refusing the bottle

Sara - posted on 01/15/2010 ( 3 moms have responded )

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i breastfeed my son but sometimes i give him formula or breastmilk in a bottle when he goes to spend the night at his grandmas house. ive been giving him a bottle at least one time a day since he was 1 month old. now he is 4 months old and sometimes he refuses the bottle. Especially when he is with his grandma, he cries and cries and wont eat until he basically starves himself. Does anyone have any advice or tips to help ?

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Rebecca - posted on 01/15/2010

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Sounds like you are doing everything right, Sara! I think it's great that you're pursuing your education while caring for AND breastfeeding your son! :-)

One more possible suggestion -- when he's home with you at night, how long does he sleep? If he has a long stretch after you put him down at night, you could try to pump 3 hours after he goes to bed, then save that milk. That might help you "get ahead" and have a bigger stash to leave when you're away.

If all else fails, you could start having his grandma give him a small amount of solid food to tide him over. I normally am a big proponent of waiting until 6 months to start solids, but he is already having formula, so I don't think it would cause much harm to his system. Maybe your mom could give him a small amount of avocado or sweet potato if he refuses the bottle? Those foods are more nutritious than rice cereal and are easy on the tummy. Oatmeal is also less constipating than rice, if you choose to give cereal.

Sara - posted on 01/15/2010

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i already have a breast pump and do pump when i can but i dont always get enough to last the whole time hes gone. we have tried 3 different kinds of bottles and nipples and he used to take them just fine but he just recently started not to take them. his grandma gets him because i go to school.

we just got him a sippy cup the other day, ill try that and see if that will work....thank you so much...ill let you know if that helped

Rebecca - posted on 01/15/2010

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Can you rent or buy a breastpump or learn to hand-express your milk and give that in the bottle? Your son probably doesn't like the taste of formula -- it's pretty nasty compared to breastmilk -- and it might be upsetting his tummy. Some experts believe that babies will try to avoid foods that disagree with their systems.



You could also try changing bottles -- maybe try Playtex nursers with the drop-ins and the large, wide nipples which really are "more like mom" because they encourage babies to flange their lips and "latch on" like on mom's breast. Another option is to use a sippee cup, or his grandmother could use a tiny cup (like a medicine cup) or even a medicine syringe or dropper to feed him.



One more option is to wait until he's older to send him to his grandmother's house. Is he staying with her just because she wants him to and to give you a break, or because you work? He will only be an infant for a few more months -- if you can keep him with you, or have his grandmother stay with you instead, you can avoid this issue entirely.

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