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Infant feeding

Getting BF baby to take a bottle

13 replies

alexx2 · 12/03/2016 09:28

Desperate for tips on getting a BF baby to take expressed breast milk. Have been expressing for a few days and trying with no success to get DS to take a bottle. He'll happily put the teat in his mouth and chew on it but gets startled when he gets the liquid out (I think he thinks it's a dummy) and spits my milk back out.
I know part of the problem is we've waited too long, DS is 13 weeks old but couldn't start earlier for various reasons.
Any advice from those who've been successful gratefully received.

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James3009 · 12/03/2016 10:34

I am currently undertaking a research study on the subject of bottle refusal by breastfed babies as part of my PhD. It seems to be something a number of breastfeeding mothers experience and there is very little research concerning it. Would you be interested in completing a 10 minute anonymous questionnaire about the subject?

From the responses I am receiving at the moment mothers try a myriad of different approaches including trying different bottles and teats, getting someone else to feed the baby, trying the bottle once a day at exactly the same time and only trying to feed when baby isn't hungry. Other mothers accept that their baby just isn't going to take a bottle and carry on breastfeeding without one. As you can see there isn't one simple answer to this but hope this helps!

Spudlet · 12/03/2016 10:51

Try leaving the room while someone else does the bottle. Make sure they're holding your baby close (like you do when feeding), maybe even strip down for some skin to skin. Also, have the bottle ready so it can be offered before they're ravenous. Or maybe even leave the house! DS will take a bottle in my absence as we found out when I had to go to the dentist, but if he knows I'm near, he demands boobs.

skiingcat · 12/03/2016 10:53

I had the same issue. Eventually she took the nuk bottle with the latex teat and my mum gave her the bottle so she couldn't smell the milk of me.

alexx2 · 12/03/2016 13:36

James 3009 I have completed your questionnaire. Thanks for passing on your findings of what other mums have tried. Have tried some of these, will try some others.

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alexx2 · 12/03/2016 13:37

Thanks spudlet and skiingcat. Will try the mum bottle and latex teat. Have tried leaving the room but maybe just need to bite the billet and leave the house!!

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confusion77 · 13/03/2016 09:59

Never managed it, started at 7 weeks. Sorry!

siblingrevelryagain · 13/03/2016 10:12

My DH used to give the bottles, and would snuggle them in quite firm and woud also do this thing where he 'cupped' their face with his hand, so they felt the pressure like with bf (hard to describe without showing- imagine holding the bottle in place with thumb and next finger, then fanning out the remaining 3 fingers across their cheek).

Seemed to work with my DC; there is, however, a caveat-my eldest was given a bottle of ebm at 2 weeks, second one at 5 weeks (couldn't manage the time to express with a toddler and a baby!), third DC also at 2 weeks. The middle one was the only one we struggled with (would only take a bottle in exceptional circumstances).

In my experience timing is the key-early enough that they are receptive to trying.

alexx2 · 13/03/2016 11:19

Thanks for the suggestions siblingrivalryagain. Worth a shot with the face cupping as I do find holding his face/stroking his cheeks helps him get off to sleep.

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alexx2 · 13/03/2016 11:19

Confusion77, good to know we're not alone!!

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LordTurner · 17/03/2016 09:20

When I was a nanny, one of my tasks was to get a tiny baby to take a bottle. After trying all sorts I eventually found that singing to her worked! She was so distracted (possibly horrified) by my singing that she sort of relaxed and began to suck on the bottle. Maybe get someone else to give the bottle and do what they can to relax the baby, talking to them, singing etc?

alexx2 · 17/03/2016 12:18

Thanks lord turner , worth a try !!

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whatevva · 17/03/2016 12:29

It is years since I did it - I was told to try the avent teats - the wide ones - more like a mouthful of boob, than the traditional ones that were more prevalent at the time.

Also, press it against the back of roof of the mouth, to stimulate sucking. I could only do it by sitting them on my knee and holding the back of the head with one hand and directing the bottle into the right place with the other. Picked that up from the SCBU nurses.

DS1 never got the hang of it. I was very inexperienced, but I doubt he would ever have done it without a very big fight and a lot of knowledge indeed. He did not like food either Hmm.

DTDs - I never bothered until they were about 5 months and they took to it with no problems. I did have some experience with bottles in the SCBU which helped.

alexx2 · 17/03/2016 12:47

Thanks for this detailed reply whatevva, your tips are really useful. Will get my DH to try aiming for the back of the mouth. We've tried so many teats but not the advent ones, so worth a try!!

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