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Thread: Need to introduce bottle to baby

  1. #1

    Default Need to introduce bottle to baby

    I have been exclusively breast feeding my soon to be 3 month old. Given that I would be going back to work, we tried the Dr. Brown's bottle for a feed a couple of times a week (both husband and nanny), and he took to it. In the last couple of days he has completely refused the bottle. He does not seem to know what to do with the nipple and seems to gag or just plays with it in his mouth.

    I go back to work in a few weeks and am desperately looking for the right bottles, process to follow to get him there. I work a 10 hour day, so it is critical that he be comfortable with the bottle.

    I've heard that the mother should never give the bottle, the temperature of milk is important and recommendations on bottles including MAM, Tomee Tipee, Comotomo etc.

    My first test will be the coming Tuesday when I have to be away from him from 8 a.m. to 2p.m. I am hoping that we can introduce the bottle again this Sunday.

    Please help!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2013

    Default Re: Need to introduce bottle to baby

    I would go ahead and try another type of bottle/slow flow nipple with dad ahead of time, maybe you can just leave the house and go for a short errand? My daughter started refusing Dr. Brown's bottles right before I went back to work, and also would not take a bottle if I was home as well. So we just pulled some other bottles to try, and found a combination that worked, and all has been okay in the ensuing months.
    Apologies for the short responses! I'm usually responding one-handed on my smartphone!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: Need to introduce bottle to baby

    Are you using fresh or frozen milk? You want to rule out lipase issues. Milk is safe but smells soapy and some babies refuse it.

    If you hunt around long enough, you will find many techniques/rules/dos and don't lists for giving baby a bottle, some of which contradict each other! And the nipple/bottle system recommendations come in such a large number, it can make your head spin. But if there really were one nipple or bottle or technique that worked for most babies, we would know it. The fact is, there is not. Babies are individuals, and come in all shapes, sizes and preferences. According to one study, no matter when or how a bottle is first offered, some babies accept bottles without issue, some will take the bottle but only after protest, and a small percentage just really, really hate the bottle.

    I would suggest, start with a few different sizes and shapes of inexpensive, low flow nipples and a SMALL bottle. One that holds 4 ounces or less. You want a small bottle because you never want your caregiver giving your baby more than 4 ounces at a time, especially to start. 2-3 ounce bottles are fine.

    Make the following suggestions for when, how much, and how to give a bottle to your caregiver.

    Paced bottle feeding

    -bottle feeding the breastfed baby
    Information sheet: http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...astfedbaby.pdf

    Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UH4T70OSzGs

    Know that a baby can get nourishment from something else if the bottle is just not working. The caregiver must be willing and able to experiment. A small open cup works well, (please let me know if you would like more info) and I know for sure that some babies as young as 4 months have done ok with sippy cups. So maybe a 3 month old could as well.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Austin, TX

    Default Re: Need to introduce bottle to baby

    Hi Mamapinto, sorry I am late to this thread, but I have some experience (to put it mildly!) with bottle refusal, so I thought I would share a few thoughts and suggestions and maybe you will find something helpful here. Bottle refusal makes a lot of sense from the baby's perspective -- he's used to getting not just food but connection and nurturing from his nursing relationship with you, so why would he want to accept a substitute (especially when he knows you're around or coming back!)? Smart baby knows what he likes! At at three months of age, he is going to start being able to go a little longer without a meal, if he chooses, because he doesn't like the restaurant.

    The best advice I can give on overcoming/managing bottle refusal is be patient, persistent, and creative. My son completely rejected the bottle from about age 6 weeks to 3 mos of age (he started daycare at 12 wks) and then for about two months of daycare, he would take about 2-3 oz spread out over the course of the 9-10 hr day -- just enough to stave off hunger. It freaked me out, but you know what? We did fine, it wasn't ideal, but we managed and it it worked out. He made up the calories in the evenings/overnight for a while, and then one day (around 5 months old?) he just *decided* to accept it, and ate everything I sent from that point forward.

    Bottle type is one thing you can experiment with. Some brands are designed to mimic the breast (like Tommee Tippee, Breastflow, Calma) and some women say that they are better for a breastfed baby. I've also read that selecting a bottle with a nipple that looks anatomically close to you can encourage acceptance. Personally neither of those things made a difference for us - my baby rejected three types of bottles supposedly designed for breastfed babies, and ultimately accepted Born Free, and their nipples don't look like me OR mimic the breast, so who knows! Also, even though they will all say they have "slow flow" nipples (and you should never use anything else but the slowest flow, stage 1 nipple with a breastfed baby, regardless of baby's age -- your breasts don't move up in flow so why should the bottle?), truthfully some are faster than others, and your baby might have a preference for one over the other. You can test the nipple flow by filling them with water and holding them upside down over the sink -- some will drip out very slowly, others are more like a constant dribble. You can practice with one brand for at least several days, to give baby a chance to catch on, before you switch to something new.

    However there are other things you can experiment with in addition to bottle brand, such as:
    -Milk temperature: Room temp, warm, very warm ... babies can be very particular about that.
    -Hunger level: You can try when baby is already hungry (he might be more inclined to eat), or alternately when he is between feeding times and less hungry (less hunger might mean less frustration, and more like "here's something new and fun to play with, and it has milk in it!")
    -Different holds/positions: You can try it from a traditional cradle hold, a more upright almost-seated cradle position, sitting baby with his back against the belly of the person feeding him, or positioned seated in front of the person feeding him (either in an infant seat or reclining against the adult's propped up thighs).
    -Mimic Mom: You can also have the caregiver wear a piece of your clothing (like a scarf you've slept on, or your robe, that has your scent), or nestle the bottle under their armpit with baby in a cradle hold, so that the experience mimics breastfeeding.
    -Use movement: You can try feeding him while walking around, gently rocking or swaying -- movement can calm and distract them a little.
    -Where are you during the feed? I'm assuming you are not giving the bottle (he's less likely to take it from you, since you have the goods he REALLY wants!). You might need to leave the room or even leave the house (if my baby could see or smell me, or just knew I was nearby, he wouldn't take the bottle).
    -Try different caregivers offering the bottle -- partner, grandparent, a friend, etc.
    -Trying warming the nipple first, and dipping it in the breastmilk so he can smell and taste it ("Instant Rewards" technique).
    -You can also try alternative methods, like syringe or cup feeding, and see if your daycare provider is open to them.

    Or try these things in combination. It takes a bit of trial and error. Don't be afraid to go back and try something again that didn't work before -- on a whim we went back to a bottle that my son had initially rejected, just to see what happened, and he accepted it! That, plus feeding him while walking/rocking, made it a whole new ballgame.

    You might also try to prepare yourself for possible reverse cycling (baby sleeping more and eating less during the day and ramping up night nursing to get their calories -- totally unfair for a working mom, I know, but such is life). But your baby will not starve -- babies are smart and they do understand what's going on. My very wonderful daycare director told me "No baby will purposely starve himself" and she was right. My son did reverse cycle for a few months, which was rough on me temporarily. I'm sure your LO will get it together -- mine did and he is definitely the most "determined" baby my daycare has had! But even if he doesn't, and he is a reverse cycle baby for a little while until you can transition him to cups (which can start as early as 6 mos), it will be OK too! Just stay optimistic and keep trying and it will work out.
    Last edited by @llli*mercystreet; October 31st, 2013 at 10:16 AM. Reason: typos

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