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Thread: Advice for baby refusing to nurse and take a bottle

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    10

    Default Advice for baby refusing to nurse and take a bottle

    So, it started last Sunday...my LO started refusing the breast and the bottle. Every time I tried she would latch on, take a few sips and then start crying. We took her to the doctor and sure enough, she had an ear infection. So, we decided for the time being, we would mix the milk with oatmeal and give it to her that way until she felt better. Since Tuesday I had tried nursing, a bottle, even a sippy cup! She still refused, so we took her back to the doctor and her ear is actually getting better. He told us that sometimes the pressure can stay high in the tubes even if the ear is getting better, so he said just to offer the breast every day and eventually she will come around.

    What I noticed with our LO is she is really stubborn and makes really strong associations. Ever since her 6 month check up, whenever she goes to the doctor, as soon as she hears or feels the paper on the exam table, she starts crying. So, I am convinced she has already associated nursing or the bottle with pain.

    She is still getting wet pampers, has tears when she cries and actually has gained weight since we took her to the doctor on Monday. She will be 10months this week and I really want to go to 12 mo, but this is really frustrating! And it doesn't help that I just started my new job this past week!

    Any advice is greatly appreciated! Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,632

    Default Re: Advice for baby refusing to nurse and take a bottle

    This is prime age for nursing strike, what's a bit unusual is you KNOW the potential cause that is likely (the ear infection.) Often no one knows what brought the strike on.

    This article has many great tips for encouraging baby back to the breast http://kellymom.com/bf/concerns/child/back-to-breast/

    this article is about nursing strikes specifically: http://www.llli.org/faq/strike.html

    and this is for caregivers on bottle feeding the breastfed baby. No, it does not help that you have just started back to work and I would suspect that has something to do with this issue. But it is what it is. Make sure your baby is being fed in a breastfeeding supportive way (you could modify these suggestions for a sippy cup or even just a regular small cup) : http://www.llli.org/faq/strike.html

    What I noticed with our LO is she is really stubborn and makes really strong associations. Ever since her 6 month check up, whenever she goes to the doctor, as soon as she hears or feels the paper on the exam table, she starts crying. So, I am convinced she has already associated nursing or the bottle with pain.
    I would suggest not psyching yourself out. All babies make “strong associations” -that is how they learn. By far the strongest association your baby has of nursing is that is the most wonderful thing in the world.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Missouri
    Posts
    112

    Default Re: Advice for baby refusing to nurse and take a bottle

    I would suggest skin to skin as much as possible not forcing infant to breast but maybe expressing some drops of milk so she can smell it. Also I have heard bathing with baby is also helpful. Giving her lots of access to uncovered breasts without putting pressure on her.
    Did this for 9months with Kailey and Hailey
    who are now 8.

    weaned Dane somewhere around 3.5 no longer he likes to sleep with his sisters He's now 5

    Now I am , , My baby Cruz who is almost 6 months and my last baby

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,175

    Default Re: Advice for baby refusing to nurse and take a bottle

    Maybe try some different nursing positions? If you typically nurse with baby lying on her side, that could be increasing the pressure in her ears. Try having her sit facing you when you nurse, completely upright, so the ears are draining so much as possible. And maybe make a game of nursing. Like squirt some milk into her open mouth, play peekaboo with the breast- that might make it fun and replace a negative association with a positive one.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

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