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Tips for When Baby Won’t Take a Bottle

Tips for When Baby Won’t Take a Bottle

What to do when Baby is refusing a bottle

In an ideal world your little one’s switch from breast to bottle feeding would be as smooth as a baby’s bottom. If that’s not the case and your breastfed baby is refusing a bottle, don’t worry. This isn’t uncommon for babies who are used to breastfeeding, but it can understandably lead to a bit of frustration for parents. So, what happens if your baby refuses the bottle and cries? Here’s the essential information on ways you ease the transition from breast to bottle.

Baby refusing the bottle? Take a step back.

If your baby is crying when feeding from a bottle, the first thing to do is start over and check your approach. Try the following steps when bottle feeding your baby:

  • STEP 1 ____ Tilt your baby’s head. Just before you introduce the bottle, make sure that your baby’s head is tilted above his or her body to help avoid any choking, spitting up, or overfeeding.
  • STEP 2 ____ Introduce the bottle nipple. Bring the nipple to your baby’s lips and, rather than pushing it into his or her mouth, allow Baby to engage on their own.
  • STEP 3 ____ Keep the bottle at an angle. Tilt the bottle at an angle that fills the nipple only halfway. This will allow your baby to drink at his or her own pace.
  • STEP 4 ____ Burp your baby during and after feedings. It may be helpful to burp your newborn about halfway through feedings to relieve any gassiness or belly discomfort they may feel from swallowing too much air.
  • STEP 5 ____ When your baby starts turning his or her head away from the bottle, it means that he or she is no longer hungry and the feeding session is over.

Other ideas if your baby isn’t taking the bottle

If you’re following the above steps and your little one still refuses a bottle, it’s okay. There are many other ways to help if your breastfed baby is refusing a bottle. Here are a few tips that you can try adding to your bottle-feeding routine.

Try different nipple and milk temperatures ____

Experiment with different nipple and milk temperatures if your baby won’t take a bottle. Try putting the nipple in the refrigerator to cool it down or run warm water over it. As your breast milk is lukewarm, the same bottle temperature is ideal for some babies. Others may prefer it room temperature or colder. Every baby is different and it may take a few tries to discover what your little one prefers.

Enjoy more skin-to-skin contact ____

Some breastfed babies prefer more skin-to-skin contact. Try letting your baby feed in just a diaper and in his or her favorite breastfeeding position during bottle feeding. On the other hand, some babies respond better to bottle feeding in a completely opposite position to when they are breastfeeding. If your baby is refusing a bottle, experiment with both approaches to see if one helps more than the other.

Remind Baby of Mommy ____

There will be times when someone else is feeding your baby, whether it be your partner or your child’s caretaker. If your baby is fussy during bottle feeding, it may help to wrap the bottle in something that smells like you, such as a piece of clothing or cloth. This could make it easier for your baby to feed during those times when he or she is away from Mommy.

Move around during feedings ____

Sometimes, all that’s needed to get your baby to take a bottle is a little gentle swaying, rocking or walking. The next time your baby cries during bottle feeding, try moving rhythmically to help calm them.

Choosing the right bottle for Baby

If your baby cries during bottle feeding, choosing the right bottle can make switching from breast to bottle feeding much smoother. Below are our must-haves when it comes to baby bottles: • Anti-colic valve built into the nipple • Easy to hold • BPA free
There may be some trial and error when it comes to what works best for Baby, but eventually you’ll find what’s just right.