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Thread: 8-week-old won't take bottle

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2007

    Default 8-week-old won't take bottle

    We introduced a bottle at 4 weeks (LC suggested not waiting until 6-8 weeks). Well, it's been more than a month and the most success we've had was 2 oz. - once. I was in the next room working with the door closed. We've tried with me in the house (in the next room, like the time "we" had success) and with me out of the house. We've tried when she's not hungry at all, a little hungry, and very hungry. DH introduces the bottle, she gums it, maybe drinks a little, cries, then DH soothes her and they start the process all over again. My husband is nearly at his wits end with this. Unfotunately, it is necessary as I am a full-time grad student (like DH) and will be away from my daughter 2 full days/week (for class) plus I need to be able to go to the library for more than a 45 minute stretch.

    Of course, my daughter is also the type who won't take a paci (though I know she knows how) and LOVES the breast. With the rare exceptions when she's in a super good mood (like immediately after waking in the morning). "At the breast" is the only place she's truly happy.

    We haven't received any helpful advice (ranges from: "you have to be out of the house" - duh! to "if she's hungry enough, she'll take it" to "good luck, my baby cried for 8 hours straight and still wouldn't eat"). In my family all the babies take bottles easily and w/o nipple confusion. In DH's family no one would take a bottle so Mom had to be within 2 hours distance for 4 straight years. As for me, I did everything "right" - took BF classes, hired an LC, invested in a good double electric pump, purchased a myriad of nipples, bottles, and pacis, and waited weeks in order to avoid nipple confusion.

    Last edited by jcclowen; August 14th, 2007 at 04:38 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2007

    Default Re: 8-week-old won't take bottle

    I don't have any good advice for you because I am going through a similar situation!! My LO was taking an occassional bottle of expressed milk since the 6 week mark. But the past few weeks, I hadn't given her a bottle and now she absolutely refuses the bottle. I'm at my wits end- I have to be away from her for an extended period in October and am panicking that she will never take a bottle again!
    Know that you aren't alone!!!!!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007

    Default Re: 8-week-old won't take bottle

    Well I guess there are a few of us in this situation because I was just about to post about the same thing. My daughter is 6 weeks old and only on occasion will she take a bottle. I am going back to work in September and she will need to take a bottle all the time then . Today I left her with DH while I went to the dentist and she only drank 1 ounce from the bottle the whole time I was gone, and mind you that took a lot of effort on DH behalf. My daughter will suck on the bottle but put no effort into it and she makes it so none of the milk comes out .

    I have tried all bottles from avent, breastflow, ventaire, drop ins, and she seems to do "best" with the NUK latex nipples (she also just started taking the NUK pacifier). All the other bottles she didn't like at all. Like you I have also tried several different scenarios and on very few occasions we have had some luck.

    I'm starting to feel stressed over this as I am due back to work in 6 weeks and she will be going to daycare. We both absolutely love BFing but sometimes I wonder if I would have been better off just exclusively pumping.... but I wouldn't take our bond away for anything in the world.
    Last edited by mommy2kayla; August 15th, 2007 at 07:09 AM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007

    Default Re: 8-week-old won't take bottle

    I hope I can help all of you. I had exactly the same problem with my little girl about 2 months ago. I started to give a bottle a week from 6 weeks. When she turned 3 months, she decided NO MORE BOTTLES. She refused and cried alot. We tried everything - every tip, every method, every bottle. So this is what I did and it worked - I hope it will work for all of you as well:
    1. Stop trying to give your baby a bottle.
    2. Buy a sippy cup. I bought the Avent Sippy Cup for 3 month old babies.
    3. Remove the valve from the sippy cup.
    3. Every day on the mid-morning feed give your baby as much milk from
    the sippy cup as she/he will accept. Be VERY careful since you are
    actually cup-feeding your baby and they can choke quite easily.
    4. Continue to do this for 2 weeks. This will teach your baby that BM can
    come from something other than the breast. She/he does not have to
    suck, because you are dripping the milk in her/his mouth.
    5. Try the bottle now on the mid-morning feed. Make sure that the milk
    is warm enough (not too hot). Also boil the teat before you try. We used
    the Pigeon Peristaltic wide neck bottle. The teat is VERY soft.
    6. Lay your baby down on your bed while you sit with her/him. Do not hold
    your baby in the same cradle position that you feed her/him.
    7. If your baby starts crying, stop offering the bottle and try again

    Try to relax (I know it is VERY hard, I cried alot!). My baby is now drinking like a champ, and I'm sure your babies will do the same once they start at the daycare.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2007

    Default Re: 8-week-old won't take bottle

    I had this problem when my baby was 3-4 months and I was getting ready to go back to work. I tried every bottle and nipple I could find. I agree with the prior post that sometimes it is helpful for them to understand there is milk in the bottle by dripping some into their mouths. This was tough for a while, but her is what we did. I stopped trying to use slow flow nipples because my baby had no trouble with nipple confusion (I don't know that she will ever want to give up the boobie ). We use the platex dropins bottle with the old fashioned latex nipple. It is sort of flat on top. It took two to three weeks with the same person trying to give her the bottle consistently for it to work--she really wanted me, not the bottle! Now, she holds the same old platex bottle and drinks it down. It is a difficult transition especially for babies who really really love nursing. Mine never took a pacifier either for any length of time. Hang in there.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    Default Re: 8-week-old won't take bottle

    Here's some helpful resources:

    The only tip that I don't recall seeing on these pages is slightly warm the bottle nipple. That helps. Also, feeding baby in a bouncy chair while otherwise occupied (with the t.v. or a mobile or a big sister ) can help.

    In addition, please remember that there are LOTS of ways to get milk into a baby. A bottle is by far the easiest, but it's definitly not the ONLY way. The alternatives link above gives you some how-tos.

    If all else fails, feeding a frozen breastmilk "slushie" from a spoon works for some babies.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2006

    Default Re: 8-week-old won't take bottle

    For me the Playtex NaturalLatch teat was the only thing ds3 would take. I have seen other people recommend the Haberman feeder which is designed for babies with special needs. Apparently the advantages are that it responds to the weakest suck and also that you can "force" milk into the babies mouth by squeezing the teat. Good luck!

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