Breastfeeding Baby Won't Take Bottle....

Updated on February 25, 2008
C.W. asks from Chandler, AZ
15 answers

i have a two month baby i've been breastfeeding but there are times when i want her to take a my huandsband can bond or so i can go out to do errands or just get out and have a break... i pump and the milk goes to waste because she won't take a bottle or even a pacifire to calm her.i thought maybe it is the nipple so ive tried diffrent types from evenflow to regular types of bottles.silicone to latex.she's not having it!i told my doc and she like oh thats good because she breast feeding.but heack i can't go out for long because people that babysit her can't feed her,my husband get hurt because he wants to support me and take a art and feed because he wants to band with his girl too but it has been all stresses me sometimes. i smell of milk all the time,i feel sticky and dirty she tends to be a messy eater too.i want to go back to work so my husband don't have to work two jobs and so i can get out and be with some grown ups i don't get out much and i hait feeding in public.has anyone gone through this and did it change?

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So What Happened?

Wow i've gotten so many responses that seem to be so helpful.i tried the orthodontic nipple from playex she took that a little bit out of lets keep our fingers crossed my husband fed her once with that nipple and made him so happy to be able to feed her..i am gonna wait one more month before i think of going back to work.and plan on looking into some moms groups.funny five kids and i never been to a moms group.Thanks Ladies or the advice!!

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answers from Phoenix on

There is a bottle made by the first years called the breastflow, it works just like the breast, they have to suck the same way and everything. My Dr recommended it and it works great for me!

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answers from Tucson on

Hi C.!

I feel for you. I just went through this with my son. The good news is, after I tried some of the techniques my lactation consultant recommended, my son DID start taking a bottle. Now he's 9 months old and loves milk in whatever form, and from any source (breast, bottle, cup).

Jan, a lactation consultant that runs a breastfeeding support center in Tucson has helped me so much over the years with both my kids. Her recommendations are these:

-Start introducing a bottle of breastmilk around 4 weeks. The longer you wait, the more resistant your baby will be. But don't worry if your baby is older, just keep trying.

-Warm the bottle nipple under warm water (not in a microwave, of course).

-Go take a shower or run an errand. Just be out of sight and earshot. Have your husband (or one of your older kids, or grandma or whomever) do the bottle feeding. When a mom tries to bottle-feed her young baby, the baby will often reject the bottle because they know the breast is right there. They can even smell the milk on the mom.

-Keep having your husband (or one of the above people) give a bottle of breastmilk the same time every day, same circumstances, with you out of sight. If it's not possible to do it every day, then every other day is next best option.

-She recommends only warming the breastmilk to room temperature (under running warm water). She says that if you start warming it more, baby will never take it any other way. HOWEVER, for babies who are extremely bottle-resistant (like mine was), warming the milk helped. Just remember to warm it in a mug of warm water, not in the microwave, because it can create hot spots in the milk, and can break down some of the breastmilk.

-I did the same thing - trying different nipples, thinking that was the problem. Jan recommends choosing one type of nipple and sticking to it so baby doesn't get confused.

-If these things don't work, you might check at your local hospital to see if there's a breastfeeding support center with lactation consultants to help.

I really hope these things work and your little one takes a bottle. It can be so hard, especially in those early months when you just need a break sometimes.

I never liked nursing in public either. I knew (in my head) that there was no reason to feel self-conscious, but I always did anyway. Silly! Eventually, I just got used to it because I was so tired of staying home, I just started going out a lot. The baby had to eat, so I just had to nurse her. I never had one, but have tried them, there are some good nursing covers (bebe au lait). They keep you covered and stay in place, and you can still see the baby. You can find them online.

I don't know what kind of moms' groups there are in Chandler, but there are bound to be some. Have you checked around online? Or maybe some of the Chandler moms on Mamasource know of some groups to recommend to you??

When my daughter was little, I used to go to the library for the free baby story time. I met moms there, and some of them knew about moms' groups and other free or low-cost activity for moms with babies. I was sooo much happier once I found some friends and was getting out with the baby more often. It makes such a huge difference. Being a stay-at-home mom is so hard.

Pat yourself on the back that you have 5 kids, and you're nursing your baby. I'm sure you have a very busy life! You need and deserve breaks - make sure you get them!

Best of luck to you,



answers from Phoenix on

Welcome to Chandler! I'm in Gilbert...

anyway, to your question.

As others have suggested, try formula in a bottle. I would get the enfanmil singles. It's two ounces of formula per pouch. That way nothing goes to waste if you don't use again because once you open a container, you should use it within a month. I have some but haven't used them with this child as I've been able to keep up with her demand even while away at work.

My friend's pediatrician suggested trying a sippy cup. There are also many different kinds to try. Just an idea.

And finally, some babies just have to starve until they'll take it, and even then, some won't. My co-worker's daughter would not eat all day and just wait for mom to get home.

If you want to go back to work and still have trouble getting her to take a bottle, maybe just wait until she is about 4-6 months when she will be starting cereal and then other solids. If she won't take a bottle or sippy cup by then, you can hopefully get her to eat enough solids during the day that she doesn't scream for food and then only nurse at nights and the weekends to make sure she is getting as much milk as she can.

Another thing to help once you go back to work is to work close to your baby so that you can nurse her midday to help tide her over.

I wish you the best of luck!



answers from Phoenix on

My daughter was the same way, I tried differnet bottles and we kept offering it to her for ever, but she never took one. All that breast milk I stored was a waist. I had to start going back to work when she was 3 1/2-4 mo old and my pedi told me I could start offering her baby food while I was gone to give her some sort of nutrients (I only worked 4 hrs at a time). This helped and as long as she was still gaining weight it wasn't a big deal. It gave me a chance to get away and have some sanity time. By the time she was 6 mo I started her on a nubby sippy cup and she would have some water while I was gone and make up for the missed boob feeding before bed(she would pig out). It gets a lot easier once you can start them on foods, hang in there and if you have a more questions about it that you would want to ask me personally feel free to message me. Deep breath, I know just how you feel :)



answers from Phoenix on

The only way my breastfeeding children took a bottle was if it was formula. For some reason, they knew that breastmilk was not supposed to go into a bottle. I used the Similac(not sure if that was the brand) Singles, so that the can of formula didn't go to waste because I didn't always need to use it. This worked for grandma, daddy, everyone! I don't think an occasional bottle of formula will hurt them and it sure didn't effect how long I breastfed, since I breastfed to 15 months and 20 months with my children.



answers from Phoenix on

try the Adiri bottle, it's the only one i ever tried and it was simple, my baby (who is 4 1/2 mos now) took to it with no problems. however, my baby never took to a pacifier. you can find it at or a store in phoenix called Best Fed. 17 to Thunderbird W and then it's around 40-50th streets . . wonderful store!



answers from Flagstaff on

I have 5 kids also and have breastfed all of them. My doctor always told me that if I wanted them to take a bottle AND breastfeed, that I needed to introduce the bottle before they were about 2 months old. I missed that window with some of my kids and so they never took a bottle or pacifier. With 2 of my kids, I was more consistent about giving the bottle and/or pacifier before they were 2 months and those 2 kids took anything I gave them for that whole first year of their life. Sure, it made my life easier if they took a bottle and a pacifier. But I'm not always about what's easiest when it comes to my kids. I usually try to do what's best for them. I wonder if you just kept trying at every feeding, when she's really hungry, to give her a bottle. Maybe she would eventually take it. Some babies are very stubborn, though, so I don't know if it would work. How set are you on continuing to breastfeed? If you don't really enjoy it and you need to go back to work and have your freedom, maybe you should quit. If you did that, eventually she would have to give in and take the bottle. I don't want to sound like I think you should starve your baby. I'm am completely in support of breastfeeding. But those are some options to look at. You could also ask your doctor for some suggestions. Good luck and remember to feel confident in whatever decision you make ! You're the mommy!



answers from Albuquerque on

There is a special bottle made by The First Years company called Breastflow which has two interconnected nipples and is made to simulate the sucking motion of nursing. I have had wonderful luck with it with two kids. Also, try these two things: 1 - you give her the bottle in the same position in which you would nurse her so that she feels comfortable, do this for a few times before your husband tries; and 2 - and this sounds silly, but I swear it works - have your husband wear a piece of your clothing that you have worn and not washed, have him put on your lotion or your perfume, ANYTHING that will make him smell like you even a little bit.
The only place I have ever found the Brestflow bottles is through Babies"R"Us. Good luck and let me know how it goes!



answers from Phoenix on

I have heard of a nipple called "breastflow" that is supposed to closely imitate the let down of breastmilk, so you might want to try that. As far as getting out goes, I love being a member of MOMS Club. Look for your local chapter at

I've experienced what you're describing with both of my children. I just wasn't consistent enough in giving them a bottle (it's just easier to give them the boob instead of pumping) so they eventually wouldn't take the bottle any longer. So to fix it I had to become consistent again. What we did with my daughter was my husband (if it's me she would just want to nurse) would try to feed her an ounce of pumped milk in the morning when she would be the hungriest. She refused it, but he kept trying and we were consistent, which is key. It took a little over a week of him trying to give her the bottle every morning, and she gradually would start sucking a little, and now she'll take the bottle. I sometimes put juice in a bottle too, to make it yummy and motivating (but my daughter is a little older than your son). Now that she'll take a bottle I'll just continue to give her a bottle of water, juice, or milk a few times a week to keep her used to it. Try expressing a little milk from the bottle into her mouth so he realizes what's in it.

What worked for my son was we were on a road trip so he had to take the bottle. He refused it for several hours, but finally gave in and took the bottle after I first got him latched on to me, then slipped the bottle nipple in once he was already sucking. Every time he realized and pulled away, I would repeat it until he just accepted the bottle. After that road trip I made sure to feed him a bottle a few times a week to keep him used to it. Consistency really pays off. It can be time consuming, but if you really want your baby to take a bottle, just keep trying on a regular basis. Only you can decide if it's worth the effort. I just got tired of feeling like I could never leave my children without completely coordinating around their feeding times and rushing back to nurse them.
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answers from Phoenix on

i have a 13 month old who i breast fed for 12 months. she did not want a bottle at all, so we did not separate for a year. i heard u can try to give her a bottle when she is hungry. do not give her a boob and keep given her a bottle. at first she will resist and cry but after being hungry for a while she will give up and take a bottle (maybe). i personally did not like that and did not want it to stress out my baby, but if u have to go back to work u don't have a choice. u can try to give her a bottle when she is sleepy or when she just wakes up and u know she is hungry and going to eat right away put a bottle in her mouth and she my eat. good luck. N.



answers from Las Cruces on

Hi C.,

Also make sure that when they are giving the bottle that they warm it up enough. My daughter hated the bottle then I heated it alittle more and she would down it.




answers from Phoenix on

It sounds like you are feeling frustrated to the point of desperation, and needing some connection with adults, and the feeling of more freedom in your life too. Have you looked into feeding her from a little cup and letting her lap the milk up like a kitten? You can also try eyedroppers and other methods... here is a link and if you serarch on google you can find more

In terms of feeding her in public, are you concerned about what other people will think? What is it you hate about it? A couple of years ago, a law was passed by the Arizona legislature affirming the right of a woman to breastfeed in public in Arizona. I found the easiest way to breasfed in public without anyone knowing was by using a nursing top or camisole and having my baby in a front pack carrier, facing in. I could shop or hike and she'd nurse and no one would know.

Infants are biologically programmed to prefer mommy and the nipple-- and a two month newborn is not going to stay with a father or babysitter without protest--at least mine didn't!! It can feel like (psychological) death to a newborn infant to be separated from mommy or daddy. To get her used to staying with daddy or another person, take your time and let them hold her while you breastfeed. Have them spend lots of time with the infant with you around, over a period of time, before you try going on a short outing. Crying is a sign the infant is in distress, so I would recommend that if the infant is crying you take her back and soothe her, and gradually let the other person hold her as she gets more comfortable with them.

Also, being in Chandler, you have access to lots of moms groups. What about joining one and doing things with other moms, where you can bring baby and not be as concerned about breastfeeding in public? It is hard for your husband to be working two jobs, but it will also be hard for you to work and for him to be stressed out with a baby who might be too young for him to soothe adequately. Another con will be the effect the early separation would likely have on your daughter. If you go to Yahoo groups and search for moms in Arizona, you can find a huge email group of moms that do activities, etc. Also, check out Mom's Club CHandler (search in google). Mothering Magazine also has a discussion board where you can meet moms in your area or post questions.

I see a lot of moms are recommending you try formula. I just want you to be aware of the potential drawbacks of this... you might want to try the other options with your own breastmilk first. Giving a 2 month old baby formula is not the best option, at least according to some experts. I used to have some great articles about this, but unfortunately my computer crashed several months ago and I've lost all my links. Basically what was said is that the most natural food for baby is breastmilk, and even giving formula once can disrupt the natural balance in the digestive system, making the baby more prone to developing allergies, colic, etc. Here are some related resources:
This is a great site to search on for more information. By the way, Jack Newman, MD is regarded as one of the world's leading authorities on infant nutrition and breastfeeding.

I hope this is helpful and that you are able to get your needs met!



answers from Phoenix on

It seems to me that the milk from your breast comes out quikly and so she is use to gulping the milk down and maybe the nipples from the bottles dont allow the milk to come out come out quik enough for her to drink. Try making the hole alittle bit bigger by inserting a thick needle in the nipple.



answers from Phoenix on

I think you should try the formula also. Some kids really just don't think breastmilk should come in a bottle. If that doesn't work, try to work your errands around the feeding schedule, it may be inconvenient, but that's part of breastfeeding. I breast fed both my kids, my son when I was still working, and I never breastfed in public. Yes, I basically gave up my social life for awhile, but it was worth it! And yes, I remember the days when the whole house seemed to smell like breastmilk and I felt like a human shaped cow! Do you have a MOPS group or anything like that that you can go to? Our MOPS group at our church provides day care for the kids while the moms get some mommy only time and I know the ladies just love it! Don't rush back to work, right now your little ones need you more. Just find a play group or some group where you can relate to the women and get some grown up conversation going that doesn't involve bills and grocery lists!



answers from Phoenix on

Hey C.,

First of all, girl, BREATHE.....

I'm new to the area too! Well, it sounds like you have your hands full, five kids, and two of them close together in age! The advice I want to give you is to remember that this child needs Mommy time as much as the others did -- she is only two months old, and deserves to have breastmilk (from you or a bottle) for as long as possible. That being said, let's get to trying to solve this issue. I'm not sure if it's you that's trying to introduce the bottle or someone else, but you'll have more success if you're NOT the one trying to give her something else -- she can smell you, and is probably outraged and confused that you would deny her the breast. If Daddy or your mom or someone gives her the bottle, and you are OUT OF THE ROOM, she might respond better. Normally we suggest introducing a new nipple around 5 weeks to avoid nipple confusion -- much after that and you might have a struggle, but you can still do it. Make sure whatever nipple you're using is a newborn nipple (very small hole), otherwise she'll be choking on the flow -- she has to work harder to get it from your breast, which is beneficial.

I'm also a lactation doula, so if you want some individual help just let me know in a personal e-mail.

Remember that, as tired and "sticky" as you feel, it's a relatively short time in both your lives, and is so important not only for her (in so many ways, including protection from allergies, and development of speech, immune system and IQ) but also for you -- nursing for at least 18 months at a stretch will reduce your risk of developing breast cancer.

So hang in there, baby! Get in touch with your local La Leche League for support and ideas. Keep trying, and don't forget to breathe! ;-)

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