Getting Breast Fed Baby to Accept Bottle - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 18 Old 05-15-2013, 12:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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First I apologize if this is in the wrong area. Please move it if it is.

 

I return to work next week, and can't get DS to take a bottle of EBM. We have been trying to get him to take a bottle for about 3 weeks now. Here are all of the different techniques we have tried.

 

1. DH has tried feeding by cradling, having DS propped up facing him, and a couple of other positions.

2. DH has given DS to my 8yo DD (who has had the most success so far, but not much)

3. Out of desperation I tried feeding him a bottle.

4. I have been in the same room

5. I have been out of the room

6. I have left the house for several hours to attend a couple of meetings

7. We have tried a variety of nipples (Dr. Browns, Medela slow flow, etc), including the Medela Calma (which is supposed to closely simulate the same action as the breast)

8. We have tried freshly expressed milk, warmed milk, and refrigerated milk.

9. I have tried starting out breast feeding and then trying to slip in the bottle.

10. We have tried when he was calm, when he was fussy, and when he is really hungry, wen he is almost asleep at the breast.

 

Nothing we have tried has worked. Anytime that rubber nipple gets anywhere near his mouth he starts screaming. We have been trying at least once a day for the last 1 1/2 weeks. Last night I had to go to a meeting and was gone for 4 hours. He refused the bottle and cried the entire time I was gone.  I have read on the Medela site and tried their tips, and I have tried Dr. Sears tips. I am at a loss, and don't want him to starve or for him and grandma to have a rough go of it. My MIL is coming out to stay with us and watch him for the next 3 weeks.

 

I had similar issues with DD, but she was 5.5 mo when I went back to work, and she never did take the bottle. She seemed to just nurse like crazy at night, and we started her on solid food. I had an extended 2.5 year nursing relationship with her. That is obviously not going to work with DS because he is so young.

 

If anyone has suggestions for things to try that we haven't yet I am all ears. I am currently looking into cup feeding or other bottle alternatives.

 

Thanks

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#2 of 18 Old 05-15-2013, 05:00 PM
 
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Some years ago I was the caregiver for my infant nephew who also did not like using a bottle. I had him starting at 6 weeks. If I tried too often to get him to take the bottle when he had initially rejected it, he seemed to get more and more frustrated. Eventually, he would drink from a bottle only when I carried him around the house and I did not look at him. He pretty much would hold out for his mom and just take enough to get himself through the day--only about 8 ounces in a whole day. He did start solids on the early side of the half year mark. We also discovered that he would not take his mom's milk if it had been previously frozen. If I were in your shoes, I would concentrate on finding a cup or other non-sucking method.
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#3 of 18 Old 05-15-2013, 05:41 PM
 
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I was in your boat several months ago. I nursed babe when I left her and then nursed 4 hrs later when I picked her up. You would be surprized how many tricks sitters have to help with this problem. They have delt with it before. I do know that some days she took the bottle, some days she didnt & its still this way at 8 months. The tips I remember the sitter saying helped were trying before she got hungry & stopping before she got upset. Also walking around & no eye contact. We found she liked the Nuk bottle best. I also brought a empty bottle to her play mat in the living room and we would play with it and put it in our mouths playfully. Good luck! Your baby will figure out what he wants to do after a couple of days without you. Oh! And the nIpple of the bottle had to be warm smile.gif
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#4 of 18 Old 05-15-2013, 06:10 PM
 
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How old is the baby? You can try spoonfeeding or cup feeding some milk.

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#5 of 18 Old 05-20-2013, 02:09 PM
 
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My 1St 3 kids would not take a bottle, no way, no how! With LO4, we keep offering the bottle like twice a week so he stays used to it, but he's super picky about the brand. The only one he will accept is the mam brand bottle...
I know it's frustrating, I have been in your shoes. If he's old enough for a sippy cup, maybe that would be worth a try

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And expecting #5 in Nov. 2014 heartbeat.gif
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#6 of 18 Old 05-23-2013, 06:15 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asummers80 View Post

First I apologize if this is in the wrong area. Please move it if it is.

I return to work next week, and can't get DS to take a bottle of EBM. We have been trying to get him to take a bottle for about 3 weeks now. Here are all of the different techniques we have tried.

1. DH has tried feeding by cradling, having DS propped up facing him, and a couple of other positions.
2. DH has given DS to my 8yo DD (who has had the most success so far, but not much)
3. Out of desperation I tried feeding him a bottle.
4. I have been in the same room
5. I have been out of the room
6. I have left the house for several hours to attend a couple of meetings
7. We have tried a variety of nipples (Dr. Browns, Medela slow flow, etc), including the Medela Calma (which is supposed to closely simulate the same action as the breast)
8. We have tried freshly expressed milk, warmed milk, and refrigerated milk.
9. I have tried starting out breast feeding and then trying to slip in the bottle.
10. We have tried when he was calm, when he was fussy, and when he is really hungry, wen he is almost asleep at the breast.

Nothing we have tried has worked. Anytime that rubber nipple gets anywhere near his mouth he starts screaming. We have been trying at least once a day for the last 1 1/2 weeks. Last night I had to go to a meeting and was gone for 4 hours. He refused the bottle and cried the entire time I was gone.  I have read on the Medela site and tried their tips, and I have tried Dr. Sears tips. I am at a loss, and don't want him to starve or for him and grandma to have a rough go of it. My MIL is coming out to stay with us and watch him for the next 3 weeks.

I had similar issues with DD, but she was 5.5 mo when I went back to work, and she never did take the bottle. She seemed to just nurse like crazy at night, and we started her on solid food. I had an extended 2.5 year nursing relationship with her. That is obviously not going to work with DS because he is so young.

If anyone has suggestions for things to try that we haven't yet I am all ears. I am currently looking into cup feeding or other bottle alternatives.

Thanks
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#7 of 18 Old 05-23-2013, 06:16 PM
 
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I would like to go back to school but so far this is not I just found ou that I have an enzym well too much of an enzyme in my milk that causes it to sour berry qu well too much of an enzyme in my milk that causes it to sour berry quickly taste tester milk if it tastes soapy or like vomit this is probably why he won't take the bottle there are things that can be done so that you can still breastfeed your baby good luck honey
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#8 of 18 Old 09-05-2013, 05:52 PM
 
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Just wondering if the OP has had any luck with this. I have a ten week old who isn't doing well with a bottle either. She was doing ok and would take 1-2oz from Avent bottles only. Two days ago she took 2 oz and then yesterday and today she outright refused. She just screamed and cried whenever we tried. I go back to work in 2.5 weeks and I'm really nervous about this.
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#9 of 18 Old 09-05-2013, 08:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We are finally having some luck. I am a teacher and so I went back for 1/2 days to finish off the school year. We did not have any luck with bottles at that point. Over the summer we continued to offer bottles and he refused until he was about 16 weeks old when he out of the blue decided to take a pacifier. He had been chewing on my thumb all day one day and that evening he was on the floor playing with my dd. He started to fuss and dd decided to just stick the paci in his mouth. He started sucking on it like crazy, which was a total surprise because previously pacis just made him mad. After he started taking the paci he started taking the bottle much better. We got him to take several bottles for the weeks following the pacifier. Then I started back to work full time. He has been at daycare for the last 2 weeks. He has really not wanted to take the bottle for our babysitter until 2 days ago. She tried so many different nipples and he was not happy about the bottle. Two days ago she tried a new nipple and it was successful. I would try a couple of things.

1. If your babe is not taking a pacifier try giving a pacifier. Mine likes the soothies that you can stick your finger inside.

2. Try lots of different bottle nipples including the really wide mouth. (The really soft wide playtex ones are the ones my ds likes best)

3. My ds takes a bottle best when he is happy, just waking up, or drifting off to sleep. Once he starts fussing because he is hungry offering the bottle makes him really mad. I would have your caregiver try giving the bottle at different times to see when babe is more accepting.

4. Just keep trying new things until you find something that works.

Today my ds guzzled 3 oz, and while he still prefers mommy I know he isn't starving.

Good luck.

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#10 of 18 Old 09-07-2013, 10:40 AM
 
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I'm a school teacher as well. Funny coincidence. My daughter so far hates pacifiers. I've tried 5-6 different kinds of bottles/nipples. Great idea about trying when she's not ravenous, different positions etc. My hope is that once I'm not around, she'll take the only other option. I know she can do it. She's taken 2 oz on a couple of occasions nd whie thats not fabulous, at least it was something! No idea why all of a sudden she's entirely rejecting the idea. I don't want her to be hungry all day while I'm teaching and I wouldn't be too thrilled about her reverse cycling either. Fingers crossed!
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#11 of 18 Old 09-15-2013, 11:26 AM
 
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As a Lactation Consultant and a mom who had to see clients when my younger two children were small, I can say that due to severe Nipple Confusion in our oldest child, we resolved to never have baby bottles in the house for any reason. We found simple non-sucking methods of feeding babies and I have used those methods with my clients over the past 20+ years with great success.

 

Cup feeding is my first choice. I usually use a small cup made for cup feeding babies, but a glass shot glass can be used as well. (There are some good videos on YouTube showing how to do this... including one of mine with one of my little clients.) Method: The baby is lightly swaddle. so that he doesn't knock the cup out of your hand, then put a bib or towel or burp rag under the baby's chin. Put the baby in a SITTING position in your arms, (not a "bottle feeding" position) then fill the cup or shot glass half way or so, put the RIM of the cup gently on the baby's lower lip. Tilt the cup just so the milk touches the baby's tongue. DO NOT "pour" milk into the baby's mouth! Keep the fluid level parallel to the floor at all times. Keep the cup ON the baby's lower lip, DO NOT give little "sips" as this is frustrating to the baby and can cause choking. Leave the milk level with the floor and the baby will find the best way for him to take it. Some kind of suck the milk in, some lap it up like a kitten, some do other things. You may need to refill the cup, depending on how much the baby needs to take. The baby will dribble a LOT the first few times and then you will both get the hang of it. Day Care Providers can be shown how to do this method in a matter of minutes.

 

A Soft Cut Feeder or other spoon device with a container for milk is easier for some parents. A syringe can also be used (although it is not ideal for long term situations, usually being used for short term supplementation) point the end of the syringe towards the inside of the baby's cheek and gently depress the plunger slowly so baby can take what he wants. Large syringes can be used for large feedings. Amazon has a great supply of sterile syringes that can be reused if used for the same baby.

 

A spoon can also be used, although it has to be filled pretty frequently.

 

My husband, a huge "biker" type guy with lots of tattoos and lots of hair and HUGE hands could cup feed our preterm baby with a Jack Daniels shot glass (he didn't like the Medela feeding cup for some reason, and would wait until I left to see a client and then get out a clean shot glass) it can be done.  If my dh, with his ham hands and "brute force and ignorance" attitude can do this for a tiny preterm baby, anyone can cup feed a baby with only a little practice. jammin.gif

 

IMO, there is no need to stress the entire family and traumatize the baby trying to "make" a baby take a bottle he obviously does not want. I know going back to work is stressful enough for mom, baby and everybody else. There are many less stressful and problematic ways of getting milk into a baby when Mama isn't able to without using "baby bottles."


Good luck to everyone. :grouphug


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#12 of 18 Old 09-18-2013, 10:02 AM
 
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Thanks Maggie. Can these methods get the same amount of milk fed to a baby as a bottle would? Or should I expect her to eat less if using one of these methods?
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#13 of 18 Old 09-18-2013, 11:15 AM
 
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If she's hungry she'll take as much as she needs. In most cases the baby takes about as much from a cup or syringe as they would from a bottle. Although when using fast flow bottles, babies do tend to overfeed as the flow is so different than the breast. I'd count on leaving her as much as she takes via bottle, and maybe a little more if the person feeding her is new to cup feeding. The first few times is messy and it gets easier.

 

(If you see a 40ish LC feeding a little boy with two loud girls in the background and an exploding bookcase behind her.... you have have stumbled on my cup feeding video. :shy )


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#14 of 18 Old 09-18-2013, 02:38 PM
 
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Originally Posted by AngelTruly View Post

I would like to go back to school but so far this is not I just found ou that I have an enzym well too much of an enzyme in my milk that causes it to sour berry qu well too much of an enzyme in my milk that causes it to sour berry quickly taste tester milk if it tastes soapy or like vomit this is probably why he won't take the bottle there are things that can be done so that you can still breastfeed your baby good luck honey

 

If you scald the milk you can avoid this trouble.

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#15 of 18 Old 09-18-2013, 05:21 PM
 
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Thanks Maggie! I have no idea how much she eats since I only was able to get her to take 1-2 oz via bottle before she started refusing them all together. I'm sure she's getting more than that when she nurses. Luckily I have plenty of milk stored, so I can afford to send extra and to lose some in the learning process if we go to cup feeding. Any chance you live in Massachusetts? smile.gif
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#16 of 18 Old 09-19-2013, 06:47 AM
 
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Thanks Maggie! I have no idea how much she eats since I only was able to get her to take 1-2 oz via bottle before she started refusing them all together. I'm sure she's getting more than that when she nurses. Luckily I have plenty of milk stored, so I can afford to send extra and to lose some in the learning process if we go to cup feeding. Any chance you live in Massachusetts? smile.gif

You're welcome. No, sorry :( I live near Chicago. I'm glad I could help, though. Good luck with the cup feeding. The first few tries are messy, but then it goes well.


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#17 of 18 Old 09-19-2013, 06:56 AM
 
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I would like to go back to school but so far this is not I just found ou that I have an enzym well too much of an enzyme in my milk that causes it to sour berry qu well too much of an enzyme in my milk that causes it to sour berry quickly taste tester milk if it tastes soapy or like vomit this is probably why he won't take the bottle there are things that can be done so that you can still breastfeed your baby good luck honey

An other poster suggested scalding the milk. This works in some situations. Also never shake your milk, it can denature fats and cause that problem. (I learned this the hard way with my first baby.) Just swirl the milk very gently. The fat will never completely incorporate back into the milk as you aren't using a homogenizing machine like they do in Dairy Processing. Just swirl the milk and never shake or handle it roughly. I never had to scald my milk, but if I treated it roughly it would get that sour "vomit" like smell.

 

If gentle handling doesn't work, then do try scalding it BEFORE freezing or storing. Put your milk into a small pan on the stove, turn on the heat to low or medium, watch the milk. When small bubbles appear around the edges let it scald for only a minute or two and then take it off the heat, let it cool and store it gently. Always bring human milk to refrigerator temperature before freezing and if you are going to freeze it, make sure it gets into the freezer within 24 hours of being pumped.   Frozen milk is only good for about 24 hours after thawing, so use fresh milk when you can. Human Milk is good in the refrigerator in the coldest part of your refrigerator for 5-7 days after pumping. Always label your milk with the date it was pumped so you don't forget.


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#18 of 18 Old 09-25-2013, 06:19 PM
 
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Just thought I would report back in with good news. My babe is now taking bottles like an old pro! She took an ounce here and there on day 1 for a total of 6 for the day. Day 2 she did a bit better about not just snacking and took almost 8 ounces. Today, day 3, she drank three bottles for a total of almost ten ounces. She doesn't need to do any more than that. In fact, I think that's a lot!
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