Baby Wont Take a Bottle - Tucson,AZ

Updated on December 08, 2009
H.H. asks from Tucson, AZ
6 answers

My 9 week old son will not take a bottle! My husband has tried at least once a day for the past 4 days and he's only taken one feeding on Sat. successfully (I know 9 weeks is late - we did try a few weeks ago and got a bit distracted so we're back to trying again). I've been pumping breast milk and we've been offering him about 2 oz. at a time and he just chews on the nipples and makes a mess. We've tried our Vent Aire bottles and a friend's Avent bottle (that's the one he had success with) - we are on a very tight budget and don't have money to buy and try a bunch of different bottles/nipples. We tried introducing a pacifier to get him used to sucking on something other than my breasts and that has been working pretty well. It was hit or miss at first, but he seems to be catching on. I go back to work part-time Jan. 4th and we really need him to accept the bottle as my husband will be home with him in the mornings when I'm at work. My daughter never had these issues so this is all new to us and I'm finding it very stressful as I get closer to my first day back at work. I'd love to hear if you had a similar experience!

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answers from Las Cruces on

I had this issue with the NUK bottles, and now I just use the plain cheap ones from wal-mart! they work great, better than the expensive ones I think.
Just don't stress, it will all work out!



answers from Phoenix on


I know it can be frustrating when our babies won't eat..but fear not - He will eat, and probably when you are not around. All 4 of my children did NOT like taking the bottle at first, even with breast milk. (and 9 weeks is not late for introducing the bottle so get off that guilt trip:)
You will have some trials when it comes to feeding from a bottle so be patient with yourself, your son, and whoever is feeding him. I found with myself (and other moms) that it's easier for babes to take to the bottle when mom is NOT around. They smell you, they want YOU! How fantastic it is that you can provide him with so much love and nourishment:) So, have your husband prepare and feed your baby while you are not in the same room. Let your husband find HIS OWN way to soothing your son. They will have thier own little special way of bonding during feeding times. If the Avent bottle worked before, it will continue to work, so dont' worry about trying all kinds of bottles unless absoulutely necessary.

Here are some other tips that might work:

Have your husband give him a bottle now, at the time you will be at work. At least for one feeding. This can help with a "routine"...and remember to pump when you won't be nursing. It will keep up your supply.
Is your son a regular eater? Does he want to nurse at certain times of the day, or does it vary? Do you nurse on demand? (which is important to a newborn)
If you can anticipate when he will be wanting to eat in the mornings, have your husband get the bottle ready before your son becomes famished and finds it harder to settle into eating from a bottle. Most babies, no matter how hungry they are, will only settle down with moms's comforting to them. There is research on the physical, psychological, and emotional affects on babies who breastfeed. You've seen it, like they are punch drunk:)
Put a little breast milk from the bottle his lips so he knows good stuff in there :)
Try not to stress about it too much either. You can start with the bottle now at the times you will be at work to make sure the transition is smoother (ie. you won't be at work while hubby and son are both crying on the floor, and you unable to nurse). But your son might need a few more weeks of growing before the bottle seems appealing at all, and maybe it won't be as difficult as you think. I feel that it's always better to prepare, but don't ge attached to a specific outcome. Also, babies pick up on our stress. If you or your husband are upset while feeding your son, he will feel it. I've copied an article a friend wrote about Breastfeeding From Within. I think you can apply it either nursing, bottle feeding, or even pumping.
Lastly, you mentioned that you are on a tight budget. I know how that is, and I hope that pumping will continue to go very very well for you so you won't have to supplement with formula. If you do, (as most moms who have to go back to work outside of the home), I highly suggest researching giving your son goats milk instead of formula. Yes it's expensive, but so is formula. MANY MANY MANY babies have been fed goats milk instead of formula and are very successful with it...I have only heard of 1 baby who had a reaction to it, compared with LOTS and LOTS of babies who have reactions to forumula..even soy. Because formula is totally processed and full of chemicals. You can ask your pediatrician, but most western Dr's will balk at giving babies goats milk because it's not "mainstream". Do your homework and get facts, then make the decision that is right for your son. If I could do it all over again, I would have given my babies goats milk in a second instead of formula. Yes, they are fine:) But I shudder to think of the long term effects of all the processed junk we are being told to give our little ones. I was fortunate to not have to supplement with bottles that much though..which has it's pros and cons..but it's really only for such a short time of your life.

I wish you all the best. Below you will find my friend's article.

In Peace,
mom of 4, married 15 years
Birth and Parenting Mentor

Breastfeeding From Within
By Virginia Bobro

Birthing From Within encourages and teaches "doing the next best thing" when it comes to making decisions within the flow of labor and birth. The same mind-set is important during postpartum and breastfeeding. In the days, weeks, months, and even years that a woman is breastfeeding, she will face numerous obstacles, detours, and unexpected events. How she prepares prenatally and how she views these challenges can make a difference in her ability to cope.

As a breastfeeding counselor, I support many breastfeeding mothers who have to change their perception of what a "successful" breastfeeding relationship is. Some mothers need to wean much earlier than they hoped. Others need to supplement with bottles or formula. These are opportunities to re-envision what it means to nurture and nourish their babies. Many mothers are humbled when the "breastfeeding fairy" presents them with difficult circumstances and spoils their fantasy that nursing is easy and blissful.

When breastfeeding does not go as expected or hoped for, a mother can feel regret, anger, blame, grief, and guilt. Inevitably, this negative self-talk begins to affect her self-esteem and attitude, her ability to receive support, and her relationships with her baby, partner, and others in her community.

So, what can be done?
In addition to learning practical things that make breastfeeding easier, do this:
♥ Learn and practice mindfulness.
The same pain-coping practices you learn to help you cope with labor can help you postpartum when you need to still your mind, quiet negative self-talk and deal with physical discomfort and stress. (See Birthing From Within, pp. 213-238).
♥ Get a breastfeeding "reality check."
Breastfeeding is natural, but not always straightforward and easy. Very few women sail through breastfeeding on calm seas from beginning to end. Even for the most vigilant captain, storms arise outside of her control, and still, she can do the next best thing. When women know that they can influence but not control what happens, they can see the wisdom of preparing for all possibilities.
♥ Set up your breastfeeding support system.
Having a supportive crew onboard in the first months of motherhood can make all the difference. Welcome meals, errands, and compassionate listeners. When breastfeeding gets rough, support is needed to keep going and not get mired in "what ifs" and judgment. You need to hear acknowledgment that you are doing your best, not more advice and information.

♥ Focus on connecting with your baby and yourself as a mother
Come to breastfeeding with an open heart. To the degree that you can, let go of your ideals and goals, such as breastfeeding exclusively for six months. Just hold the intention to do the best you can. When you love yourself and feed your baby in love, this is the heart of breastfeeding from within

EXERCISE: Feeding with Love

When sitting (or lying down) to feed your baby, try this:

Begin to notice all the sensations around you, beginning with your baby:
Look at her face, notice the touch of her skin, take in her smell and her sounds.

Then begin to bring your attention to your own body: Where does your body touch your baby's body? How is your breath moving in and out of your body?
Where do you feel relaxed and open?
Where does your body feel tight, tense, or closed?

Gently and mindfully breathe into those places, softening and releasing anything that is unneeded in this moment. This may take several minutes. Go slowly and do not expect perfection!

As your body lets go of anything extra, feel your heart opening.
Allow yourself to inhale the presence of your baby, loving her in this moment and loving yourself as well. With each new breath, feel into your baby's heart, visualizing a connection that endures beyond feeding time.

If feeding is difficult, your focus may return to the task of latching or monitoring the feed. Do what needs to be done, then, when you are ready, take another conscious breath and return to your opening heart.

Local La Leche League
Lactation Consultants
Other Supportive Breastfeeding Moms



answers from Phoenix on

Don't try new bottles - try different nipples. They aren't very expensive, and most of them are interchangeable with any bottle. I went through this same thing with my first born, and we just ended up experimenting with all kinds of nipples until we (actually the lady that ran the day care he went to) found the one he liked the best. It's definitely a process, and it can be very frustrating and stressful. But don't be discouraged. He'll figure out what he's supposed to do - especially if he's hungry. That's another thing - wait to introduce bottles when he's really hungry. And especially at times when you know you won't be there - it might work best if you actually leave or go into another part of the house, so he can't see you or know you're there. We had that problem too - if my son knew I was even in the house, he wouldn't eat.
Hang in there, Girl! He'll get the hang of it!



answers from Albuquerque on

Hi H.,

He'll definitely eat when he's hungry. Babies are really smart and can make us do whatever they want, as long as we let them. Stick with it, don't switch around the nipples, just be patient and consistent.




answers from Phoenix on

Try different things. Offer bottle while standing, baby facing out, dad try, warm the nipple, while baby is sleep, while baby is alert, etc. The most helpful thing I found was to NOT offer when baby is hungry. Offer in between feedings, when he might be <starting> to get hungry, but doesn't know it yet. Let him play with the nipple and as milk comes out, he will eventually start to suck on it, and realize that it's a good thing. It will all work out. :)



answers from Phoenix on


I used a syringe with tubing that I got from my lactation consultant at Mercy Gilbert hospital. Basically you put the milk in the syringe, attach the tubing to the end, and then put the end of the tubing on the tip of your index finger. You then allow your child to suck on your finger while depressing the plunger of the syringe. My sister-in-law did this as well to supplement her twins breast feeding. She would allow family members to feed the babies this way once they were finished breast feeding - they were always hungry. Good Luck!

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