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Baby refusing bottle. How tough should we be??

(7 Posts)
Loulamummy Wed 12-Aug-09 13:27:16

I have a 3 month old who has been EBF and now won't take a bottle. I have a job interview next week, and will have to make some complicated arrangements to make sure he doesn't go without for the whole morning. This is a small issue compared with what will happen if I get the job.

I have read a lot of threads and have got some useful tips to try, but my question is, how hard do you push a 3 month old to do something they don't want to do?

We have been shoving the bottle down his throat while he just screams. We moved on to trying to feed him by spoon, again whilst screaming. My partner keeps telling me we need to be tough with him but I am worried that it is too much like force feeding, and it is breaking my heart. I think that holding his head in position while tipping spoonfuls of milk into a screaming DS is going too far. At what point do I give up and give him BF?

The other option of letting him go hungry if he doesn't take the bottle also seems harsh. Again, I am not sure how long to leave it before giving him BF. Is it best to be really tough and wait until he is so starving he can't refuse, or keep trying at it 'gently'?


MamaKaty Wed 12-Aug-09 13:35:57

First of all, ensure that somebody else is bottle feeding your child - if they smell your milk they're unlikely to settle for a substitute.
Shoving the bottle down the childs throat will make all the wrong associations. Try a couple of different teats to try and find one that works best for your child. Get somebody else to perserveare with this once your child is hungry - offer it gently and if they don't take it then remove it and try again a few minutes later.
Expressed breast milk will be easier for them to accept than formula as they will recognise the smell and taste.
Sucking from a bottle is a different technique from latching on the to breast so be patient with your child - try offering a few drops off a (clean!) finger before inserting the teat.
Your child is incredibly unlikely to starve but if you've got concerns contact your health visitor and ask them to come out and help you get to grips with this.
Good luck!

justaphase Wed 12-Aug-09 13:47:01

Please do not get tough, he is only a baby.

I know exactly where you are coming from and I was absolutely desperate with my DD who would not take a bottle right until I went back to work when she was 6 months old despite us trying consistently, every day for months. We tried every bottle on the market and all sorts of itterations. She was not having any of it.

So I went back to work and left her with the nanny. First day she had 20ml of formula from a cup all day. For the rest of the week she had about 50ml per day. The following week she accepted a bottle and had about 100ml in one day. Over the next couple off weeks she increased it gradually and in the end was fully bottle-fed during the day.

We never put her under any pressure though, if she got upset we stopped immediately. I think pressure is likely to be counter-productive. Especially with a baby this young.

Good luck.

pigletmania Wed 12-Aug-09 14:41:27

I had a similar problem with my dd now 2.5 years, bf did not workout and i had to give a bottle, it took a couple of weeks and eventually she took it it and formula, you just have to persevere, if they dont want it dont force. My dd as a little baby did not drink much milk, it took a whole morning for her to finish about 6floz. I was so worried i took her to the gp as it was really hot and i was worried about dehydration, he checked her, she was fine and said that she will take it when she needs it and do not force or worry. just keep offering.

RBJ72 Wed 12-Aug-09 14:51:16

we've had exactly the same experience with our DD who is now 5 months old. we now make sure that we heat up the milk so it's nice and warm almost hot. we also experimented with teats. i'm also only offering her milk now that has been expressed that same day or i freeze it the same day and then defrost. i read that you could keep breast milk for up to 3 days in the fridge but DD refused it if more than a day old. it still isn't completely trouble free but hopefully we are getting there. have you tried giving him a bottle at night when he's asleep in his cot?

Loulamummy Wed 12-Aug-09 15:24:23

Justaphase, where did you find your nanny?? I need someone who can handle days on end of hungry baby. I find it so hard, particularly as he BFs so well and so often usually. If he goes without, he just cries.

I am going to try the dream feed thing again. If I can just catch him at the right moment...

I have tried quite afew different teat types. The first feed with each, he takes it for a while, then he realises, and after that, nothing.

justaphase Wed 12-Aug-09 15:58:19

I found her on gumtree but really a nanny should be able to handle it.

Looking back now I shouldn't have worried as much as I did. I know this is easier said than done but honestly - it is just a phase

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