17 answers

Getting Breastfed Baby to Take a Bottle - Chicago,IL

My daughter is 11 weeks old and will not take a bottle! She did take a bottle a couple of times when she was 3 or 4 weeks old, but has not taken one since. I plan to continue breastfeeding, but would like to be able to go places without her and not worry about the time. Anyone have any advice on getting her to take a bottle??? I have tried a few different bottles with no success. I've had other people try to feed her.

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When my son was an infant, we didn't use bottles when I had to be away from him. I was too worried about him refusing to take the milk from me if he was using a bottle. Instead he drank it directly from a small plastic cup. I'm not talking about a sippy cup, but just a regular cup like we would drink out of. He did really well with it, but sometimes he did make a mess. It is also a little more difficult for the person watching to feed them that way since they can't do other things while feeding.

I hope this helps. Good luck.

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Congratulations on the new baby!

One of my twins was the same way. When I returned to work, they were eight weeks old and only had a few bottles here and there. Both the nanny and my husband said one of my boys would scream and fight, and even one day ate one and then waited six more hours to eat until I came home (I bawled when I found out about this...mommy guilt). What my husband finally had to do was "force" him. He would have to hold his head still and keep the bottle nipple in his mouth. My son would scream and try to squirm, but figured out there was food in front of him and would eat. I think he said he also had to squirt out a little milk onto the nipple to help him realize this. It was very frustrating for both, but he did get the hang of it. Persistence is the key!

Good luck to you!

When my son was an infant, we didn't use bottles when I had to be away from him. I was too worried about him refusing to take the milk from me if he was using a bottle. Instead he drank it directly from a small plastic cup. I'm not talking about a sippy cup, but just a regular cup like we would drink out of. He did really well with it, but sometimes he did make a mess. It is also a little more difficult for the person watching to feed them that way since they can't do other things while feeding.

I hope this helps. Good luck.

Both of my breastfed babies never have had a bottle. With my son, I tried every bottle and even ordered a "breast-shaped" bottle!! Too funny! I just gave up and nursed him until he was almost 2. My daughter is 16 months old and has never taken a bottle. I promised myself to do better about offering her a bottle more often when she was really little, but she refused and it was just easier to feed her myself. Sometimes, I wish she wasn't so dependent on me, but most of the time I love that we have a special bond that will last a lifetime. Time flies by, she will not need my mama milk much longer. FYI, she will drink juice from a cup but not milk yet. Good luck, I say if you don't HAVE to bottle feed and it causes misery for her and you. Just stick with what works.

Wish I had some advice for you... all I can tell you is that my 2nd child would never take a bottle, either. I had to always feed him and I am still nursing almost 23 months later! :)

With my first, who DID take a bottle when I wasn't around, I used NUK nipples. Those are the ones he liked best.

playtex drop in bottles worked for us

I feel for you. I had 3 boys and the older 2 never took a bottle. But, I still went out, I nursed right before I left and filled a bottle up...I figured if they got hungry enough they would take it. Sometimes they only took a few drops but that's okay. I started them all on sippys at 6 months, they seemed to like those better than a bottle. As long as they are not too upset and crying for you...just go out and have fun.

my son did the same thing and i thought he was never going to take one....but i found that he liked the "mam" brand and took it well...then i realized that it was just with me that he would not take a bottle from.....and then he just grew out of needing a specific bottle.....he is 8mo now and takes any bottle i give him....fyi ..i too nurse him and i guess thats the reason he wouldnt take a bottle from me...?? hope this helps ..

If you are the one giving her the bottle, try leaving the room and letting someone else give it to her. That was my son's problem...if I was around he wanted to nurse. Once he got used to the bottle, he would then take it from me too. Good luck.

It's very difficult and nearly impossible for a mom who nurses to have the baby take a bottle from her. Why should the baby, if they know just inches away are the real things? My mom ended up taking my kids over night and both times, they refused to take the bottle until they got to the point that they had no choice. You need to not only step out of the house, but get out of the house.

Good luck!

Hello L. let me share with you first I work in a Daycare and hav actually just recently had 2 deal with a situation like this so my tran and the parent teamed up and got our ideas together and well the only to get this child to drink his breast milk out of the bottle was to wait till the child was really really hungry and then the child would take it. It took a couple of days for him to catch on to the idea that mommys boob was not around but now he is so much better . It takes alo of patience and patience . Good luck

My daughter is 9 weeks old and until last week would not take a bottle at all. We started offering one at 6 weeks and for 3 solid weeks it was a disaster. Last week, though, the stars aligned and she found her groove. Here is my advice and thoughts:

Persistence! Someone other than you must try EVERY DAY to give her a bottle. It is best if you are not even in the house at this time. Make sure she is hungary but not starving and in a good mood. My daughter always wakes up happy so my husband went and got her from a nap and gave her the bottle before she even had a chance to see me.

Buy a bottle you think she will like (maybe one designed for breastfed babies like the Breastflow or Adiri nurser) and try it at least twice if not 3 times. Oddly, though, the only bottle my daughter will take is the Evenflow Purely Comfy - the least expensive, last resort bottle!! I bought every bottle out there before trying this one and, of course, this was the one! A lot of people swear by the Avent ones, too.

Check out kellymom.com or mothering.com/forums for other moms going through the same thing and their advice.

Good luck! Its frustrating, I know. Patience and persistence!

Maybe it's taking a bottle from you, my son would never take a bottle from me, when he was that age, only from my husband. if i was trying to feed him he wanted the breast. She if she responds with your husband or other caretaker when you are not around

Hi L.!
I had a terrible time getting my little one to drink from a bottle. I had the same situation, she drank from a bottle a couple of times at around a month old, but after that, absolutely refused a bottle. I'm talking screaming, histerical, fits! We tried every bottle known to man, and I too would leave the house so she couldn't smell/sense I was there. She seemed to prefer the latex nipples better than the silicone ones (by prefer I mean would play with)...so I ran with that and again tried every bottle with latex nipples.
Finally, one day she would drink from the Platex "Medium" flow nipples that are "orthodontically" shaped. I think it was just a matter of right timing.
Keep trying, and if you find something that catches her interest (shape, texture...) go with it! Good Luck!

Hi L.,
We had the same problem with my son (now 3). I breast fed but when it came time for my husband or my mom to feed him, he wasn't having it.

What we did was find a soothy (can be a specific blanket or lovey....we used a "taggie"...taggie.com). I slept with the taggie for a few nights (he wasn't using it yet) and got my scent on it and put the taggie near his face when I nursed him. When it came time for daddy to feed him, he put the taggie between his body and the baby's face (like I would when I nursed) and it was soothing for him because it was something that was familiar...and it smelled like me.

There was never an issue with bottles, it was ME....so this helped us tremendously. As my son got older and weaned, that taggie was his comfort. He's 3 now and still sleeps with it.

I hope something helps!
B.

You've had some good suggestions. In addition, some babies want the bottlefeeding experience to be as close to breastfeeding as possible. So have the caregiver put one of your nightgowns or other garment that you've worn close to your skin on their shoulder and hold the bottle as close to their body as possible so the scent and feel is the same. Other babies know the bottle is different, and need the bottlefeeding to be as different from breastfeeding as possible. These babies may do better if the baby is seated on the caregiver's lap, looking away from the caregiver and the bottle is held around the baby, so baby doesn't have to look at the "strange" face at all. Others may take the bottle better if they're sitting in a bouncy seat, etc., and not being held at all. Patience and experimentation will determine what works best for your child. As one poster said, milk may be offered other ways than a bottle as well. The cup works well as stated. Try a small flexible cup, like the kind that comes with cough syrup bottles. Have the baby sitting upright, and hold the cup to her lips with the milk just barely coming to the rim of the cup. This way the baby can "sip" the milk herself, and be in control of her own feeding. The milk must not be "poured" into the baby's mouth. The milk may also be offered by spoon, or eye dropper, etc. Good luck!
K., IBCLC

I would keep trying every day. Can the father give it every day at the same time? Mu first did not take a bottle, my fault, did not introduce it til it was too late and then would have an absolute fit when feeding time came and I was not there....God bless my mom when she babysat. But I felt like a prisioner.

With the other 2 we started at 4 weeks and gave a bottle every day! We were going to be sure they took the bottle!

Keep trying! I know how it is and it is brutal...but keep trying

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