17 answers

Problems with Introducing the Bottle

I have been breast feeding my doughter for 3 months now. I plan on continuung breastfeeding as long as she wants to up to a year old. however I decieded that we should try to bottle feed her some breast milk from a bottle just in case i am not able to feed her. for instance it would be nice to be able to give her a bottle while doing holiday travel instead of having to stop and feed her or if i get sick.

the problem is that we tried to give her a bottle (my husband was feeding her since that is what the 'books' suggest) and she freaked out. screaming and cring, she didnt want anything to do with the bottle. after a few minutes and no milk eaten i tried to offer her my breast and she refused it too! she was so upset! i felt so bad!
did we wait to long? is she too old to accept milk from a bottle? any suggestions on how to make to transisition to a bottle everyonce in a while easier?

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Featured Answers

When my son was 2 & 1/2 months old we lost his daddy. I needed a lot of help & had to put my baby on formula. I talked to a lactation consultant & she was very helpful. She told me not to try the bottle while he was real hungry because he would be too frustrated. She also told me not to cradle him while giving him the bottle. I could hold him facing away from me or sitting up in his infant seat or some other ways. I started out with the breast & fed him a little so that he was not so hungry, then I finished his feeding with a bottle & it didn't take long at all to get him used to formula.

You can change to the Playtex bottle's with the drop in liner with the comfort latch nipples. I use these with my daughter because I am not able to breastfeed because of piercings that I have.

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You are perfectley normal! I went thru the same thing with my daughter (she was harder to bottle feed than the 3 boys). The only thing that worked was for someone else, daddy or the daycare provider, to feed her the bottle when I was no where around. It seemed that if she could see me, she wanted me and could not understand why she couldnt have me. It also helped to have a tshirt that I had worn and not washed next to her and the bottle, it gave her a sense that Iwas there, they get used to your smell at feeding time. Everyone here has great ideas, try as many as you can til you find one that works. You are doing the right thing, if you dont get a little time away, you will start feeling like a feeding machine! Plus, its Christmas and us girls must Shop! Happy Holidays and Good Luck with Ella!

When my son was 2 & 1/2 months old we lost his daddy. I needed a lot of help & had to put my baby on formula. I talked to a lactation consultant & she was very helpful. She told me not to try the bottle while he was real hungry because he would be too frustrated. She also told me not to cradle him while giving him the bottle. I could hold him facing away from me or sitting up in his infant seat or some other ways. I started out with the breast & fed him a little so that he was not so hungry, then I finished his feeding with a bottle & it didn't take long at all to get him used to formula.

I don't know what kind of packy you use, but the only bottle my son will take is the soothie bottle. It is "most like the breast" and definitely most like the packy they started him on at the hospital (he never was too attached to the packy though). My daughter did better with a soft top cup. The other thing is maybe the nipple releases differently, too fast or slow. I have to extra holes with a hot needle. Try to stay calm, make it as much like nursing in the environment as possible and don't force it. Also try nursing him well, then letting him try the bottle after the first breast. He may be less frustrated then. It will come in good time. You may also just make sure he has a bottle near him to become more comfortable with when he plays. If you can't get him to take it, it will be okay. You can excuse yourself for a few minutes if you need to. I just lay a blanket over us while I nurse.

Yes, It is the Playtex Vent air nurser, that is what we use & mine takes it from me or my husband. I'm lucky I guess. I was going to suggest this when i read the request & it is cool that someone had the same idea. Also, I agree with catching her before she is worked up. Good Luck!

She's not too old. Any habit can be formed with consistency and encouragement. There are a few things to consider. What kind of nipple did you use? My kids were VERY picky about the nipple. Silicone was not an option. I had to use an orthotic shaped rubber nipple. The other thing was I had to use a larger nipple for them (at 3 months I was using a 6-9 month nipple because the milk came out so slow in the newborn to 3 month nipple. You don't want the milk to flow too fast or they become lazy suckers and you don't want the milk to be difficult to get or they refuse to try it. Why drink a bottle when it takes 30+ minutes to do what can be accomplished in 5-7? The last think that was hugely important was temperature. It needs to be the same temp as when it comes out of mom. Some babies would eat anything so this may not matter for them, but I know for mine, they preferred mom and if mom was not available then the next closest thing would do. So those are things to think about.

Also another thing to think about. When you get sick, if you can by all means continue to nurse. You may be protecting your baby from getting your illness or at least from getting it as badly. You will produce antibodies and your child will drink them and start fighting it off before it really starts. This worked great for all 3 of my kids when I nursed them. I always tried to make sure if they got exposed to someone ill, that I had at least the same level of exposure so I could start make antibodies...even if I didn't get sick my body was at least on some level defending itself from whatever I was exposed to and thus allowing the same for my child thru me as I helped my child build their natural immunity.

Good luck and I really hope that you can find the right bottle or nipple or temperature or whatever it is so your child will accept a bottle when needed.

B. :)

hi K., 1st when you do give her the bottle put a blanket or what ever you've done normally to cover yourself. also hold her just as if you were breast feeding her but instead you are holding a bottle. and do it when its not a naptime or bedtime. also do these things if she goes to daycare. hopefully this helps you a little.

You can change to the Playtex bottle's with the drop in liner with the comfort latch nipples. I use these with my daughter because I am not able to breastfeed because of piercings that I have.

I know with my little girl, at first it helped to hold her sitting up more...facing out or towards me on my knees while we fed her a bottle. This helped to not confuse her about nursing and I was told sitting in a more upright position forces a breastfed baby to need to suck more from the bottle just like they do from the breast. I've also heard sometimes Mom needs to be out of the house for the first few bottles, baby can sense you're there and wonders why you're not feeding them with the bottle. If she still won't take the bottle, try a sippy cup...it doesn't matter how she gets the milk when you're not around, just that she gets it.

Listening to your situation was like reading about my own story of introducing the bottle to my daughter. She is one year old now, but when she was a couple of months I tried to offer her a bottle (for the same reason you did, just in case I wasn't around to feed her one day). She was FURIOUS!!! She screamed and cried if anything but SKIN touched her lips!!! She also wouldn't take a pacifier for the same reason. I tried everything from having Daddy feed her to trying to bottle feed her when she wasn't too hungry. I tried all the different nipples and all the different bottles. Nothing worked. I know this response to your question may not seem like it will help you, but I am here to offer some support. Although my daughter never took a bottle, and I was EXHAUSTED by the time she was six months and starting eating something OTHER than breastmilk, after that...it was smoooooth sailin'! So don't stress about it. Even if she doesn't ever take a bottle, once she starts eating baby cereal you will be able to get some time to yourself. You will be able to go to the grocery store ALONE and guilt free! Also, just remember (and my DOCTOR told me this), even if you need to go to the store or run an errand and are away from your daughter for more than 3 or 4 hours, I promise you, she will not starve. She will be just fine. Ask your doctor about it if you are unsure, but I assure you that taking a few hours to yourself every once in a while will do her no harm.
Also, I have a question for you...how does she sleep at night? I may not have any great suggestions for your original request, but I have a GREAT remedy for sleepless nights!!! Let me know!

I also had a hard time getting my boys to take a bottle. You don't want to start it too early b/c you want to develope a good nursing bond first. So it is good that you waited. Just keep trying while she is in a good mood and don't force it. I never got my 2nd son to take the bottle, but by time he was old enough for a cup and some solid food it helped me be able to be away from him a little longer. Just keep in mind that this time passes so fast. I know it doesn't always feel like it, but it really does.

just give her some time...she might actually like it better if you are holding her...some babies are particluar about things...she is showing a little of her personality...hopefully after a few tries she will "give" in...good luck..love her name

My little one doesn't like the bottle either but, like you, I do try to give it to her sometimes, just in case. I know the books say have dad do it, but my gal won't take it from my husband at all, i don't know why, maybe it's the way he's holding her or something. but she will take it from me. i've also found that she won't take it when she is really hungry and worked up. so when i'm gonna give it i watch for the signs of hunger and try to catch her before she gets super hungry. good luck and God bless.
-B.

You didn't do ne thing wrong. Your a good mom. Some ways to help with trying the bottle would be the type of nipple you use on bottle.Try to find that kind that is most like a womens breast. Not sure what the brand is. Playtex maybe? After all that is more of what she is used to now. Try your hardest to keep the feeding process the same as when you do it. If it is the daddy then that is good but have him make sure to hold her closely as you do when u feed her. Also try it when you know she is really hungry like when she just wakes up or something. Just try to make it as close to the real thing as you can. I am not saying your husband has to hold her belly up to his like you do or ne thing.lol but you get what I am saying..
Just remember that with an infant it is more than just feeding time for them. It is a bonding time as well. It is a good idea and your very much on track for thinking of trying it. One never knows if your milk wont be enough one day or like you said if you get sick. It is a good thing to do. Your a very good mommy. It does help alot for daddy to get alil bonding time as well. good luck hope it helps you.

A friend of mine recently had a baby girl, and she is learning to breastfeed. In conversation with one of the nurses about another question I saw on her, the discussion took a turn that could apply to this question. The nurse suggested that perhaps breastfeeding babies not take the bottle, but rather get feed using a dropper/syringe method instead. She said you can use either pumped breastmilk or use formula, but this method helps the baby not have to learn a new sucking method and can be used in the event the mother is resting and someone else needs to feed the baby between breast feedings.

Try diffrent nipples. My daughter is 5 1/2 months and I just recently had my husband feed her. It took her several tries and several different nipples before we settled on one that she liked. She prefers the old fashion latex nipple by playtex slow drip. I know this is difficult and I wish you the best of luck.

Hi, K., Sounds prefectly normal to me. Trying something new, even to a child this age, she gave you her feelings about it. Don't give up and don't give in. She'll get used to it

Hi! We introduced the bottle to my daughter for the first time at about 3 months so your daughter is not too old at all.

I hope these suggestions help you. First you can try different nipples. They make ones that simulate the breast a little more than standard nipples but get a variety of flows and shapes. Also try not to be where she can see, hear or smell you (I know the last one sounds funny but it can hinder it). Last, try not to introduce the bottle at times when you nurse as much for comfort as for food such as first thing in the mornings, naptimes, and bedtimes. Last until she accepts it try intoducing the bottle first before the breast. Watch for signs she is becoming upset so that she will not refuse the breast.

It will probably be a slow process but I wish you the best of luck.

C. M

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