M.N. asks from Avon, OH on April 15, 2009
Problems with Bottle Feeding!!
My daughter is 5 months old and over the last couple months she has decided that she will NOT take a bottle from ANYONE! I can't even give her a bottle. She is getting breastmilk in the bottles and still will cry, scream and "pretend" to fall asleep so the person feeding her will stop.
This is frustrating to me personally because I cannot leave her with anyone because she will not eat. My parents have had her for two nights and the first night she didn't eat at all. It wasn't until the next morning (late morning) that she actually started to drink some of the bottle.
She was given a bottle of breastmilk around 2 months of age and did ok with it then, but like I said, lately she just refuses. I am just curious if anyone else has had this experience with their baby and wonders if they have, what do they do? It really upsets my husband that he cannot feed her.
G.D. answers from Cincinnati on April 21, 2009
I breastfed my daughter until she was 9 months, but she never took a bottle. At 5 months, we introduced a sippy cup (one made for an infant - about 6 months) with the soft silicone nipple and she did great with that. Just a thought, but may be worth a try.
E.M. answers from Cleveland on April 16, 2009
I had the same problem with my son. The first thing I did was up the nipple size. I think he was getting board of the bottle because it took so long for the milk to come out. That helped a little. What really ended up working, however, was giving him bottles with formula instead of pumped milk. He then took the bottle no problem. As much as I wanted to give him breast milk exclusively, he realized that he should not get breast milk in a bottle. Hope this helps.
D.S. answers from Columbus on April 16, 2009
Our nanny had a problem getting my son to eat from a bottle when I first went back to work, even though we were able to give him one just fine (he too is nursed). We found she wasn't warming it up enough. As you know, our milk is very warm being close to our bodies, and sometimes people are scared to warm a bottle up too much for fear of burning. Just a thought...you should be able to feel the milk on your wrist.
M.C. answers from Youngstown on April 15, 2009
My daughter did the same thing! She ate excusively from the breast until about 8 weeks old I tried to introduce breastmilk in a bottle. She did ok the first few times. So I went back to work and her sitter tried to give her the bottle and she refused it. She would not take a bottle from anyone...me, her father...no one. They would call me at work and tell me she had not eaten all day and I would have to come home and give her the breast. Nothing worked. I had to quit my job. To this day (she is now 9 months old) she still will not take a bottle, or a sippy cup for that matter. Breast only. I hate to tell you that nothing worked, but that is the truth in my case. I guess I waited too long to introduce the bottle. So I am kinda stuck. I can't be away from her for too long as she will only feed from me. I don't know what to tell you, just wanted to tell you my story. Good luck to you!
S.H. answers from Cincinnati on April 16, 2009
First, it's perfectly normal that she wants milk straight from the source. You're so warm and cozy for her to snuggle up to, and the bottle doesn't feel the same. Plus, the mechanics of a bottle are different -- she doesn't have the control over the flow that she does at the breast.
My older two both took a few bottles at an early age (2 months or so), but started refusing them completely by 4-5 months. With my youngest, we never even bothered with a bottle b/c it wasn't worth the effort.
One thing you can do is to try offering breastmilk in a sippy or regular cup. My husband got my oldest to sip from a regular cup starting around 4 months. It was a little messy, but at least she got a little milk into her.
Is your little one on solids yet? If not, she will be very soon, and you can just have the caregiver offer solids when you're not around. You can even mix them with breastmilk to help get the added calories/fat/nutrition into her. I've heard that some babies like breastmilk "slushies," so that may work for her now, too, even if she's not really on solids yet. No, feeding solids when you're gone probably won't tide her over for 24 hours, but it can work for several hours here and there.
Remember, too, that it will get better. Babies grow up so quickly, and it won't be long before she'll be eating enough solids and drinking enough from a cup for you to leave for longer periods of time as needed.
C.W. answers from Cincinnati on April 16, 2009
Have you tried differnet nipples? My two were both breast feed and the oldest would not eat for anyone. It didn't matter if the bottle had brest milk or not since they would just prop him up when they feed him I thought that was the troble because my youngest would take a bottle with breast milk but you had to hold him like you were feeding him from the breast. He just didn't like formula and neither did the first. With Michael too I thought it might also have something to do with the fact he had a bad strep infection and had to remain in the hospitl til he was 8 dys old. He prefered not to have a bottle with formula or breast milk.
J.L. answers from Cleveland on April 16, 2009
I agree with the suggestion of offering it before she realizes she is hungry. Maybe she also wants a faster flow nipple. We did not realize that they existed until my son would stop drinking halfway through.
Is she on solida? You could always offer her some cereal when she won't drink the bottle. Yes it is not as nutricious, but it is something in her stomach. Maybe if she is not ravenous, she will drink.
R.D. answers from Indianapolis on April 16, 2009
IT is normal for her not to take the bottle from you. Why take a bottle when she can have the real mccoy? My husband found he had to have the breastmilk just the right temp, on the warm side. They are used to body temp, not room temp, so you might see if that's a problem. Another trick was for mom to wear a shirt the other person could wear while mom was gone. That way baby still had mom's scent while bottle feeding. I would try faster flow rate nipple, we also found we had to do that for our babies. And for my stubborn boys, my husband would have to squirt milk into their mouths until they realized food was there, they just had to take it. I think my husband was persistent, and the boys had no choice but to eat. Also, know, your baby will not starve while you are gone. She will take a little nutrition to maintain herself until you return. It may not be pleasant for those around to listen to her cry, but she will be fine.
K.W. answers from Indianapolis on April 16, 2009
Neither one of my girls took bottles. They didn't seem to like the rubber nipples. I personally didn't mind because the breastfeeding stage goes by so quickly. Others can always bath her or do other things with her. So, I'd enjoy it.
But, have you tried other types of bottles or nipples? Sometimes they just can't latch on as quickly. Also, try different positions. One of my girls would only nurse if I held her football style with her body under my arm. My other one weaned herself at 9 months and then went straight to one of those sippy cups that you had to suck on.
Good luck to you!
J.C. answers from Cleveland on April 16, 2009
Hi, M.! It's frustrating when our babies make changes that are difficult to deal with. I feel for you! I would try giving it to her in a sippy cup. My kids were well into the sippy cup at the age of your daughter. Who knows, she might like it! If not, then I would try not to stress too much. I know how we moms get when our kids don't eat, but I really think she will eat when she's hungry enough. I wish you the best of luck!