While becoming a new parent can come with many struggles, nursing and feeding your baby shouldn’t be one of them, as it’s a necessary part of their day and crucial to their development.
However, unfortunately, this isn’t always made easy for parents, as it is very normal to have complications with feeding, a common one being that the baby won’t take the bottle.
There are many advantages to a baby drinking from a bottle rather than their mother’s breast, such as convincing, so it can be an issue when the baby refuses to drink from a bottle.
Whether you are weaning your baby on to the bottle, or just trying to get them to drink from it in general, there are many tips and tricks that people can take advantage of to make the switch a lot easier than it normally would be.
Ensuring that everything is right when it comes to making the bottle something that the baby wants is very important. This means that ensuring the temperature of the milk is ideal for them.
A good rule of thumb is to keep the milk as close to body temperature as possible. So if a mother pours a bit of milk on the back of her hand, and she feels no temperature change, it is correct.
If it feels cold, or any warm sensation is felt, it may be a bit too hot or cold. However, figuring out what your specific baby likes best is important, as each child is different.
Additionally, people have offered that warming the nipple of the bottle can make it more welcoming, too, making the baby more likely to accept and drink from it.
Another part of preparation is making sure the timing is right. Familiarity is a big aspect of switching to a bottle, so making sure to stay on their normal feeding schedule when making the switch is very important.
This can be done by making sure that everything is set up and ready to go by the time their usual eating time rolls around on the clock.
Let someone else give them the bottle
If a couple is weaning the baby off drinking from the breast, letting someone else feed the baby with the bottle is a good idea.
The biggest issue here is familiarity. The baby is familiar with the mother and has associated certain attributes to nursing with her. Meaning, they know what the mother smells, feels, and looks like.
Adding in an unknown component of a bottle with the typical appearance of their mother can confuse them, thus causing them to reject it.
If a new person is feeding them entirely, they may accept the bottle better than they would with their mother. Switching off to the father or another trusted person is a great idea for this method.
Choose the perfect environment
Choosing a good surrounding environment is important when it comes to getting a baby to take a bottle. Loud, noisy environments may not be good because it makes the baby feel uneasy and uncomfortable.
Quiet places with no sudden or loud noises work best when getting them to try something new. Because of this, feeding a baby in public probably is not the best idea, at least not while they are starting out.
Once they get used to it, this could become a possibility, but at first, it is best to do so in a calm area, with few distractions. Additionally, dimming the lights and limiting sudden movements can help as well.
Talking to and engaging with the baby can help them feel at ease, so a place where the child can hear the mother’s voice is adequate.
Switch it out
A smart idea that parents tend to use is switching to a bottle in the middle of breastfeeding. This works best for parents trying to wean their babies out of drinking from the breast.
Simply starting out breastfeeding, and then switching to the bottle in the middle can sometimes blindside them and get them to use the bottle before realizing that you’ve made the switch.
This is a great way to get them used to and more comfortable with drinking from a bottle. Gradually, increasing the bottle’s time using this method can help them begin to eventually drink from it full time from the beginning of the feeding session.
Try out what works best for them
Above all else, something that should be remembered is that all babies and children are different. So what works with one child may not work best for this specific baby.
Sometimes, switching right to a sippy cup after breastfeeding is a good idea, depending on how old the baby is. Switching through and testing different kinds of bottles can work as well.
There are many different shapes and lengths for selecting a bottle, so it may take time to find one that your baby likes the best. Something that helps many parents choose a bottle with a specific color nipple to match the mothers’ color, so it creates a sense of familiarity.
Getting a baby to drink from or make the switch to a bottle can prove to be challenging, but with a few key components in mind, it can be made infinitely easier.
Sometimes, all it takes is a few extra steps to make it more like what they’re used to, like warming the nipple of the bottle or changing its color.
The most important thing to remember is that all children are different, so different methods may have to be used when it comes to getting things done in a way that is best and most comfortable for them.