3 Month Old Will Not Take Bottle - Help!

Updated on December 29, 2009
M.B. asks from Chicago, IL
16 answers

Hi Moms,
I know you all will be able to help me. You always do!

My son is 3 months old and is exclusively breastfed. When he was 2 weeks old I introduced a bottle (it was only once a week). He took the bottle like a champ. It was a medela nurser. He continued to take a bottle about once a week. Then about 4 weeks ago he stopped. I have also tried Dr. Browns and Born Free with him, which is what my older son used when I went back to work. I went out one night and was gone for 6 hours. I was sure he would take a bottle since I was gone that long, but no! And of course he was miserable and I felt horrible and so did my hubby who was home with him. Today we tried the Nuby nurser and it leaked all over him and he hated it.

I am going back to work part time in 3 weeks. I will pump when I am at work and plan to continue breastfeeding until he is at least a year. What do you guys suggest I do to get him to take the bottle??? Also if it matters to know - he won't take a pacifier either. We tried the soothies and he just doesn't want it. I don't really care about the paci, but not sure if that info is helpful.

Thanks in advance for all of your help!

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M.O.

answers from Chicago on

You can always use a small fexible cup to feed a baby. Let them sip it, it works! Also, I always used Avent bottles. Good job for breastfeeding , you''re baby thanks you!

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J.S.

answers from Chicago on

I am going to recommend the same thing that others did, the Playtex drop-ins. We use the latex nipple (rather than the silicone) and I think that is key. It seems to be more like mom. I had this exact problem with my daughter who is now three months old. This is the only bottle that she will take. Good luck!! I know that it can be frustrating.

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J.L.

answers from Chicago on

My dd also did that when I went back to work when she was 6 weeks old. She took it fine from 6 to 10 weeks, then refused it at all costs. Try a sippy cup (one of the silicone Nuby brand from WalMart worked for us), or a regular cup and have the feeder give him small sips from it. How long will you be gone from him? If it's 4-5 hrs it's ok if he doesn't drink anything. My dd also did that. I'd nurse her a ton before I left then again as soon as I got back in the house w/her. Good luck!

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S.S.

answers from Chicago on

Our bf son takes a platex drop in with the slow flow nipple. Good luck!

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M.T.

answers from Houston on

My daughter went thru 8 or 9 different brands. Tried silicone, latex nipple, Nuby, Born Free, Nuk, Breastflow, Medela - to name a few. I had to go to daycare everyday at lunch and feed her for almost a month. She finally somewhat accepted Mam bottles. I haven't been able to give her a bottle myself to this day. She'll be 9 months soon. Her teacher told me that warming a nipple under hot water and making milk a tad warmer helped "brake" her. I also noticed some nipples have an aweful plastic smell to them when they're new. After washing them a few times try leaving some breastmilk on the inside part of the nipple to make it smell more familiar to your baby.

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J.B.

answers from Chicago on

My second son was the same way and I tried every bottle on the market. He never took a bottle and was weaned at 14 months. He went straight from a bottle to a sippie. It was frustrating!!!!

The Pediatrician told me that he would take the bottle if he got hungry enough and that like a toddler who skips meals, it would not hurt him. But since I was not working until he was a yr old, I didn't feel the urgency to force him. But many people agreed with the Dr and if I had had to go back to work sooner, I would have had to "force" him.

I know, not much help, just a little word to let you knwo you aren't alone!!!!! Good luck!

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J.S.

answers from Chicago on

hi M....i had the same problem with my oldest...the 1 and only bottle that has ever worked for each of my 3 kids(3months, 3years and 6 years) is the old school playtex nurser that you drop the bag into...i have born free, advent, mam glass, gerber, nubi...you name it i have probebly bought it but i always go back to the 1 that works...and whats really nice is you really only need 1 because you change the bag...try it if you can..they really work..i like the clear silicon nipple over the brown latex but try both your baby will sure let you know what works..good luck!!!

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S.L.

answers from Chicago on

We had the same problem with our second child, now 8 months. We received a lot of suggestions on mamasource to switch to the playtex nurser ( with the liners). Perhaps not as great for the environment because the liners are disposable, but they worked well. Our daughter went right to the fastest flow and we used a latex nipple which was much softer. You can get it all bpa-free too. As for pacifiers, I think the soothies are kind of hard forlittleones. My daughter didn't like those until now. She may like those orthodontic (flatter) onesby nuby first. Good luck!

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H.S.

answers from Chicago on

I personally never went through this, but I know that there are bottles out there that are designed more like a breast and thus easier for some breastfed babies. My problem was I nursed so much that I didn't pump for awhile and my body stopped responding to the pump. Congrats on your baby boy!

R.T.

answers from Champaign on

Good luck to you on this one! My now 10 year old went from breast to cup. He never would take a bottle. I went back to work when he was 4 months old. I had to nurse him before we left the house, when we got to the sitter, come back on my lunch break, when I picked him up from the sitter and then had to go directly home. He had just started 1st stage foods by then so that would hold him over in between. At about 8-9 months he would drink water and juice from a sippy but never milk until we were off the breast completely.

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M.I.

answers from Chicago on

This is the exact post I did when my little guy was 3 months! He's now almost 7 months and is finally taking a bottle. Like you, he took one when he was a newborn once or twice a week, but then all of a sudden around 2 1/2 months he refused and would scream and cry and arch his back. We tried every bottle put there, and had some luck with the Playtex nurser like some of the other people. I went back to work full time when he was 5 months and he still wasn't taking the bottle. Luckily, my babysitter is down the street from where I work so I would go over at lunch to feed him. He started to kind of 'wait' for me and wouldn't eat for her. I stopped going there at lunch, which sounds cruel, but I knew he would take the bottle because some days he did with no problem. The first few weeks he would only take 2-4 oz all day (7 hours) and I was a wreck. But now, he takes the bottle all day long form anyone, including me. Believe me, I know what you are going through. Try not to worry too much, he WILL eventually take it. We now use the Nuby nursers and he loves them. Also, it helps to keep the bottle horizontal and not tilt it all the way down. It lets the baby control the flow better, like when they are nursing. If they gag or choke while drinking, that may spook them. Hope this helps, feel free to contact me!

M.

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S.T.

answers from Chicago on

As a day care provider, and mom of two, I find that the Playtex bottles-with or without the liners-are a really good bet for your son's age. I've had great luck with them when the kids seem to be picky about bottles!

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M.G.

answers from Chicago on

M.,

Congratulations on the new baby!

My husband experienced a similar problem with one of our twins when he was about 10 weeks old. I was working and pumping, and he refused to take the bottle. It broke my heart and laid on the mommy guilt like crazy. What he did was "force" him to take the bottle by not giving up. My son would scream and cry, and try to fight it, but would eventually calm down and start eating. He was fine after about a week. I know it sounds like a hard thing to do, but tell you husband not to give up!

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C.H.

answers from Chicago on

I've read about 5-6 of your responses and was surprised not one said that you have to leave the room/house. For me, my mom had to take my son over night. He refused to take the bottle the first feeding, but woke up at midnight and drank the whole bottle and was fine ever since.

Edward Hospital has a club called Cradle Club (for new moms - regardless if you delivered at Edwards or not). In one of the sessions, we were told that baby's can smell a mom's beast milk from a very long distance and a baby will not starve to death. You just have to have someone else give him the bottle. Don't worry about which brand to go with too. I know lots of moms who have tried lots of different bottles. If you are nursing, go with one that is closest to the breast. Dr. Browns and other brands have bottles that is suppose to be very close. Go with one, stick with it and you will be fine.

When he finally gets on the bottle, make sure you nurse him and feed him with the bottle. It might take some time, but he'll accept it once he knows he doesn't have a choice.

Good luck.

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A.R.

answers from Chicago on

Try having Dad/nanny/grandma/anyone-but-mom give him the bottle, and see if that helps! I am a stay-at-home father myself, with a 5 month old who breastfeeds with mom in morning and night, and eats pumped breastmilk through the bottle with me during the day. He looks at Mom like she's nuts if she tries to feed him a bottle, but with me it's like, oh yay, let's eat! Once he relearns the bottle, he might take it more easily from you, but I'm assuming you want him to learn the bottle so he can take from someone else.

Also, he might be wanting a smaller opening on the nipple -- I'd use level 1s until he gets the hang of it (which you probably are) and also maybe try holding your finger just under his chin a bit and apply very gentle pressure upward toward the nipple while it's in his mouth. This will help him get a good suction, which will help with the leakage, which will lead to him getting more food, which will hopefully lead to him taking it more easily and not getting frustrated!

I'd try your bottle sessions not when he's too hungry, and not when he's too full, and count the next few as practice only until he gets the hang of it, since he might get more on himself than in his belly!

Hope that helps :)

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C.M.

answers from Chicago on

Baby will not let himself starve. Dont worry so much about the bottle, either. Your baby has been 'spoiled'! Okay, not spoiled, but in a way,,,he's used to mamma! Mamma is comforting, delicious and fun. Chances are feeding is his favorite times of the day! here's what i suggest, you stay far far away. People think i'm crazy when i say it, but i believe he can SMELL you. Have dad keep trying with the bottles, and if you find grandma, or someone else CAN give them a bottle, then, you beg them (pay them if you will...) to stay through a couple of feedings. When babies are really young, there isnt really too many issues with 'nipple PREFERENCE' (which is what it really is, not a confusion.) babies are made to suck...instinct kicks in. when they are a bit older,like your sweetie now, they become more aware and develop preferences. thats why he took a bottle before, and wont take it now. he doesnt WANT it. Don't worry, he'll get over it, just keep trying. it has nothing to do with the bottle, either. Its not fun, so my heart goes out to you. When trying to train the baby, you should leave entirelly, and have your husband be with someone else. otherwise, you will give in because your baby's crying will break your heart....and your husband-saint or no- will be frustrated himself-adn will need to take breaks away from fussy baby, too. Good luck to you guys. I hope everything works out. You= Never feel guilty!!!! Its best for the whole family including him!

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