How do you get a 3mo old to accept a bottle with breastmilk or formula?

Crystal - posted on 11/06/2009 ( 11 moms have responded )

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I am returning to work and i have tried to get my baby to drink from a bottle and he simply refuses... I have been trying for almost 3 weeks... he cries loudly and becomes upset when it is offered to him. He went 6 hours without eating once when i was away and the care giver tried everything a spoon the bootle, even a dropper. I need to go back to work but I don't want my son to starve and be upset with the transition.

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Brittany - posted on 11/10/2009

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My son is about to be 6 months old and refuses a bottle still. our docter had us give him a sippy cup with handles and scilicone tip to play with so he could get the hang of it, definatly try it with brestmilk first though or he might refuse it. my son would take the cup at 4 1/2 months without any help. good luck to you! :)

Billie - posted on 11/10/2009

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My son wouldn't take a bottle from me, but he would from someone else. If I was in the room though forget it. I would have the caregiver to keep trying though. It will take time.

Lydia - posted on 11/10/2009

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My daughter wouldn't take a bottle if her life depended on it. She will throw it at your head if you try. Unfortunately there is no way to really force them, which may throw a kink in your plans. I hope it works out!

[deleted account]

My son hgad the same problem and ended up using a cup. Try different types of bottles and cups. Good luck!

Chalisa - posted on 11/06/2009

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My son is breast and bottle feed (expressed breast milk) and I had a similar issue. He takes a binky though so that was how I figured out a solution. If your baby sucks a binky maybe this will help. When you know he is hungry and wont except a bottle offer the binky and when he is securely latched on (hard to pull out because he has a super suction on it) pull it out and pop the bottle in his mouth. It worked for mine but mine would suck a binky to. Also to make you feel at ease and know that the baby is making up for lost meals feed the baby while he sleeps. Wait at least 3-4 hours after the baby last ate and is asleep and push a bottle in there, the baby will eat and become familiar with the new object and texture in its mouth. Nuk nipples are suppose to be the nipple thats most like a breast nipple but in my experience my son collapsed them I tried ever bottle in the store and the Dr. Browns bottles were best for my son and I. They help keep the air out of the expressed breast milk and that keep oxidation from occuring therefor the milk doesn't lose any nutrients.

Laura - posted on 11/06/2009

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transitioning back to work can be difficult. Try using a bottle that has a nipple designed to be used with breastfeeding babies. Sometimes nipple shape can be the problem. Express a little of your pumped breastmilk from the bottle nipple before you try to offer it. Sometimes babies will not suck on the nipple because it does not feel like yours and they do not associate milk with a rubber nipple. You can also try swaddling during a feeding. Usually a baby will take a bottle from someone else more easily than from mom, but in your case, you might try offering bottles at a time of night when baby is not frantic to feed and might be a little more easily swayed to accept the bottle. Keep trying though, if you need to go to work. Baby will figure this out. He may switch his feeding cycle so that he goes longer without eating while you work and then nurses all night. This would not be best for you, but may be best for your baby.

If you are not warming the formula/milk, you might try that. Cold milk can irritate baby's tummy and might make them refuse the bottle even more. Talk to other moms through La Leche League or a local breastfeeding support group. There are lots of moms in your situation who are nursing mothers returning to work.

Suset - posted on 11/06/2009

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definatly try different nipples, and do some research online to see which is closer to that of a real nipple. With my first daughter my mom took a "slow" flow nipple and poked tiny holes at the top to mimick the affect of breastfeeding, and she took it better than the regular nipples. Start each feeding with a bottle, babies can be fickle and their minds can change in an instant about what they like and he may surprise you one day. He may be stubborn, but he will not starve. Just be persistant, and try out different types of bottles and nipples, as the other posts suggest. Good Luck!

[deleted account]

I started my son on a bottle (one meal a week) at 5 weeks. He always took his monday night bottle (of formula) until he was 6 months old. Then he refused the bottle with formula. Also tried expressed breast milk and he didn't like that either. So, no bottles for us. Babies know what they like, and will let us know. It's not always convenient, but you can't force things on them. My son will drink out of a sippy cup. . . there are other alternatives.



Maybe try a different bottle, different nipples. Or try having Dad feed with the bottle, while you're out of the room.

Samantha - posted on 11/06/2009

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Try different positions. I started mine on the bottle early. The first time we tried she wouldn't take it, just fussed and cried. After some research online, I tried putting her in her rocker & it worked. Now she will take a bottle in almost any position but still prefers to eat in her seat or sitting up.

Also, try different nipples. The flow of the milk can make a BIG difference. I had to get the slow flow ones by Medela. They work great for her.

Here's a link for where I found my info.

http://www.llli.org/FAQ/bottle.html

Jamie - posted on 11/06/2009

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mine is almost 7 months and i've had no luck! thankfully solids help a little now but so far she won't take even a cup!

Jennifer - posted on 11/06/2009

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My son refuses the bottle as well. I just breastfeed him instead. You can't force a baby to drink from a bottle. At one point we were trying to supplement with formula and I had to use a syringe to feed him. It actually worked quite well but it's messy. Another option is to try a cup.

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