Getting your baby to take a bottle can be difficult, especially if he/she has been breastfed and now you are trying to introduce a bottle for whatever reason! I know I made the huge mistake of waiting to introduce the bottle with my second till she was almost 7 months old *facepalm*. Maybe this works for some babies, but it really didn’t for her. Whether you are introducing the bottle early on or when your baby is older, there are several tips and tricks to try when your baby won’t take a bottle.
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When Your Baby Won’t Take a Bottle: What to Do
You may not have control over this anymore 😉 If your baby is 6 months +, it may just be slightly more difficult for your little one to realize that mama isn’t the only one that has milk! While bottle training older babies can take a little longer, it is definitely not impossible! If your baby is younger, start right away. I always think its a good idea to introduce baby to as much as you can early on. This helps them to be able to adjust, no matter what life throws at your family!
Head Out Mama
Look, you’ve been needing an excuse to just go to the grocery store or get your nails done. Just because you breastfeed, doesn’t mean you can’t sneak off for a few hours. Plus, those babies can smell mama a mile away. Give the bottle to dad or grandma (someone baby trusts) and let them try introducing the bottle without mama being close by! You might see better success.
Skip the Bottle
If your baby is older, try skipping the bottle and going straight to the sippy cup! This might help your baby not feel like the bottle is now competing with mama. Dunk the sippy cup nipple or straw in some apple juice or something a little sweet to encourage your baby to suck on it!
Night Time Bottles
Sometimes you can have greater success with introducing the bottle in the middle of the night when your baby is not fully awake. Being drowsy can make your baby less willing to put up a fight especially if they taste breastmilk like they are used to.
New Bottle Brand
Trying a new bottle type might be just the thing your little one is looking for. Lots of breastfed babies have bottle success with these bottles, Comotomo and Mimijumi. I’ve also had great success with the Kiinde Bottle System and you can pump directly into the milk bags which is a plus too!
New Nipple Flow
Don’t always follow the age suggestions because some babies like faster or slower flow. All of us moms have different speeds of let downs and all so our babies can become particular to how fast milk flow is.
Calm Environment When Baby Won’t Take Bottle
Have dad go to a calm room with dimmed lighting. Keeping baby peaceful is a huge part of introducing a bottle and keeping the whole thing a positive experience! Help baby not be over stimulated, turn off the tv, sing some songs, tell some bedtime stories and give the bottle a try.
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Try the Same Time Each Day
Give baby a new routine so they know what to expect. Imagine never knowing what you are supposed to be doing or what time of day it is. Ah, scary! That’s why we have to help our little one by giving him/her cues for what time it is and what is to come. Sticking to specific bottle time at the very beginning until they are taking it like a pro, can really help them figure out that its bottle time!
Make Sure the Bottle is Warm
Mamas milk is obviously not very chilly. Try making sure you warm up the bottle to help your baby not receive a temperature shock when they start to take some sips.
Warm the Nipple
Try soaking the tip of the bottle in warm water just before feeding!
Dunk the Nipple In Breastmilk
Getting your baby to latch on can be the hardest part, if you dunk the nipple in breastmilk, this can be all your baby needs to latch on and start sucking!
Don’t Wait till Baby is Hungry
When you are first trying to bottle train, you may think that having a hungry baby is best so they will want to eat. But, once your baby is hungry, they tend to get more upset quicker. Try the bottle when they aren’t already hungry so it can be a more positive experience.
Is there something on here that worked well for you?