleeping through the night success, the bedtime bottle is an important part of the routine. At least until weaning and when solid food takes the pressure off milk intake. 

Here are a few tricks to try and encourage the bedtime bottle 

  1. Make sure the temperature of milk is warm and not cold or room temperature. 
  2. Use the right size teat for your baby’s age and sucking power . I tend not to deviate from Mam. 
  3. Offer a bottle before the bath and after, therefore saving both breasts for a fuller breastfeed if or when the bottle is rejected. 
  4. Offer a  bottle (30-60mls only )before each breastfeed for a few days only and when your baby is at their most hungry and likely to take the bottle.
  5. Use the same feeding position as the breastfeed, turning your baby towards you to mimic the position. 

Do you need help resolving baby feeding issue? Head over to my Baby Digestion and Feeding Support page and book a consultancy call.

I offer lots of free advice with videos here.

Happy parenting!