11 wk wont nurse both breasts & also refuses a bottle?

Debbie - posted on 07/20/2012 ( 39 moms have responded )

22

14

0

My 11 week old daughter will nurse about 10 minutes, then wont nurse on the other breast. She's gaining weight well & has plenty of wet/dirty diapers. I've been pumping at night & early morning when I'm really full, but I don't have time to pump after every nursing session. I'm mainly concerned if this is going to hurt my milk supply (or do I need to pump after every nursing session)? She is so stubborn - if I try & get her to nurse the other breast - she cries & gets mad.

She also refuses a bottle (I'm going back to work the end of august). We started offering her a bottle at 6 weeks (i waited because she had some latching issues). She's sucked from a bottle maybe 5 times total. She gags then gets mad. (I've tried multiple bottles.. we're on the BreastFlow bottle (from First Years) right now. I've tried Avent, Playtex, FirstYears - 2 kinds from First years).
Has anyone had any luck with a LO refusing a bottle?
(Her pediatrician suggested someone, my mother for example, take her for like 8 hours & try to take a bottle).
I can't even be in the house when she does this.
Has this worked for anyone?

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Maia - posted on 08/07/2012

23

13

2

Similac has a nice.bottle thats like the breast. Also, if theres a latching issue, or shes having trouble eating, check and see if shes tongue tied. Sometimes that can be an issue for babies to eat because its hard for them to suck. My newborn is tongue tied and he gags on his bottles to. Also try a different flow nipple. Hope this helps :)

Anna - posted on 08/01/2012

206

0

0

The fact that your daughter only wants one breast is totally fine as long as she's gaining weight. Your milk supply is probably higher than her demand and will adjust to her needs with time. Try pumping out the second breast while nursing. If that's too difficult, I recommned a hands free nursing bra. You can pump and have your hands free, it's great.

As far as the bottle, make sure you have an infant nipple. Seems like the flow of your nipple might be too strong, which is causing the gagging. Also, I recommend have someone other than you give your daughter the bottle. Of course she doesn't want the bottle when you're around, she knows better.

Gretchen - posted on 07/30/2012

20

15

0

Please don't take the advice that she should be and needs to be feeding on both breasts at every feeding!!!! (I really can't believe a lactation counselor really said that!!) It REALLY depends on how much milk a mom makes. I'm a habitual over-supplier, so both my babies fed on one breast at most feedings. Very rarely did they feed on both breasts at one feeding. However, there are some moms who feed on both breasts then go back to the first to finish their baby's feeding.

A great analogy is to consider your own appetite throughout a day and day-to-day. Do we eat the same amount at the same time every day? The every 2-3 hours is a guideline, not a bottom line, and your baby will let you know when she's hungry and when she's full. If she cries when you try to put her on the 2nd breast, don't force it! She's probably full.

When it comes to the bottle, try Paced Bottle Feeding to help with the flow issue. In the traditional bottle-feeding position, babies are forced to ACCEPT the flow, and they swallow whether they're hungry or not based on their need to breathe being greater than their need to eat. This is where overeating comes in. In the Paced Bottle Feeding position (sitting up), baby CREATES the flow, just like they have to do at the breast. I urge you to google it, and try one time per day to offer the bottle, and stick with that one time until she's good with the bottle.

Try to make sure the nipple is supple, not stiff, and that the bottle is straight. You also want to make sure you use a bottle that's comparable to the amount she's eating. You don't want to use an 8oz bottle when she's only eating 3oz to avoid excess air, which Paced Bottle Feeding also helps minimize because they aren't gulping to keep up.

I hope this helps!

Lynn - posted on 07/21/2012

3

0

0

Hi Debbie,
I have a couple of questions for you and some thoughts as well. You said she only nurses for about ten minutes on one side and refuses the second breast. Does she in fact nurse on both breasts? Say the left for ten minutes and then the next time on the right, just not two breasts per feeding. I am just checking that she is in fact nursing both breasts and not repeatedly refusing the one particular side.
Many people only nurse baby on one side at a feeding and things are fine.
I know some moms that pump on one side while baby is nursing the other. They figure out a way to do both at the same time and save time. LOL

Sometimes someone else could offer a bottle when your daughter is getting sleepy.
When I took care of my friend's daughter. I would offer her BM in a bottle while she was falling asleep. She got used to that after awhile. She still didn't love it so I used a small sippy cup shortly thereafter. Between the two she had enough oz. during the day and it started to work.
She would come earlier by 30-45 minutes to be dropped off and they would sit and nurse awhile together and whenever my friend was picking up , first thing they would nurse. I took care of her for 2.5 years before they moved across the country.
I was a wonderful transition between mommy time and playing at my house.

I hope that you find a smooth transition.
Lynn

Ferris - posted on 08/11/2012

20

7

1

If she's has plenty dirty diapers and she's gaining weight then she's getting enough in the 10minutes on the breast. Some babies nurse longer or shorter that others. They are very efficient at getting the milk they need from the breast.Some prefer one breast over the other. My first refused a bottle. I waited until six months to introduce. She never took a bottle. My second I waited until 6 or 8 weeks. At first he didn't want it at all. So we waited a little longer and then introduced. It took some effort but he did take it. My 3rd I introduced at few months old (honestly don't remember exactly how old) he refused the bottle the at first. We kept trying over several weeks. He is 9 months now and takes a bottle no problem. You may have to get a caregiver of family member to give her the bottle. Be persistent and patient.

If you see this, leave this form field blank.
Powered by RESPECT not THUMPS

39 Comments

View replies by

User - posted on 08/08/2012

7

0

1

hiya,
I had a friend with a similar issue, turns out sippy cups are a good idea and also straws! She ended up using a straw to feed her bub. Kinda makes sense :)

Stephanie - posted on 08/07/2012

14

0

2

Also remember that a baby does need the fore and hind milk. So if she gets full on one breast, its ok. She needs that thick" whole "milk in the end of the feeding. Things are good. No worries

Stephanie - posted on 08/07/2012

14

0

2

Gretchen Kindberg
said some great things! Read her post! And try breastflow...they ae very nice.

Michelle - posted on 07/31/2012

2

14

0

I would contact your local La Leche League leader and she will be more than willing to spend time with you over the phone or have you visit with her so she can help you through this. They are the best at breast feeding issues! It's worth a try; I know you'll be glad you have a lactation person who specializes in this. Hang in there.

Sally - posted on 07/31/2012

13

0

0

I have a 14 week old who typically only nurses from one side at a time. When he is full, he is full and won't take another drop! I have not had a diminished milk supply because of this and I too pump before bed (he sleeps all night) and in the morning. Emptying your breast is a sure-fire way to keep your supply up...even if you have to pump. You may want to try a slow flow bottle. Remember that when you nurse, you have a let-down and then the flow is controlled solely by the baby. When you give them a bottle, there is no way to really control how fast the milk comes out so it may be too fast...especially if baby has a really strong sucking reflex (and then they act like they are drowning...lol!). I know Tommee Tippee has a bottle nipple called Closer to Nature and that may help too. Hope this helps!!

Krystle - posted on 07/30/2012

160

30

3

I have no help for how to get baby to take a bottle because I never used bottles. But I have heard that feeding breastmilk on a spoon is very effective for newborns.

But my baby would only nurse on one side at a time, for months (I had a huge over-supply) it wasn't until he was 12 months and had a bigger stomach that he started nursing on both sides each time. So it sounds to me that you have enough milk in one breast to satisfy her at this time! (Nothing wrong with that!) :)

Angie - posted on 07/30/2012

9

4

2

I had the same problem. Turned out my dd was a very efficient nurser! As long as she's gaining, I wouldn't worry. Dd is now 15 months old and still only nurses for 10-15 minutes tops!

Jeannie - posted on 07/29/2012

35

6

2

Babies need to take both sides and most do after the first feeding! Some take both the first feeding of their life. I work as a lactation counselor and we always encourage moms to feed on both sides from day one on. Not feeding on both sides just because of age could and has hurt other mom's milk supplies! With all due respect to Heather babies being to young to feed on both sides is very very inaccurate.
*If a baby is only feeding on one side, shorten the feeding in half burb and offer the other side. This works for efficient feeding babies.*
If you are getting her to take a bottle then keep doing what you are doing. Some babies want to only eat with their mommy, and need to learn to take a bottle from mom. Others it is the opposite and mom can not be any where around. So keep up the good work, and it is good that you still have your husband try. If she is starting to take a bottle than you are on the right track.

Debbie - posted on 07/29/2012

22

14

0

Thanks Heather - You are probably right - she might not have enough room to nurse on both breasts. (Although - she used to & sometimes she still does nurse on both sides during the same nursing session). Yes- I've tried other people giving her a bottle. My mom, my dad, hubby.. but actually she's taken a bottle from Me a few days. Only about 2 oz (over a period of 2 hrs or more), but at least she's taking a bottle alittle. During the week I don't have anyone else who can give her a bottle - my hubby is gone 14-15 hrs a day. But I'm gonna Have to get him to try more often - because if she only takes a bottle from me - then that kinda defeats the purpose. lol & I do burp her after she nurses too.

Heather - posted on 07/29/2012

534

65

0

She shouldn't nurse on both breasts. She is only 11 weeks old. Try nursing her on one breast for one feeding, then nurse her on the other breast when she wants to nurse again. When she gets about 16 to 20 weeks old, then she might take both breasts, but not until she's older.

Try having someone else give her a bottle. You can't give it to her, because you are nursing her. Your daughter could also have to burp. Are you burping her after she's done with one breast before offering her the other one? It sounds to me like one breast is more than enough for her right now. Her little tummy can only take about 3 oz. of breast milk right now, maybe 4, if that.

Debbie - posted on 07/25/2012

22

14

0

Keri - She will nurse on both sides fine (just not in the same feeding).
Thanks for the encouragment. I was actually able to get her to take a bottle alittle yesterday. She took about 1 oz from 4:30-5:30 & another 1 oz around 8. It took awhile - but at least it's improvment! yeah! (my hubby work 12 hrs + everyday - so I figured I'd try to get her to take the bottle & have him try sometimes too. I certainly dont want her to only take a bottle from me! lol)

[deleted account]

Hi Debbie, Both my kids had a preference to breasts when they were nursing. As they got stronger they could nurse longer and not be as picky. Always offer the "bad breast" first and then move her to the good breast. During the night they are usually not picky just want fed asap so you can keep up your supply on the bad breast until she loses that stubborness. My son had problems with taking the bottle or taking the breast...to get him to do both I would skip a feeding (the doctor recommended this) if he was hungry enough he would eventually take both. This took almost eight weeks to get him to take both. I would also try a slower nipple and she won't gag as quickly. Good luck!

Keri - posted on 07/24/2012

2

8

0

Hi Debbie,

I am currently a mom of two and have twins on the way. I am also a pediatric PT. If your child is having latching issues and only nursing on one side, I would make sure they don't have a condition called torticollis. This simply just means tight neck muscles on one side. It is fairly common these days and very treatable. Does your baby keep their head tilted to one side? If so, ask your doctor for a referral to a pediatric PT.

As far as the bottles, my son refused a bottle as well. I thought he was going to be miserable when I went back to work, but he figured it out. At first, it would take him a long time to eat. He would yell at the bottle every few sips. We tried a gazillion different bottles. Chances are,your child will eventually give in and take a bottle when they get hungry enough. Just tough on mommy in the mean time.

Good luck!

K

Gretchen - posted on 07/24/2012

20

15

0

A child eating on only one breast per feeding is very normal!! Just offer the "uneaten" breast first at the next feeding.

In terms of getting her to take a bottle, the process will work better if you are nowhere near the feeding. Choose one feeding, i.e.: the mid-morning feed, to introduce the alternative feeding source. In your, case this would be the bottle. Offer the bottle at that time every day, and when she gets good at it, choose another feeding, so she'll be up to 2 feedings per day. However, remember to pump when she's getting her bottle.

There's no magic nipple or bottle, but the nipple should be flexible not rigid, and the bottle should be straight and comparable to what your baby will eat at one feeding. You don't want to use an 8oz bottle when your daughter is only eating around 2-3oz per feeding.

When it comes to actually feeding with the bottle, try NOT to lay her in the traditional bottle-feeding position. Regardless of how small the nipple hole is, milk will drip as soon as the bottle is turned upside down. This increase in flow could be what's causing your daughter to gag. To make bottle-feeding more breast-feeding friendly, try using the Paced Bottle Feeding technique. Here are 2 good websites for it: http://kellymom.com/bf/pumpingmoms/feedi... AND http://www.peelregion.ca/health/family-h...

Finally, keep in mind that there are many more ways to feed your baby than just the bottle, which in and of itself can lead to overfeeding. The caregiver could use a medicine dropper, spoon, cup (they even make special infant feeding cups), or even a soft-spout sippy.

I don't know where you live, but if you'd like to, you can use Nursing Mothers Counsel as a resource. You can find out more about us at http://www.nursingmothers.org. We're in the Bay Area, CA, but we gets calls from all over the US because most of our support is over the phone and by email :) Good luck!

Jeannie - posted on 07/23/2012

35

6

2

Some babies can cry for hours and never take a bottle. My daughter would not take one from me, daddy, grandpa, grandma, aunts or uncles. The closest we got is she would drink maybe (big maybe) half an ounce if her brother was drinking one with her. My husband would get so frustrated that he would drive a hour to meet me for my lunch so I could nurse her.
Here are some of things I was told: try different bottles, try a sippy cup, a sippy cup with the sippy thing removed (sorry cant thing of what they are called), try a regular cup, try only small amounts like 1oz or less at a time, change the flow of the nipple, use a syringe, use a spoon, have the person who is giving her a bottle wear one of your shirts (or some how have it where the baby can smell you more than the other person).
Here is what worked for me: Recording my voice so they can play it before and during a feeding, wearing a shirt till just before I left and squirting some milk on it (gross I know but it worked!). We started with a spoon and she soon got tired of having it take so long to eat she would take a bottle. We changed her nipple to a faster flow because we realized the bottle would come out so much slower than I did. We started with half an ounce and slowly increased the amount to a full bottle. Finally she would be almost sitting up with the bottle almost horizontal. At the breast babies can stop the flow to swallow or breath, but they can't with a bottle. So having the bottle almost flat can help babies stop or slow down the flow so they don't choke. One of the biggest things was having her brother drink from a bottle at the same time was like having a role model.
Good luck!! Oh this whole process took about 5-6 weeks to fully get settled, and she may regress a little when you first go back to work.

Michelle - posted on 07/23/2012

10

7

0

The first thing is, children won't starve themselves (thank god) lol.

If you haven't tried already try giving the bottles with the large wide nipples (more realistic to the natural breast latch). So many people us the small nipples and really thats not what our own breast are like and some choke on them. Make sure the milk is warm and add a little to the tip before feeding.

With the pumping I would suggest to continue to pump the same as you are. Which ever breast she leaves pump it. You'll find when she gets into that growing spurt you'll be thankful you did pump. I know its exausting but it sounds like you are a lucky one with a good sleeper. Or on the next nursing put her on the opposite side as last.

Something you might want to try if your really wanting to move to a bottle is a nipple shield. A shield is a thin plastic shield shaped like a nipple. Make sure you get the correct size. Start out slowly by putting on ocassional feedings. The feel is very different to the breast but being close to you and still smelling you while she eats might help with the feel of the bottle nipple in time. I had major issues with my daughter latching and used a nipple shield. Later when latching wasn't a problem I would take the shield off but she refused to nurse without it. Maybe you'll get the same result.

http://www.medelabreastfeedingus.com/tip...
give you a lot more info.

Hop all goes well and like I said they won't starve themselves. There will be a time when you wonder were the heck their putting all the food :D

Roxanne - posted on 07/22/2012

5

4

0

I was a breastfeeding working mom I should have added and at least four of them refuse a bottle and then when I got them use to that they would refuse me. But one thing I know is if they are hungry they will eat.

Debbie - posted on 07/22/2012

22

14

0

Did you have any of your babies refuse a bottle for a significant time? (Thanks for the encouragment!)

Roxanne - posted on 07/22/2012

5

4

0

I have breast fed 8 children and I know what you are going through. I promise your baby will eat.

Debbie - posted on 07/22/2012

22

14

0

Thanks Roxanne... I'm just worried she's gonna 'starve' once I go back to work, if she still wont take a bottle.

Roxanne - posted on 07/22/2012

5

4

0

This is actually quite normal. Remember babies will eat if they get hungry enough and they can feel your anxiety. Take a deep breath. You are a good mom. Let a little drop in the baby's mouth. The baby will get use to it. It is a learning process.

Debbie - posted on 07/22/2012

22

14

0

Melanie - Thanks.
She actually will nurse on both breasts, just not in the same feeding. So, I'm not sure if a chiropractor would be needed.
As to her refusing a bottle - I'm only worrying because I'm going back to work in about 1 month. (otherwise, if I was able to stay at home, I wouldn't care if she ever took a bottle). I've tried different nipples/bottles.. she doesn't seem to care. She doesn't want anything to do with them. (She just wants her mama! lol) I think I'm gonna try the Tommee Tippee ones next though. I've heard a lot of good reviews about those also.

Melanie - posted on 07/22/2012

51

13

3

If she's refusing just one breast....consider taking her to a chiropractor that deal with infants. I used to work for a chiro and learned that many babies have a "pinch" in their neck that prevents them from nursing on one side comfortably. If you get a chiro focused on "wellness" they are not going to crack your baby's neck or anything...adjustments are very gentle and kids respond so quickly you'd likely only need to go a few times to correct the problem :)
PS Our 1st refused a bottle until she was many months old, don't sweat it if she prefers just you! One thing to try is different nipples b/c some are fast and some slow and if she has to work hard, she'll be frustrated.

Debbie - posted on 07/22/2012

22

14

0

Thanks Traycee- my mom tried yesterday & today. She got maybe 1 oz over a 5 hour period.(but I think that was more, putting the nipple in her mouth & it dripping.. because she didn't really suck on it much).

You said your first would only nurse from 1 breast.. so did u pump the other one? or did you just let it go til the next feeding time? (I'm just worried going 6 hrs before emptying..)

Debbie - posted on 07/22/2012

22

14

0

Elizabeth - she will nurse anywhere from 5 minutes to 10~15 minutes from 1 breast. Then she normally doesn't want the other breast. (She Used to nurse for 10 minutes , then maybe 5 minutes or so from the 2nd breast).
She normally will eat about every 3-4 hours. At night she'll go around 5-7 hrs before nursing again.

She has around 10-15 wet diapers & 1-3 BM diapers in a 24 hour period. (I still write everything down in a notebook, like when she was 1st born. lol)

Aleshia - posted on 07/22/2012

8

10

0

One suggestion would be to use a syringe..you can get them from the pharmacy. My older daughter has deformities and part of it was the corners of her mouth were a little more open than normal..leaving room for milk to spill..so I used a syringe..but eventually she figured out how to seal the openings with her tongue..she refused the bottle for a while..

My newest girl who is 13 weeks refused the NUK bottles so I relieved all issues immediately by going with a Medela bottle ..I actually got to test this first before I bought a set becuase my pump kit came with a nipple. She did not willingly take it..but was more willing than the Nuk which she would not try at all. I know the medela bottles are really expensive...but sometimes its all about the baby and what it will take.

Tracee - posted on 07/22/2012

3

12

0

My first would only nurse in one breast and she was fine. She had normal weight gain and development. She also refused to take the bottle from me or from anyone if I was in the room. We just kept trying and trying with my sister and my husband giving it to her with me out of sight and she eventually took the bottle. Keep trying and good luck.

Lynn - posted on 07/22/2012

3

0

0

I do remember for awhile this lovely baby started sleeping more for me and then nursing more with mom. So we figured that she might have been considered sleeping through the night during the day for me. She took just some from the bottle and did better with the nursing cup or sippy cup.....we may have even tried an eyedropper. But the pedi said that most likely she was reversing her sleep pattern so that she still nursed more with mom. This only lasted a few weeks. (babies sleep so much when they are tiny anyways. She slowly started waking more and as she got to know me better it was easier and easier for her to take the bottle. I was very sure to hold her
(as getting breastmilk while sitting in a seat would be weird) and she got used to me. Things evened out overall I'd say in three weeks. Both her mom and I were very careful to track on paper the pee and BM to be sure there was plenty.

I would be sure that the caregiver is armed with the bottle, and teaspoon (baby spoon) eyedropper if need be and very loving and patient disposition.

Be sure to track the pee and Bms though. I always say on paper because you can forget in the midst of things.
Lynn

Elizabeth - posted on 07/21/2012

664

13

125

So how much is she actually eating in a day? How often and for how long?

How many wet diapers did you say.

Debbie - posted on 07/21/2012

22

14

0

Lynn - Yes she will nurse from both breasts (just not in the same feeding.) She used to, although not great.
My mom had her all day... she still wouldn't take a bottle. My aunt was able to get her to take a bottle alittle. She took about 1/2 oz. I'll see if they can do it when she's sleepy.
Thanks for the help.

Debbie - posted on 07/21/2012

22

14

0

Thanks Celeste. My hubby tried the 1st bottle. That didn't work. So I tried & she suckled a few times. My mom has tried mainly - but I've always been around. In a different room normally. I'll try a sippy cut - thanks for the idea!

Celeste - posted on 07/21/2012

3,050

30

870

10 min is fine. Babies can get pretty efficient at getting milk. As long as she's getting plenty of diapers and she's gaining weight, I wouldn't worry. Your supply should be fine.

As far as the bottle issue, have you tried maybe doing a sippy cup instead of a bottle? Nuby has the soft spout, so maybe try that? Also, were you the one giving the bottle? Maybe try to disappear for a couple of hours and see if she'll take a bottle from your mom or DH? Sorry, I'm not much help on that issue. Hopefully someone with experience will come by!

If you see this, leave this form field blank.
Powered by RESPECT not THUMPS

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms