how can i get my breast fed 4month old to drink juice,formula,water from a bottle?

Codie - posted on 11/01/2010 ( 19 moms have responded )

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i have a 4 month old boy who is very attached to breast feeding. i can't get him to drink anything from a bottle except breast milk but i don't like giving it to him in a bottle bc then he doesn't want to make the effort to suck from the breast. he has problems with constipation and i need to get some water and juice in him but no matter what i do i cant get him to drink it. i've been trying for at least 2 months with no success. i've tried to trick him into it by mixing in breast milk but no luck. are there any other things i can try?

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Carolyn - posted on 11/01/2010

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sounds like your son is simply having a hard time pushing his BM out. which doesnt mean he is constipated, loose stools are hard to push out. you can bicycle his legs, do toes to the nose, or hold him while patting his bum to help give him a sense of where to push. Your son is getting all the water and fluid he needs from your breastmilk, he may also have some gas bubbles that he is having a hard time getting out which could be cause him pain hence the screaming.

my son will sometimes cry/scream to get a fart out, then have his bowel movement.

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This is one of those things that doctors get wrong more often than right. You are better off asking your local LLL leader about this kind of thing.

Your baby is aware of the strange sensations of pooping, and that something is coming out of him, and that he can make some effort to control it a little (hold it back a bit or push it out a bit). It is sooooo normal for them to find it a bit freaky and resist letting it happen. I don't believe your baby has anything medically wrong. I wouldn't worry about it. We mothers are good at stressing about things that are perfectly normal and feeling like we have to take action.

If you do want to give him a bottle, I recommend the bottle Adiri Natural Nurser. Get the newborn version, because the flow is slowest, so he won't get spoiled. It is so much like a real breast, that my son figured it out in about 2 seconds, after having no success with any other bottle type.

[deleted account]

Is he exclusively breast fed? EBF babies don't really get constipated, but they can got for a while without pooping because breast milk is used so well by their bodies that there is little waste.

Celeste - posted on 11/01/2010

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Sorry, just saw your response!

-It is totally and absolutely normal for breastfed babies to not poop for several days. As long as he's not pooping hard pellets, he is not constipated. All of my kids went between 3-5 days without a poop. Formula, though, might make him constipated.

If he has trouble from a bottle, it's not going to matter whether it's juice or formula. I don't have any other ideas though. FWIW, my twins refused bottles for their entire year, so I understand the need to get away. How long does he go between feedings? My boys used to about 3 hours so I'd just get away for a couple of hours and come back. The way I looked at it, is that it's only a year. One year out of my life that I can deal with this.

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Colleen - posted on 11/04/2010

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Breastfeed more! He doesn't need anything else. You might also consider what is in your diet giving him constipation. Usually breastfed babies have VERY little constipation. He may be allergic to a component in your milk. Talk to the doctor.

Angie - posted on 11/04/2010

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Additionally... looking within... try to get your time alone while he is asleep instead of forcing him to be without you and allowing him to feel the abandonment of well, leaving him. I know it's hard. I've lived through it... still am. Refocus your energies and view life through his tiny eyes. Perspective changes everything.

Angie - posted on 11/04/2010

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Try adjusting your diet... you are not hydrated enough if he is solely and exclusively breastfed and struggling with dry stools.

I highly advise against trying to get him to agree to a bottle when he is clearly communicating his preference to the breast.

Instead of looking without for a solution, look within. Your body is nourishing him entirely. Start there.

Olivia - posted on 11/03/2010

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if you want to try a cup, my son would actually use the soft spout NUK cups when he was like 4-5months, i put water in it, I didn't give him his first taste of juice til he was probably 8 months old, and still don't give him apple juice much and he is 15 months old. Now he loves the munchkin cup with the straw in it. He started that when he was probably 8 months. He loves water. & he is still all breastfed.

Sara - posted on 11/02/2010

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i had the same problems with my 4 month old, so a couple months ago i stopped eating a lot of dairy and it helped almost instantly, she poops every 1-2 days

Sara - posted on 11/02/2010

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I agree with the above posts that your baby is probably not constipated. That said, you may still want to teach him to take a bottle so you can get some time away from him. Some suggestions:
- make sure your bottle is slow flow or "newborn" The faster flows will make things too easy for him.
- give him a bottle sitting up and facing away from you, so that he doesn't get confused by bottle feeding in the same position he breastfeeds in.
- have someone else feed him the bottle
- Bottle not working? Try a sippy cup.
Hope you get it figured out.

Melissa - posted on 11/02/2010

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and i agree if he hasn't had small little balled poo he is NOT constipated. Breast milk is a natural laxative. if it is still liquidy you are fine. my friends 3 month old only poos once a week. trust me if he has to poo he will, and if it isnt hard little balls you are fine! (had same issue all better now!)

Melissa - posted on 11/02/2010

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i have found out eating lots of meat stops my little one from going. so i changed to being a vegetarian and he has no issues now. im not joking about this i have done several tests and every time i eat meat he has issues and very gassy. also, i would just pump and let him have you milk. i am feeding my son for the whole two years, why not give him the best out there? organic. eco friendly. made with love..free?

Cara - posted on 11/02/2010

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and you need to be drinking loads! if you are at all thirsty, you are not drinking nearly enough!
x

Cara - posted on 11/02/2010

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Are you drinking enough water? Is your baby getting enough foremilk? The more you drink the more baby will get and less likely to become dehydrated.
My b/f advisor and midwives assured me a b/f baby may only poop once a week, that is quite normal and should not be compared to a bottle fed baby who should poo everyday because there is a lot of rubbish in formular that baby needs to get rid of!
I would recommend finding a b/f friendly pead who would have told you all this. Dr's are well read on whats normal for a formular baby because the companies send info to dr's all the time, so they might recommend it (money maker for the company) very few dr's research about breastfeeding, they dont have the time to do it themselves! (and nobody makes money from it).
I also used to do everything Carolyn Rea suggested with my babies.
My first baby used to scream and scream for hours over poops!
Pls trust you instinct, if you are worried about baby get him checked but try to find a b/f friendly Dr, the answer you get will be very different!
Take care of yourself hun x

Codie - posted on 11/01/2010

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no hard pellats. just a screaming baby for 2+ hours when he tries to have a bm. water and juice only by recommendation from 3 different pediatircians

Celeste - posted on 11/01/2010

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Going to ask a few questions here:
Is there a reason you need him to have any of those things besides EBM?

How are you defining constipation? Is he pooping hard pellets? If not, it's totally normal for breastfed babies to not poop for a few days.

Generally, 4 months is still a bit too young for water and juice.

Codie - posted on 11/01/2010

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at 3 months he started only bm's only every couple of days then it moved to going 3 or 4+ days without one. i called his pediatrician and she told me to give him applejuice and water. i've since been trying and i can't get him to take it. he also refuses to take his reflux med. 2 weeks ago he was pushing to try to have a bm but screaming bc he couldn't. he cryed unconsolably for over 3 hours and i had to resort to giving him a suppository. now its been 6 days with no bm and i'm getting worried bc i've heard multiple times from lots of people not let him go more than 7 days without a bm. i only introduced the water and juice to aid with the constipation.
i also would like to suppliment with formula only sometimes because i can't go anywhere or do anything without taking him with me because if i give him breastmilk in a bottle so that someone can babysit, he doesnt suck hard enough from the breast. he doesn't like going back and fourth even when its only once a month. i need mommy time away from baby and i can't have it bc of these problems.

Minnie - posted on 11/01/2010

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The best way to prevent constipation is to increase breastmilk intake. Formula is hardly going to help your cause.

What makes you think he is constipated?

Also be aware that it is recommended that infants receive nothing but breastmilk for at least the first six months of life. Infants have an open gut until 6-8 months and introduction of anything other than breastmilk can result in allergies later on. At four months his nutrition should come from breastmilk alone. Juice and water will fill him up but not give him the nutrition he needs.

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