You asked

I have breastfed exclusively for 15 weeks, how can I get my baby to take a bottle?

Congratulations on breastfeeding for these 15 weeks – you have given your new bundle of joy the best possible to start to life.  Of course if you could continue to breastfeed that would be great but if you have your mind made up to move on to formula there are one or two tips that might make the transition a bit easier.
If you plan on doing combination feeding, you should bear in mind that your breast milk supply depends on your baby’s demand. Introducing formula will reduce your supply and cause nipple confusion.
  • Make the switch gradually - gradually increase the number of bottlefeeds you give your baby each day. For the first two days, substitute one bottle of formula for one of the day's breastfeeds.  On the third day, substitute a bottle for two breastfeeds and continue this gradual introduction according to your own baby’s likes.
  • Allow another member of the family to give a bottle – your baby will associate you with breastfeeding and may be confused if you offer a bottle. It’s a good idea to stay out of sight if another member of the family is giving a bottle.
  • If your baby does not seem to like the bottle you can try using different teat shapes and hole sizes until you find the one that suits best.
  • Put breast milk in the bottle – you can later introduce a little formula mixed with some breast milk and afterward go completely over to formula. Put some breast milk on the teat – if your baby tastes the breast milk he might want to drink more.
  • Feed baby before he becomes too hungry- being too hungry would just aggravate him further.
  • Warm the teat before offering it to baby (pour some sterile hot water over it)

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