23 answers

Baby Won't Take Bottle - Fort Worth,TX

I have an 8 wk old who I have been breastfeeding exclusively. I have started pumping and am trying to get her to take a bottle as I will be returning to work. She is not having it. I have tried using the Platex Avent and Dr. Brown's bottles. Can anyone provide any suggestions to get her to take the bottle or recommend a spefic nipple that I should try? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thank you to all who responded. I posted this question again in Decebmber as my little darling would still not take a bottle, preferring not to eat for as many as 12 hours while I was at work. I eventually cahnged my work schedule to allow me to ffed her in the middle of the day, but I am HAPPY to report that she is now taking the bottle. we tried all of your suggestions, I have a fine collection of bottles now. She finally started drinking out of the Adiri bottle. A hint for those who may be going through this... She did not care for the Stage 1 bottle, the store was out of stage 2, so at 3 months she was taking the stage 3 Adiri bottle. Although frustrating, it is worth trying the different stage nipples, not just different nipples. Thanks again to all who responded, this was a VERY difficult period for us.

Featured Answers

I have the same problem. I plan on trying the Adiri bottle. They have them at baby boutiques and I have heard great things about them.

My daughter is breastfed too and I tried many different bottles before I went back to work, and found that the breast flow bottles were the best, she took right to them and switched back and forth between bottle and breast, it has been 9 months now. Good luck to you!

More Answers

Try the Breast Flow bottles by First Years. Some Target stores carry them otherwise you can find them at Babies R Us. My baby is 2 months old and breastfed and he takes them great.

I got a set of the Born Free bottles prior to my daughter's birth because I had heard that the wide neck/nipple base was best for breastfed babies. Plus, they are BPA-free. My husband was usually the one to give her the bottle--and he usually had to be, as she wouldn't take it well from me. We had some issues with my milk supply and ended up having to give her a bottle after every feeding to get her appetite back up and she came to a point where she practically refused the Born Free bottle. I finally decided to go try something else.

I started with Dr. Brown's because they have the anti-gas pieces, but they are the opposite of Born Free--and the nipple is similar to her pacifier (the green Soothie). She became an entirely different eater with the new bottles. I would suggest trying nipples that are different from what you've tried. As far as the Adiri bottles, I have heard that they leak a lot, so that might make things more stressful. Also, I have heard that Second Nature bottles are good, with a nipple that has tiny holes in it to simulate the breast. (I don't think are BPA-free, though.)

And, try to have someone else give her bottle till she gets the hang of it. Good Luck!


this is the kind of nipple all three of my breastfed babies prefered. They are not easy to find but worked for us. Make sure to not use slow flow nipples. Breastfed babies are not used to working that hard to get milk. These nipples work with the playtex drop-in system and are BPA free. I agree with everyone else that said to let someone else give her the bottle. Do not let her see of hear you. My middle girl would stop taking a bottle if she knew I was in the house!!!

These kids are smart!

I have three children, two of whom were weaned from the breast around 8-10 weeks old and the third who was fortunate enough to enjoy the benefits of both until she was 11 months old. I never really had bottle nipples issues . . . all used the Playtex successfully. However, I did find that they wouldn't accept the bottle from me when we first started making the transition so having someone else do it was key. My mother-in-law was a big help and of course my husband. And you can't be around either when they are doing it, because your little one will smell you or hear you! And even then, the first few times my children fought the idea and didn't each much. Ultimately they get hungry enough and reluctantly accept the bottle. I know you are worried she may "starve" but rest assured, she'll not let herself get that hungry!

Good luck!

my son never took a bottle. He absolutely refused. But I learned they make a bottle that is soft and looks and feels like a breast you could try that with something that has your scent. Good luck!

Hi C.~

I had never heard of the following bottles til my lactation consultant recommended them (and this is our third bsby)... She said Target/Walmart, should have but I only found at Babies R Us. The bottles are "First Year's Breast Flow." Google it or check it out on the website - whole different concept. I just had our son at the end of August and needed help (nursing difficulty and assistance or needing a "faster time for me to feed" the baby with the demands of two other kiddos).

These bottles are more like breast feeding - there is a nipple within a nipple. It really works similar to the letdown of nursing and the flow. My little guy goes back and forth without any difficulty (he was 9 wks yesterday). I love it - some critiques on the website didn't like that there were two nipples to wash, but I have no problems with that "extra" time to wash. And I'm able to give him the bottle & he takes it becasue it is similar to breastfeeding from me.

Good luck, D.

My daughter is breastfed too and I tried many different bottles before I went back to work, and found that the breast flow bottles were the best, she took right to them and switched back and forth between bottle and breast, it has been 9 months now. Good luck to you!

You've probably heard this before, but try different nipples, mine liked the playtex nursers (the plastic bottle with the soft plastic liners - they have a wide opening) and they liked either the orthodontic nipple. Keep trying different nipples and of course, the basics, try to let someone else give her the bottle and you be away so she doesn't smell you. Actually, my son took his bottle from me, I guess because he was used to me feeding him, but he took the bottle no problem. Just keep trying. I would try maybe once a day so she will get used it it. Preferably when she'll have to take one when you return to work, and just keep trying. I wouldn't let her get too frustrated with it though, you want her to enjoy the bottle and enjoy the breast.

congrats on the new baby!!!!! i have 2 boys, my 2 1/2 year old never took a bottle. i bought every kind of bottle and nipple out there, litterally, and still nothing!!! luckily i did not have to return to work so it was ok from that stand point but i could never be gone more than 4 hours. he went from the breast to a cup of milk at 50 weeks. my 10 month refused the bottle as well. i brought out all the old bottles i had already purchased and had the same results.....a big fat nothing!!! my husband and i went on vacation and the boys were going to my parents. i was sick to my stomach with worry. they fed him out of a medicine dropper, but finally on day 4 he got hungry enough. he ended up going with the playtex with the drop in bags and the brown nipple. i would suggest trying to find a nipple that is shaped most like yours. the bad thing now is he was done with me. i guess he realized he could take the bottle around with him. this was at 8 months. so you are doing the right thing by starting now. i certainly waited too long. maybe you could take him to day care or grandmas house for a day. they always say if they get hungry enough..... i know it is hard but be persistant.

First off, try getting someone else to give her the bottles besides you. If you are holding her she expects to nurse.
Second, let her get hungry. Offer the bottle, if she won't take it, offer it again in two hours and so on until she takes it. Babies won't starve themselves.
But, I believe the most important thing is to get someone else to offer her the bottle....preferable when you are not in the room, or not at home even.

Try the Breast Flow bottles by First Years. They worked great for us. It has two nipples and the baby has to use the same sucking motion to release the milk. Just be sure to put the top on correctly -- or they leak.

I have the same problem. I plan on trying the Adiri bottle. They have them at baby boutiques and I have heard great things about them.

Hi C.,

If you happen to use the Medela Breast Pump, try the bottles you pump into with the nipples they give you. It's the only thing my third daughter would take (and you probably already have them!). (Also, they're BPA free!)

Good luck.

The advice you have received is great! One thing I did when I had the same problem is to go and buy one of every type of bottle I could find at Babies R Us. Then I went through them one at a time till I found one she liked and returned any unused bottles. Don't assume that your daughter likes one shape over another, I have heard of babies preferring all different sorts of bottles.

Good Luck. Cat

I have always used the avent bottles and never had a problem with my kids taking it. I did recieve a nice gift at my shower from a friend of mine. It was soothie bottles. You know that big green binky the hospitals give newborns? Well that is soothie, only now they make bottles. I have to say that my baby prefered that nipple to any other, probably because he liked the binky, even though he only used that for a few months. Good luck!

I had the same problem when I went back to work. My husband had to fee our son the bottle, we used Playtex NaturalLatch nipples, they worked the best. My son liked the milk to come out fast like how my breast gave it too him. It took a couple of days, my husband finally got it to work or our son just stop being picky and ate. It was a little hard on both of them at first. My husband also warmed the milk a little warmer, NOT HOT, just very warm and he said that was the magic trick. I could never give him a bottle, he just wanted to eat from me.

Good Luck!
He's 2 now and I'm still breastfeeding, mostly at night, but still...another story
He stop the bottle at 1 year old, but he only was on it during the daytime while I was at work.


First, do not be discouraged. Babies will NOT starve themselves. My boss had the same issue when she was returning to work, and finally her daughter took to the bottle. I used the Platex Ventaires natural shape for breastfed babies. Both of my children loved these bottles and refused others. You will need to try to find one your child will take too. Also, as others have said, have someone else offer her the bottle. Another trick my boss used was to start breast feeding, then when you go to switch sides or nurp, try to sneak the bottle in. This actually worked for her, so it is worth a shot to try. You are doing a wonderful thing by breastfeeding, and do not get discouraged, it will happen!

Try asking your husband or someone else to give the baby the bottle. Why should she take the bottle when you are right there? Once she gets more comfortable with the bottle she will be more inclined to take it from you. Remember too, she will eat when she is hungry and you are gone even if it is a bit of a fight to get there.

My sister-in-law never left her kids with anyone even my parents when they were babies unless she had to and she also carried the kids around with her constantly because her theory was that they were off and running not wanting to be picked up soon enough. The only problem with this philosophy was that her babies would scream, horribly when they did have a wedding or something to go to. With her oldest who is just a month younger than my now 13-year-old, I was there during one of these pleasant visits. He also would not take a bottle and would not stop screaming like 4-5 hours later of my mother and I taking turns walking the floor with a very heavy screaming baby. So I finally breast fed him to try to get him to go to sleep. My point in this rather bizarre and old story was that he knew it was not his mom but he was hungry. So follow the advice of these ladies who got this to work and remember when you aren't there and there is no choice, she will go for the bottle.

My son (now 2 1/2) did the same thing--he wouldn't even take a pacifier. Then we tried the Soothie bottles and pacifiers after I did some research on the internet, and he did better with them. Eventually, he started taking Dr. Brown's bottles as well. We did also have to do a bit of a bottle "bootcamp" with him for a while so he would take bottles from other people. I had the same problem when I had to return to work and he was refusing any bottles. We just asked some understanding and patient friends if they would be willing to put up with the screaming and help give him bottles whenever we had our small group church fellowshop time each week. HE never was a great bottle drinker, but he got hungry enough to take them when he had to! Good luck!

I had that problem with my youngest son and the doctor said it was the nipples on the bottle so I switched to just the ordinary nipples like the ones that come on the gerber bottles and he took them. hope this helps.

If you have been breastfeeding, then there is no way she will take the bottle from YOU at first. In fact, I couldn't even be in the same room when my girls first started taking bottles! Your baby can smell you when you are around...and she KNOWS that you have the real "goods", so she will hold out for the good stuff. If you are not around (out of the room or out of the house), then she will figure out that she will go hungry if she doesn't give in and take the bottle. After a while, when she is used to the difference, you can gradually start doing the bottle. However, that is also a good bonding time for father and daughter...or Grandma and baby...or whomever. She will bond with whomever she NEEDS to feed her. Good luck!

Hi Christina- I had the same problem until I was introduced to The first years/ Breast Flow bottles for infants. In my opinion, they are the closest replication to an actual nipple. I got mine at Target and at Diapers.com.

Best of luck!

Both of my daughter's did the exact same thing, and I was a mess the first day back to work because of it. All I can tell you is that it took some time for them to get use to taking the bottle. My sister-n-law took care of them and she tried everything. Eventually, they will get hungry enough to take the bottle. There were times that they would only drink enough to get by, and then wait til I picked them up to really nurse. They did eventually, get use to a bottle and did fine, but it was not overnight! Do not worry, your baby girl will not starve! One more thing, my girls would not take a bottle from me at all!

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