21 answers

Getting My Baby to Take a Bottle

I have an 11 week old baby that refuses to take a bottle or a cup, with breast milk or formula. We have tried just about everything, and I need to get back to work. We have tried different bottles with different nipples. We have attempted sippy cups that require sucking. Her Dad tries to give it to her early evening, when I am not around, so as not to confuse her. We (when I say "we" it is all those wonderful people that have attempted this weening, not including me to avoid nipple confusion) have faced her away from us, so she doesn't think to turn towards the nipple. "We" have had the person doing the feeding wear one of my shirts, so it smells like me. (This has provided a little success). After all this, I do not know what else we can do. I do not want to stop breast feeding, but I do need to be able to "leave" her once in a while. Please help!!

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

Keep at it. I had trouble at different ages with two of my little ones. We just kept at it EVERY day at around the same time. My husband feed them until they were no longer having issues. They both eventually adjusted and had no trouble switching between breast and bottle, and it didn't matter if I fed them or he did.

Good luck!

More Answers

Poor thing, Your problem is near and dear to me. I just went through this headache with my son. After buying 7 different styles of bottles and 5 or 6 sippie cups, someone said to try a free-flowing cup. It worked. He drinks from a cup, sucks a pacifier, drinks, suck... Now that's all he will use. I also took him to my parents and left him with the cup and milk. It was also formula. I continued to pump to keep my milk up but he was not confused with breastmilk in the cup. However, we tried breastmilk in the cup weeks later and he threw a fit. So the cup gets formula and I still breastfeed. It took lots of trying and patience. Believe me, I feel for you.
Good luck and email me if you have any other questions on this subject.

I would recommend talking to a lactation consultant. One suggestion mine gave me was to stand while giving the bottle...it worked for some reason. Another suggestion was to face the baby out as you're feeding. We also had to make sure the bottle was warm enough. After drinking warm breastmilk, my daughter was quite picky. Once they get used to bottles, your baby should take it without problems. Good luck.

Honestly, I don't believe in "nipple confusion". I breastfed all of my girls (3), and that was never a problem. Maybe what your baby wants is YOU. I bet that if you tried to give it to her, she might take it. Right now, food comes from Mom, so when someone else is trying to feed her, it doesn't make sense. If that doesn't work, just keep trying. It took me a couple weeks of trying to get my youngest to start taking a bottle. Good luck!!!

Have you talked to a La Leche League Leader? There are several working moms that attend the group that I attend and I know that LLL has a lot of resources, including ways to get a baby to take a bottle while mom is away. You can find a leader or a local group on their website www.llli.org Good luck

I have a one month old that continued breast feeding after we started supplementing with formula. I fed him the same way with the bottle that I would when breast feeding. He took to the bottle really well that way and continued to nurse the same as before with little to no confusion. You should try feeding and see what happens.

One of my friends had something similar to this happen. She found Breastflow bottles and that is the only thing her daughter would take besides the breast. You can find them at Babies R Us.
Good luck!

Have you tried an Adri bottle? They are quite expensive at $13 a bottle, but I feel they ar worth it. It is the bottle that is most like the breast and the one preferred by most LC's. We stared Jack on the bottle at 3 weeks because I returned to work at week 6.

Personally, I wouldnt have them wear one of your shirts. It seems to me that your smell would cause your child to think that you are present. I also have never heard of not turning a child in to the nipple when being fed by the bottle. It is a comfortable position she has associated with nursing. I am not sure why this would cause nipple confusion.

Good luck!

I truly feel for you! None of my three daughters would take a bottle. I continued to breastfeed them until they were a year old and could take a cup, but I also had the privilege of being a stay at home mom at the time. I don't know what I would have done if I had had to return to work! One thing someone advised me was for ME not to try to feed with a bottle, which you seem to be doing. I was told that babies can smell their mother's milk. They had to try to feed my daughters when I wasn't in the house. We had a bit of success, but eventually I quit trying and only breastfed them. Have you spoken with a Lactation Consultant? While these certified professionals advocate breastfeeding, they may have some tips and be able to encourage you!

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