Help my Baby Won’t Take a Bottle!

We often receive urgent messages from desperate mothers trying to coax their baby into drinking milk from a bottle.   Those babies are smart and stubborn – baby rejecting the bottle – they prefer breastfeeding with mum.   Which is always a worry and stressful situation for a mother returning to work, or needing to be away from her baby.

Yesterday we received this urgent Plea “do any of your lovely followers have any hints/tips to get my 5 month old into a bottle of expressed milk in just FOUR DAYS! I’ve just won a job yesterday and have to start next week ”

Other than trying loads of different teats and bottles, here the top “technique” suggestions that we received from our mum community on Facebook:

-Get the dad to do it or someone other than you as they can still smell the milk.  Put a dab of vanilla essence in their clothing as they feed her, this will mimic the smell a mother gives off when feeding and usually does the trick

-Check the teat as not enough milk may be coming out.   Make sure the teat it the right flow speed especially if your letdown at the breast can be fast

-Maybe try a sippy or straw cup

-Start with the boob so bubs isn’t starving, then allow her to try the bottle (don’t force it) when she’s full. Sounds silly but that was the advice a lactation consultant gave me and it worked on our 3.5 month old

-Try soaking your teats in a little bit of warm breast milk.   The teat will absorb the smell and will feel less foreign in baby’s mouth.

-At 5 months you may get away with a morning milk feed and another when she gets home. My daughter was 6 months when I first went back to work and never took a bottle when away from me. She was quite happy with solids and ‘catch up’ feeds from me. Good luck!!

– Give the NUK  Latex Teat a go if you can? I breastfeed and bottle feed every single feed and he has no problem switching between the two. Looking at the shape of the teats of various bottles, I reckon the NUK one most resembles the breast. Good luck!

-Sometimes it helps to let them play with the bottle a little bit first.. sometimes they like to be nosey and check it out before they take it.. with our son he liked to be close n comfy and still lean against us as he took the bottle for the first time.

-Try some different teats. Latex are best (even tho they aren’t as pretty). My kids all preferred the Nuk Teats that are flat on one side. Make sure they’re fast enough otherwise they get impatient.

Also be prepared for your baby wanting to feed a lot overnight for food and comfort, even if she does take a bottle/cup.

All the best xx