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how can we get our breastfed babies to take a bottle?

(27 Posts)
luckycat2 Tue 17-Oct-17 12:14:52


In my NCT group 5 of us are trying to get our breastfed babies to take a bottle of expressed milk. We'd just like some time to ourselves now and again and it would be great if our partners or the grandparents could take the babies for a couple of hours.
The problem is that none of us can get our babies to drink from a bottle! The babies are all around 2 months old. We have tried a variety of bottles and teats.
Any tips or advice would be much appreciated.
Thanks very much.

Highlove Tue 17-Oct-17 12:57:36

Honestly? I don't think there's much you can do beyond trying a few different ones and all the obvious stuff like you trying/someone else trying/you going out.

IME (two bottle refusers) there's no special trick. Babies are gorgeous, delightful, awkward little buggers who do what they want!

DD1 eventually gave in at about ten months after regular trying from about six weeks. DD2 happily took the odd bottle until about 12 weeks when she had a change of heart and at almost 15 months still won't but on a good day might now have the odd 50mls out of a sippy cup.

Sorry. Probably not the answer you wanted.

KarateKitten Tue 17-Oct-17 13:00:14

Just keep at it and I suggest someone else giving it. I've never known a baby not eventually take the bottle when they had to. None of mine ever liked it but with going back to work, they did take it with perseverance from the childminder.

Creatureofthenight Tue 17-Oct-17 13:01:07

Sorry no advice but I'm in the same boat. Would love my 3.5 month old to take a bottle. Was pinning my hopes on a Minbie bottle but she rejected that first go, will keep trying.

scaredofthecity Tue 17-Oct-17 13:04:10

my DS wouldn't take one, and I really tried!
when your baby is a bit older they will get into a more predictable routine of feeding meaning that you will be able to leave them for a few hours.
I think mine was about 4 months when me and my DH managed to get out for a meal for his bday.
Have you heard about the 4th trimester? your babies are still so small and there is definately a change in behaviour around the 3 month mark.

Isadora2007 Tue 17-Oct-17 13:07:10

They’re still so tiny I’d just wait a little longer and then they can be entertained by someone else for a wee bit and go longer between feeds. It’s essentially still the fourth trimester at this stage. Four months onwards is when they begin to be less intensively dependent.

TeddyIsaHe Tue 17-Oct-17 13:07:11

I started dd off with a bottle of expressed milk at a few days old to get her used to the teat. I know everyone says wait until they’re older etc, but everyone I’ve spoken to who has waited until milk has established has never been able to get baby to take a bottle.

Absolutely no help now I know! But I’m case you have another. Agree with everyone else - perseverance!

BubblesBuddy Tue 17-Oct-17 13:13:32

Karate. My youngest never had a bottle. Refused until she could use a cup. My Health visitor had her discussed at a conference. I went away for the weekend, as suggested by the HV, and a nursery nurse and my Mum were in charge of the bottles. She took nothing and I had to take her to the GP on Monday because she starved/dehydrated herself. She wouldn't eat either. It started to improve at 18 months. Total nightmare. She's still contrary now!

timeforbedsleepyhead80 Tue 17-Oct-17 13:32:53

I think (sorry) the trick to this is to do it from the start, which I know goes against all the advice not to give BF bottles until BF is properly established. I gave expressed milk in a bottle from around a week old probably twice a day and never had an issue switching in between, with supply or anything.

Probably by this stage perseverance is the key. Try different brands too. I never used them myself but I have heard that Minbie bottles are great for getting reluctant BF babies on the bottle.

abigailgabble Tue 17-Oct-17 13:35:06

my baby is just coming up to 6mo and is exclusively breastfed. i don’t have a great answer to your question but all i can is that the very high need period really will be over before you know it so if i were you i wouldn’t worry about it and would try and enjoy this phase for what it is. when your baby needs you less (in no time!) you can catch up on all the things you are missing.

Twickerhun Tue 17-Oct-17 13:35:17

Mine wouldn't take a bottle, I tried everything bar going away for a weekend. I eventually got him to takes sippy cup at 6 months.

DaisyRaine90 Tue 17-Oct-17 13:36:45

Get someone else to give it to the baby.

It is very rare a exclusively breast fed baby will take a bottle the first time from the one with the boobs.

I they are hungry enough they will eat the expressed milk when you’re not x

AtlanticWaves Tue 17-Oct-17 13:40:54

We tried loads from 5 months (so I could go back to work at 6). Nothing worked (including me going out/different bottles and teats/different milks/expressed breastmilk....)

So in the end we gave a free flowing sippy cup.

corrianderisthedevil Tue 17-Oct-17 14:00:20

Try lansinoh bottles. Their teats imitate a nipple and were the only thing my ebf baby would take. Sell them on Amazon.

Nottalotta Tue 17-Oct-17 14:11:34

In my limited experience, you need to start early. Earlier than 2 months I'm afraid

Rinceoir Tue 17-Oct-17 14:15:08

Bubbles I think you had my DD! Wouldn’t ever take a bottle even though tried from 3 weeks old. And ate nothing at all until 18 months old! Even though I went back to work full-time when she was 10months old. Nothing at all worked.

OlennasWimple Tue 17-Oct-17 14:18:20

Mine wouldn't take a bottle from me, preferred to bf. Only from DH or someone else, ideally when I wasn't even in the room

DiploCat1 Tue 17-Oct-17 15:52:30

We use the calma teats by Medela. Quite expensive but much better than the NUK ones the hospital recommended. Baby has to create a vacuum just like when they are breastfeeding otherwise the milk doesn't come out at all. Downside is they can only be used with EBM and not formula. Also, agree with other posters and ignore the wait until bfeeding is established advice. My baby was premature and in SCBU and so fed using a combination of breast, bottle, cup and nasal feeding tubes. Never had any problems except with cup feeding which she couldnt get at all. Now we are out of hospital she has a bottle every night for her dreamfeed.

Floellabella Tue 17-Oct-17 18:54:17

Can you try the bottles/teats of the same brand as the dummies they like? That’s what worked for me. That and persisting through a lot of screaming.

waddleandtoddle Tue 17-Oct-17 19:02:36

Not sure if this is the best advice, but fast flow teats made the difference for me.

Later I used a beaker, I think by Nuby, it was a soft teat that when it was bitten, the milk came out.

My milk came out like waterfalls though!! So that's when I thought, he needs the milk to come out faster!!

Taylor22 Tue 17-Oct-17 19:02:48

I've officially quit trying this week.
DD is 16 months. Still BF (constantly) can drink from any cup, beaker or straw.

Can not drink from a bottle.
We've spent over £100 on bottles. Different brands, teats, flow.

Nothing has worked.

Good luck OP.

NerrSnerr Tue 17-Oct-17 19:05:17

With my eldest from about 4 months we tried a bottle every day and she didn’t start taking them until about 6.5 months. My youngest is 6 months and I couldn’t face expressing so I’m just accepting that he’s coming with me for pretty much everything (or he’s close by!)

ElizabethShaw Tue 17-Oct-17 19:08:40

Have you tried giving it while the baby is asleep?

I think it must just be luck. I gave mine bottles from aged 2 weeks to 2 months and all three took normal tommee tippee bottles fine.

MoMandaS Tue 17-Oct-17 19:14:38

Don't be in the house, or at least be upstairs or something. They're not going to want it from the bottle when the source-with-added-comfort is within smelling distance!

lauramcd86 Tue 17-Oct-17 19:21:26

Have you tried a nuk latex teat?? My 4 month old refused everything else and a friend suggested it. It’s meant to imitate the mothers nipple?? Supposedly..... also have you heard of paced feeding? Was suggested to me in my breastfeeding group. I’ve literally only gotten a break in the past week so hoping the bottle feeding continues to go ok!! Sorry to not be much help. I’ve been where you are though xxx good luck and hope it all works out for you smile

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