56 Answers

“I have a 4 month old baby boy, previously he enjoyed a bottle feed but now for the past month he has refused to take it, plz could you advise me how can I restart it again as I am a busy women. Have you got any tips for getting a baby to take a bottle? ”

Posted by Anon, 19/03/13

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  • Use any other brand

  • Maybe try a different brand of bottle. My daughter loved Avent and had no problems. Unfortunately my son didn’t take to them. But would drink from a Medela bottle

  • This is a hard one as some babies take to a bottle no problems whilst others keep on refusing. With my son, I just kept offering it at feed times, he’s hungry enough to have a go then. It took a little while though

  • How did it all go in the end?

  • Sorry not sure why I said she instead of he.

  • Keep being persisent with the bottles, when you are not there and someone else is there with a bottle, she does not have you as an alternative, so if shes hungry she may end up giving in to the bottle.

  • Hope everything went well for you

  • I hope you managed to get it sorted out

  • I’m guessing you’re comp feeding. There’s some information here that may be helpful, including tips on how to make it work..


  • Yes great info rach! Surely that will help

  • I hope the information I posted helps best of luck :-)

  • I hope the info I posted helps best of luck getting him to take bottle try expressing milk and putting in a bottle :-)

  • Congratulations for exclusively breastfeeding your baby for three months. That’s terrific! And your baby is obviously smart — she knows there is magic under your shirt, which is why she isn’t settling for a bottle. However, the reality is you have to go back to work, and what are you going to do if she still isn’t taking a bottle when that fateful day comes?

    Here are a number of suggestions. You may already have tried many of them, but in case you haven’t, let’s start at the top and work our way through them. First of all, have someone else give her the bottle while you’re out of the house. Babies can smell their moms from a distance of at least 20 feet, and she may know you’re around even if you’re in another room. Offer her the bottle when she’s not dreadfully hungry, rather than waiting until she’s starving. If she takes a pacifier, try a bottle nipple similar to the pacifier she uses. For example, if she sucks on a latex pacifier, use a latex bottle nipple rather than a silicone one and vice versa. If she just chews on the nipple and plays with it, let her. She may actually start to suckle on it.

    Make sure you have a lot of time to put your feet up and relax during this process. If she starts crying and pushes the bottle away, back off, comfort her, and try again. The last thing you want to do is get in a battle with her over the bottle. If you’ve tried three times and she refuses all three times, then call it a meal. Do not breastfeed her immediately. Wait five or 10 minutes, and do something else entirely different before you put her to the breast so she won’t associate her refusal to bottlefeed with immediate gratification.

    Some mothers have induced their baby to take a bottle by holding the baby in a totally different position than they would when breastfeeding. Try putting her in an infant or car seat so she is semi-upright, and then feed her the bottle while facing her. Once she is used to taking a bottle, you can hold her as you usually would for feedings. One enterprising father put on his wife’s bathrobe and tucked the bottle under his arm while holding the baby in a breastfeeding position. That won’t work for you, but it might work for Daddy!

    I’m sure some people will tell you that if you just wait her out, she’ll eventually be hungry enough to take a bottle. That’s not necessarily true, and I don’t think it’s a good practice for either one of you. Starving a baby into submission is not a good idea. We never want to make mealtime into a battleground — now, when she’s 2 years old, or ever.

    Keep in mind that back in the 1940s, mothers were advised to have their babies feeding from a cup by 2 months of age (and potty trained by 6 months, but that’s another story!). If all else fails, you can feed her using a little cup — a shot glass or small see-through plastic juice glass works well. Put her in an upright position in your left arm and bring the cup to her mouth, tilting it gently until a wee bit goes in. She’ll actually begin to lap and then to drink it. I’d practice this with a bit of sweetened water until she gets the hang of it, as you don’t want to waste any of your precious expressed milk! You can even use a hollow-handled medicine spoon to do the same thing.

    Often after you’ve tried this, the baby will go ahead and take a bottle because cup feeding isn’t familiar and it doesn’t satisfy her urge to suck. Once she can cup feed fairly proficiently, then you have an alternative for when you are at work — either cup or bottle — and her caregiver can try either.

    Some babies don’t eat very much when Mommy isn’t home, and since they have been separated from her all day, may begin waking a bit more frequently at night simply to touch base, so to speak. So don’t be surprised if your baby awakens a couple of times at night to feed after you return to work. Treasure these quiet and intimate times that you have to reconnect with your baby. If you nurse her lying down in bed, you will probably be able to doze off.

    I’ve heard many moms in your situation say things like, “It’s my fault. If I had only given her a bottle a day from the beginning, this wouldn’t be happening.” Please be assured that this isn’t true.

    Many babies who have been getting bottles all along will suddenly decide at about 3 months that they don’t want to take a bottle anymore, that they simply prefer breastfeeding. And why not? It’s warm, cozy, sweet-smelling, relational, and done their favorite person — Mommy. So while starting an occasional bottle when the baby is ready to take one (once she’s gaining weight and latching on well, and your milk supply is established and your nipples aren’t sore) may smooth the process later on, it isn’t necessarily an ironclad guarantee that your baby will take the bottle when you really want her to.

    Good luck!

  • When my daughter was tired I used to breast feed then put the bottle right next to the breast the put the bottle in. It was really hard ..

  • Hold him to breast and then quickly switch him to bottle holding him the same :)

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