Baby Refuses the Bottle
The Parents Network >
Advice about Breastfeeding >
Baby Refuses the Bottle
I just had a baby, three weeks ago, and am in that sleep
deprived, completely incoherent state--seems like making
complete sentences is a challenge. Trying to sort through
all the advice in parenting/baby books is too
overwhelming--so I need help! When can I start pumping
milk and feeding my baby with bottles? I'm really desperate
to have my husband do one feeding a night so I can sleep
for 3-4 hours. I can't deal with the sleep deprivation--feel
like I' mgoing to go crazy. How do people do this? I'm
irritable, impatient, frustrated, and feel like I can't enjoy my
baby. Not the blissful time I'd hoped for.
So what's the deal with bottles? Any advice on this much
appreciated--what kind of bottles to buy, what kind of
nipples, pumping--when? how often? how much?
There's just too much information in some ways, takes too
much energy and mental focus to sort through right now.
sleep deprived and wanting bottles
I sympathize with you whole-heartedly. I had my first baby 4
years ago but reading your note made it seem like yesterday. I
always thought someone should write a book or article about what
it is REALLY like coming home with a little demanding being that
keeps you awake all night and you are supposed to love
immediately (it took me a good 3 months to ''fall in love'' with
my first baby). What you are feeling is completely normal, just
that no one ever talks about it!
I had to supplement w/formula due to lack of sufficient milk
supply (had previous breast reduction surgery). With both my
babies, I waited at least 6 weeks before introducing a bottle
and that seemed to be a good time. Doctor recommended this, and
it worked well. The baby was used to breastfeeding by then, so
went from breast to bottle without much of a problem. It was a
long, difficult 6 weeks both times (the first was the hardest
though) especially since I had to use an SNS - a contraption
with a tube that I had to tape to my breast so the baby got
additional formula along with my milk. But the wait was
worthwhile. I came to enjoy nursing baby, especially when I was
not so tired. Another thing that helped was I would sleep with
baby and nurse while laying down at night, so at least I could
I used Advent bottles (and still do for my 1.5 yr. old). They
are supposedly good for the breast-bottle transition. I have
always been happy with these, and never felt the need to try
Good luck to you, and remember, it does get eaisier. Try not to
put too much pressure on yourself to be supermom, and most of
all, follow your instincts. The best thing I did was to not read
too many books. Some other new moms I know read so many books
and were so ''confused'' about what they were supposed to do, that
they became depressed and distracted so didn't get to enjoy just
having a baby in their arms.
Based on what I've read, and my own experience, you can start
pumping when your milk supply is ''well-established''. For me,
this meant when my baby was almost 2 mos. old. I pumped prior
to that, but didn't get very much milk (and I use one of the
best pumps--the Medela Pump in Style). I stopped pumping when
she was 4 to 7 weeks old (for reasons I explain below) and
found that when I started again, voila--I was getting much more
milk.&nbs! p; So if you start pumping now and find you are not getting
very much, stop for a few days and then try again. AT this
age, your baby should probably be eating two to three ounces
As for when your baby can take a bottle, it is when breast
feeding is ''well-established''. Again, this is different for
every mom and baby. I will tell you my tale: our baby took a
bottle of formula at 2 and 3 days old because she had lost too
much weight before my milk came in. At that tender age, she
went back and forth between the bottle and breast just fine.
So I pumped when she was 2 to 4 weeks old so my husband could
give her a bottle/day. She continued to go between breast and
bottle fine. Then, we stopped giving her a bottle at about 4
or 5 weeks of age because she seemed to have become a lazy
latcher on the breast. When the issue did not cure itself
after three weeks w/o a bottle, I saw a lactation consultant
who helped me fix the problem, which turned out NOT to be
related to bottles. So I promptly started pumping again
once/day (and was getting far m! ore milk than earlier) but then,
our daughter refuesed the bottle! She did take it from my aunt
(whom she had never met before), but would not take it from my
husband or me. We finally tricked her by having her sit in a
bouncy seat facing Baby Mozart DVD and reached around from
behind her and stuck bottle in her mouth. This worked well
enough and in a short time, we could feed her the bottle in her
bouncy chair regardless of whether she could see us or not.
However, she still wouldn't take it from us in our lap. To
spare you the rest of the details, our baby is now almost 4
mos. old and has regressed a bit on the bottle and now acts as
if she doesn't know how to suck the milk from it. So my advice
to you is to give your baby a bottle now (assuming you are
having no latching problems w/ the breast) and if she goes back
and forth between the bottle and breast okay for a couple/three
days, t! hen keep at it--don't stop using the bottle (at least a
couple times/week), lest your baby be like ours and
refuse/forget how to use it.
The Avent bottles with the newborn nipple work for many babies,
as does the Dr. Brown bottles.
As for how much pumping and when: most women produce the most
milk in the wee hours, like from 1 to 5 a.m., so pumping in the
morning is good. Pump mid-way between feedings. And if you
want to give only one bottle a day, you need to only pump
once/day (assuming you pump enough for a feeding).
Hang in there--things WILL get better! Best of luck.
I was told that I could begin bottle feeding at 4-6 weeks. In
fact, assuming no problem with latch-on, etc., earlier is better
because if the bottle is introduced later, it may take more work
on your part before it is accepted. With my daughter, I waited
for 4 months to introduce the bottle, and it was a lot of work.
But with my son, we introduced at 5 weeks and it was as easy as
pie. Also, it is a good idea to start pumping early because
your milk production will probably become more regulated and
less abundant later on. If you start now, you should have no
problem feeding and then pumping the extra. I never turned over
a regular feeding to my husband, but I had a huge supply for
nights out, a short trip away at 7 months, and my return to
work. On the sleep depriv! ation, all I can say is that it passes
sooner than you think. In a few months your baby will be able
to sleep longer stretches. For now, sleep when the baby sleeps
and start exercising as soon as your doctor okays it (that
really helps improve your mood, even when sleep is lacking).
The sleep deprivation is horrible and i felt exactly like you.
I did not feel like the first three weeks (or even months for
that matter) was blissful at all. In fact i remember wishing
someone would just come and take my baby away for a few hours so
I could just sleep. In some ways it was really terrible and I
wondered if I would ever make it through the first year. The
absolute best thing I did was join a Mom's group (or 2 or 3!!)
because i met other Mom's going through the exact same thing. I
didn't manage to do this u! ntil our baby was six weeks old
though...that's how long it took me to feel good enough to get
out and do something productive. So don't worry...what you are
feeling is totally normal (and don't forget nursing takes up a
ton of energy so not only are you sleep deprived your body is
exhausted from nursing!). Unfortunately from what i understand
you should wait till the baby is between 4 - 6 weeeks before
introducing the bottle so breast feeding will be well
established. But like everything each baby is different. We
did finally introduce the bottle at around six weeks so my
husband could do one feeding at night. We used the Avent
system...bottles and pump. The pump we used was the Avent Isis
hand pump which I thought was great. I haven't used any
automatic pumps so can't comment on them. I would try to pump
one bottle a day so he could have the bottle at night. The only
other thing I can say again is what you are experiencing is
normal and I've been through it. It does get better...really it
does, so hang in there. And in the meantime if you can get any
help at all...hire a sitter/cleaner etc, get a
grandparent/aunt/friend to help cook meals do the laundry etc
then go for it. Or, if possible, after your husband gets home
and has a chance to unwind from work, or on the weekends, try
and get a break somehow...even if it is just to lie down for a
few hours knowing your husband will bring the baby when it is
time to nurse again (not just because the baby is crying and
needs a cuddle or a diaper change!). Good luck and hang in there.
3 weeks is the perfect time to start a daily bottle if
breastfeeding and growth are going well. Pump in the morning
(before you feed the baby) when you have lots of milk. Drink
extra fluids, eat well, rest well because you'll be trying to
increase milk production a bit. Keep the bottle in the fridge,
warm it by putting the bottle into a bowl of hot water (test it
on your arm first), give it to the baby at night. Type of
nipple doesn't matter. Good type pumps are Medela Pumpinstyle,
ameda's purely yours and avent isis manual.
Try to nap whenever possible and learn to breastfeed lying down
so that when baby nurses at night you can doze or even go back
to sleep. Good luck and hang in there! You should start feeling
better but if you don't, go see your doctor and make sure you
don't have postpartum depression.
You will get LOTS of feedback on this one! First, everything
you are feeling is normal and WILL GET BETTER. Survive the
first six weeks and you will see your life start to improve.
You might want to join a mom's support group or start calling a
girlfriend to get reassurance that you will live through this
and that you are not the only one to feel these things. Second,
with both of my kids, the first day I pumped was liberation
day. Do it! My postpartum blues dissipated when I watched my
husband feed the baby. I had the best luck with Nuk Newborn
nipples but babies have individual tastes about nipples so try a
few. My advice is to invest in a really good pump, if you can.
A cheap one will make your pumping experience unpleasant. I
just pumped whenever I had a free minute to do so. Drink a ton
of w! ater, eat something and pump away, even if you just nursed.
It is hard to find to time with a newborn so do it whenever you
have a sec. Get a good book. I recommend Operating
Instructions by Anne Lamott so while you are pumping you will be
reminded that things could be worse!!! Good luck.
First of all - it will get better, I swear. I am now the fairly
well-rested parent of a 5-month old who only gets up once a
night, but who was a 3-week old who nursed every 45 minutes to
an hour and half. It was a rare two hours that went by without
a feeding. Anyway, IMHO, start pumping and giving that bottle
now! My husband started giving our son a bottle once a night
and he continued to be a great nurser at all other times. In
fact, once he started sleeping longer, we discontinued the
nighttime bottl! e feeding and now he refuses to drink from the
bottle! one a day is fine...
First let me tell you something you will more than likely hear
from many, many people - the lack of sleep with a newborn is
nearly devastating, and so shocking it is enough to make you
feel crazy. So, your feelings are normal. That said, just hang
in there. Life will get better. You can pump, but know that
you'll probably still wake when your partner does the feeding.
Your milk may let down or you may just have a natural curiosity
about the baby's well being. Are you getting out of bed for
each feeding or just bringing the baby in with you? Even if you
do not want to have a family bed, this is easiest and most
restful for you when the baby's a newborn. And then when you're
ready for them to sleep elsewhere, they will. Also, let things
go around the house and sleep when the baby does - day or
night. This was incred! ibly hard for me to do but when I finally
did, I began to feel better. As hard as it is to believe, you
will remember this as a precious time with your little one.
There are many days I wish I had my newborn back - and I never
thought I'd say that. Best of luck and a warm
Your baby should start sleeping for 3-4 hour stretches soon. It
does get better. Best not to introduce bottles until 6 weeks or
later. Pumping can be just as demading, anyway. At 3 weeks, your
baby is going through a growth spurt. Wait a couple days -- you
might be surprized!
I'm sure you will get many responses regarding bottles but I
too was in the same situation as you after my baby was born
last year. It was extremely important to have my husband feed
my daughter a bottle of my expressed milk because not only was
I so tired but also I was starting a consulting job and needed
to attend meetings which meant my daughter would be with my
sister or husband and therefore would need to accept a
bottle. Both my husband and I were in agreement about
introducing a bottle early on and we did so at three weeks. My
husband was the one who introduced the bottle and at first my
daughter refused profusely. I have to give my husband credit
because he endured. He kept trying and trying every night for
approximately 30-40 minutes. It was difficult because she cried
and we both felt terrible but it was something we needed to do
so we kept at it. He walked around with! her in his arms facing
out and talked to her, sang to her and all along kept trying to
put the bottle in her mouth. Finally after about three days of
trying and her crying she began to drink from it. From that
point on my husband put my daughter to sleep with a bottle
every night. It worked well for us because he bonded with his
daughter and he really enjoyed spending that special time with
her before she went to sleep. It also provided me with a
little time to myself and a much needed rest.
Good luck to you I hope this advice helps a bit.
Oh dear, I feel for you. I was in your shoes just a few short
months ago -- don't worry, the rule right now is CHANGE and
before you know it you and your baby will be in a whole new
You should start giving your baby bottle at least once a day
NOW. I cannot emphasize this enough-- I have many girlfriends
with babies who end up refusing the bottle because they waited
too long to introduce it or were not consistent in giving it
EVERY DAY. Babies who are introduced to the bottle later may
refuse, but at 3 weeks are usually pretty accepting. If you
stop the bottle for a week while on vacation, don't be
surprised if your baby refuses the bottle when you come back,
never to take one again. I don't mean to be over-dramatic, but
having a baby who does not take a bottle means you do not get a
break as long as you are nursing... so it's worth it to make
sure your baby learns.
You will probably get lots of advice about bottles and nipples,
and the variety out there is mind-numbing, but I recommend the
Playtex nurser system. We started out with Avent bottles
because they seem to be the ''in'' thing these days, but we
disliked them because they are so thick it takes a LONG time to
warm a bottle up if you're warming stored breastmilk (I guess
if you're doing formula you can just add warm water). Five
minutes in a warm water bath is a long time to wait if you're
dealing with a screaming, hungry baby. We switched to the
Playtex nurser system with the ''drop in'' disposable plastic
bags and have found them to be incredibly easy -- no bottle to
wash, and the bags are so thin that they heat in about 40
seconds when placed in a hot water bath. You can buy
a ''starter kit'' which comes with about 6 different types of
nipples as well as the 4 and 8 ounce bottles and bags, and
experiment with which nipple works best for your baby. Our
baby was not picky about the nipple, but we found the silicone
slow nipples to be our favorite.
Okay, the basic scoop on pumping and bottles is below. (In
fact, I think I'm going to have to do this in parts, because it
got long.) But first, I've gotta tell you something you aren't
going to like: Bottles are probably not the solution to your
craziness. They might or might not help with sleep deprivation;
chances are, most of the time you'll wake up when the baby is
hungry anyway. If your natural attunement to the baby doesn't
wake you, your husband fumbling around probably will. And
although some babies seem to sleep a bit longer after a bottle
than they do after nursing, others have a much harder time
sleeping because the bottle causes gas! When the baby is so
young, failing to either nurse or pump around the clock could
compromise your milk supply, so it's best if you don't do it too
o! ften -- and when you do skip a night feeding, you're likely to
get uncomfortably engorged. Plus, pumping is work. So is
washing and preparing bottles. It takes time and effort you
don't have to spare right now. And a lot of what you're feeling
is hormonal stuff that isn't directly related to sleep
deprivation anyway. That said, some parents do find that
splitting the night into shifts - Mom goes to bed early, Mom
sleeps through first night feeding while Dad gives a bottle, Dad
goes to bed late, Mom wakes for next night feeding - helps a lot
with a baby who still isn't sleeping at least a 4-5 hour stretch
after the first month or so. It's worth a try. But learning to
nurse side-lying so you can just take the baby to bed with you
and doze while he (she? your message didn't say) eats may be a
more effective solution.
I had exactly the! same experience you've described with my first
child. Everyone around me, including her father, was insisting
that breast feeding was the very best thing to do for my
baby....meanwhile, I was exhausted from no sleep at night, I
felt sick during the day, and felt nearly incapable of making my
own decision. Long story short, I finally just switched her to
a bottle when she was about 4-weeks-old. I was able to sleep at
night (more or less), and better able to enjoy the experience of
having a new baby. My daughter certainly didn't suffer from it!
And I felt human again. Do what is right for YOU! You and your
baby will both be glad for it.
I can totally relate to how you're feeling! I went through the
same thing. In my case, I waited too long to start with the
bottle and my son NEVER took a bottle. It was very frustrating
and! made for a diffucult time for me for the first 5 months when
he seemed to want to eat endlessly. Unfortunately, I don't have
advice about types of bottles, etc., but I will tell you that
you need to start the bottle at least once a day RIGHT AWAY!
Many lactation experts will tell you to wait (as they told me),
so that the baby won't have nipple confusion (whatever), but
because I waited, I missed the opportunity. I wish you the best
of luck and, don't worry, it does get better!
Wish I'd started sooner
I think you can start now, if your milk supply is good. I found
that the Avent Isis manual pump was the easiest to set up and
use, but everyone's experience is different. Pumping can
actually help prolong the breastfeeding experience by making it
easier on the mom. I have a friend who was able to breastfeed
her first child for 6 weeks only, because she was ! told not to
pump, and she found nursing really tiresome (I know it's heresy,
but I did too, frankly). With her second, she started pumping
almost immediately and 8 months later, she's still giving her
baby breastmilk (while holding down a full-time job). It
depends on the mom, but it can be easier to pump - you know what
the baby is consuming, the father (and others) can help out.
We had an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (the
''official best'' kind) come visit us when my son was two weeks old.
She contradicted a lot of stuff that is on most web sites (including La
Leche League), but absolutely everything she said was right on.
She said that she recommends starting bottles at 2 weeks, as long as
you do only one or two a day, and use Avent bottles/nipples.
What my husband and I did was I pumped at bedtime, he took care of
the baby from 8:00 pm - 2:00 am, and I took the 2:00 am to 8:00 am
Not a huge amount of uninterrupted sleep, but much better than I had
Starting the bottle actually helped my son, who had trouble learning to
nurse, to do a much better, more efficient job (went from taking 45
minutes to nurse to doing it in 15 minutes).
You dear person -- I was where you were 7 weeks ago. And it
was so very very grim. Hang in there. Everyone said it would
get better -- which annoyed me and gave a glimmer of hope. And
it was true. But it didn't change how grim it felt at the time.
I had twins and both babies use different nipples. The
Avent ''0'' nipple (the newborn nipple) worked for one baby but
was too fast a flow for the other baby. For him I used the
Gerber Nuk Orthodontia nipple (which the lactation consultant I
used preferred). There are two ''speeds'' for 0-6 months: slow
flow and medium flow. The slow flow were easier for us to find
at Albertsons/Longs/Target etc. The medium flow we only found
at Rockridge Kids.
We had purchased Avent before their birth and then had to just
try out which other nipples were going to work best.
Also, we found that it has been a real benefit for everyone for
my partner to feed the babies as well.
first of all - you are not alone! Having a new baby to care for, trying
to care for yourself and keeping everyday life together
after the birth of a baby is extremely hard. I went through the same
exact thing 3.5 years ago when my first son was born
(and at the time, my experience with sleep deprivation was so horrible,
I never wanted to have another child again. Now I
have another baby, and it's much easier...) You're right, there is a
lot of advise out there - on the one end there are lots
and lots of hard-core doulas and lactation consultants that want to be
supportive, and on the other end mother-in-laws
who swear by formula. I chose to pump and bottle feed my son and I can
tell you all about it. I would pump every 3 hours
in the day time and then twice/night in the very beginning. after ahile
I would only pump once/night (when the baby was
around 6 months or so). You can buy a used medela pump-in-style for around $75.00-100.00, and
it works fine. You can
also rent a hospital grade medela breast pump, which is more effective
but is too large for travel.
I could go on and on - please feel free to contact me - I would really
love to tak with you if you are interested. I wish I would
have had someone to give me useful advice when I was desperate for
sleep. When you're this tired, it's just too hard
sorting through heaps of info.
I would suggest trying to pump and feed with the bottle right away. We
waited too long (our daughter is 4months old now) and she refuses the
bottle. She knows the difference between the bottle and the ''real''
And the sleep deprivation gets much better... along with the rewards of
parenthood. Hang in there!
Hi! Sorry you are having a tough time right now, though it does
get better! My baby used to nurse every two hours, 45 min at a
time, so I can relate. He was also very gassy and in pain in the
early weeks, so we tried a couple of different bottles. Avent
didn't initially work as well (does now), and Playtex with the
drop in liners worked well. Not a lot of cleaning too!
Due to problems with breastfeeding, we had to do quite a bit of
bottle feeding for the first month of our baby's life. All in
all, I think getting her used to a bottle was an excellent
thing since she now has no problems taking them. We just pump
extra in the morning and store that for her late night
feeding. One bottle a day definitely did not cause her to lose
her ability to suck from a breast nor did it make her ''lazy.''
We use the Avent newborn nipples (even now at 3.5 mos.) but it
seems that certain babies prefer certain nipples, so if those
don't work, try other ones. Good luck!
I think this is just about the right time to introduce a
bottle. As long as breastfeeding is going well, your latch is
good, etc. you can go ahead and try a bottle. Its good! to get
the little one comfortable with the idea so that they have no
problem accepting it. I think we did it at about 4 weeks. Our
guy liked the Dr. Browns set-up, but they are all different.
As for pumping for the nightly feeding, it never really worked
for us because when my husband would feed him a bottle, I'd
have to get up and pump anyways or my breasts threatened to
explode. However, I know it has and can worked for many
As to your other question-how to survive-here are a couple of
my quick points of advice (as a mama of a 5 month old):
1-This too shall pass. Remember that and perhaps adopt it as a
mantra. By 6 weeks your baby will probably get the whole
night/day thing down, and start sleeping in longer chunks. All
of the sudden it will be 1/2 a year later and you will have
virtually no memory of this time.
2-Get out of the house. Sounds counterintuitive, but I found
that even if I had only slept for an hour, a walk and fresh air
really helped my mental heath.
3-Get help. Can Mom or friends bring food? Can you hire a
housecleaner for a couple months? If not, get takeout and eat
on paper plates. Do laundry only, make hubby pick up around
the house and thats it for now.
4-Limit visitors. They always come when the baby is sleeping,
keep you awake, then leave just as baby is waking up. I! f you
can't keep them away, feel free to say ''it was so great to see
you but I have to go lay down''.
5-When the baby is sleeping, at least lay down. I had trouble
with napping during the day, but you must force yourself to at
least lay down while the baby sleeps. Give up TV, movies,
books and anything else for a while. Lay down.
6-Nurse in bed or find some other way to sleep and nurse at the
same time. If you are a family bedder, you know how to do
this, but if not, and I'm not, find some way to be able to
scoop the baby up, nurse and be back asleep in seconds. I
spent many nights asleep in the glider with baby in my arms on
the Boppy. A Co-sleeper would be even better. This will
really help! Either that or get dad to get up, get baby,
change if needed and deliver to you for nursing.
Sometimes if I was so tired I was going to cry, my husband
would go sleep with the baby ! in another room so that I could
get really solid sleep without constantly hearing/looking at
the baby right next to me.
7-Sometime in the next few weeks, join a mom's group.
Comisseration does wonders for the psyche somehow and the
support is really, really crucial.
This is a wild time, but one that in retrospect you will
cherish as a sleepy, tender time with your baby. Your baby
will never be this little again-hold her (or him), smell her,
kiss her and do all of this laying down in the ready to sleep
position. Good luck to you-and remember this too shall pass!
I also had a baby recently (2 weeks ago) and went through a
couple of extremely difficult nights of nursing. My problem
was that my daughter did not seem to be satisfied and appeared
to be constantly hungry. This left me exhausted, and overcome
with a complete sense of helplessness. When I discussed this
with our pediatrician she suggested supplementing with formula
through the night, which is what i am now doing, and it has
made a tremendous difference.
So, long story short, my daughter has been doing fine receiving
both the breast and the bottle. It is better for you to give
your child a bottle and get adequate rest then be unhappy and
discouraged with your experience. Additionally, without enough
rest you stand the chance of depleting your milk supply. You
can discuss this with your pediatrician, but I can attest that
I am not having any problems with providing both.
I feel your pain. I am a lactation consultant and still I
struggled with the same issue. I have 3 boys all older now but I
was sleep deprived for the better part of 7 years because none
of my boys would sleep more than 3 hours at a time. A few words
of caution. Babies use different muscles in their mouths to
bottle feed and breastfeed. It is easier for them to 'latch on'
to a bottle nipple than a mother's nipple. E! ven if your baby is
already breastfeeding you run the risk of them refusing the
breast when then realize how easy it is to suckle from a bottle.
It doesn't take long. All new moms are sleep deprived (it comes
with the territory), that being said your physical and mental
health is important, if you feel that the sleep deprivation is
in any way making it difficult for you to care for your baby
during the day, then you may have to take that chance. If you
choose to bottle feed here are a few suggestions: Have your
husband feed the baby in another room. If the baby is in the
same room as you they may not take to a bottle because they can
smell you and they may prefer the warmth that comes from being
close to you while nursing. As far as bottle types go, I had to
use three different types of bottles (a different one for each
child). Some babies will take any nipple, mine were very
finicky. It was a matter of trial and error. I! bought the one
that I thought would be best (I choose playtex nursers because I
was able to squeeze out the excess air) and if they didn't take
to it I bought another brand until eventually I found the one
that they would take. I've already written way more than I
planned. Please feel free to contact me directly if you'd like
more details. Good Luck and know that one day you'll wake up
feeling fully rested, your baby will be sleeping through the
night. This too shall pass.
Hello (and congratulations!) tired mom,
I can definitely relate to your exhaustion and frustration! I have a
six week old and my husband and I started feeding our little girl bottles
with expressed milk when she was three and a half weeks old. She had
already established a good latch on to the breast-- so we were told to
go ahead and start with the bottles around 3-4 weeks. I've been warned
about nipple confusion, but also told by numerous friends not to wait
beyond 4 weeks to start with the bottle or the baby might not take it.
Anyway-- our baby hasn't experienced nipple confusion at all and my
husband takes her every morning around 7:30 and gives her a feeding
or two to allow me some uninterrupted sleep and a shower. We've been
using Avent (''naturally'') bottles and nipples that are designed for
different ages. My sister recommened them after using them sucessfully
with her son, and we've been happy with them. (They seem to protect
against the baby sucking a lot of air.)
And as far as pumping is concerned-- I usually pump sometime while
my husband is feeding the baby in the morning (using the Medela
system--which is great). If you want to skip a night feeding-- I'd
suggest pumping before you go to bed to prevent waking up engorged.
If you want any more detailed advice, I'd be happy to talk to you about
My baby is one month and I am trying to introduce a bottle with
breast milk in it. She happily sucks on the bottle but she is
unable to get any milk out. I am using Avent bottles with the 1
month nipple on it. Any suggestions?
Maybe the hole in the nipple needs to be made bigger. I've had
to do that in the past with the baby I helped raised. It was
taking her too long to get just a couple of ounces into her. The
bigger hole made a wonderful difference. Start by making the
hole a little bigger and go from there.
Randy Jane Reitzes, LVN, CMT, CCHH
I had a similar problem with my baby... try a variety of
bottles, it may take sometime (weeks or more) before your baby
gets the hang of it. The breastflow bottle from The First Years
company (sold at Babys R Us) worked well for me. (email me if
you want mine, i no longer need them)
My adopted son was bottle fed from birth. The silicone in Avent
nipples was too thick or stiff or something, and he never could
get the milk to flow easily. We've had good luck with the Playtex
''drop-in'' silicone nipples and bottle, so maybe try those. You
can always decant the milk from the Avent bottles if that's the
kind of pump you have.
Get the Avent nipples with more holes. Your baby is less likely
to take a bottle if it's a chore. If at 4-weeks she's a good
nurser, chances are that she won't suddenly prefer a bottle to
you, even it if is easier to get milk out.
my lactation consultant only recommends Playtex Premium nurser
drop-ins for young EBF babies. I just bought one today so
can't tell you how it will work with my 6 week old yet! my LC
is an old hippie, was mid wife, now LC, and just knows
everything...OK, not everything, but she is wise, experienced,
swear by my LC
Following the advice of every doctor and baby book out there, I
have exclusively breastfed my baby from the day he was born. He
is now 11 weeks old and I want him to start taking the bottle so
that I can return to work. I've tried a number of times but
each time, he spits out the bottle nipple and cries when I try
to put it back into his mouth. It is still filled with
breastmilk so I don't think it's a taste issue. I've tried both
Medela and Dr. Brown bottles without success. Is there a trick
to getting him to feed from a bottle? Help!
Hi: My son is 4 months old, we started him on the bottle after
he was 3 weeks old(w/ breast milk only). The nipple that worked
for him was the Playtex easy latch. But still, the only that he
will take the bottle from is my husband and the baby sitter. It
is very strefful because there are nights I want to sleep, but
he will not take the bottle from my husband if I am in the
house!! It is amazing how smart they are. Good Luck
Have you tasted your milk? it must taste sweet and fresh. mine
was going bad (metallic soapy taste) so fast due to lipase that
my daughter wouldn't take the bottle. when i realized this was
the problem i began briefly heating my milk in the mw until tiny
bubbles form at the surface (la leche league directions), then I
could store it in the fridge or freeze it. my daughter then
happily took the bottle
[Editor note: see Gross tasting frozen breastmilk
My partner has started pumping so we can start our 11 week old
daughter taking a bottle in preparation for her going back to
work. The first time she took the bottle like a champ at about 8
weeks, but ever since then she has been pretty resistant to it.
She at best just does nothing when I put the nipple in her mouth
and more likely cries and cries. We have tried many things and
are looking for suggestions. The only thing that has worked
once was when my pertner slipped the bottle in after she had
been breastfeeding a few minutes. Thanks
We didn't have a problem with either of our two young sons and
sadly I think it was because we started them on a bottle (by
necessity and against all ''professional'' advice) at only a
couple of days old. We had no problems with nipple confusion.
But since you can't turn back time I can tell you what else we
do. We use the nipples with the wide base since these more
closely match the shape of the breast. At first my husband fed
the bottles and so the babies didn't smell or see me and so the
breast was not an option. We would feed them from the bottle
when they were hungry but not desperately hungry. I think that
if your method of feeding from the breast and then switching to
the bottle is working to help your daughter make the transition
then do it and slowly give her less and less time on the breast
before switching her to the bottle. Good Luck.
My 11 week old girl refuses to take a bottle of expressed
milk. I have been trying to get her to take the bottle since 6
weeks and we're actually regressing instead of making
progress! I've tried Avent bottles, Dr. Brown's, Playtex
original nurser, Nuk, and really small Gerber nipples. She
would take the milk from Dr. Brown's if I gave it to her asleep
but that doesn't even work anymore. We've tried heating up the
nipple, having my husband, mom, neighbor, give her the bottle,
we've tried when she's hungry, when she's not hungry, and
NOTHING is working. I have to go back to work in 4 weeks and am
really stressing out about this. Any other ideas???? I'm open
to trying anything!
Thanks so much, I keep kicking myself thinking I should have
tried the bottle on her earlier!
It is very common for breast fed babies to refuse a bottle.
There are other options besides a bottle that you can consider.
Even an infant can be fed from a small cup, an eye dropper, a
spoon, a syringe, etc. These other methods will also be less
likely to cause nipple confusion like a bottle or pacifier
would. If you would like more help consider attending a LLL
meeting or calling a Leader. Good Luck!
Our baby was reluctant to take a bottle. When I tasted the
milk I realized why. It tasted horrible! It was soapy,
metallic, and rancid tasting- not merely sour. It turned out
that I was producing too much of the enzyme lipase and the
lipase was digesting the milk and turning it bad within a few
hours of pumping even if it was refrigerated or frozen right
away. If this turns out to be the case, you can deactivate the
lipase by scalding the milk right after pumping- either by
heating it in a saucepan until tiny bubbles form at the edge of
the pan, or in an Avent bottle warmer on the high setting for
about 20 minutes. For some reason the Avent model doesn't have
an automatic shutoff mechanism and you can heat the milk to
about 175 degrees. This is really handy if you need to pump at
work or somewhere where you don't have access to a stove.
this is a tough one, we faced it as well. we got advice to try
a sippy cup or a dropper, neither of which worked for us but
worked for others we know. our only success was in trying over
and over again, in different areas of teh house and in
different situations (the bouncy seat ended up being the
ticket). i know it sounds awful, but if she gets hungry
enough, she will take a bottle. it just happened to us again
last week when she didn't nurse all day because of too many
distractions and i had to leave for a few hours...she got
hungry while i was gone and took four ounces from my husband
out of the bottle, a minor miracle in our house. hang in
there, she will sort it out.
We had this same problem last year when our daughter was 8 weeks
old - my husband had to feed her with a medicine dropper to get
her to drink her milk... finally after about a week and a half,
she got the hang of the bottle, once he noticed that she was
sucking the milk from the dropper. I hope that helps! Good
I recently read a lot of postings from about a month ago (about
Nov 2004) about how hard it can often be to get 3 and 4 month
old breastfed babies to drink from bottles. It didn't even
seem to matter whether or not the babies had been given bottles
earlier or not (i.e., there were many stories about babies who
had had happily had several bottles or more a week still
rejected it at about 3 or 4 months!). I, too, was panicking
and reading the current and archived advice in November because
my usually very happy 3.5 to 4 month old, who had earlier taken
bottles about once a week, rejected the bottle with wild cries.
Now my son is 6 months old and taking a bottle easily, without
even much effort on my part. My so-called ''tactic'' involved
simply waiting until he was 5 months old. At this age, he
became intensely interested in objects in the world around him,
and he could grab on to the bottle himself (with a caregiver
still holding the bottle up for him). It seems that his
curiousity got the better of him and at 5 months he could deal
with the bottle while at 3 and 4 months he wanted nothing to do
with it. Of course, I am extremely lucky in that my work
schedule was very flexible and I could take him (and my au
pair) to work with me during the 4 to 6 weeks that I had to
wait. We tried the bottle again the week before I had to be in
San Francisco for a meeting every day for a week, and he seemed
to be ready and interested in it. So, there's lots of good
advice in November newletters and on the archive and things to
try and not to try. I just wanted to add my experience to all
the varied stories that I didn't do anything at all but manage
to wait another month. And to add that you shouldn't guilt-
trip yourself for not practicing the bottle thing earlier; it's
possible that it *might* not have made a difference for what's
going on for you right now.
been there and survived
You didn't mention if this is your first baby or not, so what I
am suggesting could be difficult or very difficult, depending
on your comfort level. My 2nd born would NOT take a bottle.
PERIOD. So when it was time for me to go back to work, I
called my pediatrician (Dr. Philip Rush) and asked what I
should do. His response was that if/when she was hungry
ENOUGH, she would take the bottle -- otherwise, she would
wait until I got home. Sure enough, I kept pumping at work,
and she would wait -- sometimes 6 hours or so, until I got
home. She finally got the idea, but it was a long time. She
took from a Playtex sippy cup (the kind with the valve) after a
while, but never took any type of bottle. It was stressful for
me at first, but I finally realized that the Dr. was right -- she
didn't starve. In fact, she sure appreciated when I got home!
It helped that my mom was the one with her, because it was
stressful for me. Good luck!
For my daughter, the trick was making sure she was already calm
and reasonably contented each time we gave her a bottle. That is,
she had to be rested, not too hungry, warm enough, etc. If she
was already even a little upset, she would reject the bottle.
After several weeks she would take the bottle under almost any
we had some nursing problems with our second child and were
tauaght a number of things which might possibly be helpful to
someone in your situation:
to get the baby used to getting breast milk from a source other
than a breast, we first tried using a small tube taped onto a
finger (not ''mommy's finger'') through which milk could be
this got the baby used to getting milk from a different source,
and he was already comfortable sucking on a finger. we moved
from there to bottled breast milk without too much trouble. in
our case, because our baby had some physical problems, we used a
nipple that had a faster flow than might otherwise have been
used for a child his age. this doesn't sound necessary for you.
if you want to try the tube-on-finger route, most lactation
consultants, and many dulas, can help you get started. the tube
and bag can also be affixed to the caregivers body in such a way
that a nursing position can be achieved for the baby, but that
may backfire. as a previous poster said, it's good for the baby
to know ''mommy=nursing, everybody else= bottle (or tube)''
My second child also refused to take a bottle as an infant.
This caused me a lot of anxiety as the time approached for me to
return to work. Like you, I tried many different strategies --
leaving the room while my husband gave the bottle, trying
different nipples, putting juice on the nipple. Nothing
worked. Except hunger. After I went back to work, my baby boy
just had the nanny and the bottle. No bottle, no food. He
wasn't dumb -- babies get pretty hungry and he figured out
pretty quickly that the bottle was the only way to go. It was
not the way I'd wanted it, but it was the hand I was dealt and
my son is now very happy and healthy. By the way, he preferred
me to the bottle right up until about 9 months of age, when he
I am a new parent of a three month old girl. I have one more
month of maternity leave left and I'm having a difficult time
getting her to take a bottle. She is breast fed exclusively and I
have pumped since she was six weeks old. However, she has taken
the bottle only a few times. She doesn't like pacifiers either
and we've tried every bottle/nipple out there. I've also tried
spoon feeding her, sippy cups, warm/hot milk, etc. My biggest
concern is when she has to go to daycare. I'm out of ideas and
pressed for time! Any suggestions or advice? Thanks!
This sounds like my daughter exactly. She never used a
pacifier, I breastfed exclusively, I tried to pump and give her
an occasional bottle but after about 2 or 3 weeks of age she
would not take a bottle at all and I gave up until she was
around 3 months and I tried again because I had to go back to
work soon like you but I had no luck. I bought every nipple
manufactured and tried all of the things in the baby books.
When she was 4 months old I had to start working. I took her
to the daycare in the morning, came back 3 hours later during
lunch to breastfeed, went back to work for 3 hours and then
picked her up for the day because that was all that was really
feasible. Simultaneously, I would send a small bottle of
pumped milk to the daycare every day and an angel of a woman
who took care of her worked with my daughter a little bit every
day to get her to take the bottle. It is all such a blur now
several years later and I can't remember exactly how long it
took (about a month maybe less?) but she got her to take the
bottle. Once she would take a bottle at daycare and she was
drinking more I started giving her formula because the nature
of my work made it impossible to pump. I still breastfed at
home but the less I nursed the more formula she drank which led
to her quitting the breast on her own at about 7 months. You
can do it but it is going to be several weeks of uncertainty
which is very uncomfortable in this situation. Have patience
and ask your daycare to help you and work with you. They deal
with this all the time they don't expect your daughter to come
in being totally bottle trained, at least I hope they don't.
It feels heart breaking now but it is a short period of time in
the grand scheme of things and your daughter will be OK. You
should try to work something out with your employer for the
first month or so to have some flexibility while dealing with
the transition. Good luck!
Babies often will not take a bottle from their nursing mother -
have you had someone else try to feed her yet? With you out of
the room? Also if you haven't tried it yet Adiri natural nurser
bottles are most like a breast - you can buy them at Whole Foods.
My daughter is going on 3 years now, but I remember we had this
same issue. I was very stressed and emotional about it at the
time. I can tell you what we did that worked. We did
a ''bottle bootcamp''. My amazing midwife actually volunteered
to spend the morning with my daughter when she was 4 months or
so. If the baby is hungry--she will learn how to do it. Do
you have someone that would do this for you? You can also hire
an experienced babysitter/nanny to do this. Anyway--just an
option. Good luck!
My (now 6 month old) son also refused a bottle and was 100%
breastfed. We also tried an amazing permutation of bottles,
nipples, temperatures, etc. He finally (on his own timetable)
started taking a random bottle here and there, but it was
really up to him as to when he'd do it.
We'd heard there's this ''magical window'' of time when you have
to get them on a bottle or you've ''lost your chance'' of it ever
happening. That, of course, scared us. Further reading and
talking with doulas, friends, etc. has convinced us
that ''window'' is bunk. So try not to get worried about that.
Your baby WILL take a bottle. Eventually. On her own time
table. It may not be till the very first day of day-care, but
she WILL take it. Don't fear. She won't starve.
Best of luck!
BPN archives has great advice on this issue, which was very
helpful. I returned to work part-time when our baby was 3 months
old. We had been trying to bottle feed since she was 6 weeks, but
she was resistant. Like yours, she didn't like pacifiers either.
We tried different bottles and nipples, all with the same result.
Right before I returned to work my husband and I started giving
her a bottle at the same time every day. Sometimes she drank
about an ounce, and other times she'd completely rejected it. We
found we had the best luck with Born Free bottles/nipples.
When I started going to work (four to five hours in the
mornings), I would feed her right before leaving. My husband, who
is caring for her at home, would try to give her the bottle a
couple hours later and many times she would not drink anything
and would cry. When I'd get home she'd be very cranky and very
hungry, and I'd end up doing a marathon of feedings all
afternoon. After a couple of weeks of this, though, she had a
breakthrough. She has been drinking happily from the bottle
without any issues now. We continue giving her bottles on the
weekend to stay consistent. I think she just needed some time to
get used to it. A couple of things helped: 1) we play her
favorite music at very loud volume during the feeding to distract
her, 2) we make sure to feed her before she gets very hungry so
that she is still in a good mood, 3) we make sure my husband, the
caregiver, always gives her the bottle, and 4) we keep trying at
different times if she doesn't take the bottle the first time. My
advice is to keep trying. Good luck!
It does get better!
We introduced the bottle at about 4 weeks and couldn't get her
to drink more than a few sips for months. She simply preferred
the breast (very loudly) and I never pumped all that
productively (plus I hated washing all the gear just to have
her reject those few precious ounces!) We tried to keep
exposing her once a week, maybe more faithfully and more
frequently as I approached having to go back to work (she was
maybe seven months). Here's what worked for us:
1. we cultivated a set bottle feeding - eventually every day we
would give her a bottle at this time. (We developed the habit
of evening family bath - very warm and relaxing, low pressure
environment. In fact we would put a capped bottle with
partially thawed milk into the tub as the water was running,
and the bottle would be the perfect temperature by the time we
were ready to bathe. My husband would generaly be in charge of
holding her in the bath and feeding her the bottle.)
2. The first couple days I went back to my job full-time, she
only drank a couple ounces a day. But within a week, she was
up to what the pediatrician recommended.
3. To the extent possible, take a deep breath and know that
your baby will adjust and you too! With a good daycare
provider, you will find your baby can learn to do so many
things she may not even do for you (bottle feed, nap well, etc.)
hope that helps
mom of a former bottle-rejectiung baby
Both of my kids were serious resisters of the bottle, and it was
frustrating to go through the process. But persistence was the
key for both, and consistency. I recommend offering the bottle
every day, once or twice. Don't make it into a power struggle.
Let him/her chew on it, whatever. Put it in the mouth far
enough where he/she gets the idea to suck on it. There is also
the trick of starting feeding on the breast and then slipping in
the bottle once the baby is sucking. That shows them the bottle
will feed them. With both of my kids, after several weeks, they
finally learned to drink from the bottle and they were a lot
happier than the babies I know who never learned and suffered
when their mommy went back to work. Another thing, maybe you
can have the daycare provider try it before you go back to
work. They sometimes have ways, and may be willing to help you
I had that problem with my first child. We solved it by having
someone other than you give her the bottle. She has learned that
you are the one with breasts so expects that from you. Have her
father give her the bottle. Don't worry, if she gets hungry, she
will take it. Hope that works. It only took a day with our baby.
Sorry you're having to stress out about this as you prepare to
return to work! I had a little trouble getting my son to take
a bottle as well, and here are some of the things that worked
well for us:
- Have someone besides you feed her. Don't even be in the room
and don't let her hear your voice. In other words, resist the
temptation to offer advice to your partner/husband/babysitter
from the next room like I did.
- Run the nipple under warm water to soften/warm it up right
- Position your daughter sitting in the feeder's lap facing
forward, leaning her back against their chest, rather laying
down in someone's arms, since that is so similiar to
Best of luck to you!
A Fellow Nursing Mom
My son is 3 months old and have been nursing fulltime, with a
bottlefeeding twice a day since he was born. He has recently
started refusing to accept the bottle and insists on nursing all
of the time. He was accepting a bottle from my husband, but not
me. Now, he is fighting with my husband when it is feeding time
and cries for a long time for me.
I will need to return to work soon and will not be able to nurse
him during the day. I am afraid that he will cry the whole day
and refuse to eat. He has cried until he chokes before. Has
anyone had similar problems and have any advice to overcome his
have your husband keep offering once a day it when you are out of
the room. you baby probably won't take it, but keep offering.
my second did the same thing - would take the bottle, then
stopped. we were nervous for when i returned to work. then, the
nanny shows up, the environment feels different to the baby, and
they take the bottle. my #2 was just like this and she took the
bottle immediately. i did have a very good nanny - not a ton of
experience but just excellent with kids. try not to worry too
much, just do your best and it will work out.
My 3 month old daughter has been refusing to take the bottle for
the past 4 weeks. She was introduced to the bottle at 6 weeks and
did very well, both nursing and taking the bottle at least 2
times a day. I was even the one giving her the bottle. Now, she's
anti-bottle. I've stepped out of the room, and have had other
people attempt to give it to her and still no go. I have to
return to work on August 1st and I'm freaking out. What should I
i see there's tons of past advice. i'm not gonna look at it all,
so i'll be brief:
very common (usually between 3-4mos) to start to refuse it. when
she's hungry enough, she'll eat. if dr.s can say it's ok for (and
even encourage) older babies to not get food all night, then they
can stand to go all day (but probably will eat eventually). just
be ready for the all night nursathon to make up for it. and don't
cry too much when you see your spurned pumped milk go down the
drain (boy, that's tough to see!).
signed: BTDT, but she drank it eventually (but not the first week or
My son is 3 months old and breast fed. We introduced him to a
periodic bottle of breast milk starting at 6 weeks old and
everything was fine until about 1 week ago when he suddenly
decided that he didn't like the bottle from me or my husband.
I have switched nipples with no luck. It was suggested that I
try a different bottle altogether. I would welcome input from
anyone who has gone through this and overcome it. I am
returning to work at the end of January and I am stressed that
he will cry all day at day care refusing the bottle
we went through exactly the same thing a couple of months ago.
it was a battle for my daughter to learn to suck from the bottle's
nipple, and we tried many kinds! we just had to keep trying, and
usually my husband was a bit more successful than i was (maybe because
she smelled me and expected the breast?). i know it's hard, but be
persistent. i was worried she wouldn't eat at daycare, but she did just
fine. i think that with the practice, they'll do ok, especially if
I wouldn't worry too much, and I wouldn't bother with trying a different
bottle if he was taking the other kind before. It's pretty typical for
children to reject the bottle for a little while around 3 months, but if
you keep offering it, they will get used to it again.
It's so hard, I know! I started giving my son one bottle of pumped milk
a day from the time he was a few weeks old because I wanted to prepare
him for when I had to go back to work at 3 months. He took it like a
pro right from the beginning and was perfectly happy with it every day,
right up till a week before I went back to work. (Just about 3 months
old). Then he started refusing it and fussing every time we offered it.
I was very stressed because I didn't have a choice about going back to
He had some trouble the first week I was back, but while I was at work,
his caregivers kept offering it, and he drank some milk each day for the
first week (not as much as I would have liked), and over the next few
weeks he got less fussy and drank more.
So, if you can think of this as normal development where he has started
to be more discriminating and is expressing a preference for the breast,
it might make you feel better. AND knowing that he won't starve while
you're at work, and especially if he took the bottle before, he'll take
it again if you and his care givers are patient.
Good luck. I know how hard it is to go back to work. It's nice that
you still have a little time--keep offering the bottle every day, but
don't stress too much if he doesn't take it.
Been in your shoes!
We went through the same thing with our son when I went back to work
(granted he was a little bit older). First, read the archives on the
parents network, there was some helpfully info there. What ended up
working for us was not using a nipple bottle at all, but instead using
the Avent soft sippy cup inserts you can use on their bottles. They have
them for 3 month olds. What we did as well is cut a very small wedge out
of the rubber stopper that snaps on to the sippy cup insert so that the
milk would flow a little faster. Also sometimes putting a little formula
in it helped as if it was just breast milk it didn't seem right to him
that it wasn't coming out of a breast. When he first started day care
they actually would spoon feed him milk at first but then he got into
the groove of using the avent sippy cups.
hang in there!
We dealt with exactly the same thing except that it sounds like you were
better about the bottle in the beginning than I was.
We basically did bottle-training boot camp before I went back to work at
3 mos. and it wasn't what I'd call fun, but she did get it and was fine
after that. The trying different bottles/ nipples is good advice: My
daughter transitioned with the playtex nipple (I think it's bigger and
softer than some
others) and then we switched to the Avent once she was really good. I
also ordered this expensive (`$18) ''breast-bottle'' off the web which
is designed to look and feel more like a breast.
My babies were not impressed, but maybe yours would like it.
Another friend of mine said she pumped and left the house for the day
and her husband got their baby to take the bottle.
Sometimes they won't take it from mom but will take it from dad or
Hello! I'm currently experiencing a difficult situation and
wondered if anyone has advice. I currently breastfeed my baby
girl. When I leave to work for a few hours or to take a class or
just get out...I leave a bottle or two of pumped milk with her
and her dad. She did fine the first three or four times but
since then has refused to drink from a bottle.
Any ideas? Should I change the bottle type? Nipple type?
Keep trying until she gets it?
I don't leave too long so she's not starving but...she goes a
good 2 or 3 hours sometimes without drinking. And I'd rather she
I could have written your post about 1 month ago. We gave our daughter a
bottle of pumped milk with no problems starting at one month. But, we
were only doing it about once a week. Well, I guess that was too
infrequent and one day she just refused to take the bottle. I was really
upset about this as I envisioned no time away from her for the next 10
months or so until she was weaned. My goal was to get her in the habit
of taking a bottle every day and then once that was established just
taking a bottle as needed (but at least every other day so at least she
wouldn't get out the habit again.)
Well, here are the things that worked for us - 1) I fed her a bottle
first thing in the morning when she was hungry and half asleep. I did
this for a few days - to a week,
just trying to establish the bottle habit. She would take the bottle
this way, but
only an ounce or two.
2) On the advice of a friend I changed bottles
from Avent system to Evenflo. The Evenflo nipple is shorter and
apparently more breast-like.
She did seem to like this bottle a bit better, but still wouldn't really
take the bottle.
3) I bought a bottle warmer and warmed the milk warmer than I actually
thought was necessary. She seems to like it better this way.
4) I put
her in her infant car seat or bouncer seat and fed her the bottle
without touching her. THIS REALLY WORKED!
I can now leave the house without worrying about her feeding schedule.
Her care- giver plops her in one of the seats and gives her the bottle.
She now coos and smiles through the feedings. I still don't think she
is drinking quite as much as when I breastfeed her. She will take 4 oz.
max. But she will also take a subsequent feeding by bottle, if
necessary. And when I return she just seems to nurse a bit longer and
harder which helps keep up milk supply anyway.
Anyway, I hope this helps! I definitely know how frustrating this can
My daughter also was fine with a bottle while I was on maternity leave.
Then, suddenly, I had been back at work about a week, she started to
refuse. We tried everything - I thought at first it was my diet, so I
quit chocolate, tea, many vegetables - kind of everything with flavor.
Then we thought it was the plastic bottles I was pumping and storing in,
so we switched to glass. Still, only slight improvement.
Finally, we switched her daycare, and they suggested that we try soy
formula, only during the day while she's drinking from a bottle. I was
torn, because I'd hoped to keep her on just breast milk for several more
months (she is 6 mos). We went ahead and tried it, and she drank several
bottles of milk that day and since.
I wouldn't switch to formula right away - I'd do all the things you
suggested - try a different bottle, a different nipple. Our daughter
won't *touch* a silicone nipple - only rubber. Try glass instead of
plastic. Try holding her differently. Try offering the bottle every 20
minutes or so... But then if all else fails, do a formula test.
I'm not sure you said how old your baby is. I know we missed the
''window'' to get our now 15-month-old to take a bottle. I went back to
work when she was about 9 months and she refused to take a bottle during
the 8 hours I was gone for a long time (1-2 months!) She was eating
solids and drinking water out of a sippy cup, but it was stressful.
After I took 2 weeks for winter break, she refused again for at least a
month. The nipple she finally took is the NukNuk, but I think that is
because the other baby in our nanny share uses that one. The only thing
that worked was to keep trying every day and remember that babies will
not starve themselves and she will take the bottle when she realizes
that is her only option. If your schedule is irregular, you could try
to make sure you leave her with someone else to offer the bottle a few
hours every day, so she learns it is a regular thing. I suggest you
keep trying, because the longer you wait, the more stubborn they get (in
You might also try formula instead of breast milk in the bottle - our
daughter refused breast milk from any source other than the breast, but
she did drink formula (especially watered down) and now drinks whole
milk (watered down). She also makes up for it by breastfeeding more
when I am around. Good luck!
We had the same problem (starting at about 3 months -- it was ok before
that.) While I was at work (3 hours), my husband walked her if she
cried. Sometimes, they'd go with me to the class I was teaching to
minimize the time. My husband would go to a cafe and figure out other
ways to distract the baby (and himself). Then when class was over I'd
nurse in the car. The problem was fairly short-lived because at around 5
months he was able to feed her milk from a spoon, which she was willing
this too will pass
We ran into the same diffifulty with bottle feeding. I stayed home for
over one year with our second child and during that time I only breast
feed our daughter. When our daughter was 9 months old, I knew that I
need to go back to work after she turned one year old, so I started to
introduce the bottle. It was unsuccessful. SInce the bottle came late in
the game, when our daughter was 9 months old, she had already grown an
attachment to the breast and to me holding her while she received milk.
I tired various nipples, bottle and even sippy cups. She would entertain
these new devices like they were toys and simply turn away from all
nipples, bottle and sippy cups. I became desperate and needed be sure
that when I am at work she would receive milk. I started to spoon feed
her the milk. One method of getting to sit still to take her spoon feed
milk was to le ther watch her favorite show, Barney. It was the only
time that I can get her to sit on my lap and have her attention
completely on Barney. I would get the milk (at that time used formula)
warmed it in a bowl, turn Barney on and have my daughter sit on my lap
while I spoon feed the milk. One spoon at a time. It took about 10-15
minutes at the most to finish and eventually I was able to do it in 5
minutes. I would do this 3-4 times a day, depending on how her schedule
works out for each day.
Our daughter is 18 months now, and I no longer need to spoon feed milk
to her, as she has taken a liking to milk's flavor and now takes it all
by herself from a cup with a built in straw.
I know that it is tedious and time consuming, but all worth it. I wanted
our daughter to like the taste of milk so as she gets older she can
drink on her own with a straw cup. I think if I didn't introduce milk
(formula or cow) when I did with spoon feeding, she might not acquire a
taste for it. And now she loves it.
My advise to you is to try this method as kids grow older they become
more independent and will eventually ask for milk in a cup.
Happy Milk Mom
Help! My baby won't take a bottle. I've tried every nipple
known to man, I've had various other people try to give her the
bottle, I've put grape jelly on end of the nipple, I've waited
till the brink of starvation...blah blah blah!!!!!!!!
She's 4 months old, and my husband and I are so frustrated, as
we have tried since the first month.
Consider yourself blessed and give her sippy cups!! If she
doesn't want it, accept it. If down the road she shows
interests, she'll ask for it. It's a drag to see big kids with
bottles! My baby isn't interested in pacifiers and can live
without bottles! I have three kids...no bottles and no
pacifiers have saved me bundles and he's fine and happy! Stop
worrying!! Babies are extremely intelligent and know and
express their needs.
I have been breastfeeding my son since birth and he is 4 months
old now. I introduced the bottle to him when he was 4 weeks old
and he was drinking one feed a day until he was 8 weeks old and
then all of a sudden he refused to take the bottle. I have
tried everything and keep offering him an ounce or two everyday
hoping that he will take the bottle. I have decided to start him
on the sippy cup as I will be going back to work when he turns 6
months old. I bought a sippy cup but realized it has a valve
which means he will have to suck from it, which he is not
interested in (I figured this would happen). Is 4 months too
young to start on the sippy cup without the valve ? What should
I do when he starts daycare ? I plan to start him on solids when
he is close to 6 months old but even then, milk will be his
primary source of nutrition and I am afraid that he will not
drink milk from the cup or the bottle when he is in daycare.
Has anyone else experienced this problem? Any advice would be
I too had a child who refused to take a bottle. She then had trouble
with a sippy cup at age 1 even when her peers easily took it. I suggest
trying the sippy cup without the valve.
Then they don't have to suck as hard, but they do have to tip the cup
and it's not leak proof. Another option are the sippy cups with straws.
You do not have to suck as hard to make those work and you don't have to
tip them. For my child, that was easier. They are not totally leak
proof. Rubbermaid makes a version that is sold in grocery stores with
the other food storage items (Tupperware type stuff) and Playtex makes
an insulated version too.
I got my son back on the bottle after a break by breastfeeding him and
slipping in the bottle before he realized what was up. I did this only a
couple of times. I also used the nipple to squirt a little into his
mouth with him in an upright position, but be careful with this as baby
can choke. Others may tell you that at daycare he will take a bottle if
he is really hungry, or he may wait until he gets home. Good luck.
I hear your pain!! We just went through this with our 5 month old.
although we introduced the bottle around 3 mos, she refused it and I
needed to start work. After two difficult weeks, she finally has taken
the bottle. The things that worked (after spending a fortune on every
type of nipple and bottle, and every night online looking for a ''magic
trick''), were having another person give it to her, keeping consistent
with the one bottle/nipple that she seemed to hate the least, and
putting formula in it.
The absolute worst thing you'll have to go through is knowing that your
baby hasn't eaten all day (and this is very very
hard.) The best thing to know is something an advice nurse told
me: most babies will absolutely take the bottle when they are hungry
enough, even though some people tell you they won't. In our case this
was true. During the day, she did not eat, and i nursed her every hour
until bedtime and through the night. She coped by sleeping more during
the day and crying, of course.
Finally, thankfully she is taking it.
If you can afford it, hire someone you trust to do this for you all
week/weekend. The greatest advice nurse told me that the babies will not
take a bottle from their breastfeeding mother.
After all, why would they when you've got what they want.
visit www,kellymom.com for great info and support.
Good luck, I really feel your pain. But I just know that your baby can
and will do it!
I had the EXACT same problem with my son. We used the Avent soft sippy
cup spouts. Don't take out the valve, the milk will just flow way too
fast and he'll gag. What we did is cut out a very small piece from the
valve. This allowed the milk to flow a lot slower.
Also, I've seen many posts on BPN about kids not taking a bottle/sippy
at daycare. A lot of folks wrote saying it's ok if they go 7 - 8 hrs at
daycare w/ out drinking much, but that they'll make up for it at home.
My daughter did EXACTLY the same thing. She took the bottle for about
two weeks (although reluctantly) at 6 weeks and then refused it
altogether. We stopped trying to bottle feed her a couple ounces every
day. She would either cry and get hysterical or just play w/ the nipple
in her mouth and not take any milk.
She started daycare when she was 6 months old as well. A couple weeks
before daycare, we started solids. I gave her a sippy cup w/o a valve
but she didn't know what to do w/ it. I first had to teach her to drink
my milk from a small open top cup (small diameter shot glass to be
exact). I then moved to the sippy cup w/o a valve. She is using the
sippy cup top for the Avent bottles. Some of the other sippy cups were
too hard to use w/o a valve. They had internal drains on the lids that
did not allow for all the milk to come out of the cup. Some cups had
views that were obstructed and I could not see whether milk was pouring
out from the spout. I found the Avent bottles w/ sippy cup spout to be
the best. The daycare is now feeding her milk w/ the Avent bottle/sippy
lid. It takes a while and it can be very messy, but it works. At
daycare, she eats solids 2 to 3 times a day and has 3 'bottles' of milk.
On the positive side, your baby won't be lying down sucking milk from a
bottle, which prevents ear infections, and you won't need to wean him
from a bottle. Right now my daughter is learning to hold an open cup
with handles and can almost drink from the cup! Good Luck!
Try a few different nipples, persevere, and try having someone else give
the bottle to your baby. If left alone with your partner and a bottle
(ie you are out of the house) your baby will eventually decide to take
I wouldn't try the sippy cup without a valve as you will lose most of
oohh, you are not alone on this one. my 7 month old son suddenly
started refusing the bottle at age 4 months. like your son, he had been
fed from a bottle daily, but still, one day, poof, he just decided he
wouldn't do it. i returned to work when he was 6 months. i only work
2-3 days a week, but am gone for 10 hours at a time. i will tell you
some of the things we have done to keep him fed and hydrated in the
absence of the beloved breasts:
-spoon feed breastmilk or formula that has been slightly thickened with
rice cereal -offer sips of breastmilk or forumula thru a regular cup
-tried at straw (at my pediatrician's recommendation) -give baby
applesauce, pears and carrots, especially for their watery, non
constipating quality -introduced whole fat yogart (okay'd by my
pediatrician) just to get more milk products and calories in him.
-offered watered down juice via the bottle, which the little stinker
will drink a little of and keeps him hydrated
this all takes a lot of effort on the part of his caregive (his dad) but
it seems to keep him properly hydrated and content. when i get home from
work, i basically nurse him twice an hour until he goes to bed and i
breastfeed him more frequently at night. we were having a constipation
issue, but that has resolved since he started taking 2-3 ounces of juice
and water while i'm away along with pureed prunes. we continue to offer
the bottle and sippycup, but so far he hasn't taken from them.
i think its a good idea to start the table foods for your baby sooner
than later so that he/she will have a good repetoire going by time you
go back to work.
remember in the begining you should only offer one new food every 5 to 7
also, don't give up on the bottle and sippycup, cause you never know
what your baby will give in to when your not around. i would also
recommend pumping in the evenings before you return to work so that when
you do start working your body will be ready to meet the baby's feeding
demands in the evenings after work. good luck. i can't say it isn't a
little stressful, but it's do-able.
mommy of babe who loves the breast
My 6.5 month old also refuses the bottle and at this point, I have just
put them all away. I went through the same thing where she took it
initially, but by 10 weeks, she just refused it. I also tried the
sippy, and she was more interested in that, than the bottle, but would
get to much when she sucked, so just stopped. My mother suggested trying
a cup, which she really prefers now. Sometimes it can get a bit messy,
but what I do now is take the suction part out of the sippy cups (the
Avent infant ones are great because they are soft and fit on the
bottles) and just drop a bit into her mouth at a time like she is
She takes it just fine and prefers that. The way I look at it now is
that at least I wont have to wean her from a bottle later on. Check to
see if the day cares would do that...I dont know why they wouldnt
becuase its just like bottle feeding. Good Luck...
I am really struggling trying to get my 4 month old boy to take
a bottle. I introduced the bottle when he was 2 months (one a
day), but have continued to breastfeed. I have tried
everthing...different nipples, different times of the day,
someone else giving him the bottle, etc... and it is not getting
any easier. It takes an hour to give him 3 oz and then he is
hungry again 1/2 hour later. He just lolls the nipple in his
mouth and can't quite seem to suck. I really want to continue
breastfeeding for at least another 6 months, but also want him
to drink from a bottle. I would love to hear any suggestions or
if anyone has had a similar struggle and what you did about it.
My daughter also wasn't big on the bottle. Like you, I
struggled with all sorts of different strategies to get her to
take it. But you know what? She is now 13 mos old, I
breastfed her until 10 mos, and in retrospect, I'm really glad
she never took a bottle, because it would have been just one
more thing to wean her from. I actually plan to just skip the
bottle with my next one, now. You can introduce a sippy cup at
your baby's age. I offered my daughter a cup at 5 mos, just
occasionally; she got the hang of it between 6 and 7 mos, and
could hold it herself at 8 mos. It's been great--no bottle
weaning. Granted, you are more tied to your baby having to
nurse all the time until your baby gets the hang of a cup, but
you could consider it a blessing--you'll miss it later! Best
happy with a cup
I have a 4 month old son, who has been breastfeed exclusively.
I will be starting work in 3 weeks so i want to introduce
formula. I have tried several times but he is rejecting it. His
father has also tried feeding him formula in a bottle but
without any sucess.
Since i am starting work soon, I am really concerned. Pumping is
not an option for me as it is too painful(even with an electric
When i start work I want to nurse him once in the morning and
then in then evening and nights. However I want to feed him
formula while I am away during the day. Does anyone
know if this can work (both breastfeed and formula feedings)?
Also does anyone have tips on how I can make him take the
formula? Please help...
First, the good news Yes, combi feeding is possible. However,
some women do seem to struggle to keep up their supply when
doing this, and many babies who get a lot of bottles, especially
of formula, wean prematurely. Nurse your baby as much as you
can during the hours you're together -- possibly even if that
means more interrupted sleep, or commuting home and back on your
lunch hour. You may find that you have to supplement with
formula on the weekends, during the hours you're ordinarily at
Chances are, your baby will come to accept the bottle
eventually, but even if he doesn't, he'll likely be fine. I
know a few moms whose babies have ''reverse cycled'' -- sleeping a
lot and taking the bare minimum from a bottle during the
workday, and nursing a lot in the evening and through the
night. If you can cope with that, it's fine for your baby.
The bad news Your baby is probably rejecting both the taste of
the formula (smart boy!) and the bottle itself. There are lots
of tricks that you can try to help with bottle refusal, but
everyone I know who's dealt with this was using pumped
breastmilk, not formula, so I've no idea whether they'll work
for you. Anyway, the main one is to vary the temperature of the
milk (formula); try everything from a bit warmer than body temp
to straight out of the fridge. Also, try varying how the person
feeding the bottle holds the baby -- some prefer a greater
distinction from nursing position, while others reject the
bottle unless everything else is as close as possible to
nursing. Oh, and DON'T try to give bottles yourself (except
possibly as a last resort.) You want him to learn that
Mommy=nursing and Everyone Else=bottles; otherwise, nipple
confusion, bottle preference, nursing strikes and premature
weaning are more likely.
Also You said you can't pump because it's painful, and I
wonder whether you've tried some different types of pump? Or
hand expression? Have you tried it since you got over the
newborn-period sore and/or cracked nipples (assuming you have)?
(A decent pump should not be painful. If you've been using a
Gerber, First Years or Evenflo, throw it in the trash and buy a
real pump.) I had HUGE psychological issues with using an
electric pump and, throughout my pregnancy, insisted that I
Would Not Pump. Well, to make a long story short, some of the
initial problems we had breastfeeding put an end to that, and I
learned that I could indeed cope with using the Avent Isis
manual pump, and got good enough results to use it at work every
day for seven months.
But if you choose not to (and it's hard to blame you -- pumping
*is* a royal pain), then don't worry. Your baby won't starve
himself. You'll work it out. I wish you the best.
I am also starting to give my 4 month old formula after
exclusive breastfeeding. Fortunately, I am pumping so I am able
to mix formula with breastmilk so she can get used to the
taste. First I started with a small amount of formula mixed in,
then when she seemed to tolerate it and like the taste, I've
been raising the proportion. I suggest you keep trying the
pump . It does hurt and feel strange at first, but just like
nursing, it gets better over time and is totally worth it. You
might also consider a different pump. I use a Medela and it's
I was able to breatfeed when home and use formula when not, with
good milk supply until 9 months old with two babies. I pumped
for a time when I went back to work, but my job didn't allow me
to do it regularly, so I ended up nursing 3 times per day only
after they slept through the night at 5-6 months. My kids
rejected both bottle and breast soon after they started walking
(both at 9 months old), or I probably could have kept the 1/2-
1/2 arrangement going until 1 year. You must keep well hydrated
to do it, but your milk supply is so well established by 4
months it's likely to work for you. I don't have much advice on
switching over to formula feeds at this age- I introduced a
bottle every few days starting at 3 weeks or so and they didn't
mind formula after the first few times (how come they're so
picky now about food?!)
Though it may hurt to pump, my advice is to try mixing 1/3or 1/4
formula w/ breast milk and gradually increase the ratio of
formula to breast milk.
We got our son to take formula as a supplement (a few times a
day along w/ breastfeeding a few times a day) at about 4 months.
A couple of suggestions
1) maybe try a different kind of formula. We used enfamil lactose
free and found that was easier on his tummy. maybe he just
doesn't like the taste of the particular one you are using.
2) We did it by having my husband try to feed him the bottle at
the same time each day (for us it was the early morning feeding
so I could sleep in). If the baby didn't cry but didn't take the
bottle, he'd just wait a few minutes and try again. The first
couple of times it didn't work, but after few tries of being
introduced to the same thing at the same time, our son came to
expect it and finally took the bottle. It became a bonding
experience between him and his father. Maybe this would work with
a caregiver as well. Gradually my son came to be able to take
formula from his caregiver, my husband, and even me! I continued
to both breastfeed and supplement with formula untill I weened
him at 11 months.
Hope this helps, and good luck!
I found that after my 4 month old learned to successfully take it
from dad, I never had a problem feeding him a bottle and also
breastfeeding when I wanted. He never had nipple confusion (by 4
months, the baby definitely knows the difference betweeen a
nipple and a bottle, no matter who provides it!)I had trouble
pumping as well, but the formula supplementing never disturbed my
milk supply. my body just got used to nursing at the schedule I
chose. I tried to bottle feed and nurse at predictable times each
day. I think our comfort level with the decision to supplement
affected how comfortable our son was with it and finally, after
several tries, he began taking the bottle regularly, 2 or 3 times
a day. It ended up working out really well for us.
Only you know if this choice if it is the right one for you and
your baby. Good luck!
We are trying to start our 6 week old, breasfeeding baby on
the bottle as I will be going back to work soon. Have tried
numerous different nipples with no luck. Have tried the
Avent, Gerber and Nuk. any suggestions or ideas?
Make sure you are far away when your child is given a bottle.
Our breastfeeding daughter refused a bottle for months, although
we tried almost every day, in every way, with every different
nipple, from about 3 weeks old on. The first time I left her
with my partner for an entire day (to attend a wedding out of
town), she was 5.5 months old and had only taken a bottle once
(Playtex nipple). She refused to eat for about 7 hours, then
finally got hungry enough and took the bottle. She's now in
daycare and happily eating from the Playtex nipple. She will
not drink from any other type of nipple, and she will not take a
bottle from me (bio mom). It helped a lot when I got the faster
flow nipples, but she was a lot older than your baby by then.
Good luck! I think she will take the bottle when she gets
hungry enough; until then, it's just anxiety-provoking!
Many, many, new parents have been in the exact same position, I
think the only answer is to just keep trying, keeping in mind
that eventually your baby WILL take it. (Also once he/she takes
it give them a bottle at least 2x a week for a while -even if
it is just to start the feed), or amnesia can set in and you
have to start the whole learning process over.
Keep trying! You really need to try EVERY day. Try putting
baby in bouncy seat with one of the Baby Einstein's playing on
TV--the visual will distract baby while you reach around from
behind and put bottle in baby's mouth. This worked for our
baby (though, only for a few weeks--maybe you'll have better
luck). Also, Dr. Brown's bottles have a good nipple--it's more
pliable than Avent and was easier for our baby to get into her
mouth. If these suggestions don't work, you may have to leave
the house while your husband or other caregiver tries the
bottle, as some babies refuse the bottle while mom is around.
I feel your pain, as our 5 month old daughter will take a
bottle only sporadically (fortunately, I am home with her)--I
think our mistake was letting her nurse exclusively from 4 to 8
weeks. Anyway, I think you are at a critical point with
respect to your baby's age, in addition to the obvious--you
going back to work. So keep trying every day. Good luck!!
My daughter is 6 weeks old, and was taking a bottle on a daily
basis without a problem. Suddenly, she's decided not to take
it. She starts to latch onto it, sometime drinking a little,
and then starts fussing and crying. We've been unsuccessful in
our attempts to try it at different times of day, with different
people, the bait and switch, etc. I'm wondering if anyone has
any successful experience to share. Should I give it a break
for a while? Should we keep trying daily? Should we be
persistent, and let her cry through it? I'm becoming very
concerned that this will be a big problem when I have to go back
to work in four weeks. Thanks for any help! Laura
Does she need a faster-flowing nipple? My son was exclusively
bottle fed, and he would start acting frustrated with the
bottle when he was ready for the next stage nipple.
This happened to us when our daughter was 9 weeks old.
I searched the archives and found a lot, but nothing helped, and neither did
Sears & Sears long list about how to bottle feed a breast fed baby.
We tried to understand WHY and WHY NOW. A dozen theories, but we could
never really figure out what it was. That my partner had tried the bottle at
night once so that I get some more sleep? that the milk had been too cold
once? or not fresh enough? or the baby feeling she was to be forced to stay
with relatives who were visiting? the wrong bottle nipples? Etc.
A few times we were lucky with fingerfeeding (very slow, but could delay a
nursing) and spoonfeeding. But not really, she started to resist that as well.
We didn't want to let her cry, but actually ended up doing exactly what you do
not want to do if you believe in conditioning ''good habits'' in babies We kept
trying a couple of times, listened to her protest for a while, and then we gave
in. We let her breaking our will, not the other way round. Our daughter was a
very easy and happy newborn (and still is now, at age 11 months). The only
one really important thing to her was nursing. We felt that it would be unfair
of us to be so insisting about the bottle. This precious baby has only this one
desire, we really should let her have it is what we felt. And if we communicated
to her that she is allowed to have her own will, that's good. (Every child will
figure that out eventually.)
We felt relieved after we made the decision to stop trying the bottle. It had
added an enourmous amount of stress to our lives.
Someone recommended not to try anymore for 3 weeks. Then we would have
a differnt baby. I didn't really believe it. We didn't try anymore for 5 weeks.
Your going back to work must be a very scary thought for you. Maybe you can
make a worst case scenario. Taking baby to your work maybe with a
babysitter, or babysitter hanging out very close to where you work, cell
phones, working from home - to name a few things.
If smokers can leave their workplace every hour for 10 minutes, than nursing
mothers can do so for 20 minutes every other hour. Don't feel bad about
expecting others to make a few compromises. You are currently following the
schedule of a newborn 24 hours a day. Others can also make a few
compromises. Another point is that breastfed babies get sick far less often
than bottlefed babies, and that is certainly in the interest of an employer. (If a
3 months old has an ear infection the mother is probably going to stay home no
matter what.) Look at your work situation closely. Things often can be
stretched here and there. It's probably only going to be a problem for a very
short time after all.
My work situation was very flexible, and I am grateful for that. But I also had
to take my daughter to some meetings and workshops (she stayed with a
babysitter close by) where I wouldn't have dreamt to take a baby along before I
had a baby myself.
After 5 weeks we tried again and it worked. She didn't really like it, but she
took it. My partner gave her the bottle during a walk in the sling. He started
giving it to her while she was still half asleep, in the process of waking up and
crying for milk. Now she didn't care which nipple. Nuk, Avent - whatever.
Around 6 months she started to really like and explore solids, and it got very
easy from there.
We still minimized the number of bottle feedings not to make her upset again.
Then it became easier and easier. Especially when she got interested in
touching and manipulating objects. The bottle became something like a toy for
her. However, she would always prefer the breast, especially when she is tired.
Good luck, Julia
The exact same thing (refusing a bottle of breastmilk) happened
with my son around the same age. He also had been taking a
pacifier and began refusing it then,too. We didn't care about
the binkie, but we did want him to be bottle friendly for when
I returned to work. Since I wasn't returning until he was 6
months old, we figured we would give the bottle a rest and try
again in a few weeks. BIG mistake. By then he totally refused.
When he was around four months old we got advice that we needed
to be persistent and try a bottle every single day, to give it
at the same time of day (when he was a little hungry but not to
wait until he was starving nor wait until he was really tired),
and to not get sidetracked trying every type of bottle and
nipple under the sun (we stuck with the Nuk orthodontic
silicone model). We also were to try feeding him the bottle in
different ways and places in the lap, in the bouncy chair,
while walking him in a bjorn, etc. Also I'm sure you've heard
that it might be easier for the non-lactating parent to be the
bottle giver as baby knows Mommy has the good stuff on her.
My son refused the bottle every day for 4 weeks, then would
randomly take a little milk one out of 5 times, and now finally
is taking the bottle again, about 8 weeks from when we started
getting serious about reintroducing it. For some reason giving
him the bottle outside in the park worked for him. Go figure.
He is now seven and 1/2 months old. I had originally planned to
return to work for two full and one half day a week, but with
his bottle refusal I changed my schedule to five days a week,
mornings only. My situation was easier because by the time I
returned to work he was six months old and taking solid food,
so he would take expressed milk mixed with rice cereal on a
spoon. Even though he finally started taking the bottle this
week, I plan to keep the four hour shifts as I think it will be
easier for him to have me consistently gone a short time every
day instead of either home all day or gone all day.
My advice is be persistent in trying every day, be consistent
about the time of day you try, don't force it when the baby
gets upset, see if you can get your baby to take a binkie ( to
keep baby used to sucking on rubber nipples)and with an older
baby to let the baby play with their bottle like a toy. Chances
are she'll eventually get back on track if she's only been
refusing a short time. But there are some very stubborn babies
who will not return to the bottle and if your child ends up
being one of then I would explore working only half days out of
the house until Baby is able to eat from a spoon if this at all
Good luck getting Baby back on the bottle; I know how
stressful it is returning to work, and how the stress is
compounded when you are worried your baby isn't eating.
Hi. I know everyone has different experience with getting
babies to take a bottle, but I wanted to pass mine along. My
baby also took a bottle for a while and then started refusing
the bottle. We kept trying for a while -- my husband would
give him a bottle downstairs while I hid (or slept) upstairs,
and my son would scream for 20 minutes and take almost
nothing. We finally gave up. But, the good news is, we never
had a problem with him taking a bottle when I was gone. (How
he knew whether I was upstairs or gone I have no idea). He
never took a lot from the bottle, but he always took enough and
he never threw a huge fit like he did when we gave him the
bottle while I was around.
So, I don't know what to tell you about whether or not to keep
trying. Before you go back to work, you might want to leave
him alone with grandparents or dad and a bottle and see what he
does when you are out of the house. Also, we always fed my son
pumped breast milk; formula tastes different, so you might try
breast milk first, then mix formula and breast milk and then
transition to formula (if that's what you're planning on
feeding your baby). Plus, once he starts solids (usually
between 4-6 months) he may eat solids and not as much milk when
Our son did the same thing at about six weeks. It turned out
that he was ready for a faster flow on the nipple. Once we
moved up to the next stage he started taking the bottle again
just fine. I am not sure what type of bottles you are using but
Avent worked the best for us. Good luck!
I've been trying to get my 7-week-old son to start taking a
bottle. He has been breast fed exclusively since birth. I will
be returning to work at the end of August and I want him to be
comfortable with it by then. Also, it would be nice to be able
to leave him for a little bit without worrying that he'll be
He takes a pacifier (Nuk) and we bought the same kind of nipple
for the bottle. But when my husband tries to give him the
bottle, my son just ends up crying. He does get a few drops of
milk but does not seem motivated to start sucking to get more.
Any suggestions? Some people have said ''He'll take it if he's
hungry enough.'' But that seems so traumatic to me. I'm hoping
there's a better way.
Hello there -- we had the same problem when I went back to work
part-time at three months. What finally worked for us
was ''bottle boot camp'' which was a lot of work, but involved me
pumping during the day (even on the days I was home) and
offering only the bottle (of breastmilk) during daytime hours.
We continued breastfeeding at night. Our son began to associate
bottles with daytime and breast with evening/night time. The
trick is to be consistent. It was a real drag-- we basically
stopped nursing during the day, which I missed tremendously. It
also involved quite a bit of crying in the beginning, until he
figured out the routine, but at least preserved nursing at
night. Oh yes, one trick you might try (if you can picture it)
is offering the bottle while bouncing up and down sitting on an
exercise ball (one of those yoga balls). I'm not kidding--
somehow it distracted our baby enough to start him sucking!
Mom who has been there
We started feeding our son with a bottle at 3 weeks, and made a
point of making sure he got one bottle a day so he wouldn't be
too surprised when I went back to work. So far, at 3 months he's
had no problem with either breast or bottle.
However, during the ''training'' time he did flat out refuse to
take a bottle one time and we were pretty freaked out. He was
crying like crazy. So, we put the bottle aside. I did NOT breast
feed him. He stopped crying after a few minutes, then we tried
the bottle again in an hour and he sucked down the whole thing.
I didn't even have to leave the house. I'm guessing he really
wasn't that hungry at first and was irritated about having a
nipple shoved in his mouth.
So, maybe next time your baby refuses a bottle just try being
patient and let him get hungry enough. I wouldn't wait all day
long, maybe just an hour before trying again.
I will be returning to work soon and I am trying to get my 11
week old to start taking a bottle. I have tried different
bottles (Avent, Dr. Brown's, evenflow), pumped breast milk,
formula, feeding her when she is very hungry, feeding her when
she is sleepy, etc etc but my baby just starts crying when she's
offered the bottle. Does anyone know a supernanny or someone
with experience getting a baby to take a bottle to help out? I
really don't want to starve her until she takes a bottle (advice
I was given)-too traumatizing for her and for me!
I have heard that some babies simply will not take a bottle from the
luckily do not have first-hand experience with this, but my sister-in-law
couldn't be in the room when her son was being bottle fed, and, in fact,
in the HOUSE. Her son knew she had the real stuff and would sniff her out.
So this is
probably your problem. If someone else can give the bottle, this would
help you out right now - and I'm assuming that's what would be happening
when you return to work. Also, some babies that have never been given a
don't want one 11 weeks down the road (many recommend trying to add a
into the routine at 3 weeks). But that doesn't help you much. I bet other
with first-hand experience might have better advice than I do. Good luck.
--You've got the real stuff and baby knows it
You are not alone. We had trouble getting our daughter to take
any bottle. We tried EVERY one. She finally took the NUK bottle
with the slanted nipple (have to be careful to put this one in
the right way though). She just couldn't get a latch on any
other one. It took her over a month but I am a SAHM so the need
wasn't as great. I just needed a break so we kept trying with
the bottle. Different people fed her, which was very important
as she was very mommy centric, and we did it at the same feedings
so she always knew what to expect. I had to train my husband
though who would give up really easily. You just have to
persevere. My mom would walk around with my daughter to calm her
while she cried and tried to take the bottle. It would work for
at least a few ounces which was better than nothing. When they
are ready and it doesn't feel so foreign they will take the bottle.
My niece also had the same problem. They just get so attached to
the breast and mommy it's a big step. My niece had to start
taking the bottle at 6 months old as my sister had to go back to
work. My mom watches my niece and the first week was hell. My
niece would only drink a few ounces and wait till my sister got
back. After the first week though my niece got it. She now is a
VERY healthy eater. During that first week we got her to eat the
most in the car. My niece would get tired and I would shove the
bottle in. She would watch things go by, suck on the bottle and
fall asleep. Again the distraction really helped her get use to
the bottle so she could then get use to someone else feeding her.
Just hang in there. Your little one will work it out.
The way I get my son to use his bottle when he doesn't want to is
I let him suck on me for a little while and then when he's good
and going (eyes closed helps) then I pop out my nipple and
replace it with the bottle nipple in one quick motion... This
usually works as soon as he tastes the breast milk coming out...
Or I have also squirted the breast milk from the bottle nipple
into his mouth to give him a little taste and he usually latches
on after that... hopefully this is useful to you!
My third was the worst about taking a bottle. With my other
two persistence worked, but not this one. I finally tried
giving her the milk HOT (seemed too hot to me, but what do I
know) and it worked! I heard about trying different temps on
BPN but it took true desperation to make me give it a try and
it worked like a charm. Maybe it will for you too...plus it's
Does anyone have any advice on how to convince a breastfed baby to accept
bottles? We are at our whits end. Our normally happy and easy-going 2
month old baby has recently started to completely refuse the
bottle (she accepted bottles easily her first month). She is breastfed,
but I'd like her to take a bottle during the 4-5 hours that I need to be
away at work.
She started refusing bottles when we went on vacation and didn't keep up
with the bottles. It's my pumped breastmilk, so it's not a formula
problem. I'm afraid we probably made the situation worse by trying to
continue giving her the bottle when she was crying. Now she starts crying
at the sight of the bottle approaching. Different people have tried (even
grandma), we've tried different nipples (gerber's, avent, playtex, rubber,
silicone, fast flow, slow flow, preemie). We've tried a medicine dropper
and even Medela's Hazelbaker FingerFeeder (a supplementer that allows you
to feed baby from your finger). In every case, as soon as she figures out
that it's not a breast (a second or so), she starts refusing. She won't
even suck on a finger as a substitute. We're not forcing her anymore, just
offering it to her, but she will cry and cry for 2 hours (that's as long
as we've dared to go). I've even tried leaving the house when my husband
is trying, but still no dice.
I've been told that some babies just won't take bottles, but she used to
before. It just pains me so much to hear her crying and crying when she
could just take a bottle. I'm not as freaked out about it as I used to be,
since I realize that she won't starve, but eventually she'll need to go to
daycare, at least part-time, so I'm really concerned. I'd really
appreciate hearing if anyone has had similar experiences. Is it hopeless,
or have you had any success? Thanks for your help!
I stumbled on a solution to this with my first, when she was adamantly
refusing the bottle at two months. While bathing her, I just picked up a
nipple (no bottle), put a little warm water in it, and put it near her
mouth. She sucked it, so I repeated it with water, then put a little milk in
it (still, just the nipple, not the bottle). I can't remember if I
introduced the bottle then, or at a later bath. After that, she took the
bottle--although she still always prefered nursing and didn't like me to
give her a bottle. However, she'd take it from someone else easily after
that. I think the key was that we were both relaxed and happy at the time,
and the situation wasn't loaded...it just occured to me to try this while
she was in her bath. Good luck.
I'm in the process of introducing my 6wk old baby to the bottle as
well. She was having a little tough time. But the only advice I can
give that I did was just let her fuss and be patient. I was very
persistant. She's going to be hungry at some point and will want to
eat. I tried talking to her too, so that she would know that it was
mommy's milk. I know its hard to hear them cry and this is my second
child so its not as hard. Crying is good for their lungs anyway. I
try and give her a bottle as much as possible too, so that she will
get used to it. Don't let the baby take control over you. You have
to lay down the guidelines and rules for them.
Our son _never_ took a bottle with a nipple -- and like you, we tried
everything! Finally, when he was about 6 months old, we got the sippy-cup
spout attachments for our Avent bottles, and those worked very well for us
-- we'd tip a little breastmilk into his mouth and he would happily swallow
it. It was kind of a high-maintenance feeding method, but it did enable me
to leave him with a sitter for the first time ever! If I have the same
problem with my next child, I'll probably try this solution a little bit
My daughter also refused to take the bottle (at around 4 mos), after
having no difficulty when she was very small. We tried just about
everything, as it seems you have. The only thing that really worked
was letting her go hungry for a long period of time. I left the house
for twelve hours. She didn't eat until the 10th. I would recommend
that you find someone other than dad.. like grandma, or auntie, or a
good friend with kids who will not take it personally when your child
screams at them all day for not having boobs. Your baby knows how,
survival instinct will eventually kick in. Some babies only want the
real thing and will wait a long time to get it.
It will also get easier in a few months when your baby starts to eat
some rice cereal and other starter foods. It certainly doesn't satisfy
them in the same way, but at least if you're getting some solids in,
you don't feel quite so bad when they bottle strike.
My oldest child had exactly the situation you describe- at first she
took the bottle willingly, and when we didn't follow up for a few
weeks she began to refuse. I, too, needed to return to work and we
were panicked. We received all sorts of advice; one friend told us
that he got his child to take it by putting strawberry Quik in the
bottle; another said he went down in the basement with the baby and
bottle and didn't come up until he succeeded. We did neither of
those. My amazingly patient husband just hung in there and offered her
the bottle in a quiet, gentle way, with lots of encouragement, and
calming strokes (through all her screams). He did it in the morning,
when she was hungry but not cranky, and I left the house. He did this
several days in a row. Finally, after one 45-minute session she
finally took the bottle, and we were careful to follow up every day
after that with at least one bottle a day. After the battle was over
she took the bottle willingly. Good luck! Lauren
I had this experience with my son who refused to take a bottle when he was
about seven weeks old after accepting the bottle when he was younger. We
tried all types of nipples and bottles to no avail. We had the best luck
with a sippy cup, but it was difficult to really establish the habit when
he four-five months old. However, when he was about six months old he
bonded with the sippy cup and now readily uses it to take medicine,
vitamins or breast milk when I am not around. We've been told that now he
won't have to wean from a bottle and a breast. Good luck.
My daughter also cried at the sight of the bottle. When she was six months
and I went back to work, however, breastfeeding was not an option during the
day and she took the bottle from her father with no fuss at all. After a
so she didn't want to breastfeed. Now she is 16 months old and drinks from
bottle at bedtime and drinks from a tippy cup during the day.
(1) Check your breast milk. Make sure it hasn't soured. I learned
that mine didn't store for long (high amounts of lipase) which made
the baby sad.
(2) Make your bottle routine really different than the breast feeding
routine. For our baby, that meant I (mom) couldn't even be in the
house. Her daddy found that putting her in the sling and walking
around with her worked the best (and it was really different than our
nursing routines of rocking in the chair or lying in the bed).
(3) Go to a La Leche League meeting and talk to experienced
breastfeeding moms or call a La Leche League leader. They are a
We had exactly the same experience with our now 18-month-old boy. My husband
introduced the bottle at 4 weeks old and we gave him a bottle once a week from
there, but that only lasted a few weeks. He started to refuse, and it soon
became quite traumatic for everyone. By the way, he also never wanted a
pacifier and never exhibited much of a sucking tendency at all (except
which he did quite well). I needed to return to work and put him in daycare
starting at 4 months. We tried everything, paid a consultant, tried every
bottle, every nipple/flow, every position, every caregiver, everything! Like
your baby, he soon screamed at the sight of a bottle, it had become so
traumatic. This became VERY stressful for me as the target date for returning
to work approached. I was so tired of reciting all the details, and it seemed
that everyone had advice on what we must be doing incorrectly.
The first thing that worked for me is that I declared I wanted to give up
- accept he would never take a bottle - and a huge weight was lifted. We
shifted our energy from trying to change him, to trying to find another
alternative that worked. The problem is that all the advice - in books, from
friends, family, professionals - convinces you that there must be SOME WAY to
make your baby take the bottle, instead of giving you options other than the
bottle. We did find a way - quickly - as soon as we put our minds to it.
First, I work close to his daycare, so I went there to feed him at lunch for
first few months. I don't know if this is a possibility for you, but if there
is any way you can make it work, it is worth the effort. I came to love our
mid-day visits, and it helped smooth the transition to daycare. Second, a
consultant pointed out to us that he would be on a sippy cup in a few months
anyway, and the beauty of a sippy cup is that the milk pours into their mouth
they do not have to actively suck - and they have no choice but to swallow.
product that saved us was Avent's soft rubber sippy-cup-shaped nipple that
on its regular bottles. In the beginning, we gave him just a few sips,
it in, pulling it out right away, and then I breastfed him. He was held
in our lap, or sometimes in the car seat. He had some trouble, but soon got
hang of it. He by no means had it mastered by the time he went to daycare,
our center was very patient and his desire for milk won out. The combination
lunchtime visits and the slow learning curve (never pushing) of the Avent
worked for us. At 18 months, he still uses the Avent sippy (we use it for
only) and can hold it himself and handle the fast flow - so it is like he
a bottle after all.
I am sure you have heard that some babies do not have milk during the day and
make up for it at night by breastfeeding more. While not ideal, I think it is
preferable to shrug your shoulders and say, "we'll make it work," rather than
beating yourself up over the bottle thing.
In restrospect (and this is too late for either of us, but I do tell my
friends this, and I know it is controversial), I would have allowed a bottle
be introduced in the hospital, and I would have given him a bottle more often
than once a week. But in the end, like all things baby, they find their own
and, together, you make it work. Good luck.
My baby took breastmilk from a bottle from around age six weeks to four
months, then totally refused. I went back to work when she was five months
and at first she would not take a bottle at daycare either, but it worked
out. First, the infant room teachers at our daycare center (Child Education
Center) had been through it before, and knew what they were doing. They
coaxed her with different bottles that they had on hand and eventually found
a type she would take. Second, although I had planned to go back full-time,
I was fortunate to be fairly flexible at first. I didn't leave her there all
day until she started taking the bottle; I called after a couple of hours and
if she wasn't eating, I picked her up. I only had to do this for a week or
so. That gave the teachers time to work their magic and, I think, gave my
daughter time to figure out without trauma that in this new place, with these
new people, there was only one way to eat. She continued to refuse bottles
at home for a long time. So my advice is not to stress out about the bottle
now. Your baby may not take it at home from her familiar people, but given a
patient and experienced daycare provider and a little time, she will learn
what she needs to do in her new situation. At 20 months my daughter loves
both daycare and bottles.
We have a 5-mo-old who has had a LOT of problems with the bottle. We
started at 6 weeks and have struggled endlessly, until about
recently. Our story sounds like yours -- we tried a lot of different
nipples, different people, etc. Here are some things that have worked
for us, based on information you DIDN'T mention:
- change of location -- our baby did a lot better with the bottle
when he was in an unfamiliar environment. We tried feeding him
outdoors, at friends' homes, and in rooms where he wasn't breastfed.
- don't let it escalate -- this was advice we got from our ped's
office and it helped us. Once he started crying a lot, we just
stopped, because we didn't want it to become a war of wills and have
him associate the bottle with being really upset.
- change of position -- one position that worked well for us was NOT
holding him, just putting him on the floor and letting him suck the
- take a break -- I think we just gave up for about a week or so,
then reintroduced the bottle. He actually kind of forgot how much he
- time of day -- we discovered that the one time he would take a
bottle, almost consistently without protest, was at bedtime, right
before going to sleep (he would tank up to get ready for bed, so he
was always hungrier). So we started adding a bottle at bedtime, and
this seems to have made giving bottles during the day easier.
Teresa and Sam
Our eight week old baby will not take the bottle. We've been
trying since week four with no luck. We probably did not try
consistently enough and I was not always out of the house
as recommended but any ideas for success at this time?
My husband also had tremendous struggles with our now 27 month
old daughter and the bottle at the age of 6-8 weeks. We started
with the Advent system which she refused. The thing that worked
for us was to try different bottles and nipples and she finally
accepted the Playtex drop ins.
My daughter would not take a bottle until she needed to -- that
is, when she was six months old and I went to work full time and
she got hungry while we were apart. Babies are pretty clever
and will not let themselves starve.
Some tips you might try for your infant who refuses the bottle--
1. Have someone besides mom give the bottle, and have mom out of
2. Try heating milk on the warmer side--some babies like this.
Also, try freshly pumped breastmilk (are you offering frozen?
it might taste different).
3. Try giving the bottle while bouncing on one of those exercise
balls, this seems to distract them and they start sucking
4. Bait and switch--- have mom breastfeed, then when baby is in
a rhythm slip nipple out and bottle in, chances are baby will
just keep sucking.
5. Try holding baby facing away from you and bouncing him up
and down, with bottle in mouth. This again sometimes distracts
them enough to start sucking.
6. Try various nipples-- they come in different sizes/shapes
(silicone has less of a taste and our baby prefers it to latex)
I went back to work part-time at 10 wks and my husband had
to ''bottle-train'' baby the hard way while I was gone -- even
though we had given our baby a bottle a day since week three, he
always preferred the breast (and still does now at 4 months).
My husbands approach: he would try for ten minutes (crying),
take a ten minute break, try again for ten minutes(crying), and
so on. Eventually some milk would get in the baby.... Also,
once you make progress, stick with it. Make sure baby takes at
least a bottle (or two is even better) a day even on the days
mom is home, so he/she doesn't forget.
We had the same experience with our baby. We tried the bottle
almost every day for about a month with absolutely no success.
She never sucked on the nipple, and when she did, she'd just let
the milk run out of her mouth. We stopped trying so often, and
bought every type of nipple we could find. She finally agreed
to take the Playtex latex nipple, but not until she was about 12
weeks old. We tried everything: feeding her when she was
hungry, feeding her when she wasn't hungry, me (breastfeeding
mom) leaving the house, feeding her in our arms, feeding her in
the swing, etc. She finally took the bottle from her other mom
when I was out, but sometimes will only take it from me. We
still ''practice'' because I'm going back to work soon. We are
most successful if we try when she's not ravenous because
sometimes she gets really ! mad when presented with the bottle.
She is now 5 months and still struggles. She wants to chew on
the nipple rather than suck, so we are going to try a faster
flowing nipple. But she still will drink only from the Playtex
and still refuses Avent, Gerber and Nuk nipples. Good luck!
My mom started watching my breastfed daughter on when she was 6
weeks old. My child would not take the bottle either. What finally
was for the baby to lay in a bouncy seat on a table and to have my
mother sit behind her. My mom would hold the bottle in front of my
daughter, and all the baby would see is a hand and a bottle. My
daughter would get very mad if she saw someone other than me feeding
her, but she didn't seem to mind just an arm! I do think you need to
the home, and when the baby gets hungry enough, she'll be more
motivated to try.
I experienced the same problem with my son, who is now 9 months old.
I, too, tried to give him a bottle at 8 weeks, which led to resistance
from him and a lot of crying. What I finally did and what finally
worked, was that I would make sure that he was fairly hungry, begin
breastfeeding him, then after a few minutes, take him off the breast
and put the bottle in his mouth. The bottle was filled with breast
milk. For the first minute, he would take the bottle, no problem.
Then he'd wise up and reject it. I'd then do the breast-bottled
switch a few more times. I would do this everyday at the same time.
Gradually, he would take more and more of the bottle, until he
consistently would take a whole feeding from the bottle. Of course,
once he did this, I made sure to give him ! one bottle a day from then
on. I'd say that it took about a month of doing this before he would
take a full feeding from anybody at any time without any problem.
One important thing is to be patient. I found that it was worse for
my son if I forced him to take the bottle, or if I kept trying to give
it to him when he obviously didn't want it. I tried once to withhold
a feeding, thinking that if he got really hungry, he'd take the
bottle. This approach, however, did not work, as all it got me was a
lot of stress and crying from him. In my opinion, what worked was
offering hiim the bottle everyday at the same time when he was hungry,
but not starving, and if he fussed or was clearly not interested, I'd
put the bottle away, breast feed, and try it again the next day. I
believe that babies sense your mood, so if you act like it's no big
deal, it won't be a big deal to them, either. Good luck, and
remember, it may take some time for your baby to take a bottle, but it
can be done.
I have the same problem (began trying at 2 1/2 months old,
although she took bottle at 1 week old no prob)) and she's still
not taking the bottle at 10 months. So, don't know if I'm in a
good position to give advice, but this is what I heard might
work: use a latex nipple protector to get baby used to the feel
of latex bottle nipple (from Children's Hospital's excellent
advice line). Try to mimic your nipple shape with different
bottle nipples, have others try feeding the baby, or face
him/her away from you. Keep at it because the longer you wait,
the harder it gets. We're just skipping the bottle and going to
a sippee cup but she's now using breastfeeding as a pacifier
(big mistake!). She has the added complication of having GERD,
or acid reflux. You might want to rule out any other reason such
as this. Hope this helps and good luck!
Going back to work; 5-mo-old won't take bottle
I just went back to work part time two weeks ago. Our baby, Lily, will
be five months on Feb. 20. She is breast fed and we tried to offer the
bottle to her starting at about six weeks but she never really took to
it. Now she becomes very upset when our babysitter gives it to her. (I
am pumping). She cries really hard and only drinks an ounce at most.
This weekend my husband tried the botttle (I left) and altho she didn't
cry she only drank about an ounce again. I have only been working
mornings, so leave her 5 1/2 hours at the most, so she nurses like crazy
after I pick her up. Aside from the feeding problem she seems happy and
stimulated with our babysitter. We've tried gerber and avent nipples.
She seems to prefer the brown gerber one. A possible solution is for me
to just work four half days until she takes to the sippy cup which I
tried today and she didn't swallow any milk but it's easier for me to
work two and a half days since it's a 30 minute drive. any ideas?
I would like to ask for some advice regarding bottle-feeding. My
daughter is 3-1/2 months old and I just went back to work. I pretty much
exclsively breast fed her, although I gave her some bottles of breast milk
and a breast milk/formula combination that she took fine. A couple weeks
before I returned to work, we tried to give her bottles regularly, but she
refused (I tried and my husband tried, and we tried different types of bottles,
Avent, Evenflo, etc.). She refused them all. Since I went back to work (about
7 working days ago), she has followed this pattern: I breast feed her
before I go to work (approx 8am), she's fine until about 11am or 12 noon (she
refuses any bottles offered her, i.e., gnaws on the nipple a little and
then begins crying until the bottle is taken away), eats about 1 oz. later in
the afternoon (around 3 or 4pm), and then I breast feed her when I return
home. As the day wears on, she becomes inconsolable unless she is being held,
and cries a fair amount. FYI, we're feeding her breast milk in the bottles
and she is being offered bottles throughout the day. I breast feed her when
I am home. I am becoming very concerned because it just doesn't seem that
it's good for her to go ten hours (I get home around 6pm) with eating
only an ounce of milk. The pediatrician said to keep trying. Any advice?
Does anyone have advice on getting a 4 1/2 month old baby to take a bottle?
We didn't start trying until he was in his third month (probably too late)
and he still won't take it. I'm now back at work and the baby will spend a
good solid hour or more screaming because he wants to nurse. He never gets
to the point where he is "hungry enough to eat". We have tried practically
every bottle - avent, playtex, gerber, etc. and nothing seems to work. He
eats rice cereal and some solids but when he wants comfort, a nap or his
"usual" food he starts screaming. Any suggestions are welcomed. Thanks.
I've been trying to introduce my now 4 month old baby boy to drinking
breast milk from a bottle for the last several weeks, with no success
at all. He spits the bottle out of his mouth without sucking at all.
It doesn't matter who offers it to him, or whether I'm around or not.
He's been completely uninterested in pacifiers since he was born, so he
has basically no experience sucking on anything but my breasts and his
own hands. Does anyone have any tricks to get him to accept a bottle?
Is it too late by now? I'd be VERY grateful for any ideas.
We had a lot of trouble getting our second child to take a bottle when
she was about 4 months. It wasn't clear to me if you're giving breast
milk or formula - my baby was getting breast milk in the bottle. But what
seemed to have helped were these suggestions from my midwife (hooray for
1. don't just go to another room - leave the house
2. wear the bottle nipple in your bra for a day so it smells like you
3. put some of the milk on the outside of the nipple
Hang in there & good luck!
We switched our son over to the Playtex Avance bottles, which have
vented bottoms that also unscrew for easy cleaning, and special cross-cut
nipples to keep bubbles away from the baby. He has found it much easier
to get good flow with these and doesn't have to interrupt his sucking
pattern to let air in. They come in small and larger (9 oz.) sizes,
and cost $4-$5 at Longs, more at the supermarkets and Rite Aid when
you can find them.
I was told that it is very common for breastfed babies to reject a
bottle at around 4 or 5 months, even if they have taken it successfully
before. When my baby did it, we first tried switching to a faster flow nipple
(we also use Avent) -- this worked well for a while. You can try either
the slow or medium flow or you can get the variable flow and save a bit of
money. You might find that this is all you need: your baby may be
crying because the milk isn't coming out fast enough (if the new nipple is
*too* fast you'll know because s/he will cough or gag a bit -- not
dangerous, but a clear sign).
You can also try a few other things, many of which I and the mothers
in my new moms group tried: distract the baby -- ma bottle feeding "no big
deal" by walking around the house as you do it, talking about other
things, etc.; only feed a few ounces at a time instead of giving a
whole feeding at once -- if the baby wants more, give another small amount
(this has the added advantage of not wasting precious pumped milk -- if
s/he doesn't take it, you only throw out a little bit); have someone other
than mom give the bottle; try bottle feeding only when the baby is
really hungry (note: this technique backfired on me, since it only made
my baby angrier -- I had to do the opposite and try when she was *not*
very hungry, sometimes after nursing a little first); bottle feed at the
same time every day so your baby will come to expect it, then gradually
increase the number of bottles to what you'll need when you have child
Finally, rest assured that your baby *will* get over this -- mine did,
and so did everyone else I've heard about.
I hope you are able to accompllish this but, if your baby steadfastly
and permanently refuses like my breastfed baby did, here's how we
dealt with it. [Note: I was having breast infection
problems until around 3 months during which time I was told I needed
to avoid the bottle while retraining my daughter to latch on
correctly. By then she was absolutely unwilling to switch.]
For the first two months after I returned to work, I took our
caregiver to work with me. She took the baby and
walked around campus and hung out in the engineering lounge during the
day and brought the baby to me every two hours to feed. I also
negotiated a special parking pass just for those two months as I fed
the baby in the car--- there was no private, comfortable place to sit
down. This worked until I decided it was too cold and rainy out.
Then I negotiated at work to take 2 one hour breaks during each day
and drove home then (15 minutes drive each way) to feed the baby so
she was breastfed every 3 hours. Did that for a while --
sometimes required that I come in on the weekend to
make up a few hours. Then I switched to half time work and negotiate
to work at home where I had childcare. Which is just to say that, if
your baby is as stubborn as mine, there may be a variety of
possibilities for dealing with this problem. Good luck.
We had a very similar situation. First thing: The newborn Avent
nipples hardly let any liquid through- try it yourself. If your
breasts ever leak milk, then the baby is getting milk a lot faster than
that avent nipple can provide (mine would squirt milk after lat down).
We (that is the daycare providers, who are a lot more experienced at this
than me) tried ALL the nipples and found that the nuk cross cut high flow
work best. The rubber ones, not the silicon. That said, my baby, now 14
months NEVER liked the bottle. He almost always cried when my husband or
the daycare people tried to give him the bottle (I was not in the house or
at the daycare). I worried alot about him getting enough milk at daycare.
Even now, his all time record for 9 hours of daycare is 5 oz of milk.
Usually, I'd leave him in daycare for about 7 hours, and he drank 3-4 oz
of breast milk from a bottle. My pediatrian assured me that this was fine-
he made up for it when he got hom, and at night. I got less worried after
he started to eat solids. Now he takes a sippy cup. We had no problem
with the transition from bottle to cup. However, he still drinks maybe 1-2
oz of anything (milk or juice) at a time. He is still nursing in the
evening and at night.
One consequence; my son still seems to save up his thurst for 6pm
when he sees me. He always nurses then, and I am very full, so I
think he gets a lot of milk then. He also still nurses twice a night,
despite our attempts to limit this. I think he drinks at night and not
in the day. I'm not worried at this point- I am sure he will be fine by
the time he is 20. Good luck!
From the time my daughter was 2 months until 4 1/2 months, she
absolutely refused to take a bottle. She started -- reluctantly -- only
about 2 weeks before I went back to work (after I had all but given up
hope). What worked for us was to experiment with different brands of
nipples (Avent didn't work, Johnson & Johnson's Healthflow did), to
have me be completely out of sight during feedings, and to have an
experienced bottle-giver do the feeding. The nanny was the one who
was finally able to get my daughter to take a bottle; someone
it to trying to give a cat a pill yourself, then watching a vet
do it. Since then, my daughter still has a clear preference
preference for drinking her milk straight from the source, but she
doesn't fight the bottle at all. I remember how much more stressful
stressful this made my return to work. Just keep trying different
approaches, and best of luck.
When I returned to work, our daughter was 4 months old, and had only
taken one or two bottles before (I, too, introduced it WAY too late). We
tried many bottle/nipple variations -- none seemed to work. Then, at a
friends suggestion, we put the handles on the Avent bottle, and VOILA! She
took it like she'd been doing it all her life!
I had a similar situation when my baby started daycare at 7 months and
refused to take bottle and baby food from the daycare provider on her
first day. I immediately gave her the bottle when I went to pick her
up after 4 hours, but then switched hands with the daycare provider
holding the bottle half way through the feeding. I stepped behind the
provider's back (out of my baby's sight) and kept talking to my baby
throughout the remainder of the feeding. My baby must have had the
impression that the provider had my voice. For some reason that was
the turning point, and she willingly accepted bottle and food from the
daycare provider from that moment on. Hope it works for you too. I
don't know, I spontaneously came up with that idea back then - it's
nothing I read anywhere - maybe I was just plain lucky.
We had this exact issue when I went back to work at 3 months. My daughter
had never had a bottle of anything or a pacifier (we had tried, she just
wouldn't use it), just breast milk. After several unsuccessful attempts we
did 2 things that eventually worked. 1) I left the house completely, not
just the room and 2) NUK nipples for the bottle (I found mine at Rockridge
Kids, they did not carry the right kind at Lucky's or Payless). I was
skeptical of this advice initially but the type of nipple really does make
a difference. A friend of mine actually had to go to a silicon vs. a
rubber nipple to finally have success. There are probably a good 5 or 6
different kinds of nipples and babies may react different to each. We had
unsuccessfully tried Platex, Advent and another angled kind of nipple (I
can't remember the brand name) before having success with the NUK.
Have you tried switching nipples? My baby is now one year old and was on
breast only for the first 3-3 1/2 month. I started to switch him to
bottled breast milk (just like you) around 3 1/2 month because I was going
back to work too at 4 months. I tried switching various nipples made by
different companies, different textures, and different shapes. Most
nipples are interchangable with the normal bottle except for the ones where
you use a disposable liner inside the bottle. So I bought one or two of
each nipple (and 2 of those wider bottles).
Also, I alternated between breast and bottle feeding. So if his first
feeding of the day was breast, then the next one was going to be bottle.
If he didn't eat much of it, I wouldn't give him the breast until it was
time for the 3rd feeding. So, he may go through 6 hours without much food.
But during this period, I would keep offering him the bottle. He ended up
taking an ounce or two around half way to the third feeding. This way, I
knew that even if he didn't eat enough of the bottle milk, he would still
get enough nutrient from the next feeding. I must warn you, that last 3
hours where they're crying and fussing is difficult because it's so easy
for us to just give in.
Have you tried using different kinds of nipples on the bottle? My son
was/is VERY picky about the nipple on his bottle. He has always only
wanted a certain brand of nipple and they have to be colored (he
especially likes the red ones). I had to experiment with a lot of
different brands, shapes and sizes to find the right one for him.
Keep trying and I'm sure you'll find something that he'll like.
My son had a hard time accepting a bottle when I had to go back to
work, although he was a little younger, 12 wks. It took two weeks
for him to finally get used to drinking from the bottle (he would only
take about 1 oz/day while I was away and he would cry almost
the entire time). It was tough, but after those two weeks he must
have realized what was happening and just started accepting the
bottle. Things that may have helped was to hold him upright
and facing forward while giving him a bottle, and to walk around
while doing so (my husband had the best luck when the baby was
in the front pack). Also he liked his bottles very warm.
The two weeks when he wasn't taking a bottle were hell, and I even
asked the pediatrician about it. He said that some babies just don't
want a bottle. He told me about another Dr. in the practice that had
had a baby that refused a bottle entirely while her mother was at work,
and made up for the lost milk when Mom was at home. That baby is
now a perfectly healthy 10 month old.
Other friends have told that it takes one or two weeks for the baby to
get used to it, and it is just one of those awful times that you have to
Hope this helps, and good luck!
bottle tip- did anyone mention trying the Avent bottle? That was the only
one my son liked around 4 months, and he took to that right away (after
many tries with others). More like Mom, I guess.
We had the same problem. We tried to feed our daughter at 3 months with
a bottle. Nothing worked. We tried all the nipples - still nothing
worked, so we gave up after one month. I belong to another group - it's
an Australian mother group and got a tip from one of the Aussie mothers -
she had her baby go straight to a sippy cup. My La Leche Group in New
Jersey also suggested this. My daughter learned to use the sippy cup
just after a few tries. Maybe this will work for your 4 month old.
I need advice about introducing the bottle so my baby can drink
breastmilk once I go back to work. I read the advice above
it hasn't been too helpful so far.
I have got 10 different kinds of nipples by now, Avent and
Nuk and straight ones, in various sized and flow-rates, silicon and rubber,
and absolute nothing works. My daughter hasn't even taken one sip from any
of them. It doesn't matter if she's hungry or not quite yet. I've just had
her go without food for 7 hours today, which means not only her screaming
with hunger, but also me pumping milk constantly, because you can't keep
milk for too long once the baby has had the nipple in her mouth
contaminating it with the bacteria from her mouth (at least that's what
they taught me in the hospital - is this true?).
My husband has tried unsuccessfully, too, with various kinds of nipples,
and I can't expect him to fight this struggle for weeks to come while he is
working full-time, so how can I possibly leave the house for the hours that
we try bottle-feeding?
We even got one of these soft spouts for training cups, but any milk that
goes into my daughter's mouth from this or any bottle she pushes out wuth
her tongue, so it all ends up on her clothes, while she keeps screaming.
I'm just at the end of my energy, we're not making any progress, and I find
myself in tears every day. Are there any child care givers out there whom
you can hire for a short time just to get this problem sorted out. Maybe
someone can recommend an experienced person. Or are there any magic tricks
that I don't know about?
You are not alone. I too welcome any suggestions on feeding my 4.5 month
old daughter who so far has completely refused all bottles, pacifiers, etc.
and I am scheduled to go back to work in early September.
This is regarding your problem trying to get your baby to drink from a
bottle. My husband got our baby to drink from a bottle after a few failures
and much distress on my part. Here are some tips. I'm sure you have heard
of many of them, but I hope one of them is new and will help:
1- You should be completely out of the building when Daddy is trying to get
the baby to take the bottle. Baby can smell Mommy a mile away, and sense
Mommy waiting and worrying in the other room, when a bottle is pushed into
their face. I lurked around the corner and worried and worried instead of
just leaving while my husband worked with our baby.
2- Get a "Granny-type" or a person who has a lot of experience with babies.
Some people who have worked a lot with babies seem to have a special kind
of patience and firmness with them and know how to get things done.
3- I know you want the baby to drink breast-milk, not formula, and it is
great that you can pump. But in order to get the baby to drink from the
bottle, have you considered getting a small can of soy formula? The smell
of the breast-milk in the bottle might be just reminding your baby that you
aren't there. "Where's Mommy? What's this rubber thing in my mouth?" She
might be willing to take formula instead. Then you could mix in breast-milk
in higher and higher concentrations until baby is getting only breast-milk.
I reiterate, breast is best, but it may be worth a try.
Regarding getting breast-fed babies to take a bottle: this advice is too
late for the person writing, but it should be repeated for the benefit of
others to come as this isn't the first time it's come up in this group:
Our pediatrician said that a baby should be given a bottle by the age of 6
weeks or he/she may never take one. I've seen his observation to be true with
the babies of friends.
This is a response to Angela, who is having a problem introducing a
bottle to her baby.
Angela, I had a similar problem with my now 16-month-old daughter. We
waited until she was 11 weeks old, which was outside the window recommended
by the baby books we had. She took the bottle the first time we tried, but
would have nothing to do with it after that. I tried various nipples/bottle
systems and ended up using Avent on the recommendation of a friend (although
I think the others would have worked eventually).
What finally worked was this: I would nurse her and she would fall asleep
still suckling a little; when she fell off my breast, I would slip the
bottle in her mouth. I think this allowed her to get used to the nipple
while she was very relaxed. I did this for about a day, every chance I got,
and after that she started drinking from the bottle. Also, I think it's
VERY important to remain calm and detached (which is not easy with a
screaming, hungry baby in your arms) and to have an "I don't care if she
drinks this or not" attitude. My husband would get tense and impatient, and
she would refuse it, but if I took her and talked to her softly and tried
not to attach any importance to the event, she would drink.
One other thing: once she starts drinking from a bottle, give her one maybe
once a day for practice. Good luck!
PS: While I was holding my daughter, speaking softly to her, and trying to
remain detached, we were standing in front of the refrigerator in our
kitchen. This might have helped because (1) I almost never nursed her in
the kitchen and (2) the fridge is covered with photos, magnets, and
newspaper clippings, giving her something interesting to look at/be
distracted by. Hope this helps!
Our daughter also would not take a bottle. We tried all the nipples, etc.
The only thing that did work, although it was time-consuming, was to
get one of those little syringes with the curved tip, put it on your
finger held pad up, and very gently squeeze the syringe as she sucks
on your finger. Of course, *I* couldn't do this, because as long as I
was in the room she would scream for the breast. But my husband or the
babysitter was able to do it.
As for the problem with wasting milk in the bottle, we soon learned
that each time we tried a new nipple, we only put about 1 ounce of
milk in the bottle, so that when she refused it we didn't lose a
whole lot of milk!
If nothing works, and your baby will only take the breast (it's a
fairly common problem, apparently!) I also know other mothers who were
able to work out flexible schedules with their employers, such as
coming home for a long coffee break in the morning and afternoon
to nurse, and taking a shorter lunch or staying later in the evening
to make up the hours. Another woman I know found a daycare very near
her job, and was able to run over during morning and afternoon breaks
and at lunch to nurse her baby. After a couple of months, she only
needed to stop by at lunchtime. Pretty soon the baby will be eating
solids and you can get by with nursing only in the morning, evening,
and at night. It happens sooner than you expect! Best of luck!
What a horrible experience for you to go through! It's hard enough leaving
your child without having to endure all this screaming, too.
Have you tried using a syringe? My doctor gave me one that is quite large,
and has a blunt end. You can then stick it in the baby's mouth and squirt
the milk into the throat actively. I didn't see this listed as something
you'd already tried. Good luck!
For practical help on how to transition a fussy baby from breast to
bottle, try seeking the help of a lactation consultant. There is a
wonderful one here in El Cerrito named Janaki Costello. She is an
"International Board Certified Lactation Consultant" and has lots of
experience and very reasonnable consultation fees. She can be reached at
When my first son had some similar difficulty it seemed to me that he
was frustrated with the bottle because he wasn't getting as much milk as
fast as he was used to getting it from my breast. We also tried a bunch
of different nipples and ended up adding a few small holes to the
nipples he seemed least upset with, to make them more breast-like, and
this solved his problem.
I can sympathize with your issue regarding trying to give your breast
fed baby a bottle. My daughter (who is now 9 months) also refused the
bottle. We had a little success with the NUK nipple but she put up a
huge fuss anyway. I had to return to work when she was six months.
What ended up working for us is that by then she was eating cereal. My
childcare provider would feed her cereal mixed with breast milk
throughout the day. So, basically she was being spoonfed the breast
milk. The cup was a little too much for her. When I picked her up
after eight hours she would nurse happily. At seven (!) months she
finally realized a bottle was okay and now drinks one a day (and it
doesn't matter at all what nipple we use). Hang in there!
My sister, who is a labor and delivery nurse, and also does post partum
home visitations says she is often able to get babies who won't take a
bottle, to drink breastmilk by putting it in a medicine dose cup (the
kind that come with children's liquid medicine) and feeding it to them
that way. She says it works quite well with new borns.
My daughter went through something similar about a year ago, when she
was 5 months. It was very nerve-wracking -- especially compounded with all
the other stresses involved in returning to work, but it did eventually
resolve itself. Here are the things that I found most helpful:
-- trying different kinds of bottles. I had been operating on the
assumption that she would prefer more breast-shaped bottles (or rather,
bottles, marketed as breast-shaped); that turned out not to be the case.
-- if it's feasible to have an experienced bottle-giver offer her the
bottles, this worked well for me (like trying to give your cat a pill
yourself, then watching a vet do it).
Overall, I started out by trying to make bottle-feeding be as much like
nursing as possible, and that wasn't necessarily what worked. Maybe it
just reminded her of what she couldn't have. For a short period of time, she
would take a bottle most easily if she was lying on her back on the
floor -- talk about counterintuitive.
I agree with your pediatrician that if you keep trying, things will
probably settle themselves. But you might think about being creative in
what you try. Keep in mind, too, that while seven working days may feel like
an eternity, it's really not a very long time to get used to a new routine.
Just because your child hasn't adjusted yet doesn't mean that she won't.
And until she does, best of luck getting through a very stressful time.
My son refused all types of bottles too, for the longest time. Although
I was able to accomodate him, the trick that finally worked was to put him
facing out in the Baby Bjorn then walk around holding the bottle up to his
mouth while cupping his chin. I think I read about this in a La Leche League
book. (We ended up stuffing a dish towel down the front of the Baby Bjorn to
catch all the drips.) His father and I each did this routine twice a
day with the same results. At first it was very dicey, and the baby
baby would only take a tiny bit. We kept at it, offering the bottle
at the same times every day. We timed our bottle offerings for just
before we thought he'd be hungry. It took about two weeks before we were up
to 3 or 4 ounces. It took about another week or so before we could sit down.
Once we could sit down, we had to do so in a different room and in different
type of chair from where he was breastfed, and he had to be facing out. While
we were in the beginnings of this little program, we would do our best, but
when he got upset, we'd stop, TRY not to have to feed him right away, then
maybe try the bottle routine again before I fed him at the breat. We
did breast milk exclusively, formula never was accepted. Also the flow rate
of the bottle's nipple seemed important. We ended up using the Avent bottles
and nipples, but the nipples were for the next age group up, i.e. they had
more holes, two I think. I figured it had to do with the fact that the
breast gives an easy flow of milk immediately, then requires more
sucking work as the breast is emptied. The baby wants that immediate
flow, and some of the nipples recommended for the youngest babies might
be just too slow. This is tricky however, because you don't want the baby to
to get TOO much and choke either. Best of luck.
I had a similar experience with my now 2-1/2 year old daughter. She had
taken bottles at home before I returned to work. When she went to daycare,
she initially took the bottles, but then stopped and would not drink for
the entire day (8-6). Since she was about 5 months old by then, we started to
introduce rice cereal diluted very thinly with breast milk. So the only liquid
she took was by spoon. This lasted about 2-1/2 weeks, and then she finally
decided to start drinking from the bottle. Our pediatrician also said to keep
trying, and the care provider was very patient, consistently offering her
bottles throughout the day. Finally, it worked. If your baby is having enough
wet diapers (6-8 per day) and gaining weight, I would not worry. I know it is
stressful, but she will probably decide to start drinking hopefully
sooner rather than later. Good luck.
I went through much the same scenario with my daughter, and I can share
my story and some of the advice I received. It ultimately worked out, but
it was quite stressful. To be perfectly honest if i was to do this again
I would beg borrow or steal money to stay home for the first year. When
my daughter was 5 months old I started back to work and built up slowly
from 2 four hour days to 2 eight hour days during the week & 2 six hour
weekend days. During the week I would nurse her on my lunch break (I chose
child care on the basis of proximity) but during the weekends she was at home
(half hour from my work) so I couldn't really nurse her during my work
She never took a bottle until she was like 14 months old, although I
wish she would have earlier. At first it was really tough on the care
givers: she would be thirsty and cry and they didn't have what she wanted.
The advice I got was to try different nipples, also different liquids, like
breastmilk, and different kinds of formulas, and try to find a
combination which is acceptable. Some kids think breastmilk in a bottle
is a poor substitute for the breast and would rather drink something else
(although we still have to pump or have huge sore breasts). I thought
it was pretty unnatural for the baby to go all day without drinking, my
lactation nurse assured me it would be okay (some babies of this age can
sleep through the night without drinking anything) but you are trading
one for the other. If you are continuing the nurse the baby full time
except during the day, you'll have many night feedings. The upside is you'll
probably be tired enough of meeting the demands of at least three
people (your child, partner, and boss not to mention yourself) that you'll
sleep through them.
I think really the course of action depends on your priority of
continuing to nurse the baby. If you are planning on weaning soon anyway,
I would be pushing the bottle good and hard. If you really want to nurse for
a year or at least quite a few months more, I would persist with what you are
doing. It seems inconceivable that your baby really won't drink every
day, 5(?) days a week, but don't underestimate the stubborness of a 12 lb.
little bundle. But if the child has capitulated this much, he or she
will probably drink a regular bottle eventually. If (s)he doesn't, I would
try to nurse during the day. My supervisor was surprisingly empathetic when
I explained the situation.
As for what happened to me...My daughter was stubborn and just didn't
drink during the day. She also didn't take to eating with any kind of
consistency and so basically gained no weight (although she got way
taller) in the second 6 months of her life. I started nursing her 2xs a day
while I was working. On her first birthday she was in the 5th percentile and
borderline anemic. After her first birthday, she started drinking
Gerber yogurt drinks in a big way, eventually she would drink straight cows
milk, even from a bottle. By 18 months she had caught back up and is now a
normal sized brilliant 3 year old. I have no idea of course whether she
wasn't gaining weight because she wouldn't drink a bottle, perhaps it
was just how she was pre-programmed. It helped to have a doctor who just
saw this as the normal variation in rate of weight gain, not to mention a
wonderful supportive lactation nurse. My best advice is to consult
with one of these people in addition to your doctor and La Leche League. I
was a Kaiser Hayward patient and talked endlessly with Lori, one of the
nurses there. Good luck, and I hope you continue to nurse. The nursing
relationship can easily outlast all the problems of the early months and
become a wonderful and smooth and easy.
To the mother of the 3+ month old refusing bottles:
We had a very similar problem with our 4 month old
when I went back to work. Our breastfed daughter
refused bottles at daycare after no problems with them
at home. By the second day, she wouldn't take them
from anyone, anywhere, anyway. We also tried every
nipple we could find. By the fourth day, our daycare
provider suggested I might need to wean her. I
decided I needed another daycare. I found a place
closer to work so I could run over at lunch for a
snack. The babysitter kept offering the bottle
throughout the day, but didn't push too hard. By the
end of the second week, she began to take the bottle.
I think there were a lot of things contributing to our
daughter's refusal to take a bottle--her strong will,
the first daycare's inexperience and anxiety about her
not eating, our inexperience and anxiety about her not
eating, difficulty adjusting to a radical change in
her daily environment and routine, not enough bottle
feeding in the first few months, nipples that were too
difficult to suck.
When I was able to feed her midday, it took a lot of
pressure off both of us. We were also lucky enough to
find a babysitter who wasn't worried about her not
eating and had enough experience to try different
things until something worked.
The two positions that worked best are having the baby
sit in your lap, facing out, which gives her more
control of the bottle, or sitting in the swing, with
the bottle propped up in front of her. The nipple she
liked best was the low flow silicon Nuk.
Since all babies are different, I don't know if these
specific ideas will work for you, but I hope it helps
to know you're not the only one who's had this
problem. Good luck!
My son also began refusing the bottle just as I was transitioning back
to work. Everyone told me that his hunger would get the better of him and
he would eventually give in, but it sounds like your little one is a tough
one! My son finally accepted the bottle after 4-5 days where I was away
for partial days. On my first full day, his papa wrapped the bottle in
a flesh-colored t-shirt that I had worn (so it smelled like me), and he
said he snuck it in from the side. After that it wasn't a problem. Good
We've been trying for about 6 wks, and every day for the
last 2 wks, to get our 5-month-old on the bottle. She
wants nothing to do with it. I settled on ''the first
years Breastflow'' bottle because it was the only one where
she could control the flow, so she doesn't scream as much
with that one as with others. Nonetheless, she hates it,
mainly just chews the nipple, and it takes an hour to,
drip-by-drip, get 2 oz in her. In that same timespan, I
pump 5 oz, so I know she's not eating her fill. What on
earth should we do? She's been coing in to work with me
till now, and my mom is in now town, trying every day,
then my husband will be with her for March, then daycare
in April. Next week, I'm taking her on a trip and wasn't
going to pump, but I don't know if that will interrupt the
program. Also, she started solids about 2 weeks ago and
has some fruit each afternoon and evening. Should we stop
that till she's on the bottle? She also has a cold now,
and is regressing with falling to sleep, wanting to suck
for 40 mins before sleep. Help!
thinks breast is best
Our wonderful boy ultimately refused the bottle, even after
being happy with it occasionally in his early weeks. We
didn't keep up with it on a regular basis, so when it came
to daycare at 6 months, it was his provider who came up with
a solution: serve his daytime milk with rice cereal. She
always offered him some in a cup too (he might take 2 oz
just by chewing on the nipple of a bottle), but he has
always been happy to eat up a bunch of rice cereal (and
eventually oatmeal) with his breastmilk. He's still taking
it that way along with some in sippy cups and along with a
normal solids diet, and he's 13 months now. Good luck!
We had the exact same problem because we didn't start the
bottle soon enough with our daughter. Lo and behold, I went
back to work at 5 months and she was totally uninterested!
(Next kid around I'm starting at 4 weeks with a bottle once
a day!) Anyway, we were stressed out by this, but here's
what we did:
Nanny tried everything to give daughter my breast milk
during the day - sippy cup, regular cup, straw, breast milk
mixed with rice cereal, etc. So she got some. She was also
on some solids at the time, so it wasn't a huge big deal
that she wasn't getting that much milk during the day. In
addition, I nursed a lot in the morning and at night. Wish I
could say she slept through the night, but alas, she did
not, and it was actually a good thing for her milk
consumption. We CIO'd at 10 months so she wouldn't do these
nighttime milk runs, and by that time she was eating so many
solids we weren't as worried.
I know, it's easier said than done not to stress out about
this, but please try not to. She'll get enough. She'll drink
when she's hungry/thirsty. Just don't load her up with
anything bad like juice when she refuses to drink milk. Good
We had the same problem when our baby was 3 months old. He would scream
and arch his back in anger when we offered him a bottle. I work from home so
most of the time, I was able to breastfeed him. I have to work away from home
once a week so he followed me, along with my mother for his meals! We tried
many bottles but he never took a bottle. What ended up working was just giving
him a small cup or a cup with a spouted lid (not a sippy cup). He was willing to
drink his milk this way. He is now seven months old and pretty adept at using a
cup. Good luck!
HELP! I have been struggling to get my baby girl to take a
bottle of pumped milk or formula. She shrieks when the bottle
is near and we've tried all the suggestions and even let her go
up to 7 hours of refusing it before I gave in and gave her the
breast. I have to go back to work and have tried everything,
even a medicine dropper! I posted once on this board a few
months ago and tried all the suggestions but parents kindly
emailed but nothing. How long will she go on like this? And,
what if I want to wean? Please offer any advice. I am only
going to work a few hours a day since she starves and cries all
day while I'm gone. Another issue is that she won't fall asleep
on her own but that is secondary to the milk issue. What
happens at 6 months? She takes a few spoons of cereal but then
cries for us to stop. I am so torn and feel so guilty when I
leave and I know my baby is not eating. Please offer any
My baby, now 5 months old, would not take a bottle until just a
couple weeks ago. She still hasn't taken a full bottle, but
she's taken a few sips here and there. I assume you've tried
lots of nipples. Nuk has been the one that's worked finally for
us. In addition, make sure your milk doesn't taste or smell
sour (if so, you can scald it before storing it...or so I
hear). My daughter definitely prefers freshly pumped milk. The
advice that was helpful to us was to introduce the bottle as a
toy; and give it to her with water and a pinch of sugar, when
she's NOT hungry. We played with the bottle a little every day
(i.e. pretending it was an airplane, etc); and carried it around
with us from time to time. Soon she stopped crying at the site
of it, and enjoyed playing with it. Now that we have started
solids, when she's done eating we give her the bottle and she
takes a few sips. Maybe its easier now that she has taken in
food in other ways besides nursing? She seems to like putting
anything in her mouth, every since she started solids. I also
wonder if somehow us sort of giving up on the bottle issue took
some of the pressure off because she started taking sips around
the time we decided to ''just forget it'' because we were losing
our minds. Our daughter also likes to drink milk right out of a
cup (its messy but she definitely takes some of it in) and drink
milk from a spoon. And have you tried using the Avent sippy cup
with the white top? Good luck!
We need some advice on what to do with our 6 month old
daughter who is very strong willed when it comes to taking
the bottle, especially if it has breast milk. It has taken
us two months to have her finally accept a bottle when she
feels like it. She doesn't take it eagerly but will
eventually take it. She seems to only drink formula from it
but when we try to use breast milk she clamps her lips down.
I've tried mixing the formula and breastmilk together and
that didn't work. Does anyone have any advice what to do?
Giving her a bottle is a struggle as she prefers the breast.
I have tons of milk stored and would like her to drink that
instead of formula. I am about to throw away some stored
milk as it will be close to expiration date in the freezer.
We need help. Thank you!
If she is hungry enough, she'll drink it. My kids were the
same way. My pediatrician said keep trying and if she's
hungry enough, she'll drink it. And sure enough, they both
did. Remember, babies will not starve themselves. if she's
not willing to drink it, just keep offering it to her, until
6 months is early to ween your baby. Since she wants to nurse, stop
pressing your infant to drink from the bottle. Breast milk is much
healthier than formula and nursing rather than drinking from a bottle is
also healthier. You might be able to donate your frozen milk to a
hospital so it won't go to waste.
My first born baby, who is now a senior in high school,
did the same thing at about 7 months. She has remained
strong willed and it has served her just fine in life!
She started refusing anything from the bottle and spit out
formula when it was tried. Didn't matter if it was
offered from babysitter, dad, or me. Sippy cup worked
after a few weeks of low milk consumption. For whatever
reason, she got back to drinking the milk, and nursed
until one year. I'm not sure what form you froze the milk
(bottle, ice cubes) but disquising it in other offerings
may help put it to good use. I found that 2-3 times a day
nursing worked fine and dimished pumping as my baby got
older. I'm sure she'll stay healthy!
You may have excessive lipase in your breast milk. Lipase
is an enzyme that aids in the digestion of fats, and in some
women with excess lipase, it begins to break down the fat in
stored breast milk. This leads to a soapy or metallic taste
in the breast milk that makes it unpalatable. Your baby
might be rejecting the pumped and stored breast milk for
that reason. This seems particularly likely since the baby
will take a bottle no problem if it has formula in it.
Look it up online. There are some things you can do about it:
This might not be the answer you want but I'd give the
breast milk to someone in need and just give her what she
wants. My son almost NEVER took a bottle, finally at 8
months. I mean we tried everything and you just can't fool
them. They know what they want and they want it fresh. They
are darn smart. So if breastfeeding is an option and is
possible then just see it to the end.
Since baby is still nursing when you're around (therefore
getting a good amount of your milk), it sounds like your
main concern is the fluid issue, especially as the weather
warms up. Since baby already takes formula from a bottle,
you know it's not the bottle itself. I know you said you
already tried mixing breast milk with formula, but since you
didn't specify what proportion you used, I'll go ahead and
suggest trying that again, starting with a very tiny mount
of breastmilk (try 10%; if that doesn't work go to 5%. Go as
low as you need to - eventually it will be low enough).
After a few feedings of that, increase the amount very very
gradually every few feedings. Again, it might take your baby
just one bottle of each, or a whole week, but eventually it
should be doable. If baby will take water in a bottle, you
could also try the same process with water if you want to
avoid so much formula.
http://www.sanjosemilkbank.com/ The San Jose Milk Bank
takes frozen breast milk which they mildly pasteurize for
preemies who thrive on breast milk but have trouble with
My son declined the bottle a lot after I went back to work
when he was six months, and he's not very strong willed. Our
nanny ended up cup feeding him, doing some bottles, mixing
my milk with rice and oat cereals, and anything else that
would work. It was frustrating. He ended up getting lots of
nursing when I was home. His weight stayed good despite the
bottle rejections. Good luck.
- mix of approaches
It may be too late for the milk you have stored, but you may still be able to
pump and give milk. I had high lipase in my breastmilk, which meant that as the
milk was stored over time that enzyme basically broke the fats down into soap.
The milk was OK when it was just pumped but as it sat (even frozen) it began to
smell and taste chemically and soapy. It's not spoiled, and it's perfectly safe, but
understandably most babies won't take it. At the time I discovered this with my
first baby I had to toss about 40oz of milk. You can disable the enzyme by
scalding (heat it until just bubbling at the edges of the pan) shortly after
pumping. How long you can wait until scalding depends on how much lipase
you have and how picky your baby is. Scalding kills off some of the good stuff
along with the lipase, but it's still good breastmilk. After that your milk can be
stored as long as anyone's. Also -- if you have 100oz or more stored, try
contacting the breastmilk bank in San Jose about donating. Tube-fed preemies
wouldn't care about the lipase taste, so if your milk is donatable that's much
better than having to toss it.
We had that very same problem. We tried all different kinds of bottles, assuming
it was the bottle. Then we tasted the breast milk. It was terrible! Tasted like
soap. I found out it was because I had excess lipase, an enzyme that helps them
digest the fat in the milk (I hope I am recalling its function correctly). If my
expressed milk was outside of me for more than 4 hours, it would turn. So, I had
to start cooking my expressed milk (scald it to just before boiling). I was very
sad about that because the cooking destroys the immunological benefits of the
milk. But at least she would accept it. But still, even with that, we had trouble
getting her to take the bottle consistently. As I was heading back to work, we
hired a very experienced nanny just for a few visits, especially to train my
daughter to drink from the bottle. I had to leave the apartment. Then it had to be
my husband who fed her the bottle, not me-- again I had to leave the
apartment. If I was home, she would sense it and the bottle would be rejected.
Finally we got it figured out. Good luck!
My daughter is 6 months old, and recently started at a
daycare center. She is breastfed, and has never really
liked bottles. Although she is in daycare from 9 to 5:30,
she has never had more than 6 oz of milk at school, and
yesterday had only 1.5 oz! My son had the same issue, but
he was in a nanny share and she spoonfed him 20 oz of milk
What is reasonable for me to expect a center to do? I
find it unacceptable that we are paying SO much money, and
my daughter has to nurse all night long because she eats
so little during the day. Plus I am exhausted. Other than
this issue, we really like the center (my son is there
too), and my daughter is already bonded to her caregiver,
so we aren't looking to leave, just for potential
solutions. Thanks for your suggestions!
My infant daughter went through this, but she finally got hungry enough to take
the bottle. One thing that worked was putting her in a bouncy chair and feeding
her from behind (the child only sees an arm holding a bottle to her mouth). You
might want to have your partner bottle feed her to help her get used to the
bottle. I've also heard of people going to a sippy cup.
So sorry you're having this problem; it sounds really
tough. I hate to say it, but I think your expectations of
the daycare spoon feeding your child formula or breast
milk during the day are a little unrealistic. We have an
amazing daycare, with a 1:3 ratio (teacher:child) in the
infant room, and there is no way they could spoon feed a
baby 20 oz a day. The daycare teachers wouldn't be able
to properly care for the other infants in their charge
because they'd be too busy trying to spoon feed your baby
all day. If you need or expect that kind of intensive one
on one care for your infant, you're better off with a
nanny. What about skipping the bottle and going right to
a sippy cup? The teachers could still treat it like a
bottle (cuddle the baby, hold the cup while feeding, etc)
but it wouldn't be a bottle. Or if you really want her to
use a bottle, you might be better off working on it at
home over the weekend, rather than having the burden be
solely on the daycare. Have your partner offer bottles
frequenly all weekend long while you pump. If the
alternative (the breast) is not available, the baby will
take the bottle eventually.
Just some thoughts
Our baby went through this too. For us it was as simple as switching the nipple
shape. Almost every bottle has a round nipple which sets my son off into a fit
but try to find a flat nipple and see if that works. We also introduced it during
playtime rather than when he was already hungry. Good luck!
My 6 month old son has been on a bottle strike for about 6 weeks now. We
are going nuts. I have a fairly flexible work at home schedule (luckily!),
but I am soon going to be very busy and every day is a battle with this
little guy. We feel as if we have tried everything: our nanny works with
him every day that she is here (3 days) on the other days both my husband
and I have tried. What we all essentially get is 1-2 hours of screaming and
protesting. We have tried every nipple we can find (we are sticking with
Avent for now). We have tried numerous holes.( WE are up to three holes
right now.) We have tried warming it and not warming it. We have tried
various different times of day... We have tried when he is starving and
when he isn't hungry.
We obviously don't want to torture him, in fact we have been advised to
used the bottle as a toy and give him a little sugar water to desensitize
him. Tried it. He's wise to the game. Bottom line is this kid wants to
breast feed. We are able to get 2 oz. at best into him but, again, it is a
big struggle. Lots of tears and screaming (and yes, I can't bear it). It is
so frustrating to see all of this expressed breast milk go down the drain.
And a two hour battle can wreck our day, even if we are only trying to
actively feed him for 10 collective minutes and the rest of the time is
spent trying to calm him or ourselves down.
What can we do? I must be able to leave him alone with our nanny while I
work with a client. I also really want my husband to have the experience of
feeding him a bottle the way he used to when our baby took it just fine
(which he did since he was 3 weeks of age). Any words of wisdom would be
I had a very similar situation with my daughter when I tried to return to work
after maternity leave. She had been taking a bottle from me and from my
husband since she was 3 weeks old. Although we had only given her a few
a week, we felt she was comfortable with them. Then for some reason, when our
nanny started working with us, the baby decided she would not take a bottle
her. The nanny got upset, the baby cried for hours and I could not work at all
(since I knew what was going on at home). We also tried every bottle and every
nipple available. The situation got worse and worse as everyone got very
everytime it was time for a bottle feeding. It got so bad that the baby would
take a bottle from anyone.
I don't have a great solution to report...after three weeks of this my nanny
decided to quit my job rather than have my baby go hungry, and we went several
weeks without a bottle at all just to ease the tension. After that time, I was
get my baby to take the bottle and our part-time babysitter was also
Eventually, my husband was able to give the baby a bottle again too. I am not
sure what made the difference - at the time it really seemed like a
conflict between the baby and our nanny, but since she stopped taking a bottle
from anyone, I am just not sure.
I wish you lots of luck. I know how frustrating and difficult this situation
thing that people suggested to me was to try using a sippy cup rather than a
bottle, but my baby was only 4 months old and was not very good with a cup at
the time - maybe it is worth a try for you.
I had this problem with both of my children. The answer was: forget
the bottle. Go straight to the sippy cup. We have had the best luck
with the Pooh (The First Years) sippy cups (they have them at Target),
because they don't have valves in them. It's hard for a baby to use
the valved cups because they have to suck to get liquid, and I'm sure
it's a different kind of suck. So, use the cups without the valves
and just start with 2-3 ounces of breast milk (I also used a breast
milk/formula combination at times) and tip a few drops in your baby's
mouth at a time. They have taller thinner cups without handles and
short rounded cups with handles. My son prefers the handles, my
daughter the other type. It will take about a month for them to get
confident with them. Your baby might take only half or one ounce in
the beginning, but they definitely catch on fast. Then you can
breastfeed at other feedings. My daughter did both for probably six
months - until I weaned her and she stayed with the sippy cup. We
started her at about six months, in preparation for day care at around
With our daughter (our first) we tried every bottle/nipple combination
known to man to no avail. Maybe at six months it's just too late to
go to a bottle if you haven't been using it all along. They know a
good thing when they see it!
I don't mean to sound simplistic and perhaps I missed something. BUT...
have you tried a cup? A six month old is old enough to cup feed - open
cup or one with a top - and that might be a bit easier if he's refusing
the bottle. Even a spoon is something that may be used. The milk can be
fed plain or with food. If he's taking solids the breast milk can be
mixed with cereal or other foods as well. His nanny can even feed it to
him as soup out of a bowl.
My 4 month old suddenly won't take a bottle either, and I hear this from a
lot of people, so it must be pretty common. I've pretty much given up trying
now that we're starting him on solid foods, but I'd be curious if anyone else
has any advice on that because I'm not sure we're doing the right thing. Our
baby took a bottle at 3 weeks, too, then stopped at about 3 months. We had
some initial success with playing Baby Mozart videos while feeding him--he
was distracted by the TV and before he knew it, it seemed, he'd drained the
whole thing. But now, like you, nothing seems to work. Also like you, I
luckily work from home, but the other day I had to be away from him for
several hours and my husband tried unsuccessfully to give him a bottle twice.
Then he used the milk from the bottle, mixed it with rice cereal and fed him
with a spoon. When he got hungry again, he made a thinner mixture and spoon
fed him. I fiure he was getting a decent dose of breast milk, though not the
3-4 oz he usually takes in a feeding. When I got home, he wasn't ravenous but
he did have a long feed. I think he knows how to take a bottle now, but he
prefers not to. Instead he'll just wait for me to come home.
My question is--what do you do with these anti-bottle breastfeeders as
they get older? When I'm not home, can a babysitter or my husband just feed
solids instead? I hear breastfeeders can transition from breast to cup and
skip the bottle, but what about at night, since he likes to nurse to
sleep--will I always have to be home to put him to bed?
Clearly your baby prefers to be at the breast. It is so wonderful to hear
that you are so commiting to giving you little one the #1 best choice, mama's
milk! Here are some things I recommend. Is it possible to tide baby over with
foods...rice cereal...or other baby food when the breast is unavailable? Some
babies who flat out refuse the breast will eat foods during mommy's absence
and will make up for missed feedings when mom is there or may nurse a little
more at night. Another suggestiong would be to try using a paper cup or even
a sippy cup. My son started on a sippy cup at 4 months ( he was by no means
an expert) and by 6 months could tolerate it pretty well. Does your baby
realize that YOU are around when refusing the bottle? Many babies know that
mommy is nearbye and will refuse to take breastmilk from a bottle if she is
around. As far as you husband wanting to feed baby, I would not have him do
this unless you were not around and baby needed to be fed. There are so many
other ways Daddy can bond with baby besides bottle feeding. My husband was
the only one who fed baby food to our little one, and this was a very special
time for them. Dads can do bath time, go for walks, etc. I hope these ideas
My daughter never took a bottle at all. I used a spoon, she was thrilled to
Give him a sippy cup. He's old enough.
At six months, our infant started taking a bottle much more easily after
she saw her mother drinking water from one herself. It was not a baby
bottle, but a one that we had used for hiking. That seemed to give her
some kind of encouragement, or something.
I had the same problem with my nine month old. He took a bottle with
no problem until he was about four months old. Then there were
protests, fussing, even screaming and shrieking. Once in a great
while, he would take a bottle, from my husband or someone else he
knew and trusted. But for the most part, no go.
At nine months now, he will guzzle water from a bottle, but still not
milk. But he is eating solid foods now, and that makes the
difference. I can have other people care for him and not worry that
he will go hungry because his appitite for solid food is so strong.
Since your baby is six months old, it might be time to start him on
solids. Check with your pediatrician for advice on how to start.
Most will recommend cereal, rice or oats, mixed with milk for baby's
first solids. Use your pumped milk there. Then gradually add in
other solid foods following your doctors instructions. I often mixed
breast milk in with new foods to ease the transition. Now my baby
mostly wants table food, ground up fine, and I no longer mix things
The main thrick with this transition is making sure the baby gets
enough nutition from the variety of solid foods. Again, ask your
pediatrician, plus there are some good books on infant nutrition.
Since I don't work full time, I still nurse my baby enough to give
him all the protien he needs. But it's a great relief to have others
be able to feed him too. In fact, it makes those times we still
nurse much more pleasureable for us both.
Good luck, Carolyn
On your six-month old rejecting the bottle, my daughter went through a
similar phase when I tried to introduce the bottle at 4 1/2 months. It
sounds like you've tried everything, but just in case I thought I would tell
you what worked for us. First, I used breast milk for the first few months
we partially bottle fed my daughter, but some of my friends had better luck
with starting the baby out on the bottle with formula under the theory that
breast milk comes from mom, and formula comes (in a bottle) from the
babysitter. Whatever you do, try not to make it a struggle. I found that
someone would try the bottle, and if it didn't work after an hour (or less)
we would give up and I would breastfeed (not right away, but whenever I
would have otherwise). We also didn't try everyday, and if one person (mom,
dad, babysitter) had tried one day, the next time someone else would try (we
tried to avoid being predictable). One of the things we tried was giving
her sips out of tiny cups (the hospital gave them to us when we were having
trouble breastfeeding for the first few days so we could give her a little
formula without using a bottle), sort of "priming the pump" (we also tried
that with a big medicine dropper). We also tried feeding her in unusual
ways. For example, I would try, but I would do it while walking around the
room with her in the Baby Bjorn. Our babysitter would sing to her while
trying to feed her (my daughter has always loved music). She also took her
outside and pushed her around in a stroller while trying (which takes a lot
of coordination!). If dad or babysitter tried, I would leave the room and
say goodbye so she thought I was gone and wouldn't cry out to me to feed
her. Anyway, one day she decided it was okay and never looked back, and I'm
sure your son will do the same.
A friend of mine returning to work at 6 months, with a breastfed baby
who refused the bottle, gave the baby breastmilk mixed with cereal,
spoonfed. And while the quantity was not as much as from a bottle, the
baby just nursed more when mom was home.
Thanks so much to all of you who gave advice to our family when my son
went on a bottle strike. The good news is that while he has still
refused the bottle, he is very happy to eat any and all solid baby
food that is put in front of him (don't worry, the kid's just up to
rice cereal and veggie and fruit baby food). He also likes the Avent
sippy cup, but so far only wants it with his meals. What a little
grown up. So all is well, I can feel comfortable leaving him for a
little while knowing he will eat something. Thanks all!!!
I am planning on weaning my 6 months old from breastfeeding but
he won't take the bottle. I tried not breastfeeding him for 17
hours and only gave him both breast milk and formula from the
bottle but he refuses to take it! He would take the milk if we
spoon feed him and he likes to eat rice cereal.
If anyone has any advice or tips on how to make babies take the
bottle please help!
First time mom
When we were weaning my daughter we were told, by my midwife,
that if we had difficulty I should leave the house and have my
husband give the bottle. It could take all day and into the
night but it might help.
Hi. Generally, you want to start your baby on a bottle with
expressed breastmilk before the baby turns 6 weeks old, provided
he is latching on well and your milk supply is well established,
or he will reject the bottle (according to my lactation
consultant). Here are a few suggestions that you may or may not
have tried that may be of help: 1) Start with just breastmilk
until your son takes the bottle before introducing the formula.
You'll have more success getting him to try the bottle if it has
the breastmilk he is so familiar with. 2) Have someone else
give him the bottle, such as your husband, or parents. And
sometimes it helps if you are not in the same room. 3) You may
have to try different bottles/nipples until you find one that he
likes. This can get expensive, so you may want to check with
friends and craigslist for anyone giving away bottles and then
buy new ones based on the type your baby likes. It will take
time, but with patience and perseverance, you can do it. Oh,
and another suggestion. Some people say that if your baby is
old enough, you can go from breast to sippy cut and skip the
bottle. At 6 month old, your baby may be ready for a sippy cup,
so you can try that as well. GOOD LUCK!!
Try a sippy cup. You might have to try a few different styles
before finding one that works -- some babies prefer the straw
sippies over the ones you suck from, ''nuby'' is also an ''easy''
sippy cup style. Many 6 month olds can handle the big kid cup
in my cups!
I'd suggest letting someone else attempt to feed your little one
with the bottle. In fact, try going out with a friend for
coffee/tea for a couple of hours and leave baby with his other
parent, a family member or trusted caregiver.
Often babies who are nursed exclusively won't take a bottle from
the person with the boobs.
Start gradually with one feeding a day from the bottle and slowly
increase as the bottle is accepted.
Don't forget to pump while away from the baby for more than an
hour or two or you could wind up engorged - stepping down nursing
should always be a gradual process. (http://workandpump.com has
some great tips for going back to work and pumping)
If he really won't take the bottle, try some other options. A
sippy cup, a straw-sippy etc. There's also breast-shaped bottles
that may help to ease the transition, you can get these online
from One Step Ahead and some of the baby stores in Rockridge may
How established is your son with cereal? If he's in the middle of
transitioning to solids and also transitioning to the bottle at
the same time, it might be too many changes at once. If you focus
on one first and get him comfortable with it, he may be more
amenable to the other.
If he likes food and is eager to try solids, you might want to
establish him on solids first. With a baby who likes food it
doesn't take that long to get them transitioned over to more
meals of solid foods and they need less milk as a result so that
you might even be able to get away with feeding solids during the
day and nursing when you're home, though generally speaking 6
month old babies still need a bottle or a nursing before or after
a meal of solids.
Have you tried a little juice in the bottle? Maybe half juice
I undertand your concern becaue I am there. I started my son on
the bottle when he was 4 weeks old and he was taking one bottle
a day until he was 8 weeks old and then all of a sudden he
refused. I tried all the tips available online, from friends
etc. I tried different bottles, techniques etc. except the ''no
choice starving'' technique. My son is 16 weeks old and he still
refuses the bottle but every day, I religiously offer him a few
ounces of breastmilk in the bottle hoping he will learn to
accept it. I've heard some babies never take the bottle and its
not really true that all babies ''eventually'' take the bottle.
The reason I stressed over it was mainly because I was concerned
about his feeding when in day care or just so I can get a break
once in awhile while my husband looks after him. But I've
learned to accept it and don't stress anymore. I don't go back
to work until he is 6 months old and maybe he will be ready for
a cup by then (which I've heard is another nightmare).
You can try all the tips online (just type in baby refuses
bottle on google) and be persistent, maybe your baby
will ''eventually'' take a bottle. Good luck.
mom of baby-on-bottle strike
Have you tried different bottles? we use the born free bottles
(with no biosphenol A) and they seem very different from other
bottles. Our usually quite fussy son loves them.
another first time mom
My daughter did not take the bottle until about a year old. I
weaned her at 15 months. Now she is 22 months and takes the
bottle twice a day (I should have gone straight to the cup.) We
tried everything from 10 weeks to 1 year old. It was
frustrating esp. since she was never good at eating. She
started her first few months at 50th percentile in weight and
now in the 5th. She is a healthy girl with lots of energy. I
went to work 2 days a week at 4 months. She just did not eat
much (until around 10 months when she really took to solids)
while I was at work. I think a baby will not starve themselves
and that the 8 or so hours you are gone without food is ok.
Take care and it will eventually work out...
Another mom of a bottle refuser
I need your help!!! I am still breast-feeding my 6.5 month old
son. We started solid foods, but it is not at a level to replace
a meal yet. We have been bottle-feeding him once a week (more or
less) with my milk, since he was 2-3 weeks old, and we did not
experience any nipple confusion. We even tried formula several
times, he accepted easily.
Now things changed all of a sudden. We haven't bottlefeed him for
a month or so and now he refuses the bottle all together. We
tried formula and my milk, day and night, when he is hungry and
full, from my husband and me. We also tried a sippy cup
(non-spill-proof) from which he currently drinks his water. He
drank some but only a little ( 2oz).
We need to solve this problem soon, since I will start taking
evening classes and I won't be at home for his before sleep
feeding. Have you experienced similar problems? Do you have any
advice and/or suggestions?
We went through a similar situation when my daughter was 6
months. i was getting ready to return to work part-time and even
though she had taken bottles in previous months, she started to
refuse the bottle. We tried everything, me giving her the
bottle, my husband giving her the bottle, millions of different
nipples, etc. I became very stressed about returning to work.
Finally, one day my husband told me to just leave the house for
a few hours so that my daughter would have no option but to take
a bottle from him. I went out to lunch and a movie with a good
friend. When I came home, I found out my daughter had taken 6
ounces while I was gone. It might not be that simple for
everyone, but that's what worked for us.
I have a terrible problem with my 7-month girl baby.She refused
a bottle from 4 months ago.She was on breastfeeding but as I
got post partum thyroditis 3 month after delivery so I stopped
breast feeding. And the real problem is that She is lacking for
the suction action and she keep the milk in her mouth without
swallowing even after long time of keeping her hungery. But
when she's sleeping,she take the bottle. Realy,she destroyed my
life and this also affected her brother. Please advise me what
to do with her. Note that I asked 3 pediatrians in her case and
they told me every thing is ok
You sound like you need some support. Here are a couple of links
where there are people you can talk
I'm not sure we have all the details as to your baby's problem
but you could try other types of bottles if you haven't already.
Some good ones are : Adiri natural nurser, Soothies, or Born
Free. Their nipple shapes are more like a breast. Or you could
try introducing a sippy cup and have your baby drink formula out
of that. Please be patient with your baby. She needs you.
How can i get my 7 month old to accept bottles from papa at
night? We've had NO LUCK convincing her I'm still alive and
love her even if it's not me going into her in the middle of the
night with boob in hand. We've tried offering her my pumped
milk, rice milk, and formula. No go. We want to experiment
with a bottle of formula to see if she can handle it and sleep
better. any tips?
It's probably because night nursing at 7 mos. is much more
about comfort and familiarity than it is about getting
calories. My son will take a bottle of expressed milk during
the day, but he's never as satisfied with it as he is with
nursing. Kids at this age generally don't *need* to eat during
the night, so it's probably that she doesn't know how to put
herself back to sleep without the breast. If your concern is
about getting more sleep, I would try sticking with the
nighttime nursing but gradually decreasing the amount of time
you let her snack. (Not letting her fall completely asleep
while nursing, at night or during the day, will help with this
as well.) And if it's about letting her dad share in some of
the nighttime duties, you can try letting him rock her for a
couple minutes at each waking before bringing her in to you to
nurse. She will probably protest at first (not because it's
him, but because he's boob-less), but after a week or two she
may well let him rock her to sleep, no food required.
Your baby may not be taking a bottle at night because she's
ready to sleep through the night, or at least go those 12 hours
without eating. At 7 months, my baby was down to 1-2 feedings
at night, and he wouldn't eat first thing in the morning, so I
decided he probably didn't really need the nighttime snacks. We
started having my husband go in to soothe him when he woke up at
night, without a bottle -- cuddling, often without actually
taking him out of his crib, and singing lullabies. He would get
pretty annoyed at first each time, since he wanted me, but after
about 10 minutes he would calm down, and in 20 minutes (the same
time it would have taken me to nurse him), he was on his way
back to sleep again. Without about a week and a half, he was
pretty reliably sleeping through the night. I think my husband
offering him a bottle would have just woken him up more, since
he wasn't nursing because he was hungry, just for comfort. I
hope this turns out to be your situation as well -- you may soon
be enjoying some great sleep!
My 7.5 month old daughter won't take a bottle of breastmilk or
formula. I'm going back to work and don't know what to do.
I've tried every nipple: Playtex, Avante, Medella, Gerber... no
luck. I've pumped and immediately tried to feed her the warm
milk, I've tried having my husband give the bottle, her
babysitter to give the bottle... no luck. I have given her a
bottle of water + apple juice just to see if she'd drink it and
she thinks the bottle is just something to play with. She would
rather go thirsty then drink from bottle.. oh dear, I'm
I had the same problem with my daughter (now 4 months). It
turned out, for her, that the problem was that the milk wasn't
at exactly the right temperature. So finally, I tried heating
it so it felt warmer than I thought it should be and she slurped
in right up. And now she takes it every time, whereas before
she acted like I was trying to poison her. I'm planning on
gradually reducing the temperature but haven't tried it yet.
Don't know if this will help you but I thought I'd mention it.
I have been gradually cutting down breastfeeding my 8 month old
son - he loves his solids and eats a ton while I'm at work
during the day. He nurses in the morning and evening and
sometimes at night. For months my day care provider and I have
been trying to get him onto a bottle or sippy cup, but all he
will do is chew on it. He is interested in both bottle and cup,
reaches for them, and puts them in his mouth, but then chews!
Needless to say, he never gets more than half an ounce out, and
most of that goes down his front. I wasn't too worried as I was
still nursing, but he has just announced a nursing strike, and
I am considering taking the opportunity to wean, but am
panicked about how I'm going to get enough formula and water
into him. Does anyone have any experience with bottle chewers?
Chewing plus nursing strike says teething to me. If I were you, I'd
continue nursing when not at work, continue offering cups of ebm or
water during the workday, and hope those teeth come through soon! I
also wouldn't wean an 8-month-old, nursing strike or no nursing strike,
just so you know my position. I'd be working like crazy on getting him
back to the breast so that I didn't have to worry about cups and
bottles. Your baby is a little young to go an entire workday without
breastmilk but not by much, and if he eats lots of solids he'd probably
do fine with morning and night nursing only.
I'd probably stop offering baby bottles at all, and try various other
things -- with water only at first, so that spills won't matter much.
Sippy cups with different types of valves and spouts, open cups, sport
bottles, straws. Most likely, SOMETHING will work.
If your caregiver really can't get him to drink anything, feed lots of
''wet'' foods like fruit, cereals mixed with water or milk, yogurt. And
count diapers to assure yourself that he's not getting dehydrated -- you
want to see at least 6 wet ones per day.
Our 15 month old son who was 9 weeks premature has had multiple feeding
issues and sees a pediatric feeding specialist regularly. For the same
issue, she recommended trying several different sippy cups to see if he
would take to one.
Initially, he did have limited success with the kind with no valve that
actually releases fluids when the spout is chewed.
Most of it ended up on his bib (waterproof is best to start) but he did
get the understanding that it was for drinking.
Later we taught him to use the Avent magic cup with the soft spout by
teaching him first how to make kissy noises, then getting him to imitate
us making the noise with the sippy cup in his mouth. At first it
surprised him that milk came out and he sputtered, but now he's a pro.
Hope this helps. Good luck!
mom of twins
I have been exclusively breastfeeding my 8 month old and now
want to get her onto both a bottle and formula. She has
reluctantly taken a bottle with breast milk and will take a few
sips of water from a bottle but has absolutely no interest in
formula. In fact, she typically gags when i try to give it to
her. We have tried every type of formula available!
So, I had been trying to express milk with a manual pump with
extremely meager results. After reading the rave reviews about
electric pumps i went and dropped $300 on an electric one. Now,
after 4 attempts I have not even managed to get 1 oz. of milk.
I am both frustrated and at a loss as to what the next step
should be. While I don't need to transition my child due to
returning to work I do need to get her on a bottle for my own
well being. I have not had a moment to myself since she's been
born because of my exclusive nursing. Any feedback and advice
will be greatly appreciated!!
Hi, we had/have this same issue w/our first & second! First
question, have you started your baby on solids? If not, that
was definitely a help w/the older one in terms of getting her
used to another food source. If you have started solids,
second question, have you tried a sippy cup (instead of a
bottle)? I am sure you've tried all the ''tricks'', i.e. bottle
from another person; when the baby is super hungry, when you're
out (and I mean OUT) of the house, in front of a Baby Einstein
video (or some other form of distraction), from behind the baby
(the magic bottle)...Also, I am sure you've played around w/the
different types of nipples that are out there. Did you try the
the ''Breastbottle'' available at One Step Ahead
7), it's a bottle shaped like a breast.
Okay, back to the sippy cup, if you haven't tried that, our
pediatrician recommended starting w/one that doesn't require
them to sip, so one of the free flow cups, you'll obviously
have to go slow to begin with. In the end, this is what worked
w/my older daugher ~6ish months and it was such a relief, I was
in a panic for several months, thinking I would never get a
break from the nursing! So I do understand your wanting to
introduce an alternate method. Unfortunately, my 4.5 month old
is not taking to well to the sippy cup, it's been hit or miss.
But I am keeping my fingers crossed.
And another trick is to feed solids and then give the
bottle/sippy cup right afterwards.
Don't worry, something will work out, I felt fairly desperate
w/my older one, I felt like she would NEVER take anything but
If you want to email me for feedback, we literally tried
EVERYTHING with my older one...and did have success eventually.
here are things that worked for us at the beginning:
daddy gives bottle
bottle during car ride
funny shaped bottle baby can hold
facing baby outward while feeding with music or TV on (I know, but it's
the first couple of times)
change different nipples (our baby liked a latex one better at first
easily moved her to avent silicone ones)
I have a few pieces of advice about this. I was only able to
produce much by pumping when I nursed my son on one
breast and pumped the other at the same time. Also I gave
him goat's milk mixed with breast milk when I had to
supplement, he never had formula. I figured with the small
proportion of his intake from the bottle (compared to
breastfeedings and solid foods) it was ok if it wasn't as fully
balanced as formula, and formula seemed like it was
overhyped to some extent. I hope this is helpful,
Since your purpose is to get a break now and again rather than
to go to work all day every day, and since your baby is 8 months
old, you shouldn't need to use formula. Although it is
nutritionally the best replacement for breastmilk, older babies
who only need alternatives to breastfeeding a few times a week
or less can do just fine with solid foods and other liquids
(water, perhaps diluted juice, and even small quantities of
cows' milk or other types of milk), ideally from a cup, not a
bottle -- and for babies like yours who dislike bottles and
reject formula, using other supplements is a big sanity saver.
If your baby will eat other foods and/or drink from a sippy cup,
you should be able to leave her for at least several hours and
up to a full day, with no bottles bei! ng necessary. It may not
be optimum nutrition (of course, formula's not optimum either)
but it'll get you your break, with a lot less stress and agony
for both mom and baby!
You may also want to try a few tricks to increase your pump
yield -- not everyone does respond well to a pump, no matter
what, but if you're not sure you're doing everything you can to
maximize your yield, post again for advice on that subject.
I'm still breastfeeding my 9 month old baby (and loving it) but
am slightly distressed that she seems to want to consume only
solid food now and has little interest in taking a bottle from
our nanny. She still nurses with me 3 times a day, but I'm
concerned she might not be getting enough liquid/breast milk.
Also, seeing as I want to continue breastfeeding I need to pump
while I'm at work. Before I decide to start donating my breast
milk (which I'm so excited to do!) I want to see if anyone has
any thoughts on holding on to it. Do you think she'll ever take
bottles of milk again? Thanks for your help!
I just went through this with my 9.5 month old. I went back to work in the
middle of August and it took until this past week for her to start taking
milk away from me (now she will drink about 4-6 oz). One thing I did
was to mix breastmilk into her food, so she at least got a little bit. I also
had her caregiver continue to offer her the bottle or cup several times a
day and I guess one day she decided to take it. She is in a nannyshare
3 days a week, so she also saw the other baby taking a bottle and that
helped as well. The bottle that ended up working is a cheapy from
Payless or Longs: KinderGrip by Playtex. My daughter likes it in part
because she can hold it herself. Good luck!
After having to bottle feeding my first child (premie with
sucking issues), I wanted no part of bottles with the next two.
I weaned my second and third babies right on to a cup. I started
them with sippy cups at about six months, so by nine or ten
months they were totally proficient. I'd suggest offering your
baby a cup of milk or water often, in addition to nursing, and
forget about bottles. If she's nursing three times a day she's
probably getting plenty of milk. The bathtub is a good place to
practice with a cup, by the way.
My son did the same thing. I thought it was a good thing though.
No need for his dad or nanny to fuss with bottles. We
transitioned nicely to the sippy cup (eventually) and it was
great not having to break a toddler from his comfort
bottle.....he doesn't have one!
You can tell they're getting enough if there are plenty of wet
and poop diapers and if they're growing/gaining weight. If you
kid wants to eat let him! When my son did this I just stopped
pumping. Nursing a few times during the day and at night kept my
milk up fine and i figured there was no need to be exploding
with milk if he's eating more food.
We have to listen to our kids, and lots of the time they're
doing what's best for themselves.
My daughter turned one year old recently. She was of normal
weight at birth, and had a normal weight gain till six months
when I started adding solids and also moved into our own
apartment (previously with my parents). She settled well, so
there are no anxiety problems - I just mentioned the change for
completeness. Her appetite has been pretty poor and its only now
that she is taking some food without my pulling my hair out over
it. However she has hardly gained any weight in the last six
months. The pediatrician says to wait some more time before
investigating, as her activity and milestones are normal. My
feeling is that if I can get her to drink milk thrice a day, it
will help, but I just don't seem to be able to do it. She has a
peculiar habit of falling half asleep first - she sucks her thumb
while I rock her in my lap - and then latching on to the breast.
She has been doing it since about a month of age. Anyway, I tried
giving her the bottle before or after the breast but she pushes
it out. Also, as the time taken to fall asleep is so variable, I
have not been able to maintain the right temperature for milk.
Have tried sweetened milk, milk with chocolate flavour Bournvita,
cold milk, Lactogen, everything I can think of. She doesn't yet
drink from a cup, but I have still tried that. She doesn't like
the taste, thats all. She doesn't even take any juice. She used
to like yogourt but has stopped for a few months now. Cheese is
the only thing she seems to like, and it makes a part of each
meal of hers. I just don't know what to do. I have no problems
with continuing to breast feed but I don't think it is enough,
and she has the feeds down to three or four times a day anyway. I
wanted to stop her sucking her thumb too, but that is a secondary
issue. Does anyone have any suggestions?
At wits' end
My son also has weight gain issues, and the transition from
liquid diet (breastfeeding) to solid diet was especially
stressful for us. So, I wanted to share with you a few things
that have worked really well for us--my son gained over a pound
between his 12month and 13month check ups. From your posting, it
was unclear whether or not you are letting your child self-feed
finger foods. Part of the refusal over the bottle might well be a
matter of your daughter wanting to express her independence.
Anyhow, after getting some good advice from BPN, I started
putting my son in his high chair with four or five pieces of cut
up food in front of him. An egg scrambled with milk and cheese
(cooked in the micro for 1 minute) cut up into 1/2 inch squares
is his normal breakfast (he often eats the whole egg this way),
plus some banana. He also really likes toast with cheese and
butter melted on it, again cut up into 1/2 inch squares.
Home-made mac and cheese spooned out in little clumps has worked
great also, and meatloaf often is readily accepted too. But he
does NOT drink much at all during the day. He'll take a few sips
of milk, or a few sips of water from my cup, or a bit of juice
here and there, but definately he gets his nutrition from FOOD.
That just means I have to serve him really fatty, nutritious food
all the time. At one year of age, you should also be expecting
your daughter to be getting most of her nutrition from food,
rather than liquids. It was a frustrating transition because he
wouldn't eat well and wouldn't drink well either at first, but it
only took about three weeks of me cutting back on breast feedings
and other liquids for him to become a champion eater. Good luck!
One is fine to start using sippy cups. You don't say if she is
walking yet. But chances are when activity increases so will
her appetite. breast milk and solids are fine for children. my
daughter never liked cows milk, except for little sips of
strauss's organic (which tastes good even to a non milk drinker
like me!). Rice milk in small amounts is fine, too. get the
enriched, unsweetened kind. older children are efficient
nursers. i wouldn't worry about milk or teaching bottle use if
you child is eating and nursing at one. think cups and
introduce more solids.
Sorry about the feeding problems! You may wish to try Silk
brand vanilla soymilk, which seems for many babies to resemble
breast milk the most in taste. (It's also widely available
(Whole Foods, Albertsons, etc.)
Also, I don't know if you've tried a sippy cup or a regular cup,
but if you haven't tried it, the Avent sippy cup with
the ''transitional'' soft spout might be useful, as it can be
sooothing for teethers to chew on, much like a thumb.
Finally, and as a worrying mom myself I know this is hard, if
your pediatrician isn't worried, try to relax and not stress
about what your daughter eating or not eating. If you keep
offering her different kinds of healthy food every day, it is
extremely likely that she will eat enough for her nutritional
Thanks to all of you who responded. Feels good to know that I am
not alone, and I will try out the suggestions outlined. Sometimes
my daughter is pleased with finger foods, and at others, she
doesn't want to eat at all, but perhaps I ought to be more
consistent in offering her these, and I haven't tried the eggs
before. She is now 14 months old, and walking for more than 3
mths, but has gained only 1.3 lb in six weeks. Still its an
improvement. She seems disinclined to even take breast feed now,
so maybe it will dry up on its own, and she will switch to
Keeping my fingers crossed!
My 11 month old has stopped breastfeeding during the day and now
refuses to drink formula or water out of a sippy cup or bottle.
She has never been a fan of formula-- and she is a teeny baby.
What do i do to get her nutrients and keep her hydrated? thanks!
You say she doesn't breastfeed during the day which implies that
she does nurse at night. At 11 months, if she's nursing at
least a couple times night/early morning and she's eating a
pretty good diet of solid foods, she should be fine, nutrition-
wise. There's no real need to push formula (or any other kind
of milk, though it's okay at this age to offer her some) on
her. She does, of course, need to stay hydrated, but if she's
not a fan of any type of cup (do try some different kinds,
including a sippy or sport bottle with a straw, and a plain open
cup rather than a sippy), she could probably get by with plenty
of whole fruit and other ''wet'' foods. She's so close
to ''toddler'' age, and toddlers can go surprisingly long
stretches of time eating seemingly nothing. (And then they'll
suddenly scarf everything in sight during a growth spurt.)
Mom of Picky Eater
You should talk to your pediatrician right away, if you haven't
already!!! Try pedialyte or juice (or juice dilute with water).
Find out the symptoms of dehydration and look for them. I know
your baby is supposed to have several wet diapers during the
day. This is serious and important. Good luck.
Worried for you
I have a 7 month old who suddenly refuses to take a bottle and
his doctor said to mix extra water in his cereal (make it very
soupy.) I'm trying to teach him to use a sippy cup, but he
will only attempt to sip diluted juice - but not water or
breastmilk (he gets mad when breastmilk comes out of the cup.)
I have a 14 month old son. I breastfed him up until he was 12
months old, then I stopped when I found I was expecting a
second child. I stayed at home with him for the first four
months after his birth. During this time I would nurse a
majority of the time and occassionally give him the bottle,
which he would accept. Then I went back to work and the nanny
would give him a bottle with my milk. He later began taking
formula from her in a bottle as well. After I went back to
work, I would only give him the breast when I was home. Now
that I no longer breastfeed him he absolutely refuses to accept
the bottle from me. He throws it and screams when he sees me
coming towards him with it. What do I do? I feel so helpless.
He does not get any milk on the weekends when the nanny is not
here. I get so worried that he will be calcium and vitamin D
deprived, not to mention that I feel like less of mother
because he won't accept a bottle from me. Any advice greatly
I don't think it's unusual for a child to refuse to take a bottle from his mom,
if he associates her nearly exclusively with breastfeeding. From what I've read,
12 months is a good time to start weaning off a bottle to a sippy cup anyway. Maybe
this is your opportunity to start a new phase with him and if you introduce it during
weekend, before his sitter does, you'll probably have fewer problems.
Have you tried a sippy cup? My son never would take a bottle
from me, and went straight from the breast to a sippy cup at 11
months. Just a thought?
saved by the sippy
Maybe it is time to use a new medium..sippy cup. Fourteen months
is a great age to wean a child from a bottle. Our bottles
disappeared on their first birthday (we'd been working with sippy
cups for a few months prior) even though I did continue to nurse
for a few more months...Just a thought.
Well, this will make it easier to give up the bottle. Really, at
14 months the bottle is no longer a good thing for him.
Prolonged bottle use is bad for the teeth and bad for weight gain
(it's a risk for obesity). He doesn't *need* milk the way he
needed breastmilk or formula. He needs a balanced diet with
adequate protein and vitamin D, and milk happens to be one way to
get those. If he drinks enough milk for the week with the
babysitter, then you don't need to worry about it. If he
doesn't, he just needs to get the protein and vitamin D in other
forms -- dairy products, meat, eggs, fish, sunlight (but no
sunburn). There's a million reasons moms make themselves feel
inadequate that aren't really their fault, but not taking a
bottle from you need not be one of them.
I think your son is weaning! Don't fret, sounds like you will
soon have another to breastfeed. It's all part of growing up.
It's really okay that he's not nursing anymore. You now have to
think about what foods you can give him that will give him the
calcium and vit. D (and all the other vitamins) that he will
need. I suggest getting a book on child nutrition.
Two things: many babies won't accept a bottle from mom. So
don't worry about this. It has nothing to do with being a good
mom or not! Second: your son is probably getting too old for
a bottle. It's time for a sippy cup or a regular cup. Try
offering milk in those. If he doesn't take milk, that's OK.
No human NEEDS milk after they are weaned. You can get all
your nutrition from solid foods, and vitamin D from the sun.
We are lucky here in the Bay Area that we can get all the
vitamin D we need year-round from the sun. A short bit of
daily exposure to full sun (10 to 30 min) wihtout sunscreen
should do the trick. (Don't do it between 10 am and 2pm in the
summer.) Have a little more sun exposure if your son has dark
skin. Calcium can be had from other dairy products or leafy
It sounds like your son is doing some self weaning. I assume at
14mos he's eating some kind of solid food, and he may associate
you and nursing with comfort. I wonder why you refuse to
breastfeed if he won't take a bottle. Is it discomfort, or you
think he's too old? My mom breastfed my siblings until we were
3, and at that point it's not really about nutrition (though the
immunity is good). I know several children who would take a
bottle from dad but never accepted it from mom. Sounds like
he'll take what he can get from the nanny, but he's insisting on
the real thing from you. I suggest going back to breastfeeding
if you're comfortable and working him onto solids if you're not.
At about 16 months my son (now 18 months) just decided he wasn't
going to drink milk from a bottle or cup anymore. He won't take
cow's milk (warm or cold) or my breast milk from a cup or
bottle. We were starting to ween, but now I still feed him when
I get home from work, before he goes to bed and first thing in
the morning. I am no longer pumping and I don't think that I am
producing a lot of milk.
I spoke to my pediatrician about it who said I could try soy
milk, but that it's up to me (I have not tried). She said to
continue to offer milk to him regularly, sometimes it's just a
phase. We do continue to offer milk to him in a cup at meal
times, and he'll take a sip or two but nothing major. Sometimes
he'll see his older sister drinking milk and he'll want her
cup. But then he'll only take a few sips and then ditch the
To make up for what he's missing, I make sure he gets plenty of
other dairy: cheese and yogurt, and calcium containing veggies
like broccoli. Fortunately he loves all the things. A vitamin
supplement doesn't hurt either. I would recommend speaking to
your pediatrician about your sons diet. Perhaps she can
recommend a good nutritionist. Good luck!
-In same boat but making do
Maybe try giving him milk in something other than a bottle? Sell
him on the novelty of drinking through a straw, out of a colorful
cup, or out of the same kind of cup/mug mommy and daddy drink
their coffee/tea/whatever from?
Mama of ''milk in a mug'' boy
Do I understand correctly that your son has been weaned now for 2
months? In this time have you offered sippy cups, or other means
of drinking? A 14 month old does not need to take fluids from a
bottle, and is entirely capable of drinking from something else.
I imagine that part of the refusal is knowing that you were the
source of the breastfeeding comfort. Why should your baby want to
settle for less than your breast? I think it is understandable
that he refuses knowing that you actually have something much better.
If everything else fails, try offering popsicles made out of
milk, breast milk, or water. You can place frozen ice into a mesh
feeder. 14 months is also teething time. The ice might help with
that as well.
my daughter is 15-months-old, and your son seems much better than
mine - at least he gets calcium and vitamin D 5 out of 7 days!
have you tried sippy cups? you could also try a regular cup,
though that takes LOTS of time and patience. also, try a cup
using a straw. perhaps the novelty of all these different methods
will distract him enough to intake a few ounces of liquid.
if nothing's working, i'm assuming that your son is eating
solids, so for calcium, you can try other dairy products like
cheese, yogurt, etc... for vitamin D, the sunlight is great, but
they also have vitamin D drops.
but your son should be fine since the nanny can feed him
sufficiently. and congratulations on your pregnancy!!! i wish i
could get prego, but i'm not even ovulating yet...
Give him milk in a sippy cup that he can hold himself. Voila.
I weaned my daughter at 16 months and she never drank milk again. In other
countries I don't think this is that unusual. Literally billions of people around the
world don't drink milk and none of them are walking around and having their bones
suddenly shatter. In a million years of human history we have only been drinking
the milk of other animals for less than a 1/10 of that time, yet somehow our race
has survived. This being the case, there is absolutely no way that if your son doesn't
drink milk for 2 days per week that he is going to be unhealthy. Getting kids to
drink milk is an expectation of our culture, not one based on fact, like eating
vegetables. You have way more important things to worry about, despite what the
lobbyists and advertisers of the milk industry want you to think. You can let this
one go without harming your beautiful boy.
Gosh, where did you get the idea that a ''good mother'' should be
feeding her baby from bottles? I'd expect the opposite, if
anything, from most Berkeley-area people! I'm sorry you
are having such a hard time over this issue but actually, you
don't have a problem.
To be honest, your 14 month old should not be taking a bottle
from anyone, least of all you. Extended (through toddlerhood)
use of a baby bottle can lead to dental and orthodontic
problems, plus (although this isn't relevant in your case since
you've already weaned him from the breast and apparently don't
plan to change that) can encourage bottle preference and
premature weaning. The dental risks are not a big deal until
maybe 3 years old but it's usually a lot easier to ditch the
bottles at 1 year old than at 2 or 3 -- so there's certainly no
reason to encourage your son to take one if he's not attached to
it! Please relax and be grateful that you won't have to endure a
difficult weaning from the bottle.
Given that he is no longer nursing, your toddler probably should
be drinking formula or some kind of milk in order to most
conveniently cover his nutritional needs for protein, ''healthy''
fats, and calcium -- but he can drink it from a cup, with meals
or as a snack. And if he doesn't like formula or milk, he can
get all the nutrition he needs from other sources; it's just a
little bit harder to do. Lots of foods have calcium. And the
natural source of Vitamin D is sunlight -- really just a few
minutes a day -- not food. Most Californians get plenty of sun
exposure (especially at this time of year!) so it just isn't an
issue. I know there have been past discussions of nutrition for
kids who don't drink milk, which may be in the archives, so you
could take a look. Should be reassuring.
I have a 12 month old daughter and I have the opposite problem.
She had her 12 month check up this past week and our Dr. said
that she's getting too much milk! She's a milkaholic and the Dr.
suggested that we take the bottle away and only give her milk in
a sippy cup with the idea that she'll consume less. Which is
fine by me because frankly, I find it pretty boring just watching
her guzzle down milk. Your son probably refuses the bottle from
you because he associates you with breastfeeding. Maybe think of
it this way: now you have extra time on the weekend to spend
playing with your son or doing something else you both enjoy.
My daughter is mostly on solids now, so she should be getting
most of her nutrients through the foods she eats. There are
other food sources for vitamin D and calcium, such as cheese,
fortified breads and cereals, and yogurt. My husband believes
that the milk industry has programmed us to believe that babies
need milk in order to thrive. If you're really concerned, check
with your pediatrician.
you might try introducing him to a cup (either sippy cup or regular cup). If he won't
take milk in a cup, try offering water (or juice) in a cup first, until he accepts that,
then try introducing milk in the sippy cup/regular cup. After about 3 months old,
my daughter refused the bottle from anyone. It was very stressful until she finally
took a sippy cup at around 10 months (had to try lots of different kinds - she
finally took one by Munchkin - it wasn't non-spill, but at least she would drink from
it!). She first started taking sips from a cup when I would drink water, and then
offer her sips from my cup. So it was less a substitution for a bottle or the breast,
but more letting her drink water/milk from a cup like mom & dad. It was a process,
though, so be patient! Good luck!
this page was last updated: Oct 25, 2011
BPN is now a 501(c)(3) non-profit and we are transitioning to a new website during
The opinions and statements expressed on this website
are those of parents who subscribe to the
Berkeley Parents Network.
Disclaimer & Usage for
information about using content on this website.
Copyright © 1996-2015 Berkeley Parents Network