Breast to Bottle!!!

Updated on July 29, 2007
N.C. asks from Littleton, CO
9 answers

I recently had a baby and she is now 7 weeks old, she is nursing and on occasion she had taken a bottle. For the past two weeks she refuses to take a bottle and my Maternity leave will soon be ending. I need some suggestions to get her to take a bottle. I am suplmementing with breast milk, she doesnt seem to like the formula. to make matters worse my husband and his family are making me feel bad about exclusively nursing. Any suggestions?

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So What Happened?

Hello ladies,

Well unfortunately I don't have good news. We have tried for a month now and no luck. She refuses the bottle and we have tried numerous bottles. My husband says if she wont take a bottle he won't let me go back to work. We can't quite afford for me to not work. But to be honest I love staying home with my kids. I sell Avon on the side so maybe that will help us out. haha.
Thank you all again for your great advice.

N. and the stubborn baby Gianna

More Answers



answers from Salt Lake City on

My daughter had a hard time taking a bottle, too. I found that if I gave her bottles away from our usual nursing spots and avoided having her in the same/similar position as nursing (such as lying on a boppy pillow facing me) she was more willing to try. Also, having someone else try giving her a bottle while you are not in the room (so she won't see, hear or smell you) may also help.

As for your husband and his family, I think it's sad, and frankly unacceptable, that they aren't supporting you. It doesn't matter how your baby is fed, just that she's loved and taken care of. If I were you and someone made a comment about my breastfeeding, I would say something like, "I made a choice to breastfeed. You don't have to like it, but I'd appreciate it if you'd keep your comments to yourself." They may not like it, but it's not fair to make you unhappy about your choice. As for your husband, I would sit down and talk to him (when his family isn't around) and explain now, more than ever, you really need his full support in taking care of the baby, and that includes exclusively breastfeeding, no matter his feeling on it. And you could explain the health benefits as well as financial. I bottle-fed my first baby (he was unable to nurse) and we spent over $2200 for formula in that first year - that's reason enough to breastfeed if you can. And if you can pump and get her to take bottles, then he won't feel left out of feeding her (if that's the issue).

Good luck! I hope things get better.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Denver on

Hi N.,

Have your husband, nanny or anyone but you try to give her the bottle and see what she does. If she is used to the breast you might need to experiment with different bottles/nipples to find one that she likes.

About a year ago I had a lactation consult and they suggested Dr. Brown's bottle. I recently saw a bottle in a magazine that looks exactly like a breast its amazing. I can't remember what its called. If you are interested you could always google it.

Congrats to you! Hope you have a smooth transition back to work. Everything with your daughter will work out. She will adjust and figure it out.



answers from Salt Lake City on

Don't worry about nipple confusion, I don't believe there is such a thing. I never let my daughter pick she was given what she was given. It is surprising that she is refusing the bottle because normally they are easier to suck. One thing to remember also is that breast milk is sweet. When wean my daughter from breast milk to whole milk she would take it at first so I would put a bit of imitation vanilla to sweeten her milk. That worked great and eventually I didn't have to do that anymore. Your husband could be feeling a bit jealous or it was shunned upon in his family. Try to be understanding but explain to him all the benefits of breast milk, 1. it's natural, 2. hit builds the immune system. 3. it provides the best source of nutrients, 4. the bonding you and the baby share. and of course many other reasons. I exclusively nursed my daughter till she was a year. My husband was my number one supporter and with out him I would have quit a lot earlier. I think your husband may not compeletly understand how you feel about it, and one thing that may help him is to reassure him that he is still your # 1.



answers from Salt Lake City on

Have you tried different bottles/nipples? There may even be online choices that are more expensive but that would work. Also, make sure someone else tries the bottle, as the baby probably won't accept the bottle from you when your breast is so near! I'm sure right now she would rather have breast milk than formula, but you might be able to get her to take formula later, once she starts with the bottle. (One thing at a time...) Don't let ANYONE make you feel bad about nursing--that is your choice, and if it means you have to go to extreme measures to keep nursing, it is truly best for the baby. I've heard stories of moms going to day care to nurse, having the baby brought to them at work, etc. just to keep nursing and also when the baby wouldn't take the bottle. My baby never took a bottle or binky (my fault for not starting soon enough...) but it turned out fine because I worked from home. Also then I didn't have to wean him from bottle or binky. You alone know what is best for you and your baby! Good luck.



answers from Denver on

Mix your breast milk with the formula. She may just have to get used to the taste of it. Start with mostly breat milk and gradually increase the amount of formula combined in it.

Good Luck



answers from Provo on

Congratualtions on you new daughter, and on your decision to breast feed. You should feel proud to know that you are doing what is unquestionably the best thing for your baby. Don't let anyone discourage you.

My son is 3 now, but I went through a similar situation when I had to return to work after my maternity leave. My husband didn't have much of an opinion at all as long as things were easy. My son didn't like the bottle, and he hated formula, which I sometimes supplemented with. Every baby is different, so you may have to experiment with different bottles/nipples. After a few different ones, my son settled on the Avent bottles. There are a lot of new ones available since then, many of which are more like a breast - smaller nipple with a wider area that presses onto the baby's face during feedings.

Have you considered continuing to breast feed once you return to work as opposed to switching to formula? I did this for a full year, and while it was not easy, it was worth it. You can pump and freeze your milk, so it is available to your baby for feedings when you aren't there. This also allows your husband/family to help with night time feedings so you can get some sleep.

I hadn't wanted to breast feed at all prior to my pregnancy, but after reading about all the benefits, changed my mind. If I could do it for a year, anyone can, as long as they have a little help. That brings me to your family. Have you discussed with your husband (alone) how discouraging his negativity and his family's interference has been? Maybe he doesn't realize how important this is to you, how much his support would mean, or how good breast feeding is for your daughter. I know my husband didn't until we had that talk. There are great resources available online to help you prepare for that conversation. I found the American Academy of Pediatrics and La Leche League sites particularly helpful and informative. You might also mention how much money breast feeding saves. Formula is expensive, your milk is free!

I hope this was helpful, and wish you the best with your family, and your return to work. Good luck!



answers from Denver on

I am a loving, licensed family care provider of 32 years.
I encourage parents to be sure someone other than yourself is providing the bottle.
Also I have had incredible results with the PODEE system when babies are switching to the bottle.
DO NOT be influenced by those who do not understand breast feeding.
I also teach childcare training classes for the ctate and I teach my students to support Breast Feeding Moms in any way possible.
Just breast feeding for the first six months has automatically raised your babys IQ SEVEN POINTS !
You have also given the baby a lifelong improved chance to lifelong health!

With my32 years experience, the one formula I find babies do well with as a supplement is PROSOBEE.
I suggest staying away from formulas with artificial breast milk components. It causes upset tummies and unhappy babies.

P. Ann B.
KIDMITMENT childcare training



answers from Denver on

Hi N.,

I think its great that you are nursing. I do know that if you want and can afford take more time off from work you should look into the Family Medical Leave Act with the company you work for. There are stipulations and it's unpaid but it might give you some more time off if you need it.

I nursed my little boy (he's now 2) for almost 10 months. When I did have to give him a bottle I would mix half formula with half breast milk to get him used to the taste. You could try a 3/4 breast milk and 1/4 formula to see if it is a taste thing. It's possible too that the type of bottle and formula you're using might have an effect as well. Some formulas can cause tummy problems. Either that or maybe she really just wants her mommy!

As far as your in-laws go, I think that sometimes the older generations make assumptions based on what they were raised to believe. Times have changed and if they are mean about it I would tell them nicely to mind their own business. Breast feeding is your decision (and a personal one at that) Try not to let them make you feel bad. They aren't in your shoes therefore their opinion is just that... an opinion. You have to make decisions based on what your baby needs and wants, not what they think is right. I wish you all the best!

Congratulations on your little girl!



answers from Denver on

I had the same problem with my second and I found these great bottles called Adiri Nursers. We call them "booby bottles" because that's what they look like. I tried all of the "natural" shaped nipples and this one worked best. The best part is they didn't affect the way he nursed which made me feel better about the transition. You can't get them in the stores. I bought mine on-line. They are expensive but I've lent them out to a couple of friends having problems and so far they have a 100% approval rating. Good Luck.
P.S. Don't ever let ANYONE make you feel bad about exlusively nursing. Every situation is different and more importantly every child is different. I only wish I could have exclusively nursed my two kids but, like you, I only had a limited maternity leave.

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