Baby Can't Suck Bottle

Updated on September 07, 2009
K.R. asks from Missoula, MT
10 answers

My 4 month old can't figure out how to suck out of the bottle. She plays with it and does this weird thing w/her tongue. We are all frustrated. Anybody else experience this?

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answers from Colorado Springs on

Maybe her frenula (the little thingie under her tongue that holds her tongue down)is too short & she can't physically suck right. My nephew had a cleft palate that was so small & so far back in his mouth that they didn't catch it for his first few weeks. He had a funky bottle (don't remember the name but probably googling cleft palate bottle would bring it up) & that's the only way he was able to suck.

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answers from Denver on

My daughter did this every time I offered her a bottle. I believe she was trying to figure out what it was. SHe is a breastfed baby and doesn't care to drink from anything else.

I finally gave up on the bottles and offered her a sippy cup. She didn't know what to do with it the first few times, but is finally understanding.

I recommend consistently offering it to her and she will get the hang of it.

Make it a GREAT week!



answers from Fort Collins on

HI K.,
Does your baby take a pacifier? If she does I would try to find a nipple closest to that shape. If not then well I would just have to agree with the other moms in trying all different kinds of nipples. She's been nursing exclusively for the first 4 months of her life she's going to want to closest thing to the shape of your nipple. What kind of bottle are you trying to give her? A few that I have had success with are Playtex Nurser, Avent, Gerber Bottles, and my 4 mo. old really like the Soothie bottles but that's because she takes the soothie pacifier (the green one you can get from the hospital) My oldest became partial to the plain parents choice ones you can get for like $3.00 at walmart. So there is lots of options you just have to find what's right for your little one. If the nipple has a wierd shape like say for example the Nuby bottle (also has a similar pacifier) your daughter just simply may not know what to do with it, I tried that bottle on my first born and she did what you are describing, played with it and did and wierd thing with her tounge. So anyway I hope this helps good luck!



answers from Denver on

Hi K. - you probably just dont have the "right" nipple. My first loved the clear silicon Avent nipples and hated the latex Playtex nipples. My second was completely opposite. After trying all kinds of nipples, in desperation I pulled out the 4yr old playtex nurser and he latched on like a champ.

You might just have to buy several kinds and see what she likes the best.



answers from Provo on

try some different nipples.
My daughter is breastfed; it was my mom who got my daughter to take a bottle while we were on a date. She said that she wouldn't take it at first but then she dipped the nipple in my breast milk and she took it right away after that.



answers from Pocatello on

A lot of 4 month olds have a strong preference for mom. It may be the nipple shape, or perhaps the environment. I usually start with the Dr. Brown's narrow, but there are many others to try if your baby doesn't like that shape. To encourage her to just *try* so you can evaluate the shape, you might try offering it in the tub. She'll be busy with all the other sensations and might give it a go. Offering it in the car would be very different, too! If she can figure it out once or twice, you'll be over the hump. Good luck!



answers from Casper on

At that age you can start holding a cup for her. I've heard this is actually healthier, I'm not sure why.



answers from Provo on

Adding on to what Sunny said, my sister in law says teaching kids to drink from cups with no lids helps them develop their speech sooner/better. But I still give my kids sippy cups with straws during the day so that they can take them around the house or in the car. They tend to drink more water this way rather than if I only let them drink from an open cup in the kitchen.
Anyway, that wasn't your question! Yes, try different nipples, different formula, different people feeding the baby. Hopefully you will find something that works so that you can leave her with someone else occasionally. Good luck!



answers from Salt Lake City on

Hi K.,
I remember those days!! I waited until my daughter was 4 months old to introduce her to a bottle because I was very concerned about her nursing well. However, subsequently, she NEVER took to the bottle. I ended up nursing until she was 1. She was able to drink out of a straw and a cup at about 7 1/2 to 8 months. But she never would take a bottle. It seems like forever, but three or four months goes by really fast. You will make it.
Take care,



answers from Great Falls on

She may have an issue with her tongue placement which can lead to further problems down the road, including speech. I had a problem breast feeding because my son couldn't figure out his tongue placement. We consulted an occupation consultant who also happened to be a lactation consultant. Best thing I ever did - we had the problem mostly fixed inside of a weekend with just one little exercise! Then we just built upon that huge jump start. Good luck!

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