L.B. asks from Milwaukee, WI on July 11, 2008
Need Advice for Getting Breastfed Baby to Use a Bottle
I have a 6 week old son who is exclusively breastfed. We have tried a few times to get him to take a bottle, but he just screams endlessly. Part of it is probably my fault for waiting so long to introduce the bottle and then not being persistant once we did try. I still have 10 weeks before I go back to work, but I'd like to be able to have my husband give him a pumped bottle so I can get out of the house for more than 2 hours at a time :)
I know one suggestion is to try a different brand of bottle. However, we cannot even get him to try sucking the one we have, so I don't know if he even realizes it has milk in it. I don't want to waste money on a bunch of new bottles that he won't even try. Any other suggestions for things we could try first?
C.M. answers from Madison on July 14, 2008
Try letting him watch you pump and put the milk in the bottle. It worked with my son he just seamed to get the connection that the milk went from breast to bottle. Good luck !!!!
J.O. answers from Wausau on July 12, 2008
Use a small medicine dropper filled with milk (breastmilk if you pump- I found using pumped milk helped my son transition; he wouldn't drink the formula at all at first, we had to mix it with breast milk a little at a time).
Anyway use the smaller dropper to drip a few drops of milk into his mouth while the bottle nipple is there if he is crying to help him realize there is milk in the bottle too. Once he realizes there is milk, he will likely get the hang of it.
S.W. answers from Minneapolis on July 12, 2008
There is no right answer to this! The baby will drink from a bottle eventually when he is hungry enough. Don't worry about it! I struggled, tried everything, bought 6 types of nipples, worried, and my daughter would still not drink from a bottle. I had to leave her at daycare at 12 weeks and the wonderful women there said "don't worry!". My darling daughter was at daycare for 4 weeks before she gave in and drank from a bottle (she set a record according to the daycare!), but she was FINE! No problems after that.
L.G. answers from Minneapolis on July 12, 2008
Try taking a 20 min. walk outside by yourself while your husband gives the bottle.
D.L. answers from Madison on July 12, 2008
I bought Avent cause I read they were closest to breast, but neither my daughter or son would take them( I think the nipple was too firm as someone else had said
0 but both did fine with the Playtex Naturalatch nipples that go with the drop in liners. Also, getting breastmilk on the nipple first should help. Good luck.
J.H. answers from Davenport on July 12, 2008
I don't know if this would work for you, but it worked for us. Hold your baby so that he is lying down in your arms with his head by your elbow. Kind of as if he was nursing, then have someone else come up behind you and stick the bottle under your arm by his face. Hope this helps.
M.Y. answers from Minneapolis on July 12, 2008
One thing that I have found true with both of my kids is that I can not be the one to give them the bottle and I can't be around when they are taking it (in sight or sound). I generally have my hubby give it to them upstairs and I go downstairs and take a nice long uninterrupted shower (this way I also can't hear any struggles). There is something about the baby being able to smell, see or hear you that their little brains say "why do I want this cold, plastic hard thing when I can have the real thing straight from the source?). With my youngest, he was so fussy one day and all he wanted to so was nurse, and I was done. Unfortunately, my DH had to work late, our neighbor "grandpa" was sick, so my 6 year old gave him his first bottle. In that case, I couldn't go downstairs, but I got her all set up, put the monitor right by her so that I could hear when he got to air, and went into the kitchen to make dinner for her and I.
B.R. answers from Des Moines on July 12, 2008
Avent worked for us with no problems (he refused for about 5 minutes and then drank the whole thing in less than that!). I agree with dipping it in breastmilk.
We introduced the bottle at about six weeks, and it worked for us. Don't beat yourself up for waiting too long -- our lactation consultant actually said to wait about that long. Everybody has a different opinion!
E.B. answers from Duluth on July 12, 2008
You may have an uphill battle, but I always figure--you don't hear of formula fed babies who refuse a bottle, so all babies CAN take a bottle. Both my sons were breastfed and started on bottles at 3-4 weeks. We pinched the nipple so they knew there was milk. We had people other than mommy give the bottle. I actually left the house (went outside to garden) because it was hard to watch my baby be hungry and shoot me dirty looks, knowing he could have the boob if I was there! He didn't love the bottle at first, it was very awkward, he spit up because he sucked too fast, he had no portion control because he wanted the closeness WITH his milk, but now that he's older, he does just fine. I love knowing that he has an option in case... I guess my advice is just keep being persistent. Maybe even have other people try (people who aren't going into it frustrated and perhaps negative, since it's not worked already?). You may be opposed to this, but could you even try formula once or twice, so that he doesn't think you're trying to replace nursing? And then switch (can you mix them??)? Good luck.
M.M. answers from Minneapolis on July 14, 2008
Hi L.- First off do not beat yourself for waiting until now to introduce the bottle. It is a special time between you and your baby and this is what you have enjoyed. Since you are returning to work outside of the home, it is necessary for him to take the bottle so let's try this. First off, try to pump a bottle in the morning rather than evening. These pumpings have a lot of sweet stuff in it; more fat. If your husband is working day hours, try to wait until the weekend for him to give it to him during the day. The baby's hormones and the evening milk hormones are differnet during the evening hours. So try a time of the day on the weekend when he is usually happy and very content. Sleep in a tee shirt the night prior to doing this bottle feeding and give the shirt to your husband to either wear or drape across him during the feeding. Catch him before it is time for him to eat. Stick to CLEAR SILICONE DOME SHAPPED nipples (ie Advent, Playtex AirVent Advance), make sure the breast milk is freshly exspressed and let your husband try this while you are OUT of the house. Even it means to sit in the back yard for a while. Be sure to grab him before he wants to eat. Crying is too late. Offer the bottle before a regular feeding time, with the tee shirt on or between your husband and the baby, during the day with you out of the house. It may take two or three times, but it should work. Good Luck.
S.S. answers from Milwaukee on July 12, 2008
I can absolutely understand not wanting to spend a lot on different bottles, but I would purchase an Adiri Natural Nurser bottle...I have a link below. They are SUPER similar to the breast and make transitions to the bottle less traumatic for little ones. They are the same shape and really soft...like a breast!!!
And I'd try dipping the tip in breast milk before trying a feeding...then he'll know what he's getting by the smell.
And soon enough he'll be transitioned and happy and you'll be looking back at the situation! Best of luck!