Baby still refusing bottle (x 1.5 months) - help! - Mothering Forums
Working and Student Parents > Baby still refusing bottle (x 1.5 months) - help!
mambera's Avatar mambera 06:38 PM 01-17-2012

So I did a search and found lots of old threads, have tried many suggestions and we're still in a pickle.  Any thoughts appreciated!


I went back to work when DD was 8 weeks old.  I'd made several attempts to give her a bottle before then (leaving her with DH and a bottle of pumped milk) but she always slept through the entire time (including one time I was gone for 3+ hours) so she never actually got to try the bottle until I went back to work.  And of course she hated it.


Luckily I have an extremely flexible job where I don't physically have to be there for a lot of it, so I have been rushing in to the office, doing the things I need to be there to do, and then rushing home.  I'm typically gone about 3-4 h at a time.  DD screams at DH until I come home.  We've tried lots of different nipples and found one she seems to hate less than the others but she still won't take much - the max has been 2 oz but usually it's less than 1/2 oz, and she screams intermittently the whole time.  My poor DH. :(


She's now over 3 months old and I am beginning to think she is never going to take it.  This is really bad for my work - yeah my job is flexible but I am really not nearly as productive at home as I would be if I could stay at work, and eventually it is going to catch up with me.  Thanks for any suggestions!

Katie8681's Avatar Katie8681 02:03 PM 01-18-2012

Have you tried cup feeding? I haven't personally tried it but read about it in Dr. Sears' baby book.

saralm's Avatar saralm 02:46 PM 01-19-2012

I went back to work part time when my daughter was 5 months old.  We had started trying to feed her with a bottle starting when she was 1 month old because I knew I would be going back to work.  To make a long story short, she never learned to take a bottle.  Eventually I hired a nanny who drove her to my work.  So, I had 6 hour shifts and the nanny would bring my daughter sometime in the middle to break the time up.  In the beginning it was super hard and stressful because I wasn't sure what/if there was a solution.  Eventually it became clear that she was not going to take a bottle despite all the tricks.  Some babies never take bottles no matter how hard you try.  So I really sympathize with your situation.  If it helps, she mostly stopped coming to nurse by the time she was about 11 months old.  Although they would still come maybe 1 day a week when my daughter was having a hard day. 

Good luck!

emilysmama's Avatar emilysmama 06:54 PM 01-19-2012


Originally Posted by Katie8681 View Post

Have you tried cup feeding? I haven't personally tried it but read about it in Dr. Sears' baby book.


This is what I eventually had the day care do for my dd.  At the time, my dd was about 3 months old as well and refused to take the bottle.  So at three months old, the lactation consultant showed me how my dd could be fed with a cup.  It worked on the lactation consultant's first try. 


The link suggests a soft deformable cup.  We didn't use that.  We used a small plastic medicine cup like the ones that the hospitals use to dispense liquid medications.  If we heard a slurping sound, then we knew it was working.  Very slow, and very messy, and dd didn't drink very much at all, but she drank just enough to keep her going until I got home. I mean, I think she drank maybe a half ounce by the cup at a time, with most of it probably ending up on the floor, while the other babies her age were chugging down nine ounce bottles in one sitting.


She never did take the bottle, and after a few months, stopped taking the cup altogether too.  After a few months of cup feeding, she just didn't take anything  at all in the daytime.  I guess she got just a little bit older and just cheerfully refused the cup without crying, and simply reverse cycled. And it was just fine. After all, many babies that age sleep during the night time without eating and eat during the day.  My daughter just ended up doing the opposite.


And I was typically gone for 15-18 hours at a time, most days of the working week. Nevertheless, she somehow got tons of breastmilk every day.  Plus, my dd was a strong nurser until she weaned herself at age 3 years. No formula.


So I just wanted to reassure you that it will somehow work out all right.

mambera's Avatar mambera 05:24 PM 01-22-2012

Thanks for the input everybody.  We tried cup/spoon, baby didn't like them any better than the bottle and given how slow/messy they were we decided to keep on trying the bottle.  Last couple of days have been better - still screaming but it doesn't last as long from what my DH says.  :(

PluggingAway's Avatar PluggingAway 01:01 AM 01-31-2012

I went back to work when my son was 12 weeks old.  Despite our best efforts, he did not take to the bottle well at all.  We ended up reverse cycling.  He would take a total of 4 ounces through out the day and catch up at night.  It worked out for us. Although I don't think I could have maintained that schedule once we had more children.  Good Luck and hugs to you!

cat13's Avatar cat13 03:38 PM 02-02-2012

I definitely feel your pain! I started back at work 5 hr days when DS was 8 weeks old, and he had yet to successfully taken the bottle. Those first few weeks were hell for DH (SAHP), because DS would cry almost the whole time and hardly take the bottle. Eventually, he started taking a little here and there and now he grudgingly takes the bottle at 5 1/2 months. DH tried about 6 different bottles in multiple different positions.


One thing that worked is that DH tried to feed DS before he showed any hunger signs. I know this is a no-no, but at the time it worked, because if DS got hungry he would cry so hard that he couldn't eat.

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