Getting a 9 Month Old to Take a Bottle

Updated on January 10, 2011
A.M. asks from Riverton, UT
14 answers

Okay so for a while I have been feeling like my milk supply has been on the weak side, but thought since my 9 month old has never had a bottle she would just bring it back up. Well at her 9 month well check I was informed she hasnt gained any weight in the past 2 months! :( I am sad I was hoping to nurse for a year, I love the speical time we share but have come to terms that we are just gunna put her on formula and hope she gains some weight back. I have been trying the past few days to get her to take a bottle and it has been a complete nightmare! Please help!!! Any tips on how to make the switch over would be amazing! i dont know what I am doing but need things back on track fast!!!


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answers from Los Angeles on

were you told to supplement with formula? weight gain can slow down if shes using her calories while being a busy little baby! I would skip adding formula, and keep up with the breast and any solids shes on.

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answers from Boston on

Why not try a sippy cup.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Denver on

I agree with the sippy cup idea. Skip the bottle altogether.

BTW, I had very little milk for both my kids. IT was heartbreaking as I really wanted to nurse. (And believe me I tried everything out there to increase my supply). I went through a grieving process! I just want you to know you are not alone, and breast feeding isn't possible for everyone, despite what you read.

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answers from Denver on

Breastfeeding and formula aren't necessarily mutually exclusive. I would maybe try to nurse your daughter on your same schedule as before, since frequency is key to maintaining milk, and supplement with a bottle.

Some women effortlessly produce gallons of milk, and some women, no matter how conscientious about doing all of the "right" things, just aren't able to keep a full supply. You shouldn't let this be a source of guilt to you. You've done well to nurse her this long -- it's not going to make an appreciative difference in her life if she gets a few months of formula. Statistics don't tell individual stories. (I was formula-fed after the first 2 weeks, as my mother was hospitalized with a blood clot. I'm actually healthier than my 4 siblings who were breastfed longer....)

For formula, try different nipple shapes, and also try different formulas. We ended up using GoodStart on numerous mommy recommendations. I tested out some samples too. My son got gas from Enfamil, and outright refused Simulac.

I breastfed exclusively for the first couple of months with my son. I started lose a bit of my supply after pumping after I went back to work when he was three months old (pumps just aren't the same as your kid). He was not ready for solids so I did supplement with about 10% formula. And then I had an emergency appendectomy when my son was five months old. I'd never been able to produce enough to stockpile. And even with pumping and dumping, my body was in such shock that I almost lost my milk altogether. It was a real struggle to get it back (including me pumping in the middle of the night while he was sleeping!), but I got back enough to supply about 60/40. I never made a ton after that, but was able to maintain at least a little milk until he was 20 months old. After he was on solids, the breastmilk wasn't as critical, but we enjoyed the psychological aspect of the snuggly time, and I liked the extra health protection for a second winter season.

Part of this weight loss may also be your daughter's new-found mobility. My son also went through a period of being very thin when he first was crawling and walking. He went from pretty chubby to very thin to exactly average between 6 and 18 months. Mashed bananas and avocado make for a nice, nutritious, high-calorie treat at that age. My son loved them.

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Denver on

There are lots of things you can do to increase your milk supply--have you tried fenugreek, blessed thistle, fennel, mother's milk tea, drinking more water, increasing your protein intake, take b-complex vitamins or brewer's yeast, eating oatmeal, and/or taking chaste tree berry (also known as vitex) to balance your hormonal output?
Next, I agree--keep breast feeding and add formula to the top of it. A sippy cup might go better.
Finally, my oldest is just small. At birth he was 50% percentile and at 1 year he was 3rd. Totally healthy--just skinny like Mom. He never acted hungry or had other issues, so we didn't worry about it. At 9 months babies often reset themselves and put themselves on the growth chart that they will stay on. It's not unusual. Also, breast fed babies gain less weight than formula/bottle fed babies because they can self-regulate. At about 3 years old the breast fed and bottle fed kids all tend to even out. Check out a growth chart for breast fed children and you will see it is different.
Hope that helps!



answers from Springfield on

I agree with skipping the bottle and just going with a sippy cup. Babies who are bottle fed are often introduced to a sippy about now anyway, so you'd safe yourself the trouble of trying to ween from a bottle.

Also, you could try mixing the formula with expressed breat milk. Maybe 6 oz of breat milk with 2 oz of formula. Get her used to that, then try 4 oz of each and gradually get her used to formula.

Good luck!



answers from Denver on

It is hard for babies to convert from mommy milk to formula. Have you tried to keep pumping for whatever breast milk you get and combine it with the formula? Sometimes if the breast milk is mixed in it is a better transition.

Don't be too sad about stopping nursing, there are so many moments you will get to celebrate closeness with your baby. I had one of my babies stop nursing for no reason at 4 months. Although I was sad, we have had a wonderful time on so many other things since then - he is 5 now. So enjoy everything you have with your baby, they are so wonderful.

Good luck!



answers from Pocatello on

The book Balancing Breast and Bottle: Reaching Your Breastfeeding Goals has an entire chapter on overcoming bottle refusal. The companion website is You might check it out.

Also, it would be great for you and her to continue nursing *and* add a bottle or sippy cup with formula. You are right on the mark wanting to increase her weight... but that doesn't mean you have to wean completely. Doing both would be a nice transition.

Also, you can get some tubing to attach to your breast where she can nurse and (basically) suck formula from a bottle at the same time...this way all her nutrition is at the breast. You might find a lactation consultant to ask about supplementing at the breast. Double tubing would allow for faster eating, too.



answers from Minneapolis on

All great suggestions. If you really want to go to the bottle you may want to try different type of bottles. Could get expensive for such a short time she would need them. Otherwise, I would go straight to a cup. There are several types of cups out there the soft tip ones would probably be more acceptable to her. Since most babies are off the bottle by a year old, I would really just try to get her to take the sippy cup.
I would also keep nursing her as someone said already she would not want to nurse if she wasnt getting something. I would just supplement with a bottle or two of formula. If your getting low on your milk supply she will definitely need the formula for things like iron and certain vitamins to help her grow. Dont feel bad as some babies start to ween some where around this age anyways, so dont beat yourself up. You gave it an excellent run. The best thing you could have done for her. Your a great mom, keep it up!!



answers from Denver on

Our son was the same way. He liked the Nuby trainer cups. Also, could be the formula. If your doctor okays it (ours did at 10 months, which is a bit against traditional thought), you can mix 10 ounces whole milk with one serving of Carnation Instant Breakfast as a formula substitute. Our son liked the chocolate. He started gaining weight immediately. If you want to keep nursing, you might check into supplements. I had good success nursing with two weak nursers using supplements from our health food store. Sorry I don't remember what they were, now. You've done well, Mama! Don't be discouraged. I know it's disappointing.



answers from Clarksville on

Can you still nurse her, then let her have a bottle? She wouldn't want to nurse if she wasn't getting something. Let her nurse, then offer her a bottle to finish felling up her belly. Once you are not making milk she won't want to nurse. If you can't nurse anymore I would try a wide soft top sippy cup. My son didn't like the bottle but would accept a sippy cup.



answers from Provo on

My kids never took a bottle and just went straight to the sippy cup..



answers from Pocatello on

What I have done in the past is offer breast first then offer a bottle to top up. This way both of you are still getting the benefits of breast feeding and she is still getting the extra calories. You might want to try a supplemental nursing system, check into them, then she won't have to use a bottle at all as she will get it with the breast milk. All 4 of my boys were like that and I ended up giving them breast first then 2-4oz of formula after a feeding. It worked for them. Also, giving her a bottle for now is perfectly fine. I didn't wean my babies from a bottle until the were around 18 months, its a comfort thing for them and I wouldn't take away a teddy bear if it made them feel better so why would I take away a bottle. At 18 months we transitioned into sippy cups without any trouble at all. All my boys have great teeth too, no worries about it changing bite or anything like that.
As for getting her to take it, just keep offering just like you have to do with new foods, she will take it eventually.

Good Luck!




answers from New York on

Try the Born Free trainer/sippee cup. Try having someone else give her
a bottle. You should leave the room at that time. She will sniff you out.
They know! Good luck.

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