26 answers

No Longer Wanting to Breastfeed, Wants a Bottle

My 3 month old now goes to daycare, he now rarely wants to actually breastfeed. He will cry hysterically to the point that I have to give him a bottle. I wouldn't be that concerned about giving him a bottle but I am not pumping enough for the amount that he drinks. I work so it's hard to pump every 2-3 hours. Any suggestions of what I can do? I started some formula but I really only want to give him breastmilk.

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

My three month old is doing almost the same thing, just not too much. I breastfeed her all day, and I pump milk in case I decide to drink more than 1 glass of wine. Last night she was crying, but she wouldn't take the breast. I gave her a bottle instead and she loved it. She gets to eat and look around at the same time. Someone gave me the advice that this happens at 3 months because they are all excited about looking around their world and that it will pass.

I wasnt producing enough for my daughter either.....I just gave her all that I pumped and then substituted formula for the rest of the time....sometimes I even mixed breast milk and formula together...doing it this way gave her enough to be full yet gave me the comfort that she was getting good breast milk also.

More Answers

try feeding your baby with a cup. any soft cup will do, but la leche league might have information on special cups for babies. sometimes babies experience "nipple confusion" when they are both breast and bottle fed. even newborns can drink from cups. just hold the cup close to the baby's lips and the baby will lap at it. this is considered a better method than bottle feeding so that the baby will take the breast longer. hope this helps.

My three month old is doing almost the same thing, just not too much. I breastfeed her all day, and I pump milk in case I decide to drink more than 1 glass of wine. Last night she was crying, but she wouldn't take the breast. I gave her a bottle instead and she loved it. She gets to eat and look around at the same time. Someone gave me the advice that this happens at 3 months because they are all excited about looking around their world and that it will pass.

Don't give up!! My friend successfully pumped for 8 months- her son couldn't breastfeed b/c of bad reflux. Electric pumps are more effective. The morning hours are best b/c your milk is greatest than. Pump as often as you can and when home continue to try and breastfeed- supply and demand will increase production. If this doesn't seem to help call La Leche- they give great advice. Good luck!

Have you attempted to start nursing him 15 minutes before he is actually hungry? He may be irritated because the flow is not fast enough for his appetite. If you can "let down" your milk and catch him before frusteration sets in it might be easier for both of you.

A thought with pumping-- I've had the most sucess building a milk supply when I pump during nursing too (for example: if nick is nursing on the right, I am pumping at the same time on the left). Granted, it takes practice... but once you get feel for it, it really works well. Just a thought :)

Good luck!

I nurse my son for 20 months. I remember hearing in breastfeeding class that it takes more work for a baby to get the breastmilk from your breast than it is to get formula (or breastmilk) out of a bottle. It could be as simple as your baby has figured that out and doesn't want to work that hard for breastmilk from your breast if he can get something (breastmilk or formula) from a bottle. The nurse who taught our class told us if we needed to use a bottle, to get the Nuk brand nipples. I guess if that is the case, get the slow flow type so your son can work harder for whatever is in the bottle. If you want to continue nursing, keep trying to breastfeed and keep pumping.

Another suggestion is a tough one: perhaps you could refrain from giving him a bottle when you're together so that he can remember how to nurse. I know the crying/screaming will probably get to you (my son's screaming still gets to me and he's 2), but if he's hungry enough, he'll try to nurse again if that's all you offer. If you're really worried about trying that method, you could always try feeding him breastmilk/formula with a spoon or through a tube. When my son was a newborn still in the hospital and my milk hadn't come in yet, we had to supplement with formula and did tube-feeding. The hospital had these little tubes that you could connect to a syringe. We filled the syringe with formula, my son would suck on my finger, and we slide the end of the tiny tube against my finger and into his mouth. Offer the breast first, then whatever other option you choose as a last resort.

Now, if he's crying hysterically WHILE you're trying to nurse...like, he latches on and starts to nurse but then stops, arches his back and cries, and your son might also spit up, have gassiness, and/or diarrhea, then the issue might be *your* diet and your son's sensitivity to something in it. I had to cut out a lot of foods while nursing because of my son's issues with my diet.

You might also want to contact the La Leche League. I'm sure they can give you some other tips on things to try if you really want to continue nursing.

If you have any other questions, please feel free to email me.

Good luck!

Hi J.,
Hate to say it, but the more you pump the more milk you'll produce. I know it's hard to pump every few hours at work, and sometimes you feel like a cow with these electonic pumps glued to you =), but if you can - I'd stick with that. Also make sure you are eating lots of good food and drinking LOTS of water to make sure you keep producing milk. Are you breastfeeding him in the morning and at night? Or just at night? If it's a night, maybe he senses that it's time to go to bed - and that's what he's fighting. Dim the lights, rock, use a boppy and have that be "your" time together. If all else fails - formulas are really good now and don't feel badly at all about having to supplement with formula - or switch to formula. Good luck.

I'd recommend contacting your closest La Leche League. You can google them and find the closest one as well as phone numbers for the league leaders in your area. I've found the DC league leaders to be super helpful and have great ideas and suggestions. I've even called other league chapters when I've been out of town and had a problem. Everyone I've ever talked to has gone out of their way to help.

I didn't have this problem exactly, but I had a similar problem with a nurse telling me that I should give my breastfeeding infant juice by bottle in between feedings because she wasn't gaining enough weight. This gave her diarrea so it was exactly the wrong advice. She also was sort of "addicted" to the sweetness of it. So I drank apple juice in the hopes that I would be adding some of that flavor to my milk. I paid attention to what I could be eating or drinking that might make my milk taste bad. I had my husband test the flavor of my milk periodically. At first I put a little juice on my nipples to help give her interest. I also found out that she wasn't gaining enough weight because she was just a very active baby - kicking a lot - some of it was because she had colic and needed to raise her legs to push out the gas and a warm hot water bottle on the tummy would help with colic, too.

Breast milk is the best, though it is understandable why you can't give breastmilk during child care. Make sure the formula is not too sweet - not sweeter than your breastmilk and make sure the day care is not putting something else in the bottle. I know how hard it is not to give in to a crying baby, but they learn very young that they can get their way if they do what's needed. I was taught that you can't spoil an infant, but I learned that that's not true. If rocking & loving doesn't work, try putting him in a quiet dark/dimly lit room until he calms down and then go in. If he cries and you put him into the quiet dark room each time, then eventually he will learn that crying doesn't get him what he wants. You will give him what he needs and he can learn to communicate with you about his needs in other ways as he grows up, but you need to learn to say "no".

Also, you can ask the day care provider what the feeding routine is or take some time off of work to observe. Maybe there's something else he desires that goes along with the bottle feeding. Another idea: I understand that nipples on bottles these days make it very easy to suck to get the milk & sucking on their mother's nipples is harder work, so changing the nipple of the bottle that is used only at day care to one that is more like your own could help also.

- J. Dowling
Mother of 2 grown children, grandmother, & award-winning child care provider http://www.joycedowling.com/
Developer, Prince Georgians Care http://www.pgcares.com/

1 / 3
Required Fields

Our records show that we already have a Mamapedia or Mamasource account created for you under the email address you entered.

Please enter your Mamapedia or Mamasource password to continue signing in.

Required Fields

, you’re almost done...

Since this is the first time you are logging in to Mamapedia with Facebook Connect, please provide the following information so you can participate in the Mamapedia community.

As a member, you’ll receive optional email newsletters and community updates sent to you from Mamapedia, and your email address will never be shared with third parties.

By clicking "Continue to Mamapedia", I agree to the Mamapedia Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.