Happy Mothers Breastfed Babies
Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: Please help! 7 month old baby refusing bottle

  1. #1

    Default Please help! 7 month old baby refusing bottle

    I went back to work when baby was 4 months old and she ate fine from a bottle until she was about 6 months old. I work in a school and had winter break and was off for a week so I just breastfed and did not give bottles. When I went back to work in January my baby started to only eat about 5 oz a day from the bottle, only an oz or 2 at a time and sometimes completely refusing the bottle. When I get home from work she is starving and eats very frequently also waking to eat throughout the night. Before all of this happened she slept through the night no problem since she was about 2 months old. I really need some advice to get her to eat in the day again and help getting her to sleep in the night. We are all so tired from the very frequent night waking but I am worried she is not getting enough to eat since she is refusing the bottle in the day. She also eats about 1 tablespoon of oatmeal and 2 oz of puree during the day. We have tried several different bottles and sippy cups and different nipple flows.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    24

    Default Re: Please help! 7 month old baby refusing bottle

    Sounds like your LO is developing quite the opinion about bottles. It sounds like what my first two sons did when I first went back to work--refused the bottle for a few days, then grudgingly accept (my second would only take a sippy cup made for 4 months and up), but also begin waking all night long to eat. My first one woke every hour at night, and I am not exaggerating. Thank goodness we were cosleeping or I would have been a zombie.

    If she is eating a lot more often at night and in general while you are home, she is making up at least some of the milk she is not drinking from the bottle while you are gone. I am not sure which sippy cups you have tried, but I would lean towards trying one or two others (Philips Avent or Tommee Tippy come to mind) and not worrying about the bottle. Also, maybe now is also the time to start doing more solid foods when you are gone?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    10,664

    Default Re: Please help! 7 month old baby refusing bottle

    Hi allirawlins.
    How many hours are you separated from baby?

    I have an alternate theory of what is going on or at least, what might be contributing to the night waking. It seems unlikely to me that one week without bottles would cause bottle refusal in a baby who has been eating from bottles just fine for two months. Maybe a period of adjustment, but not something ongoing.

    On the other hand, a baby waking more frequently overnight at this age then they did a few weeks or months prior is entirely normal. In particular it is very common that a baby who began to "sleep through the night" earlier than average as your baby did, would start having more frequent night wakings at some point down the line. Sleep consolidation does happen as a child gets older, of course, this means that as a person ages they gradually sleep fewer hours overall but more consecutive hours at a time. But in babyhood and toddlerhood, a frequent waking pattern is entirely normal, and a child may bounce around in their sleep patterns quite a few times.

    If your baby is eating more at night, then they need less during the day. So the night wakings may be contributing to baby's lack of interest during the day. I would not suggest limiting your child's ability to nurse at night, but would instead suggest finding alternate ways of getting more overall sleep yourself.

    If baby is truly becoming hungry during the day but refusing to drink your milk, there are some things to think about.
    Have you ruled out the possibility that your expressed/stored milk has a taste problem? There are a couple things that might cause this. Is baby getting milk that has been stored in the freezer or refrigerator and for how long? You can test this theory most easily by giving baby fresh (never stored milk) one day and see if it makes any difference. Of course you can also smell or taste your milk.
    If baby wants just an ounce or two at a time there is nothing generally wrong with that. You might want to make sure baby is not being pressured to drink more than baby wants. Instead the bottle can be offered more often.
    Has your caregiver tried a regular, open cup?
    Will baby eat any more solids if offered?
    Have you tried offering solids that do not have to be spooned in? A baby this age is usually ready to eat pretty much "regular" food rather than purees and some prefer to feed themselves using their hands. Look up Baby Led Weaning aka Baby Led Solids online for information about that.
    Here is a video of a 6 month old being fed with a cup: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R95FUa7_s84

  4. #4

    Default Re: Please help! 7 month old baby refusing bottle

    Thank you so much for responding! To answer some of your questions, ,my baby is separated from me for about 10 hours. I will definitely not stop nursing at night especially since she is not eating much during the day during the week. On the weekends she sleeps much better only waking one or two times to eat. She used to sleep 6 to 8 hours at night sometimes more up until 6 months old. She did this by herself I never did any sleep training or anything like that and always fed her if she did wake in the night, but that was pretty rare up until she was 6 months old. I don't think there is a taste problem to the milk as I tried giving her milk that was just expressed when my mom watched her on a weekend and during the week she gets either defrosted frozen milk or milk from the previous days pumping that was refrigerated over night and she reacts the same to all of it. I smell the milk also and it always smells fine to me. I assume that if it was bad it would smell similar to bad cows milk? Am I right in that assumption?
    My caregiver is my husbands cousin and has been very sympathetic to our feeding issues and is up to trying anything to get my baby to take a bottle again. Since baby has taken less milk at a time, .5oz to maybe 2oz, I have her offer milk more frequently about every 2 hours (which is closer to how frequent she eats with me when breastfeeding) than before but baby is just refusing to eat most of the time and about twice in the 10 hours she has some milk again about .5oz to an 1oz. She has also tried to offer milk every 3 hours, which is what was working for them before I was off for winter break but she still eats about the same. We have not tried a regular open cup so that is definitely worth a try and I will have to look into how to do that. I think baby will eat more solids if offered. I am a first time mom and not sure how much solids to give in a day as I didn't think it was good at this point to replace calories from milk with calories from solids. She has been eating 2-3 solid "meals" per day, morning, afternoon, and at dinner time with me. Today I told my caregiver to offer more solids and to mix them with milk to see if baby will take more that way. I have not tried baby led weaning and will also look into that. I really appreciate you taking the time to answer me and offer support! I don't have any friends who have breastfed as long as I have and my mom did not work and really never gave me or my siblings bottles so I didn't really have anyone else to ask. Thank you again for taking the time to respond!

  5. #5

    Default Re: Please help! 7 month old baby refusing bottle

    When I first went back to work when she was 4 months old she did refuse the bottle at first but after a couple days she was eating about 10-15oz spread out throughout the 10 hours I was gone. That went on until she hit 6 months and I was off for a week at Christmas. When she first went back in January she ate fine for a few days and then out of nowhere she pretty much stopped eating from the bottle and had about 4 to 6oz per day. Now she is having even less then that most days eating only about .5oz to maybe an oz about two times per day. I am having my caregiver give more oatmeal with more milk in it and also mixing milk into her purees.
    Some nights my baby is also up every hour. I have kind of ended up co-sleeping since I feed her laying on my side in bed so I can at least rest while she is eating and she has been just falling asleep in bad with me. Some nights she will sleep part of the night in her pack n play, which is where she used to sleep before the daytime hunger strike happened. I just want to make sure she is eating enough so if I have to feed her at night I will definitely continue to do that.
    The sippy cups we have tried so far are the nuk learner cup, munchkin 360 trainer cup, munchkin straw sippy cup, and I just got the Philips avent. I have not yet tried the tommee tippy but thank you for the suggestion! I was also thinking at this point it might be better to just give up on the bottles and just try cups since we will be heading that way soon anyway.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    10,664

    Default Re: Please help! 7 month old baby refusing bottle

    my baby is separated from me for about 10 hours
    Ok so typical intake for that period of time would be about 10-15 ounces. But not all babies take in the typical amount! My best suggestion is to try to increase what baby will eat during the day but try not to get too hung up on the numbers, if that makes sense.
    . She used to sleep 6 to 8 hours at night sometimes more up until 6 months old. She did this by herself I never did any sleep training or anything like that and always fed her if she did wake in the night, but that was pretty rare up until she was 6 months old.
    6-8 hours is a long sleep stretch ("Sleeping through the night" is actually defined as 5 consecutive hours) and many babies do not start sleeping that long consistently until they are well over a year old. Again when a baby does sleep that long early on, whether they do so on their own or due to some other reason, they often change that sleep pattern a few months later. More food into baby during the day may help baby sleep a bit longer at night, but you also may be many months away from baby consistently sleeping long stretches again.

    I assume that if it was bad it would smell similar to bad cows milk? Am I right in that assumption?
    Actually the most common issue is something called "excess lipase" and it can make expressed milk smell and taste a bit soapy, some people say the smell is "metallic." The milk is not bad, it is perfectly safe to drink, and many babies will drink it fine. But some babies react to the smell and will not.
    This issue appears after expressed milk has been stored, usually when it has been frozen, but in some cases even after refrigeration. If baby is reacting the same way to "fresh" milk and there is no soapy smell, you can probably rule out lipase. Yes actually spoiled milk would smell spoiled.

    We have not tried a regular open cup so that is definitely worth a try and I will have to look into how to do that.
    It is quite simple and common sense, really. I will link a video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R95FUa7_s84

    I think baby will eat more solids if offered. I am a first time mom and not sure how much solids to give in a day as I didn't think it was good at this point to replace calories from milk with calories from solids. She has been eating 2-3 solid "meals" per day, morning, afternoon, and at dinner time with me. Today I told my caregiver to offer more solids and to mix them with milk to see if baby will take more that way. I have not tried baby led weaning and will also look into that.
    You are right to be careful about solids for precisely the reasons you mention. However, this is a special circumstance where baby is eating much less milk during your separations than typical. Baby is making it up at night, so I do not think baby is in any danger. But I do not see how it would do harm and may make things easier for baby and caregiver if baby can be gently encouraged to eat a bit more solids during the day.

    Some nights my baby is also up every hour. I have kind of ended up co-sleeping since I feed her laying on my side in bed so I can at least rest while she is eating and she has been just falling asleep in bad with me. Some nights she will sleep part of the night in her pack n play, which is where she used to sleep before the daytime hunger strike happened. I just want to make sure she is eating enough so if I have to feed her at night I will definitely continue to do that.
    Many moms bedshare with baby at night so they can get more sleep overall and baby can get enough to eat. There is nothing wrong with this and is in fact how most mothers and babies sleep if you count the whole world. There are some common sense precautions to take, although at this age bedsharing can be made safe quite easily. Most precautionary advice involves babies under 4 months old. If you want to read up on safe bedsharing I suggest the book Sweet Sleep, published by LLL (but available anywhere.) This is also a great general sleep concerns book.

    Ironically, baby nursing over night is generally more important for working moms who are pumping during the day than for moms who do not have regular separations from baby and can nurse baby all day. Baby nursing overnight helps mom's milk production. If a baby were sleeping 8 hours and mom working 10, that would leave only 6 hours a day for nursing to happen. Only having small periods of time for nursing baby is not good for mom's milk production and is also more likely to lead to eventual breast refusal by baby.
    Last edited by @llli*maddieb; February 21st, 2017 at 11:01 AM.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Please help! 7 month old baby refusing bottle

    Thank you so much for the advice and suggestions! Makes me feel a little better. I will try not to get hung up on the numbers and will try having my caregiver offer a little more solids during the day. She is also mixing in milk so baby is getting some that way as well. It is hard to leave my baby during the day (wish I didn't have to!) and now that she is not eating much it has really been upsetting to me. I really appreciate you taking the time answering me!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    10,664

    Default Re: Please help! 7 month old baby refusing bottle

    Of course it is hard to leave baby and it makes sense this situation is worrying you. Try not to worry too much though! This is actually not a super unusual situation and in my experience these babies who do not eat all that much while mom is away seem to do just fine. It is the tired, worried mom who pays the price. Hopefully baby will start sleeping a bit longer soon so you can get more rest.

    Another book that may by helpful is called My Child Won't Eat by pediatrician Carlos Gonzalez. It is not really about getting a child to eat more, it is about why most situations where a healthy baby or young child seems to eat too little are usually not any big deal.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Please help! 7 month old baby refusing bottle

    Thanks for the book recommendations! I will definitely be checking both books out! Yesterday went better for both eating and sleeping! She ate 2oz from the bottle in one sitting and had 1oz of milk in her cereal and puree and had another whole oz from the bottle so she definitely got more milk than she has been getting during the day and not completely refusing the bottle like she has done most recently. She slept for 4 hours, woke to eat, and went right back to sleep for another 4 hours! Hopefully this is a start to better eating and sleeping! Thank you for all of your help!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    10,664

    Default Re: Please help! 7 month old baby refusing bottle

    Great news!

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •