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6 Month Old Breastfed Baby Refusing Bottle & Beaker

(10 Posts)
Passthehobnobs Wed 13-Jul-11 15:41:59

I've solely breastfed my son for 6 months and now I've started weaning I thought I'd try him on some follow-on milk while I start to scale down the breastfeeds. My husband also wants to be in on the feeding. However our son refuses to latch on to bottles or beakers, preferring to chew them and not to suck, he then gets distressed and I end up breastfeeding. (I also think he's teething but there are no teeth showing yet).

The other 9 mums in my NCT group are all bottle or mixed feeding now, and have been for some time, so have I scuppered things? I haven't expressed too often because I can have a bit too much milk, and we were also told in our NCT class that we would ruin breastfeeding if we tried to bottle feed expressed milk too early, so we didn't.

Every time I see a health professional I get a big (rather patronising) pat on the back for continuing to breastfeed, but I would like to scale down and stop in the next few months as I want to get back to work and have the odd bit of time to myself - hope that doesn't sound too selfish. It's not even an option at the moment.

Should I just keep breastfeeding and not bother with follow-on milk and/or trying to use a bottle or beaker? Will he be ready for a bottle or beaker when he's older? Will I still be breastfeeding him at the school gates!?!

Cosmosis Wed 13-Jul-11 15:54:45

Firstly, you don’t need to use follow-on milk, you can use normal formula, there isn’t any actual need for follow on milk.

You may have more success with a doidy cup than a bottle and at 6m there is no real need for milk to be in a bottle. Does your DS drink water at all? What I’m asking I suppose is it is a formula issue or a receptacle issue?

I would keep offering, but make sure it’s not when he is hungry, just at odd times when he’s calm and happy and I’m sure he’ll get there eventually.

hugeleyoutnumbered Wed 13-Jul-11 16:08:44

go to asda in the baby aisle they do beakers disposable freezable etc pk of three for £1, they got my ebf ds3 drinking out of a beaker

Passthehobnobs Wed 13-Jul-11 16:22:02

It's more a receptacle issue - we haven't had much success giving him water either.

Yesmynameis Wed 13-Jul-11 16:24:22

What happens if you offer water in the cup or even a small amount of ebm, as an experiment?

I'm just wondering if it's the taste of the formula he doesn't like; Formula isn't as sweet as BM. You could try different brands; even the stage 1 milks, don't feel you have to go for a follow on milk just because he's 6m, unless you actually want to that is.

What cups have you tried. DD never got on with a valved cup, she just didn't realise she needed to suck first and just chewed on the little spout. So we went straight to a free flow beaker, which I then found out is what's recommended anyway. The advantage of a free flow is that as you tip it up a small amount of liquid runs into their mouth so that they get the idea of what's going on. We also had some mixed success with an open Doidy cup.

Even if he never drinks from a bottle, all babies will eventually drink from a cup of some discription, so it will happen. It's just a question of finding a cup he likes. If he's not ready to take to it just yet, he will be within the next couple of months so please don't worry. smile

If he has a sweet tooth and just isn't going to go for the formula, is ebm an option you would consider? Don't forget you can switch to cows milk from 12m so this isn't going to be a never ending situation. EBM might be a good compromise to tide you over in the meantime?

Yesmynameis Wed 13-Jul-11 16:29:06

Sorry xposted Passthehobnobs, was being a tad slow...
Also *description

I agree with Cosmosis that I personally wouldn't bother struggling to introduce a bottle at this stage, as you're only going to have to migrate onto a cup at some point anyway.

Cosmosis Wed 13-Jul-11 16:37:44

If it’s a receptacle issue, I would just try a few different types and offer through the day with either water or formula, and let him play with them a bit and he’ll work out what to do eventually. No-one never drinks from a cup after all! I think it’s important not to stress him with it as you may end up with it as an issue, when at the moment it’s just a new thing he’s not mastered yet.

IgnoringTheChildren Wed 13-Jul-11 16:50:30

It takes a while for a breastfed baby to learn the skills required for drinking from a beaker so don't expect it to happen overnight! However despite knowing this I still got panicky about getting DS2 to take milk from something other than me. grin

I had the most success by just persisting with two types of cup - I use one like this for milk:

www.tommeetippee.co.uk/product/trainer/

and the basic tommee tippee free-flow beaker for water, although I'll switch to that for milk too once DS2 gets the hang of drinking from it without having to stop, turn it over, shake it a bit, chew the bottom of the cup... hmm

I found that the beaker with the soft silicone top worked well for milk as it's not completely free-flowing so DS2 didn't choke and splutter on it so much to start and he liked chewing on it to begin with so would get a little bit of milk and eventually worked it out. He can't hold it completely by himself (they do also do a beaker with handles with the same top) but I prefer that at the moment anyway!

You probably will get more success using EBM as then your DS is just learning a new skill, rather than getting used to a new taste as well. If you can manage it then combining BF and EBM in a cup/beaker until you can start to introduce cow's milk (I started giving small amounts before 12 months to get my DS1 used to it and will probably do the same with DS2) is a good way to go. However if you want to stop BF sooner and don't want to express for that long then mixing formula with EBM, increasing the amounts til it's just formula, has worked for friends of mine.

Your DS will figure it out eventually! smile

IgnoringTheChildren Wed 13-Jul-11 16:53:35

Oh and I should add that I spent loads on various different types of bottles, beakers and cups before realising I was just confusing DS2 with all the new and intersting "toys" I was offering him to play with, bang on the highchair tray, drop on the floor... grin

Passthehobnobs Wed 13-Jul-11 20:15:18

Thanks very much everyone, DH and I have taken heart from all your advice!

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