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Advice about bottle feeding
dinosaur
ehlonna wrote in parenting101
I have an almost three month old baby who is exclusively breastfed.  I've been trying to pump and introduce a bottle , but it's not going well.  He doesn't seem to understand how to drink from a bottle - he fights it and cries every single time.  We've tried a number of bottle and nipple types as well as trying to feed him under different circumstances (ie: when I'm out of the house, when he's sleepy and not super hungry, etc.), but nothing seems to work.  He also refuses to take a soother, so I think he might just not get the concept. 

Does anyone have advice on how to introduce a bottle with success? Is there something I should be doing?

Thanks :)

xposted to breastfeeding

My son never took a bottle after his first week of life. Before he could manage a sippy cup, my husband would feed him with a medical syringe when necessary (which thankfully wasn't often, since I stayed at home).

What age did you start him on the sippy cup? Luckily, bottle feeding isn't an absolute necessity for us, but it would be nice to have the option.

We started offering at 5 months, he started drinking from it around 7 months. But to be honest, he never drank milk from it and still won't drink ANY milk (not soy, not rice, not cow, etc. etc.) from a cup. He only drinks milk from the tap.

My son refused bottles. And ANY expressed milk. He wanted draft only.

Maybe try cup feeding?

My sympathies man, my son just flat out refused bottles....

Ugh. It's so frustrating! He also wants to comfort suck. All. The. Time. I feel like a human pacifier, since he refuses to take a soother.

I started introducing a small cup at about 16 weeks. She loved to play with it, and now at 11 months is really great at drinking from a cup.

My baby never took a bottle or a pacifier either. Yours is so young right now, it's still very hard, but it won't always be and when he is older you'll be happy that you don't have to worry about weaning from a pacifier or bottle.

This might not be the case at all, but my cousin's baby refused a bottle and soother/really had difficulty and it ended up he had a lip and tongue tie so he just couldn't drink from it and was freaking out with frustration.

Hmm. We're heading to the doctor tomorrow, so I'll have her check. Thanks for the suggestion!

I was going to suggest this as well. Keep in mind that many doctors aren't as familiar with frenulum issues and how they pertain to breastfeeding as we'd like, so don't discount the possibility entirely based on what one doctor says. My daughter had what I now understand was a very obvious tongue tie, and I had two pediatricians and one lactation consultant tell me she didn't! It caused a lot of breastfeeding issues for us, including a very painful latch and didn't get resolved until I just demanded a referral to an ENT. When it was corrected things got SO much better.

All of these have some great information that may be helpful to you:

http://www.kiddsteeth.com/articles/aerophagia_2011.pdf
http://www.brianpalmerdds.com/pdf/frenum_pdf.pdf
http://www2.aap.org/breastfeeding/files/pdf/BBM-8-27%20Newsletter.pdf

My son wouldn't take a bottle from me or when I was in the room, because he prefers nursing and knows that I've got the goods. Has anyone else (Daddy or other relative maybe?) tried giving him a bottle when you're not in the house?

Yeah, you probably tried that first. :)

Yeah, that's what we try to do with the bottle. Usually I'll leave the house around feeding time and my husband will try.

My DD was exclusively breastfed for awhile, she too, was not a fan of bottles. We had to go buy just about one of each type of bottle out there for her to try. She finally picked the winner.... Tommee Tippee. They were of course, a bit pricier than most, and at the time, of course, only Babies R Us carried them in the United States. Major annoyance factor. The Tommee Tippee closer to nature bottles were the only ones she liked. I think it is because of their design. If you haven't tried that brand, give it a shot. And as far as DD not liking bottles, when push came to shove and it was time to send her to daycare when she was 4 months old, she drank from them at daycare no problem...which suprised me because until that point, DD REFUSED to take any bottle from a woman. She would take them from my Dad, from my husband but not my step mom or mom. We started her gradually, eventually she would drink them, but initially, she wouldn't drink body temp breast milk, only milk that seemed to be room temperature. This, I don't understand, but she did.

I also don't understand why she refused bottles from women until daycare...because her teacher was a woman. She also wouldn't nap for me at home unless I was holding her, at daycare? No problem, has and still does nap like a champ at daycare. Go figure. She will also eat things she won't eat at home...like some veggies. Veggies at home she flat out refuses.

Also to note, currently DD is nearing 2 yrs old, and is a major fuss-pot about sippy cups too...she will only drink from the Gerber Nuk brand sippie cupps, which are really glorified bottles. But she will not drink water from them. She will only drink water from a Playtex sippy cup, or from a cup with a regular straw. ANNOYING!!!

haha. We definitely have a very...particular child. He absolutely knows what he does (and does not!) want. But I think we'll try those Tommee Tippee bottles and hope he finds them satisfactory!

Have you tried different temperatures? Some babies prefer their bottle milk warmer or cooler than you'd think.

I know a lot of people say their baby refused bottles, but I really don't believe a baby that young will starve themself... If the baby is hungry, I really do think he/she will eat.

Are you trying the bottles when the baby actually is hungry? How long are you leaving the house for? I would suggest trying when you have been gone for at least an hour. That way, the baby didn't just smell you at home, and will have time to get hungry.

I'm presuming you're trying to introduce a bottle because you'll be going back to work? If that's the case, the baby likely WILL eat when you're gone, even if he/she doesn't eat during your test runs.

If you're desperate, you can also try cup feeding, too.

but I really don't believe a baby that young will starve themself... If the baby is hungry, I really do think he/she will eat.

Hmm...perhaps, but after five hours of no food at three months and being obviously unhappy because she was hungry, my daughter still refused bottles. I didn't try forcing the issue longer than that. We never managed to get her to take a bottle. (Fortunately, day care was close enough to work, and my job flexible enough, that I could feed her directly if less frequently than she would have liked.)

Agreed. The one bit of info I majorly disagreed with from my friend who is a Pediatrician, was when DD was fighting transitioning from bottles to sippy cups, was he said to go cold turkey. Major fail. She was so darn stubborn about it, it was to the point where she stopped making wet diapers and had gone 12 hours without drinking more than 2 ounces. I said screw that. Eventually she transitioned over to a sippy cup, but damn, it wasn't for lack of trying....and money because I swear, when we made the transition, I literally bought one of each type of sippy cup at Babies R Us. I kept bringing a different one each day to daycare to see which one she would take for them since she is a stuborn little butthead around us.

I didn't mean to imply that no babies will refuse bottles forever. I just think there are several tactic that can be tried to find a technique that will work for most.

It was a huge challenge for my husband to get my daughter to take a bottle when I went back to work. He probably tried 100 different things- bottles, temperature, positioning, timing... he ended up with a pretty intensive bottle routine. Ultimately, we didn't have another option because I needed to work at that time.

We've just been trying room temperature, but maybe we'll try cooler or warmer over the next few days. I definitely leave for more than an hour - I usually just go to the Starbucks nearby and read and I try and leave when he's just about to wake up hungry after a nap.

I'm not actually heading to work until next September, so the bottle isn't a necessity, but it would be nice to have the option

Gotcha. I'd definitely give a warmer temp a shot!

Don't forget that when you give the baby a bottle, you'll need to pump at the same time, at least until your supply is really well established... at ~4 months, it'll switch from hormone driven to demand driven, so even if it seems steady now, if you stop 'demanding' the right amount of milk, your supply could suffer. It may not be worth all the efforts for a bottle.

Have you tried any sippy cups? For some babies, the less the it is like the boob, the more likely they'll take it. also try different temperatures, some babies prefer expressed milk to be cold. Have you tasted the milk to make sure it tastes ok? This link has info if you find your milk tastes weird: http://kellymom.com/bf/pumpingmoms/milkstorage/lipase-expressedmilk/

We had to try loads of different bottles. My eldest took a NUK for a while then rejected it and was only happy with Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature. My youngest wouldn't hear of either and preferred Avent... Idk if if was a particular type of Avent, just the ones available everywhere. But neither would take EBM from a bottle reliably before 4 months, at least not if I was there.

To get my babies to take a bottle, I would slide the bottle nipple into his/her mouth at the same time that I would slowly slide my hand alongslide the cheek facing me and cup his/her cheek with my hand, to mimic the feeling of my breast against the baby's face. You kind of have to practice and be sly about it, with the nipple going in at the very second the hand starts to slide onto the cheek, the way the breast would settle against the baby as he/she would begin to latch. I always made sure my hand was really warm, too.

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