14 answers

Help Weaning Breastfed Baby - He Won't Take Formula Bottle from Me

Due to my work schedule, I am trying to slowly wean my 6 month old son off of the breast. Starting by only pumping once/day at work, instead of 3 times. I will also breastfeed when he wakes in the morning, and in the evening when I'm home. So now my milk supply is changing based on the changing demand. The rough part is trying to get my son to take a bottle of formula from me on the weekends. He will act hungry, then will refuse the formula and force the bottle nipple out of his mouth. No one else has a problem feeding him a bottle, just his mama because he expects me to breastfeed! How did you all convince your baby to take a bottle from you? Thanks in advance!

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

Do you want to completely end breastfeeding or just reduce it?

Because at 6 months, with the introduction of solids, you should be able to skate by with fewer pumpings. I still breastfeed and only pump once a day.

My daughter started to refuse to take a bottle of EBM unless she was really hungry. It is best to switch over to a sippy cup. Bottles are bad for their bite and for their ears.

Good luck.

More Answers

Let the baby nurse for goodness sake. You are his mommy and he needs that from you. You should be as close with him as much as you can the first few years of life and if it means breastfeeding all weekend long than do it. He needs to feel you and to suck on you and to be and feel as close to you as he can. It won't be forever. Like someone else said, he will taper off once he is eating solids. Enjoy this time while you have it. Soon he won't want to sit in your lap for long at all. Don't force this on him by pushing the bottle when you have the natural thing right there. It's so convenient.

I have 2 kids, ds 6 and dd 22 months and breastfeed both. My son would take an occasional bottle of breast milk from daddy or grandmom but my dd would never take a bottle from anyone. I think your son knows what is best for him, breastmilk, he can smell it when you are holding him and wants that instead of the bottle. Probably misses the warmth of nursing too. Why not go ahead and breastfeed him whenever you are with him and trying to feed him? Just a thought, it may be easier on everyone. Good luck!

Hi S.! When I weaned all three of mine I had the same problem each time. What worked well with each one was if I held the bottle very very close to my breast, without a top on. That way, the baby got the closeness, smell and warmth. I would also try to shower beforehand and express any milk so hopefully the smell wouldn't interact with the bottle feeding. I also made sure to feed in the same chair and keep everything as consistent as possible. Good luck! (PS...I also diluted the formula with breast milk.)

Hi S.,
I breastfed all 3 of my babies-the middle one never did take a bottle at daycare. To compensate, he was up in the night to eat until 1 yr old (not the greatest solution!) Your body is remarkable & you may even be able to nurse during the day on the weekends & then cut back again during the week (just be prepared for the leaking, etc :) If you truly want to just nurse in the morning & at bedtime, you may have to just give the baby cereal/solids if you are alone. Otherwise, let your step-daughter or hubby give him the bottle. Also, he may drink the formula from a sippy cup if you offer it to him in his high chair (cradle holding him when he's used to getting it straight from the tap doesn't usually cut it--they smell mama!) Enjoy this time with your baby-as you can see from your step-daughter, they grow up so quickly! Best of luck.

Do you want to completely end breastfeeding or just reduce it?

Because at 6 months, with the introduction of solids, you should be able to skate by with fewer pumpings. I still breastfeed and only pump once a day.

My daughter started to refuse to take a bottle of EBM unless she was really hungry. It is best to switch over to a sippy cup. Bottles are bad for their bite and for their ears.

Good luck.

gOOD FOR YOU FOR BREASTFEEDING. I too breastfeed my child. He never would take a bottle from anyone . So I send you a prayer and best of luck!

Ok, this may seem harsh, but just don't feed him unless he takes the bottle. He'll get hunger enough and take it. Hunger will convince him. You can't convince a 6 month old to take a bottle over the nipple. Believe me, it's harder on you than it is on him. I breastfed three children, two until 18 mos and one until 6 mos (she had allergies and I had to stop). The first bottles were difficult but they got the message.

Hi S.,

I had to wean my daughter off of my breast early because I got pregnant again & lost my milk supply. I don't know if you are personally trying to give him a bottle of breastmilk, instead of formula, since they taste different. It'd be easier if he can get used to taking a bottle of breastmilk from you instead of a bottle of formula. It will take time, since I know my daughter had the same issue. It took her a little while to get used to me feeding her through the bottle versus the breast. Good luck!

I had the same issue with my second son - he would not take a bottle. But the problem was not the milk, it was the BOTTLE. I switched from the cheapo version I was using to a Playtex nurser, which has a much softer and natural feel, and he took the whole thing! So you might consider that the problem might not be the formula or milk, but the type of bottle or nipple.
Hope this helps,

you can try mixing 2/3 bm and 1/3 formula when you do feed him. so he thinks he is still getting what he wants from you. then decrease to like 1/2bm and 1/2formula if you think its working. keep adjusting the ratio until you get to mostly formula and a little bm and then to all formula. if this isnt working well you can also try holding him facing away from you so he cant see you. he will still "know" its you but not seeing you or being able to smell you up close or be close to your breast might help him "disassociate" (for lack of better term). or you could try lying him close to you but not holding him...again to disassociate. wear dh's shirt so he cant smell you if you like.

Hi S.,

Call the Le Leche League resource person. Depending where you live.

###-###-#### or 1-###-###-####

There is a Lactation Consultant at ###-###-#### at Chesapeake General Hospital Women's Helath Center.

Hope this helps. Good Luck. D.

Have you tried giving him the formula in a sippy cup? My sister transitioned her son from the breast directly to a sippy cup at six months - he never had a bottle at all.

that is not uncommon at all.....the baby can still smell your milk, so he thinks that is what he should be getting. I was told to try to turn the baby away from you....it is kind of uncomfortable, but he will not "nuzzle" as close to you. Good Luck...I know it is hard!

Hi S.: You might just have to ask your husband to give the baby your bottled breastmilk for three or four days until the baby understands that you will not be "the source" forever. If that's not what you'd like to do, then....

...Maybe try both breastfeeding and the bottle in the same sitting. Let the baby breastfeed for a few minutes until your milk is out on one side then give him your bottled breastmilk to top him off before letting him switch to the other side. (Then just pump the other side if you need to.) If he still insists on switching to the other side, then let him. I can't quite remember how I transitioned my kids...but I think had one breast "dry up" so to speak before the other because I was weaning him off the side that produced a little less milk anyway. I think I pumped on that low producing breast a little before his feeding time so there wouldn't be anything left there if he did want to switch. I would switch him to the empty breast and then after a few dry sucks, I had my breast milk ready in the bottle...freshly pumped! I just remebered this trick as I was typing! Also, as my milk dried up on both sides, I started mixing 1 ounce of formula w/ my breastmilk...then after 4 or 5 days, I increased it to 2 ozs. of formula and so on. I was a bit lopsided for a week or two (ha!), but I just listened to my body and made sure that I didn't become engorged. (That happened to me once and boy was that painful!!!!!!) I hope this makes sense. If you have any major problems, you should also try to find a lactation consultant in your area. She can hopefully give you some ideas that you won't find in a book! Good Luck! And let me know if you thought this was a helpful idea for you.


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