5 Month Old Suddenly Rejects Bottle-- Ear Problem?

Updated on July 23, 2008
A.S. asks from Pittsburgh, PA
8 answers

I have 5 month old twins. They are primarily breast fed. One of them has been given supplemental bottles nearly every single day (just an ounce or two to make sure he's getting enough, he's a little peanut). Also in the last 2-3 weeks have replaced one feeding per day (the dinnertime feeding) with a bottle for both of them to give me a break then. All was fine until 3 days ago, the little one that has always taken bottles suddenly doesn't want it, at any time of day. He did eventually take some. He has had some cold symptoms that last few days but slight. (Both my older boys had colds and ear infection recently). So, is it possible that my little one is rejecting the bottle due to an illness issue? Possibly an ear problem? Should I take him to get his ears checked? I understand swallowing could make an ear problem hurt more but he still seems to be nursing OK.

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answers from Lancaster on

You probably know this, but there is actually something different about the suck/swallow mechanism with breast vs bottle, and if you're little peanut is battling an ear infection nursing him is much better. Also, the breastmilk itself can clear an ear infection. If I were you I wouldn't waste the time & energy to go to the doctor... ear infections usually clear themselves, and antibiotics are no longer recommended to treat them (in most cases). So, you're more likely to pick up some other type of illnes at the pediatricians office than you are to find a solution to your current problem! I've never had twins, but I would suggest trying to exclusively nurse the baby with symptoms until he is ready to take the bottle again. Of course by this time, your other baby is probably symptomatic. The most important thing as with any illness, is hydration, so you might have to get creative. One of my favorites is one of those sucky sock things with an ice cube in it.
Good luck!
K. (Nurse turned full-time mom of 2)



answers from Pittsburgh on

Hi A.,

Kudos to you for nursing twins! That is a big commitment and you should be so proud for doing it! As long your little one is nursing well, then he probably isn't too sick - whatever he has should clear up on its own. Some babies do start to reject the bottle and prefer the breast - even when they have always taken a bottle. He may be going through this. I would say just follow his cues and nurse him when he wants to be nursed.

Congrats again on your babies!!


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answers from Pittsburgh on

Hi A.. It could be an ear problem...not all babies pull at their ears or cry alot when they have an ear infection. Some ear infections don't even hurt! I am recovering from a nasty infection that I got from a 6 yr old...which included infection in both my ears...and my dr told me my ears were infected I had no pain at all. I'd call the Dr. just to be sure since he did have some cold symptoms. Best wishes



answers from Philadelphia on

I second the tooth. My son wouldn't put any nutrition in his mouth that wasn't a nice, soothing breast while cutting teeth until he got his first 2 tops and bottoms in. But ears are possible too.



answers from Philadelphia on

my daughter also had problems with their ears. my ped told me that if they drank lying flat they would get fluid build up. this will cause pain. may be he nurses because he is not lying down?



answers from Pittsburgh on

Could he be getting a tooth?



answers from Pittsburgh on

I don't know about the bottle rejection (could be a tooth, ear, or just a phase) but can I just say that I am so impressed that you have (almost) exclusively breastfed twins for 5 months?!?!? That is amazing!!! Congratulations!



answers from Harrisburg on

I also have twins and fed each of them one bottle a day. I remember at one point they both starting rejecting the bottle and only wanted the breast so I had to start feeding them 2-3 bottles a day to keep them interested in it. I started pumping more often and would feed them the pumped stuff plus some formula in between breastfeeding.

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