Daughter Stopped Taking Bottle -- Need to Have Her Eat.

Updated on August 05, 2008
M.C. asks from Denver, CO
8 answers


My daughter was taking the bottle (of breast milk) since the fourth day until about a month ago. Now, she refuses to take the bottle. We will get a sitter at 6pm and she'll go to bed without eating and wait up 12 hours later without having eaten. She's not fussy about not eating but, for obvious reasons, I want to introduce the bottle back into her diet.

Any ideas? She's very stubborn and I or my husband can sit with her, screaming for food, for hours, but she won't take it. I've tried a couple of different types of bottles, too.


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So What Happened?

I basically went on a breastfeeding strike. I would not give my daughter the breast unless it was the first or last feeding of the day (like it would be with work). That first day, she screamed constantly but eventually she took the bottle because she was hungry. We tried the sippy cup and I think that she was intrigued by it and didn't quite understand that it's like a bottle. I think it will be successful in the future. The second day, I bottle fed her and she's been good ever since. I try to give her at least one bottle on the weekends now, to keep up the practice while we are at home. It can happen. It was a stressful couple of days but worth it.

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answers from Denver on

I understand the breast milk being the preferred, but we had a DS that was upset by it, usually just from me. He took formula from the bottle with no problem. I second the sippy cup idea. That might work. DS #2 never did a bottle, but was fine with a sippy.

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answers from Denver on

Hi M., I have the same issue with my 5 month old. I started back to work last week and she will not take the bottle during the day. She spends the days hungry and eats only when I return home. I posted a similar entry on 6/12, subject "Baby refuses bottle". You can see all the great answers I got, unfortunately so far none have worked for me. We are going to continue trying through this week. We are probably on our 10th different bottle now. I just ordered the Adiri Breastbottle nurser which seems to show promising results. But, I am not very holpeful. If anything works out for us, I will let you know. Sorry for not having better news!!



answers from Denver on

I'm guessing she is too young to go that long w/o eating and I'm hoping you've been to your pediatrician. If the dr. doesn't have an answer, keep trying. Call LeLeche league - they might tell you to go back to the breast, even if you've always pumped. I doubt it's just stubborness at that age. She might have an allergy or something wrong with her stomach. No matter what, be concerned until you find an answer and are able to keep her nourished.

Only her mommy will be dedicated enough to find the answer! I'm sure you'll do whatever it takes. No one is more equipped than you to care for her. Pray for wisdom and God bless your efforts.

C. G.



answers from Denver on

Hi M.,

My daughter refused bottles from about 6 months on. But eventually over about a week and 1/2 she took a sippy cup. Just be consistent.




answers from Colorado Springs on

I had to have my MIL give DS a bottle in order for him to take it. It seems to help to have someone else give it because there is no giving in when you get frustrated KWIM? Also they don't smell the familiar sents and wonder what the heck is going on.



answers from Denver on

Have youu tried working on her with a sippy cup? She may get tummy upsets from the formula, nipple too fast or slow. my friends baby would only use wide nipples and my dd would only use narrow. I don't know if you tried introducing rice cereal yet but maybe try alittle of that. If you have a syringe I would try to use that too get some fluids down to keep her from dehydrating. goodluck with it all



answers from Denver on

Maybe it is time to wean her off of bottles You didn't say how old she was. Try sippy cups or strawed cups instead of bottles. Even straight to trying to drink from a regular cup, kids as young as 6 mos do this sometimes. I would talk to your Pediatrician too for any ideas, it is just as much about concern for dehydration as not eating.



answers from Denver on

My husband and I went through the same thing when my daughter turned two months...it took a month and a half of working with her constantly before she finally gave in. She was just stubborn. We called it "bottle boot-camp". We had to get her on a bottle or we were NEVER going to get a date night. All of the other methods didn't work for us - sippy cups, straws, medicine droppers, you name it...and we tried every nipple under the sun.
We just had to stay consistent, and and not get frustrated with her when she screamed.
It was a huge challenge, but today she is a perfect bottle eater... Hang in there!
I will tell you the bottle/nipple we had the most luck with I found at target. It's called Breastflow technology, by The First Years. It has two nipples pieced together and the top nipple is very soft and thin, more like mom's skin. You might give it a try.

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