As your little one grows, you’re bound to encounter a few feeding issues. Unfortunately, these issues can start as early as when you’re trying to wean him/her off breastmilk. In such a case, you may notice your baby refusing bottle (milk) and wanting to stick to breastfeeding instead.
And this may continue well until his/her first year.
Why Is My Baby Refusing Bottle?
Getting your baby to transition from breastfeeding to bottle-feeding is no easy task. Especially since they’re used to your breastmilk and comfortable embrace. And while you might be looking forward to that six-month mark where you finally begin the transition, your baby may not be as willing to change.
As a parent, this is perhaps one of the most challenging stages of new parenthood. It can be stressful and frustrating to feed a baby who just won’t take the bottle.
But like all aspects of a child’s development, this may well be one of those bumpy phases that you can manage to work through with proper time, patience and care.
And that’s exactly why in order to solve the issue, you must first understand it.
Why Is My Baby Refusing To Take Her Own Baby Bottle?
Image source: iStock
Obviously, your baby won’t be able to tell you directly why they do not want to take the feed through a bottle. But you can still pick up possible reasons for their refusal through these signs:
Dislikes the feeling or texture of bottle nipple. With the time they’ve spent breastfeeding with you, your child may be able to tell the difference with an artificial nipple. Your baby might also feel uncomfortable with the bottle’s milk flow so try to see if the teat is too big or small for your little one’s liking.
Maybe there’s something wrong with the milk. Compared to the breastmilk they’re used to, your baby might not like the temperature, flavour or texture of the milk. Especially, with temperature as babies tend to vary in how they prefer their milk whether cold, warm or room temperature.
Not hungry enough. Your baby might not only be refusing the bottle but feeding altogether. Refrain from forcing them to drink milk and try again when they’re actually hungry. If your baby has recently started to eat solids, then it may be also because they’re already too full for milk.
Has become too attached with breastfeeding. If you’ve only recently started weaning your baby, then they may still be at a phase of wanting breastmilk more.
So what should you do, is the real question.
What To Do When Baby Is Refusing To Take Bottle
Don’t force the bottle onto your baby and understand why he is refusing the feed. | Image source: iStock
While there are many reasons that your baby won’t take a bottle again, you can still make this a smooth transition.
To help you gain back the convenience of bottle-feeding, here are a few tips:
1. Start early
Get your baby to use the artificial nipple by feeding them as early as you think is good. Although, don’t try to force it on your baby and only occasionally let them try bottle-feeding when they do drink.
2. Gradually transition from breastfeeding to bottle-feeding
It won’t work to rush things, especially when it comes to your child’s developing needs. You can try instead to carefully transition from breastfeeding to bottle-feeding by switching from the two regularly until your baby gradually starts to get comfortable with their milk bottle.
3. Time it right
Set a regular feeding routine for your baby and offering them a bottle at normal times where they can expect it. It would also help to try to get them to bottle-feed when they’re particularly hungry that they won’t refuse the milk given to them. This doesn’t mean you should let your child starve but instead wait for them to get sufficiently hungry before feeding.
4. Check if your baby is unwell
Some cases might not even be due to the bottle or the milk. If you notice that your baby is uncomfortable and showing signs of actual illnesses such as a cold, an ear or throat infection that is making it painful for them to feed, then it may be time to seek a doctor for help.
5. Peace and quiet
Your baby might be getting distracted with loud noises to focus on feeding. This can be expected when the television is blaring or if their siblings are being too rowdy. Get them to relax in a nice and quiet room before you calmly approach them with a milk bottle and see if they accept it.
Aside from bottle types and sizes, you can also try to switch up feeding positions. | Image source: iStock
6. Change it up with different types of baby bottles
As your baby won’t instantly enjoy the feeling and texture of milk bottles, you can try switch bottle sizes and shapes as well as the flow of its nipple to see what suits your little tot’s taste.
7. Find the right position
Aside from bottle types and sizes, you can also try to switch up feeding positions to see which hold or embrace is comfortable enough for your baby to feed in.
8. Get someone else to give the bottle
It may also be helpful to get someone else to give your baby the bottle. This could help your child in choosing instead to take the bottle instead of knowing that with you around, they can breastfeed.
Get your husband, caretaker or other family members to give your baby the milk bottle to help them develop self-feeding as well as have enough time to bond with your loved ones.
9. Don’t give up!
It may be frustrating but keep trying! Make sure you remain patient with your little one for this can’t be easy on them either to get used to.
Give it time and keep trying with the tips above and you may find success in getting your baby’s tiny hands to grab the milk bottle again.