Help! Bf baby won't take bottle! - Mothering Forums
Life With a Baby > Help! Bf baby won't take bottle!
biophdmom's Avatar biophdmom 05:48 PM 04-13-2012

My maternity leave ended this week and my 3 mo is in daycare (home daycare with ~ 6 kids total, 2 DCPs), with dad one day and with my mom one day a week. It seems like this will be a great system for us, except that dd won't take a bottle at all!! We offered her both a pacifier and a bottle at about 3 weeks old. She never accepted a pacifier (we only tried it because she is a major comfort nurser in the evenings) and except for the very first time, she never accepted the bottle from my  husband.


We've tried different bottles, different nipples, different flows, even a sippy cup and she doesn't accept anything. She pushes the nipples out of her mouth with her tongue with out ever trying to suck them. we even offered her formula from a bottle to see if she'd accept that with no luck. The thing is, when she is at the DCP's she does pretty well all day long, will get a little fussy in the afternoon and cry a bit but really is fine. With my dh, its not so easy at about 3 pm, she got really upset and cried for a long time before falling asleep. She is nursing a lot more in the evenings and a little more overnight tomake up for it. I actually feel okay about her doing this but everyone around me is getting very upset and its really stressing me out. Our DcP's helper suggested that I only pump and offer her a bottle and that she'll take a bottle from me eventually (she said she had to do this with her son and it took 2 days and finally he took a bottle). I'm really uncomfortable doing that. I'm so nervous that it will kill bf'ing with dd and I'm NOT ready to give that up after only 3 months. If she gets total nipple confusion and doesn't want to bf anymore, I would still pump as long as I could, but I'd be heartbroken to lose that and I know that exclusively pumping is SO hard! My mom fed her a tiny bit of an avocado thinned out with breastmilk and she took that from a spoon really well and my mom said she really seemed to enjoy it, but i don't know if offering food so early is an option either! I'm just not sure what to do and I'm starting to feel really stressed about it. I really liked our DCP when we met with her (several times) before deciding but she is acting like she won't take dd if this continues, although hasn't said it outright and also had made some weird comments about the baby crying like "A mom came to pickup and she was crying and the mom asked if she'd been crying all day." I was like "but baby's cry. Why would that upset another parent?" She didn't really respond except to say "of course baby's cry." but that whole exchange got me all weirded out! anyways, if anyone has experienced this, any advice? Sorry so long!!

rtjunker's Avatar rtjunker 07:40 AM 04-15-2012

My 3 month old LO is also EBF, and doesn't do well with a bottle. Luckily I get to stay home with her, but sometimes I would love for DH to be able to feed her. Our plan is to keep trying with the bottle, LO will suck on it some, but typically won't consume more than 1/2 ounce. I figure if we consistently offer, she'll eventually get better with the bottle. This site offers some good advice


As for your situation, is there any way you could visit LO midday for a feeding until your LO is able to take in some food while you're away? If your LO was willing to eat from a spoon, could/would caregiver spoon feed plain pumped breastmilk to LO?


I personally do understand your caregiver's concern about a crying baby, when other parents observe the situation without knowing all the details it may seem like caregiver is being neglectful and other parents may worry about the care that is being provided. Also a crying baby is stressful as we all know, but when there is no way to calm a crying baby it's even more stressful, and that's the position your caregivers are in. I've been a nanny in the past and I would be extremely reluctant to care for a child in this situation.

Baby_Cakes's Avatar Baby_Cakes 08:32 AM 04-15-2012

Keep having others offer the bottle.  If she's hungry, she will take it.  It just takes time and patience. 


I personally wouldn't offer avocado or other solids so early.  Her body just isn't ready for it.


In the meantime, she is reverse cycling.  Nursing at night to make up for what she is missing during the day  -- and that is perfectly fine too.  

The crying with your DH, not so much.  I think he should keep offering the bottle, but also, in time, he will develop his own way to soothe her - walks, baths, wearing her, for example.  


This is all new for her, as well as for you, so give it time.  Talk with your DCP and ensure her you don't want your LO upset, but you also know this transition isn't easy and they need to be willing to work with you.  That means trying the bottle repeatedly, respecting your wishes (they work FOR YOU), and not talking about your parenting or baby with other moms.  It really isn't any of their business.



tank's Avatar tank 06:57 PM 04-15-2012

I agree with baby cakes.  Keep trying and eventually she will take it.


I had the same issue with my son.  I had to go back to work and he wouldn't take a bottle from his dad.  We tried almost every type of bottle.  eventually we got the platex nurser with the latex nipple because it was softer than those silicone ones and he took it.  For the first few days while I was at work he didn't eat a thing then when I came home he made up for it.  When we finally found a bottle he would take he still only ate under an ounce while I was gone for about a week.  Finally he got used to it and now eats from the bottle like a champ.  I talked about all of this with his Dr and she had no problem with it because he wasn't getting dehydrated and he was making up for it later and still thriving. 

MN BabyDust's Avatar MN BabyDust 10:39 AM 04-16-2012

My DD is 6 months and we have been trying the bottle since she was 3 weeks. She took it a few times as a very tiny baby and took less than an ounce, but now has refused for months. I don't think the "keep trying and eventually it will work" idea works for everyone. She will just scream and scream if it is offered until I nurse her. She hates all nipples, types of bottles, and pacifiers. I figured if we kept trying eventually she would take it but no. I have never really let her go really hungry (I don't work outside the home) but DH has tried when I am out of the house so many times. Until recently, if I am gone more than a couple hours she is a basket case.  I have no advice regarding daycare, but just wanted to say how we've gotten by. The medicine syringe thingy that comes with infant Tylenol (the newer kind, with a 5 mL dropper) is not as offensive to her. She seems to love it. I clean one out, and DH can (slowly) drop breastmilk in her mouth this way. He squirts about a third of a dropper at a time, lets her swallow, finishes the dropper, repeats. So it is tedious, but if he refills a bunch of times, it is enough to get her by. Maybe not an option for daycare, but your husband might have luck. Also, she sort of drinks from a regular cup. My MIL does this with her. She doesn't take a lot, but she tries and doesn't freak like with a bottle. Be prepared for a mess :-) Maybe try a see-thru small cup? And now that she is 6 months and really wants solids, we give her baby cereal mixed with breastmilk, and fruits and veggies so someone else can give her these snacks when she is away from me. That made it much easier, but I don't think I would start solids at 3 months over it. I'd say keep trying the bottle, but also perhaps look for alternatives. Something else might work.

biophdmom's Avatar biophdmom 01:18 PM 04-16-2012

Thanks everyone for the advice! And thanks MN Babydust for your experience...its good to hear my baby isn't such an outlier winky.gif


I think we are going to go with the "keep trying" method and hope she acquiesces. I did try from a small medicine dosage cup and she wasn't too thrilled, but did take a little. Its very hard, though, because there is so little I can do since I'm not willing to compromise my bf'ing relationship at this age. I wish I worked closer to where her daycare is so I could stop in and feed her on a lunch break, but its just a bit too far to make that feasible everyday. At this point, I'm just trying to leave work as early as possible to get to her by 5 or 5:30.


Okay, again, thanks for all the advice!!

Kindermama's Avatar Kindermama 07:11 PM 04-20-2012
Have you considered finding a daycare provider closer to work?
MacKinnon's Avatar MacKinnon 07:31 AM 04-22-2012
None of my three were thrilled to take a bottle. They did so reluctantly, but not without a fair amount of protest.

In addition to trying various bottles and nipples (we ended up with Playtex Natural Latch Drop-In's for the first two, and the basic glass Evenflo with a standard nipple, or the Soothie bottles with DD2), I would try varying the temperature of the milk from very warm to cool. Also, having the providers vary how they hold her. Like my DD2 vastly preferred to NOT be held like she was nursing. My Mom would prop her on a pillow and sit next to her, or turn her out. Being held close, with a bottle, was not right. That closeness was just for breast-feeding.

My kids all reverse cycled and nursed a ton from when I got home, overnight, and in the morning before they went. We made it work smile.gif

Best wishes!!
Tags: Baby