My 5 Month Old Accepts the Bottle but Doesn't Suck

Updated on February 18, 2008
C.L. asks from Arcadia, CA
7 answers

Hi! I need help getting my baby to suck from a bottle or sippy cup. My 5 month old is exclusively breastfed and unfortunately doesn't even take a pacifier. I'll be going back to work 1 day a week at the end of the month and she'll be with my husband. I've been pumping for her and practicing with the bottle. (We started offering it when she was 6 weeks old but she screamed so much we gave up). For the past month we've been offering it again, and now she opens her mouth to accept a bottle or sippy cup, but instead of sucking on it, she just mouths it and sort of gnaws on it. If I squeeze a little breastmilk out, she'll let it dribble into her mouth and out again, instead of swallowing. She does the same thing with her own fingers or my finger- just gnaws on it without actually sucking. I tried nursing her and then slipping in the bottle and she looked at me like I was nuts. We've tried LOTS of different nipples; currently using the Adiri.

Do you have any tips for getting her to suck from the bottle or sippy cup?


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So What Happened?

Thanks so much- I've tried LOTS of different bottles, but don't know how many times to try with a certain nipple before moving on to the next one. We also have a Nuby sippy cup with a soft silicone spout. Thanks for the ideas!!

More Answers



answers from Honolulu on

You may want to consult with a lactation expert. Yes, I know this isn't for breastfeeding (which according to you, your baby seems to know how to suckle). BUT, be aware that sucking from a breast and sucking from a bottle-nipple requires 2 DIFFERENT muscle coordination "techniques." Breastfeeding and nursing from a bottle are not the same. Bottle nipples use gravity... breastfeeding requires suckling. This may cause confusion in the baby.... and thus, inability to nurse from a bottle. I would recommend looking into this.
Also, make SURE that your baby is indeed suckling/breastfeeding well. Sometimes they are just "suckling" but not well enough to be taking in enough quantity or they are not latched on properly. This has happened to a couple of babies of some friends of mine.
On another note, I have used the "MAM" baby bottles for my baby when I had to wean from breast, and my baby had no problem with the transition. And, it is not made of the harmful plastics that contain BPA's. You can find it at by typing in search word "MAM baby bottle."
... I hope this helps. Take care and good luck,

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I found with my daughter the playtex nurser nipples worked best. They were most like my own breast. We found that I couldnt offer the bottle only other people could. She wanted me if she saw me. It took a long time and she would even at first not eat till I got home from work! Eventually she got hungry enough and took it. We gave her solids also besides just my breast. If she skipped on the bottle we got her to eat the solids. She was definately stubborn you just have to keep with it and she will cave and then fall in love with her bottle. Mine did and then getting her to give that up was a whole other story. Good Luck



answers from Los Angeles on

I had the same problem with my baby. After trying what seemed like 9 million different nipples the problem actually turned out to be that the milk was not warm enough. I guess we were so scared of getting the milk hot that it wsn't warm enough. Looking back it makes sense....when the baby latches on it feels the warmth of YOUR skin and milk which is 98.6 degrees. Maybe the milk needs to be a little warmer so that the nipple is warmer and will better mimic your breast.

:) C.



answers from Los Angeles on

have you tried a regular cup? or a sippy cup the doesn't require sucking in order to flow (tupperware brand has some or dollar tree).

silicone nipples for bottles or sippy cups seemed to work for me too (nuby brand)



answers from Las Vegas on

Have you tried possibly dipping the nipple that goes to the bottle into some sugar water? you can even try that with a binky! My baby doesn't like them either but we tried the whole sugar water thing and now he takes a bottle and kinda sorta a binky(he still struggles with that from time to time :))
HOpe it works out :)!

*/J. Lou



answers from Los Angeles on

I'm sorry to hear that you're having issues. What type of bottle are you using? I hear Dr. Brown is a good bottle to start with. My son uses Nuk bottles and has no issues going between the breast and bottle. He is very particular about his bottle and pacifier. The only pacifier he'll use is a soothie one and Nuk is the only bottle he likes. Good luck!



answers from Los Angeles on

I had the same problem with my daughter. My lactation consultant finally gave me a variety of bottle nipples to try. The NUK latex work for her because they are large enough in her mouth, that I assume make it feel like my breast. The only thing was that I had to make a new whole in the tip of the nipple because the whole on those nipple was on the top and that didn't work for my daughter. But try different nipples until you find one that your daughter likes. My neighbor went through the same thing.

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