It can be very alarming and scary when your baby won’t take a bottle. Whether you are just introducing your little one to the bottle or they have been taking a bottle for some time, there could be an array of reasons why your baby is refusing their bottle. Don’t get too worried if your baby is not taking a bottle; the reasoning may be a quick fix that you may not have even thought of. Keep reading to see how you help your baby with taking the bottle!
Breastfed Versus Bottle Feeding
If your baby has been breastfed up to a certain point, they may just not be used to the reasons why they are now being offered the bottle. It is natural for them to associate being fed and eating directly with you, so when you are now offering a bottle; instead,, it can be confusing to your baby. Start with small steps to offering the nipple to the baby first, so that they get used to the feel of the nipple in their mouth. This can help to ease your little one into getting used to the feel of the bottle’s nipple in their mouth. Then attach the actual bottle to the nipple after they have been introduced to the nipple of the bottle. This should help your baby with being more comfortable with the bottle.
But, if your baby has been taking the bottle for quite some time and then out of nowhere decides they no longer want the bottle, there may be something else at play. They may have had a bad experience with the bottle, this may not be the most likely thing that happened, but it’s something that may have happened, so keep it in mind. Or they may just need to have someone else give them the bottle, try having Dad or another member of the family give the bottle and see if that helps.
Getting Your Baby Attached to Bottle
If your baby is still struggling with taking the bottle and keeping the bottle, there are a few tips that you can try to see if that helps your baby with the bottle feeding. You can try feeding your baby when they are not very hungry, feed your baby in different positions, move around while you are feeding your baby, wrap the bottle in something that Mom has worn.
These can help with getting your baby used to the changes that come with bottle feeding. They have been so used to associating feeding with you, that this new option of feeding being attached to something else is often confusing for your baby. Making some changes with the feed process may help your baby adapt a little bit easier.
Separate Yourself From Baby
This can sound a little bit harsh, but if your baby is struggling with taking the bottle, it may be because they are too attached to you and associating you with eating. So you may need to leave the room or even the house. If you take yourself out of the situation, the baby will learn they need to rely on someone else to feed them. They will also start to dissociate feeding with you, so that way, they will be able to take the bottle easier.
Some time away from you and in the hands of another family member will start to teach your baby that someone or something other than just you are capable of feeding them. You may need to offer the bottle at increments of half an hour until they finally accept the bottle. This is a hard process to work through, but a healthy baby will not starve themselves; if you work with your baby, you will both find a happy medium in your new feeding arrangement.
Keep the Regular Routine
The best thing you can do as well for your baby is to keep the feeding routine regular. Don’t alter the routine form when you were breastfeeding. You want your baby to be still comfortable with the times that they are being fed. You are already altering one aspect of their feeding routine, so you don’t want to alter the timing at all. Keeping this regular will help your baby stay consistent with their feeding schedule.
Make sure as well that you do not get too frustrated or upset as you are showing your baby this new aspect of their feeding routine. They will be able to sense that you are upset, and it is going to upset your baby on top of it all. You want your baby to sense that this is normal and regular so that they feel like it is. If you make your baby feel like this is something that is not okay, that is how they are going to interpret it. Don’t give in as you are teaching your baby as well; this will only show them that if they fuss or refuse, then they will end up getting what they want in the end.
Bottom line, stay consistent, regular, and happy, and your baby will start to associate those feelings with the bottle.
Try Using a Different Bottle
There are all different kinds of bottles on the market for your little one. They all have different nipple textures, sizes. They have different flows, angles, and so much more. If your baby is having a hard time, try to get a different bottle that offers something different. Your baby may just not be liking the current bottle that you are using, so you might need to change things up with the kind of bottle that you are offering them.
Try doing some research on different bottles and try to find one that will work better for your baby. There are even bottles out there specifically for babies that are struggling with the change from breastfeeding to the bottle. Take a look at what is out there and see if making a change helps at all.
There are lots of reasons that your baby may be struggling. IF your baby is struggling, don’t take it too personally and don’t get too overwhelmed. Try switching things up or changing things to help your baby adjust to this new aspect of their feeding routine. AS long as you play around with what could be causing your baby to struggle, you can find an answer.