Becoming a new parent can be exciting, enjoyable and also a bit nerve-wracking.
Caring for a newborn involves lots of snuggles and also lots of questions as you discover the unique ways your baby needs care.
One of the most common challenges new parents face is transitioning your baby from breastfeeding to the bottle (or, including bottles into the feeding process).
You may have already had some initial success with the bottle, but then all of a sudden, your baby won’t take bottle anymore.
So, let’s take a look at some possible reasons and what you can try at home to make the process smoother.
Reasons Why Baby Won’t Take Bottle Anymore!
1. Baby might have had a bad experience with the bottle
It’s possible if he/she had an unfavorable experience with one. For example, if the flow of the milk was too fast and caused any sort of gagging or vomiting reflex, that could have sparked your baby’s sudden disdain for the bottle.
Also, if the person feeding the baby was moving the nipple in and out of their mouth constantly, this may have frustrated the baby and made him/her lose interest in from bottle feeding.
2. Lack of proper flow or it’s a different flow from the breast
Connected to the first reason, the flow of milk from the nipple is very important.
If the milk is coming out much slower than from Mom’s breast, this may be a reason why your baby won’t take bottle anymore.
Also, as discussed earlier, a flow that is too fast could cause gagging, choking, or vomiting. For babies who may struggle with their sucking reflex, this could make them resist bottle feeding.
3. Baby might have a milk allergy or sensitivity
For moms who are supplementing their breastmilk with formula, this could pose another issue as to why your baby is not into bottle feeding.
For one, the taste of the formula could be the issue. Other reasons include your baby having an allergy to the type of formula you are using. Signs of a milk sensitivity include gassiness, fussiness, and spitting out the formula upon taste.
If you notice this every time you try to give your baby a bottle, consider talking to your pediatrician to see what other formula types of brands to try with your baby.
The pediatrician’s office may also have some formula samples for you to try at home before you spend any money on a formula that doesn’t work.
4. Baby may not be positioned correctly
Let’s be clear – babies are VERY particular about everything. If something is not right, especially during feedings, they will get upset and refuse to eat until they’re comfortable.
If you are giving your baby a bottle, you may be holding them in a position that’s uncomfortable for them. Make sure his/her head isn’t tipped too far back and that he/she is not positioned too upright or too flat.
Not holding them properly during feeding can cause sucking and swallowing issues and result in a baby that is not interested in the bottle.
The video below can help you, it shows exactly how to pace bottle feed a baby in real-time:
5. Baby is not feeling well
Sickness can deter a baby from wanting to bottle feed.
Having a fever, runny or stuffy nose, or a sore throat can put your baby in discomfort mode – adding a bottle into the mix might send them over the edge.
Sick babies need extra cuddling and comfort and most of them find it in breastfeeding.
They may also have a reduced appetite while they are sick, so depending on how long it takes to ride out the illness, your baby may not want to bottle feed for a few days (or weeks, sometimes!).
Why Baby Refusing Bottle From Daddy OR Mommy
Mom is in the room or nearby and they prefer breast over bottle
Believe it or not, your baby can “smell you and your milk” even if you are not within close proximity! It is amazing how a baby can sense his/her mom’s presence and immediately want the good stuff straight from the mom fridge.
If you are trying to give your baby a bottle and it’s not working, it might be because he/she prefers to nurse from the source.
Mom’s milk might have a lot of lipases that breaks milk fat down
Lipase is an enzyme found in breastmilk that helps break the milk fat down in your baby’s body.
If you have pumped and stored your breastmilk for a future feeding, the breakdown of the milk fast may make the milk taste or smell funny.
To keep the sweet taste of your milk, try scalding it a little before you store and freeze it.
What To Do If Baby Won’t Take Bottle
1. Have someone besides mom or dad give baby the bottle
Grandparents or a daycare provider can provide the comfort your baby needs to eat as well as help them associate feeding with others.
Hopefully, you don’t have to worry about your baby starving all day while you’re at work if he/she continues to take the bottle a little at a time with a new person.
2. Bottle feed in a quiet and calm place
Distractions in the environment can keep a baby from being focused on the bottle, so consider creating a calm situation before you sit down to feed your baby.
Make sure YOU are comfortable as well! Soft or no noise, warm lighting, or gentle rocking might get our child comfortable enough to take the bottle again.
Perhaps you can try introducing the bottle again during your bedtime routine until they adjust to it.
3. Use a pacifier
This is a good idea for young babies that are still working on their sucking reflex or need to get used to a rubber nipple in addition to Mom’s breast.
Try giving your baby a pacifier for a few minutes at a time throughout the day and see how well they take to the bottle afterwards.
4. Try different bottles and nipples
The type or brand of bottle or nipple could be the culprit for why your baby won’t take bottle anymore!
Many bottles and nipples can have unique features such as anti-gas technology, nipples that are softer or more flexible, etc.
Try a few different brands and see if your baby might prefer a certain type.
Tip: Use a bottle with an anti-colic system. find examples here
The best advice goes with all aspects of parenthood, whether you have a newborn, a small child, or a teenager.
Patience and persistence will pay off – don’t get too frustrated with the situation that you give up trying to find what works for your child.
You may have to take a break from it, slow down your timeline, or lessen your expectations.
Be open to trying unconventional methods or things that you wouldn’t naturally be inclined to try – you may just find the winning solution that will make you and your child happy!
- How to Figure Out When to Change Nipple Flow On Bottles?
- Top 5 Dummies to develop the sucking reflex
- How to tell if your baby is allergic to proteins in your breast milk
- 10 Bottle-feeding Mistakes Every Mom Makes
- Does your milk smell or taste soapy?
- Avent Nipple levels for each age range
Video credits: stacy kucharczk.