Baby Hints & Tips

My Baby Will Not Take the Bottle

HELP! returning to work in 1.5 wks, full time, and breastfed 5 mth old refuses a bottle, tried expressed and formula and diff teets, even starved her for a day in a desperate attempt. been trying for 5 wks …. any suggestions? have started to intro solids and water to get her thru day but doesn’t take much, will have water out of sippy cup but if I put any milk in she turns away.

baby refusing bottle

  • My daughter was the same, so I didn’t return to work until after her 1st birthday. In the end I thought, she is only tiny for such a short time, work can wait. Sorry¬† I’m not much help. Kacie
  • Have you tried giving the bottle to someone else to give to bubs?.. Bubs knows where the milk comes from and would much rather it comes from you than some silly bottle..but if the smell isn’t there bubs might not be quite so fussy…with my daughter she wouldn’t settle in my arms properly as she could smell the milk..but as soon as i gave her to someone else she just went to sleep…so frustrating! Rebekah
  • It took me 4 months with my daughter to get her to have a bottle ( breast mil and formula) but with my son he would take it anytime ! perserverance and maybe get someone else to give your lil one the bottle?? Michelle
  • I used to have to send the other half in at night time because if she smelt me there was no way I couldn’t feed her where as othr half would re wrap and she would settle I started early with 1 expressed bottle a day given by other half. Danielle
  • Its hard but they wont starve they will eventually take a bottle. My son was 11 months when he started hurting me bfing, and had never had a bottle in his life, not even water from a sippy cup. So introducing a bottle to him was a night mare. He barely drank anything for the next 6 feeds but after that he soon quickly worked it out that he had to drink from the bottle. ¬†Belinda
  • My son was the same but only persistance pays off unfortunately. The only tip from me is put bub; bum on your knees then one hand cradled out front and rock hand back and forth (to then away from you). Hold bottle in mouth with other hand. The rocking seemed to distract my boy enough for the suckling to start and slowly introduce the teets. Dr Browns bottle is what I finally found worked the best for him. Other bottles he wld only take 70mls and took abt an hr to feed for that little – still adjusting to in now after 2.5 mnths at daycare but seems happy enough though he shld be having more mls. It will happen, just takes its time & dont stress as bub knows. All the best. Adele
  • Try squeezing the bottle, squirting some milk into her mouth, when she shuts her mouth to swallow, shove the bottle in so that she clamps down on it. It will take a lot of persistence. Alternatively, is there any way you can postpone going back to work? April
  • Offered very early on and persisted, but happened very easily. Mother of Annick 3y.
  • Slowly introduced formula with normal breast milk bottles. Persistence to take the bottle – keep trying up to an hour for 1 feed during the day. Actually putting on the TV/radio as a distracter was the breakthrough, and then once he learnt it was ok, he took the bottle. Mother of Chase 20 months.
  • My second and third baby never had the breast so they knew from the start my first was so hungry from getting no milk from breast feeding that she gulped it down with a bottle. Mother of 3.
  • Mixed half breast milk, half formula for first few bottles teets shaped like a nipple offer water from bottle from birth. Mother of Tuscany 4, Morrissey 3, Valen 6 months.
  • Nurses helped – we fed with a finger and a tube – helped baby with the sucking motion. Mother of Kayla 4.5 months.
  • She was finger fed in hospital and thankfully getting her to try a bottle was easier from that…. but I made sure I fed her at least once a day from a bottle just to get her used to it. Mother of Melayna 5y.
  • After failing to get him to take expressed milk a few times, I gave up trying. Mother of Jason 22 months
  • 1st baby hated bottles and eventually took expressed milk from a sippy cup at around 6 months. Mother of Amy 6, Sophie 3
  • I didn’t do much to encourage this as I breast fed and really enjoyed breast feeding. Mother of Rose 3
  • Everything I could but no luck. Mother of Callum 23 months.

How did you encourage your baby to take their bottle? Add your tips below.

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