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When should my baby transition from breastfeeding to bottle feeding?

Endocrinologist, WebMD Medical Expert
Medical Editor, WebMD

Because every baby and situation is different, the answer is that there really is no standard time. But there is a good rule of thumb: Introduce babies to the bottle when they are “fairly good at breastfeeding but not so used to it that they won’t do anything else,” says pediatrician Jennifer Shu, MD.

Most babies are well adapted to breastfeeding in the first two to six weeks, Shu says. You’ll know breastfeeding is established when baby begins putting on weight, and can latch on easily to your nipple and feed until he or she is done.

Why wait until baby is good at breastfeeding if you’re trying to introduce bottles? Because many moms “combination feed“ -- offering the breast perhaps first thing in the morning and last thing at night, with bottles of breast milk or baby formula the rest of the day.

Not every baby is ready to make the transition to bottles by six weeks, so let baby tell you when the time is right.

Two signs that your infant is ready to transition to a baby bottle:

  • She sucks on your breast a few times and then stops nursing.
  • Baby just starts losing interest in your breast.