breastfed baby, no bottles to sippy cups?

Hannah - posted on 02/17/2012 ( 25 moms have responded )

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My daughter is four months old and we are considering starting solids soon. The pediatrician suggests offering water with her meal in a bottle or cup. She has only taken a bottle like 3 times and is currently refusing to take the bottle of pumped milk. I am worried that she won't take the bottle with water, or juice when needed. I am also worried she won't take the cup because she is not used to holding a bottle or anything. Any suggestions or advice?

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FlyBaby - posted on 02/29/2012

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We weaned off breast feeding around 4mos and on to a bottle (which worked for our DS, but every one of these treasures is different!) but at 6 mos when we started solids, we introduced an open cup (Doidy cup worked really well for us because of the handles and the shape). We had to hold it for him for, I don't know, around 3-4 months before he started trying to hold it, but he never had closed sippy cups or the like. It's definitely worth a try, but remember that any new changes take them time to adapt, so I think I read somewhere to try for 2 weeks and then decide if it's working or not. My DS is just over 2 now, and I'm still finding that everything is a learning curve for us :o) Best wishes xx

Alicia - posted on 02/28/2012

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We started our daughter on rice cereal at 3 1/2 months and was exclusivly breastfed. She had solids at 4 1/2 months and it was sweet potatoes. We gave her a sippy cup at that time as well. She mostly played with it, and would drink when we held it up for her. It was not a straw cup. The first sippy cup she got was a NUK cup. She got the hang of it but did not like it very much. We then tried the MUNCKIN straw sippy cups a little later (6-6 1/2 months) and she took to that just fine. I really think she took so well to it because she actually had to suck. About like she has to do with breast. There are different types of straw cups out there so choose wisely lol. Don't push her if she isnt ready. We still held our daughter's sippy cup for her but once she played with it more she took to it. Now, she throws them and still drinks from a straw sippy and is drinking from a non straw sippy cup.

Tina - posted on 02/26/2012

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Make life simple. Your child will do fine with no water. My Ped. suggest nothing but milk til 12 months. If you want to use the cup use one that has a top like a bottle. I think most all bottle brands make one. As for not giving the breast milk in a bottle yourself...well as a working mom of 2 I cant leave the house or stay out of view/smell range in the evenings. Both my sons have done just fine drinking breast milk from a bottle given by me or anyone else. I think it is what you make it and if you make it an issue it will become one. Relax dont stress because that your baby will sense!

Teju - posted on 02/28/2012

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I agree with trying a straw cup. My tip: use a short straw so they have to do less work. I cut up a regular straw into thirds, smoothed the edges and used them for a long time.



My 5 mo old started sucking when I put a straw in her mouth. She's 20 months now and still straw-ing!

Amie - posted on 02/26/2012

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My son didn't like bottles either but as soon as he was able to take a sippy cup he drank expressed milk fine from it.

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Stephanie - posted on 02/28/2012

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Hi Hannah,

My daughter was just 6 months old when we started solids, and we started with rice cereal. She was ready for it- eager and would fuss when we would eat. My daughter was also EBF, and refused bottles as well.



Currently we are using a Nuby brand sippy cup, and she likes to play with it and does drink water from it. After she was introduced to the sippy cup with water, we also offered a bottle with water in it, and she would play with it as well. I think allowing her to play with it allows her to get used to it.



I wish you the best of luck, and don't worry- your daughter will let you know when she is ready for solids, sippy cups, etc.

Sarah - posted on 02/27/2012

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Just give her one to play with. Had the same concern w/ my daughter, but she got it eventually. I used a sillicone spout cup that had handles on both sides. Teach her how to use it. She'll do fine :)

Lydia - posted on 02/27/2012

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if she is just eating small amounts of solids and still mainly breastfed you don't have to worry about adding water. you can make sure the solids she is getting are nice watery and not to thick. once she is actually eating a meal she'll be old enough to hold a cup. I never did bottles, went straight to regular cups of course my daughter needed help holding it at first, but she did fine drinking from it. I just made sure it's not over full and she'd take small sips in order not to "drown"... later I used sippy cups because she ran around with her water, just easier on the go.

Brittaini - posted on 02/26/2012

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It is pretty standard to delay solids until at least 6 months. Do the research; its proven. Also your milk supply will go down. My daughter is 18 mos and i just started giving her watered down juice. you really don't want to introduce sugar so early even natural apple juice. its better int he long run. also have someone else give her the bottle and don;t be in the next room because if she senses you there she will want the boob. lol coming from a full time working mom who pumped for a year each with both my kids. That was the easiest way to introduce the bottle. Just keep trying and she will get it. I like the tommy tippie brand...they are made for breastfed babies.

Ania - posted on 02/26/2012

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I would suggest do more research on delaying solid foods. BF baby gets her nutrotion from breastmilk and it is good enough for at least 6 months, from what you are saying you are feeding on demand. It is plenty for her. She does not need water at this age breastmilk is all she needs. www.kellymom.com has great research on solids.

Renee - posted on 02/26/2012

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Hi my daughter refused a bottle even with expressed milk too. She figured out the dippy quite quickly and was happy having expressed milk in it. You'll be fine I found my first born adapted very quickly to new things and my second is even easier now!! Goodluck and it will all work out

Heather - posted on 02/26/2012

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She is too young to be having any water, juice, milk, etc. If she is nursing or drinking formula, she doesn't need it. I also would hold off until she is closer to 6 months old to give her solids. She could really have some BAD constipation and gas issues if you give her baby food or cereal too early. Pediatricians don't always know what they are talking about. Especially since most of them are too busy working to really raise their own kids.

Valerie - posted on 02/21/2012

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Same here, other than a few feedings here or there, none of my three kids ever used bottles regularly, they went straight to sippy cups. On a practical note, try out which sippy cups you like, or experiment with ones your friends may have. Throw/drop/shake them yourself to see how much if any comes out. Lots of different types say they are "no-spill" but very few are. It will be a while before you have to worry about car rides and a playful 1 year-old but even water is a pain to clean up from back seats if enough of leaks out when she drops her cup while driving. We always had the best luck with Playtex cups.



If you don't want unsolicited advice, skip this next part... Double check with pediatrician about giving water unless you are trying to wean your little one. When babies start solids they still get their nutrition from breastmilk (or formula) while they learn how to eat. Quenching baby's thirst and filling her up with water can sometimes lead baby to not take as much breastmilk (or formula) and deprive her of the basic calories and nutrients she needs.

Hannah - posted on 02/20/2012

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thanks for all the tips. we arent starting solids yet. i am aiming to start around 6 months but i wanted to start planning now. i have always had someone else give her the bottle when i was away like in the nursery at church or the sitter when hubby and i went out. it doesnt matter, she refuses. i think we will try a variety of cups and see which one works best.

Belinda - posted on 02/19/2012

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Skip the bottle. It isn't necessary. You can go straight to a sippy cup or even a regular cup (with you holding it, of course). Both of my sons went straight from breast to sippy cup.

Katie - posted on 02/18/2012

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My EBF 12 week old has always refused a bottle and also refused a pacifier. She started taking medicine from a dropper about 2 weeks ago. A few days ago I noticed that she was doing a much better job at swallowing the medicine so I tried giving her some expressed milk with the dropper, and over about 5 minutes she swallowed almost an ounce with no dribbles or spills! Obviously you don't want to have to feed her with a dropper, but I think maybe it is a good tool for learning how to swallow without sucking.

Rachael - posted on 02/18/2012

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actually Maria, it isn't that impressive as straws use the same suckling motion that nursing does. The difficult part is controlling the flow of liquid. This was suggested to me by a fellow nurse and lactation consultant. Apparently it does not work well for infants who are used to bottles because that sucking uses different muscles. considering how sugar laden and nutrient deficient juice is I was attempting to offer a healthier suggestion since it works not just with my son, but with many breastfed babies across the world. Yes, a regular cup works well also with the exception on spills.

Hannah, if you are having difficulty with the water and solids and are still breastfeeding just take it slow or stop and try again in a few weeks. Babies are usually ready to start solids (if mom wants) between 4 and 6 months, but don't require them until later. Good luck!

Laura - posted on 02/18/2012

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Sorry Hannah, I realize that that is not the help you are looking for. I didn't mean to offend if I did. Try using a lightweight sippy cup with two handles and just put a little liquid in it. She'll get the idea.

Laura - posted on 02/18/2012

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Try letting someone else give her the bottle of expressed milk when you are not home. If she can see/smell you then she will be less interested in a bottle.

Four months seems pretty young to start offering water if she is exclusively breastfed. It's also really young to consider starting solids-4 month old tummies are really not ready for them. Is there a reason you are in a hurry?

Maria - posted on 02/17/2012

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Not every FOUR month old knows what to do with a straw! If yours figured it out all by themselves at that age WOW! That's impressive!

Maria - posted on 02/17/2012

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Not every FOUR month old knows what to do with a straw! If yours figured it out all by themselves at that age WOW! That's impressive!

Rachael - posted on 02/17/2012

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no need for a juice box, my son naturally sucked a normal size straw (if not using a childs straw cup you may need to crimp the straw to keep the little one from getting too much liquid. If your little one doesn't automatically suck at the straw put just a tiny bit of breast milk on the tip of the straw.

Maria - posted on 02/17/2012

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At 4 months you have a couple of choices. Help them take tiny sips out of a regular cups. Use a zippy cup without the valve, 4 months is pretty young to expect them to hold the cup and drink themselves, so expect to still be the one in control of the cup. It is possible to teach a 4 month old to use a straw. I used a juice box, squeeze a little into their mouth and they get what to do with the straw... (I'm not saying give juice at this age, but our pediatrician ok'ed it for a learning tool... This method worked for my bottle refusing breasted son, although I found it just as easy to use a cup!



Good luck and remember there's no hurry to start solids :-)

Rachael - posted on 02/17/2012

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try a straw cup. First of all drinking from a straw is a similar motion to breastfeeding, and secondly you will never need to wean her from a straw =) I have never been one for weaning from one thing to something else if I am only going to have to go through the weaning hassle again later . Good luck!

Jessica - posted on 02/17/2012

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Neither of my daughters used a bottle and they figured out sippy cups quite easily. The first time I tried a cup I put breast milk in it so it smelled like something delicious for them. The other thing is to try a few differeny styles of cup for your little one. Some require a lot of sucking to get the liquid out. My 9 month old still sometimes chokes on her water cuz there is none and none and then a mouthful and she's not sure how to stop the flow. Hopefully it'll go smoothly for you! :)

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