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Refusing a bottle

(33 Posts)
yawningbear Mon 06-Jun-11 17:43:08

DS is nearly 4 months old, is bf and is a big time bottle refuser. Am going back to work in September though just on a very part time basis for the first few months. DP has been trying him with bm in a bottle with no luck whatsoever, he gets really, really upset. Have bought a sippy cup to try but I really don't think we will have much more luck. Any ideas? Also I hate expressing, find it really uncomfortable as have massivo breasts and even with xxl suction thing it is still sore but DS has definite ideas about formula too, as in he hates it. So am wanting to plan ahead, ideally I would like him to have mainly ebm in a bottle whilst I am at work as well as the solids that he will be on by then, or at a push formula but currently he won't take either. Any ideas anyone? TIA

Limy Mon 06-Jun-11 20:48:11

Hi I cannot help with getting your little one on a bottle but just wanted to let you know my sister had the exact same problem with her DS, no matter what they tried he would not drink from a bottle. They tried a sippy cup and he took to it immediately, no problems. The HV also advised that they could try a spoon. Do you have a HV that you can get some advice from? They might be worth a visit/call. Good Luck x

cocoachannel Mon 06-Jun-11 21:05:05

We have finally managed to get DD (14 weeks) to take a bottle after eight weeks of trying, six brands, and usually getting screamed at.

The key seemed to be picking one brand and sticking to it - we had been chopping and changing in an attempt to find one she liked. I chose the one that most resembled my nipple (Breastflow), and then presented it to her at every daytime feed for three days! I placed the teat on her lower lip and wiggled it as oppose to putting it into her mouth. After three days of trying she latched on and took a small amount, 25mls the first time. She took more and more each time until taking a whole feed. She will only take very warm expressed milk though!

Having said that, knowing babies, she may well flat out refuse again tomorrow hmm

cocoachannel Mon 06-Jun-11 21:13:35

This may give you a few tip, although I'm sure youv'e tried most approaches!

Helping you breastfed baby accept a bottle

gourd Mon 06-Jun-11 21:20:23

Use an open cup or even a saucer - they can drink or lap milk from a cup from birth and it doesn't require the type of "sucking" needed for a bottle which is very different to suckling at a breast. lapping with the tongue is similar to what they do at the breast. Some Mum's use a cup at a very early stage when initial nipple soreness makes breastfeeding difficult. Obviously at this stage someone will have to hold the cup but as your son starts grabbing and holding onto toys and/or food (around 5 or 6 months) he will be easily able to hold the cup by himself. Also don't worry - our LO wouldn't take a bottle either, but had no problem drinking from a doidy cup that we introduced from 6 months old.

gourd Mon 06-Jun-11 21:23:26

Also, don't know if you're trying this when you're still around? There's no way he'll take milk from any other source if you're in the same house (not when there's a much nice option - he's not daft!) so it's best tried by partner when you're not there and when you're sure your son is really hungry!

PrincessOfWails Mon 06-Jun-11 22:08:44

Had this myself when DS was 4 mo, and I went back to work when he was 6 mo, although I was able to be very flexible and breastfeed him in the morning, then pick him up early.
Tried everything, and I mean everything, and he would not take a bottle (or syringe, or cup). He would not 'take some milk when he is hungry enough' - nope, he'd rather starve to death than take a bottle. Jam on the teat didn't do anything; he cried with his mouth closed whenever anyone tried to force him to drink from a bottle. (Amazing, really, that such a small baby can be SO DETERMINED!)
Now, this is a worst case scenario, and I remember being so distressed and upset and stressed out about the whole thing. You may find some of the suggested tricks work - and I hope they do for you!

If not, this is what we did: when he was weaned, we focused on giving him weetabix with ebm (or formula or whatever), cereal, yoghurt, cheese etc. He would not drink milk but we tried to ensure he ate plenty.
With bfing, I tried to keep somewhere near the same number of feeds - one in the morning, sometimes two if I could take him to nursery a bit later; then I would pick him up as early as possible, feed him immediately, and feed a couple of times in the evening. He also fed at night (darn it!! grin).

Incidentally, yes, they're supposed to get lots of milk at their age - 500ml or more I think? (I fixated on that!) but DS did not get that amount. He is - and always has been - in rude health, no weight losses, no sickening, teeth are fine, bones I guess are great... It's easy for me to say to you now, when you're in the middle of it, that later on you'll look back and wonder what the fuss was - but you will! smile

But I hope you find a solution - it's such a big worry.

cocoachannel Tue 07-Jun-11 08:35:02

My first post was prophetic!

Tried a defrosted bottle this morning and she flat out refused...

Moved onto a bottle expressed last night and half way through she spluttered, I think the milk went down the wrong way, and then screamed every time I tried, so I finished the feed on the breast.

Here we go again!

yawningbear Tue 07-Jun-11 09:50:39

Thankyou everyone, I really do appreciate all your replies, really helpful, I do love Mumsnet!! Sorry to hear that Cocoa, they don't half like to keep you on your toes, what a bugger! Hopefully she will be Ok with it again at the next feed. Did you try the bottle with her yourself at every feed? We have been doing as Gourds suggests and have had DP try when I have been out and DS has been really hungry but no joy. He is just too upset to contemplate it. Also with DP being out at work alot I really feel like I need to try myself although I can understand that this is not going to go down well with DS at all, but sounds like perserverance has paid of with you though? So I think I might give that a go, are you planning to completely move to bottle feeding? PrincessofWails, I could predict that this is the way things will go for us too, but I will try and be optimisitic! Luckily I can be pretty flexible with work too and will only need to leave him for a few hours at a time to begin with and he will be eating solids but he obviously gets so much comfort from the breastmilk and I know that much of that is the act of suckling from me but I would just feel happier leaving him if I knew he would accept a bottle. I will also give the sippy cup ago, certainlythat worked with my DD, who also was a determined little soul, and never wanted a bottle, until now that is! She currently happily goes around the house at 2.6years old sucking on all the discarded dummies and bottles that DS has spat oot pretending to be a baby grin. Thanks again everyone, I will re-read and come up with next plan of attack so to speak smile

CamperFan Tue 07-Jun-11 10:22:09

I have given up on the bottles, am now trying soft spout aka NUK and Avent, which he will take some from. But as he is 7.5 months now, if I want to go somewhere I will do it over a meal time so that DH can give him lunch or tea instead. By Sept your DS will be the same age, and you could get away with not using a bottle at all. Just make sure he has milk in food - porridge in the morning uses 3 oz for example and you can bf before and after work. He cAn always be offered milk in a beaker at normal bf times, but really the difference in the amount of bfing I was doing at 4 months compared to now is huge. Now I feed him before morning nap, before lunchtime nap (after his lunch), around 4pm ish and then before bed (twice in the night but that's another story). What I am saying is that it's not the end of the world if doesn't take them as you could probably get away without them.

cocoachannel Tue 07-Jun-11 11:08:21

She took 120mls at her 10am feed- phew! After that the bottle got too cold I think! I normally top up on the breast but am being very cruel and distracting her with play in the hope she stops thinking she will always get that option. DH is on holiday the week after next so at that point we will start him giving her the bottle. One step at a time...

When she first refused the bottle we tried somebody else giving it to her but it didn't work and the approach was inconsistent because I'm the only person around all the time with DH at work. When we realised we needed to try at every daytime feed it meant it had to be me trying. It has been really hard work and she still has a fuss half way through the feed, but we've come on leaps and bounds in the last five days.

I'm not planning on moving to excusive bottle feeding immediately but hope to phase the bottle in over the next two months or so, which will hopefully mean that by six months she will only breastfeed at bedtime/night, and I can start doing some freelance work.

Having said that, this bottle feeding lark is bloody hard work. All the sterilising etc. Jeez.

Good luck!

Cosmosis Tue 07-Jun-11 11:55:52

You may find at that age he will be ok with no milk while you’re at work, my DS is now 9m and can go a day at the CM with no milk with no issues – he drinks plenty of water and eats for england. When he started at the CMs he refused milk from her for the first month, and then started taking it when he settled in. I do still send him in with a bottle of ebm but he doesn’t always take it all. Yesterdays for some reason was a little off and he was fine without.

flowerfairy Tue 07-Jun-11 13:31:12

Glad i found this thread dd is 3months and am going back to work in 5 weeks for 11/2 days a week, for 2 weeks before the summer hols, so want to continue bfing. HAve a freezer full of bm too. Ds took to a bottle of bm very easily but dd is very fussy and stubborn. Am beginning to worry that she won't ever take bm from another source. There is definitely some advice i haven't tried on here. cocoa how long at each feed did you persevere with the bottle? Did you then feed her yourself? Dh has tried but as he is out at work it is falling to me in the day time to try and coax her with the bottle

cocoachannel Tue 07-Jun-11 14:33:12

About five minutes, during which time I'd stroke DD's lips with the bottle, let her touch it and keep try to get her to latch on. As soon as she got distressed, I took the bottle away, then before bfing I spent five minutes walking around or playing with DD so she didn't equate fussing with getting fed the way she wants to be!

scarecrow22 Wed 08-Jun-11 17:08:42

Thanks OP. Having same prob w my DD, 24wks, and also going back work. Cocoachannel (great name) sounds v wise and loving but persistent approach. Kicking myself: she used take bottle happily then I stopped two months ago bec bored if expressing!

yawningbear Wed 08-Jun-11 20:13:05

We had some success here today, well by that I mean I managed to get the teat in DS's mouth without too much hysteria, I think he may have even had a wee taster, milk was really quite warm and I had him in same position I breastfeed him in, this seemed to help alot. Will keep trying, great link too cocoa, hope others have had some success too today. And am with you with the expressing being seriously dull Scarecrow, I actually loathe doing it but am now very envious of flowerfairy's and Coco's freezer stash and have even been googling which breastmilk storage bags I should buy should I have some success with this lark!

scarecrow22 Wed 08-Jun-11 20:32:46

I had a small freezer stash and for reasons don't understand (oldest is early April) has all gone off - or we think it has. Am sick to the heart will have to throw away... I now treat myself to Spooks boxset when do it. Prob rubbish karma but at least I do it!

CalmInsomniac Thu 09-Jun-11 14:19:50

Hi I had the same problem and had a breakthrough with my DD when I gave her fridge-cold milk in an open cup. She started accepting milk in a beaker after that but liked it cold and not warm. Just one more thing you could try.
Apparently, babies either like bottle/cup feeding to be just like a breastfeed or as different as possible. My DD was one of the ones who liked it different.

emski1972 Thu 09-Jun-11 19:51:12

Going through the same at the mo with 5 mo...here are a couple more suggestions from friends. Some of which I have tried
Tap the bottom of the bottle (it worked I kid you not) she actually opened her mouth wide open.
Another friend said when you leave her or hand her over to someone else to try leave a muslin that smells of you or bathrobe/tshirt...you get the idea.
We also let her put it in her mouth herself (along with her fingers) also with some success.
Slow progress but definitely an improvement..have been at it for some weeks.
We also played some lullabies with simple animation (see you tube for worldwide lullabies or look up African lullaby some or most of them are lovely and mesmerising) to distract her.
Have also been practising with Aptamil cartons so I dont have to through any expressed milk away.
This week I found rather than waiting until she was hungry, give her the bottle halfway through a feed when she is prepared to explore it.
Stick with the same teat. I kept changing and this seems to have made matters worse.
Good luck

yawningbear Fri 10-Jun-11 19:30:22

Well the tapping thing really worked,babies really are quite odd eh?! Thankyou Emski, he kept it in his mouth for ages whilst I tapped on the base, just got to get him to start sucking now hmm

cocoachannel Fri 10-Jun-11 19:53:51

My freezer stash is no good...it smells all chemically and DD flat out rejects it. sad Luckily there wan't loads or I would have been heartbroken! We introduced a mix of EBM and formula last night and DD slept for nearly 8 hours, a big improvement on her previous 'best' of five. Maybe it's a coincidence. Who knows? But I'm going to try that again tonight!

yawningbear Fri 10-Jun-11 21:16:34

Oh that is really rubbish, thanks goodness you didn't have loads in the freezer, that would be gutting! But every cloud has a silver lining, how amazing that she slept for nearly 8 hours! I say this as a sleep deprived ejit whose DS is currently waking every couple of hours, but that is a whole other thread. Did you give her some ebm and then some formula? I am having real trouble expressing (finding it sore and getting hardly any) so have bought some of the small cartons of formula but I can't see DS going for it anytime soon.

scarecrow22 Fri 10-Jun-11 22:24:36

Prob are both whole other threads, but as I'm here looking for tips for third night of new campaign to reintro bottle...
Re night waking: are you doing dream feed? We stopped waking dd (now 5.5mths)) at 10/11pm and found she slept much longer through (until this week was doing approx 7pm-6am with one feed in early hours for c. 3 months). Seemed odd but I looked into it and apparently some babies prefer to do big sleep at the beginning of the night. Worked for us as we had to wake up for dream feed anyway, but wouldn't suit all babies/parents of course.
Re expressing: I really do find looking at pics of dd helps hugely - still. Apols if you tried/obvious but not everybody believes how effective these tricks can be. Don't lose heart (yet!) I and several new mums I know had V slow start to expressing but does improve, suddenly.
Good luck. Onwards... We trying bottle tap tonight!

scarecrow22 Sat 11-Jun-11 07:58:14

Breakthroughs! She took cold milk from open cup w tea yest ( though only w food, refused again when DH took bib off and bowl away!) and took warm milk from beaker w spout (Avent one w sucky bit off so free-flows) in night. Hurrah! Seems CalmInsomniac she prefers clear difference - or the easy no suck option! Thanks for that tip smile

cocoachannel Sun 12-Jun-11 12:56:34

Yawningbear - I mix the formula (from a carton) with EBM, for the final feeds of the day; the very last feed just being formula.

Rations of EBM:Formula
4pm - 70:30
6pm - 50:50
10.30pm - 0:100

Breast milk from me or bottle for all other feeds.

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