So, it seems your baby isn’t just okay with the bottle anymore, or at all suppose it is their first baby bottle encounter. Despite gathering information on baby care and even purchasing the most recommended baby bottle, your baby still refuses to take it. Believe it or not, we feel your frustrations. Generally, babies are a handful. Therefore, taking care of them might take you through a journey of trials and error. From different babies’ and moms’ experiences and well-put research, we have managed to piece together a few tips that will, no doubt, change your life. Other than the tips to get the baby to take a bottle, we will also shed some light on why you might consider sticking to bottle use.
1. Tips to getting Baby to Take Bottle–Why Does My Baby Refuse Bottles?
Before getting to the ‘What to do’ aspect, we need to understand why a breastfed baby may refuse the bottle. To sum them up, the reasons we found amounted to the following:
- First of all, they may not comprehend the new feeding system that comprises baby bottles instead of the usual clutching on to mama’s breast for milk.
- Secondly, the artificial nipple may seem new and alien to them.
- Again, it could be that the baby isn’t feeling hungry when you opt to feed him.
- Then, the texture, temperature, or flavor in the bottle’s milk may be out of the ordinary for the baby.
- Lastly (which may be uncommon), it could be that your baby has had a bad experience while using the bottle.
（Refused to use baby bottles）
2. Tips to getting Baby to Take Bottle–Tips to Getting Baby to Take Bottle
Use the bottle regularly in advance:
After nursing your baby, you can introduce the bottle’s artificial nipple to your baby. A better way to do this is by dipping the nipple in your breast milk then letting your baby latch on it. Again, you can place some milk in the bottle (just a little), then offer the bottle as a toy so that they can play with it. Within a short time, they would have become used to it before even the transition begins.
（Bottle with breast milk）
Tips to getting Baby to Take Bottle–Try different bottles and pacifiers:
Undoubtedly, your choice of bottle and the nipple affects the feeding experience regardless of your baby’s acceptance or not. As such, you should settle for qualities such as a slow-flow nipple. It is because the rate of flow is similar to the flow of breast milk.
Pacifiers, on the other hand, can help your baby comfortably settle for bottle feeding. They tend to maintain the baby’s breastfeeding connection once you have fed him.
(baby using a pacifier)
Transition time to try breastfeeding in a bottle:
Often, babies will refuse to take the bottles after hitting the 5th week of age. Nevertheless, consistent practice can turn the whole situation around to suit you. Under circumstances where the mother needs to go back to work, starting at the 4th week is advisable. There should be a two-week period for you and your baby to adjust to the bottle feeding. Besides that, after the first four weeks, your baby would have established a breastfeeding link with your body.
（Feeding baby correctly）
Choose the perfect feeding posture:
Most times, you will choose the usual position to bottle feed your baby as you would during breastfeeding. However, with a new experience for the baby, you might need to change the posture.
A recommendable posture is an upright one because bottles dispense milk faster than the breast. Hence, the position works on slowing down the milk flow and reducing the chances of gas formation. During feeding, also remember to switch sides after the baby has already taken the milk halfway through the bottle. It ensures continuity of feeding as well as enabling the baby to have different views.
(the upright position on feeding a baby)
Shift your baby’s attention
Fortunately, there are a couple of ways you can shift your baby’s attention. For one, you can take your baby for a walk to calm her down. It will enable her to be peaceful when trying out the bottle. Further, the stroll serves to detach the baby from the mother before feeding.
Then, when placing her in a carrier, ensure she is facing outwards where her attention becomes glued, even though it is wise to have someone else carry out the points mentioned above. Furthermore, feeding the baby when you are holding her and walking about can offer a good distraction that makes them give in to the bottle.
(baby facing outwards in a carrier)
Don’t give up when the baby is crying. Stick to it!
The only time giving up should cross your mind is when the baby is 12-14 months old. Other than that, keep using the tips till you find one that works for you. A baby crying is inevitable. Nonetheless, maintain your coolness and keep a continual motherly reassurance to the baby until she’s calm and composed. At the moment, you can take the bottle away from the baby, then when she calms down, reintroduce it to her. Eventually, you will get her to take the bottle.
Let the baby feel hungry properly:
In this case, it is mandatory to differentiate between when a baby’s starving and when they are hungry. Often, the timing when they are hungry is preferable such that you get to feed the baby when they demand it/on cue. Regrettably, giving them a bottle earlier when they are still satiated or much later when they are starving will only create resistance on their end.
As a side note, feed your baby when they seem happy. It will contribute to an enjoyable session as opposed to when your baby is grumpy or sad.
（Baby is quiet and drinking milk）
Let someone else feed the baby:
The idea may probably have you second-guessing but trust me, and the concept is a game-changer. From the beginning, however, ensure the person has some little experience on the issue. It could be your nanny, husband, grandmother, or an experienced caregiver.
Mostly, your baby will adapt effortlessly to a new person rather than if it were you. It is because you being available would automatically mean breastmilk to your baby. Therefore, making it hard to have them switch to a new thing when the immediate solution exists.
（Dad is feeding baby）
Warm up the milk and artificial nipple
Generally, babies will get accustomed to something they are familiar with regularly. Thus, the baby will jot down warm milk that is almost the breastmilk’s temperature with less trouble. Further, during your preparation, ensure you stick to the instructions as issued so that the bottle is free from bacteria and germs before placing it on your baby’s mouth.
Besides the milk warming, you can also cool the nipple in a fridge if your baby has started teething.
Tips to getting Baby to Take Bottle–Look out for any health problem:
Finally, check and confirm that your baby is in good shape physically or emotionally. In case she may have thrush or sores, do take her to the pediatrician immediately. The sooner the baby is in a stable condition, the better it will be to drink from the bottle.
The baby’s emotional state may depend on your current state. When you suddenly become frustrated because the baby isn’t taking the bottle, he may equate your frustrations to the bottle and develop a negative attitude towards it.
To conclude, try again tomorrow when you are angry or frustrated about the present day. Good things take time.
(a tired mom)
3. Tips to getting Baby to Take Bottle—Benefits of Baby Bottle Use
The following points give you a heads up on why bottle use is beneficial.
- Majorly, you will get that much-needed rest from breastfeeding.
- Moreover, you will have a laid back time when returning to work or continuing with your daily chores.
- Then, it gets easier for a trusted person to feed your baby.
- Also, it helps your baby adapt to an unfamiliar surrounding earlier such as to scents from non-baby-related clothes.
- For mothers with oral contraceptives plans, this may give them a chance to take the estrogen-laden pills without worrying about breast milk reduction.
- Even though this may not sit well with most moms, bottle feeding is easily acceptable in public.
- Finally, a mother under medication will not worry about passing down chemicals to the baby. In addition, they also won’t need to change their diets based on what suits their babies.
（Cute baby and bottle）
While it may be easy for some mothers to have favorable breastfeeding policies at work, some may struggle to find the best alternatives. In this case, a baby bottle breastfeeding. Thus, the transition might take time to be effective for your baby. However, to jumpstart the process, you may try the above tips to get the baby to take the bottle.
All in all, remember to be kind to yourself. It will take patience and effort, but in the long run, everything will turn out perfectly. When still in despair, you may contact us on the same. We will be glad to be at your service.