Can A Breastfed Baby Accept A Bottle?

pumping for twins

Not everyone needs to pump, but circumstances may arise where pumping breast milk is needed. Whether you are away from baby for work or play, building your breast milk supply or donating breast milk to a local milk bank, finding a pump that works efficiently and a bottle that your breastfed baby actually drinks from is a top priority.

Tools For Pumping Breast Milk

The Medela Freestyle Double Electric pump, Calma bottle and their breastfeeding app make a great team when you are pumping several times per day and balancing breastfeeding with feeding pumped breast milk.

Last month, I shared the functionality of the pumping system (sound effects included). An efficient pump like the Freestyle will collect milk for your baby, but then baby needs to actually drink the milk in order to be fed.

Disclosure: I am part of the PTPA Brand Ambassador Program with Medela Canada and I received Compensation as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.

Medela has researched and created the Calma bottle system. The Calma bottle and nipple look quite different from a typical bottle and nipple. Unlike typical systems, Calma is designed to only flow when the baby creates a vacuum/suction to remove the milk. This design also allows it to be a system that can be the only one you need as the baby grows; the milk flow adjusts based on baby’s ability to suck and swallow, following the baby’s lead. No giant collection of random bottles and nipples necessary!! They have awesome videos to watch with plenty of good tips for helping baby adjust to switching between the breast and bottle easily.

slow feeding nipple for pumping breast milk

I’m really quite excited to try out the Calma system. My first baby would drink from a bottle occasionally during her first six months. This was helpful when I wanted to get out for a few hours by myself, but I was always confused about what nipple she should be using and when to make changes. My second refused any bottle given to her. I didn’t attempt to try one until she was 2 months and it was a complete failure. We went to a cup at 6 months due to frustration if I wanted to give her pumped milk.

Tips To Help Baby Accept A Bottle

After watching the Calma videos, I took away four tips to successful breastfeeding with pumped milk to try out with the twins:

  1. Introduce the Calma bottle and nipple between 3 to 5 weeks. Too early and their breastfeeding patterns may not be established. Too late and they may refuse the bottle.
  2. Plan ahead when introducing the Calma bottle and nipple. Some babies may need upwards of 3 attempts before accepting the bottle or or two weeks. It’s fine if baby plays with the nipple…having patience and continuing to offer it helps baby remain calm too.
  3. Ensure baby is happy when attempting to introduce the Calma bottle and nipple. It may be easier to have someone other than mom start out with the feeds as baby may smell milk on mom and want to nurse instead of try out the bottle.
  4. Hold the Calma bottle at 45 degrees. Squeezing some of the milk onto the nipple and then teasing baby’s lip with the milk droplets may help baby open up and start sucking in a manner similar to breastfeeding. The Calma system is designed to mimic breastfeeding with milk only flowing when baby creates suction.

Keep Track Of Feedings

Medela also created a free app called MyMedela, to provide you with support on the go as well as a tracking system. They have lots of information for before and after baby arrives based on age and needs.

You can also set-up more than one baby’s profile at a time…perfect for parents of multiples! The tracking system can be used for breastfeeding at the breasts, pumping times and volumes, formula feeds, diaper changes (pee and poop), sleep, weight and height. If you’re diligent at tracking, you can get statistics for each of these items as well. I would have found this to be useful as a first time mom as I was diligent about tracking. With our second, I tracked only for the first few days as I was more confident in my abilities to follow babies cues. When our twins arrive…I will be using this app to help keep me straight on who got fed and who pooped.

Here are a few screen shots to give you an idea of how the app is set-up. Its free to download too, so I suggest you get it for yourself to try out.

pumping breast milk tips

My last priority for a pumping solution is finding a system that others rate highly. If it only works for a few people, I have no interest in trying to see if it will work for me. Luckily, the Medela Freestyle system (double electric pump + Calma bottle system + MyMedela app) has received the Parent Tested Parent Approved Seal.

Disclosure: I am part of the PTPA Brand Ambassador Program with Medela Canada and I received Compensation as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.


  • Allison B says:

    Good to know for future that 3-5 weeks is the best time to introduce a bottle.

  • Gail Butler says:

    would love to win this for my daughter!

  • Toby says:

    Other parents recommendations are the best! And Medela being recognized like that makes ne feel at ease knowing the quality is there.

  • Journeys of The Zoo says:

    I think it’s great!

    I pumped for my triplets for 18 months using a Medela single electric pump (and all the bottles and accessories) and it gave me such joy! When I was done, I donated it to the hospital. My cousin is having a baby and I would love to gift this to her.

    Besos Sarah
    Journeys of The Zoo

  • Amanda Fontaine says:

    I LOVE Medela products, they are a great quality product and the company ALWAYS goes the extra mile for you!

  • Joshua Spiers says:

    I love Medella brand and would endorse any product!