Happy Mothers Breastfed Babies
Results 1 to 7 of 7

Thread: Baby prefering bottle over me. What should I do?

  1. #1

    Default Baby prefering bottle over me. What should I do?

    We have a 100-day son, who has been breast fed (with only 1 bottle/day) for the past 3 months, now only wants bottle and refuses to latch, and we wonder how hard we should try to get him back to feeding on my breast, especially considering that I am going back to work full time in 10 days. We understand all the benefits of breast feeding, but I am so tired and frustrated.

    He just got through a growth spurt last weekend, during which he started getting inpatient with my breast so we gave him bottles (with my breast milk) whenever he got frustrated with my breasts, so he only sucked on one or both breasts once for 5-10 minutes. My milk supply is fine because I can pump enough milk out to satisfy him. But now he only wants to suck on one breast for 5 minutes and then refuses to latch any more and starts screaming. Today, we tried to breastfeed him 3 times, and they all ended up in bottles. The last time we tried to force him to stay on my breast and he screamed for 15 minutes and we gave up.

    At this rate, we are concerned that he would abandon breast entirely in a matter of days. Our original goal was to continue feeding him on my breasts at least once or twice a day (before and after I go to work) until he is 9 months, and still breast feed him once a day 9 month to a year or two. I will definitely give him 100% breast milk for the first 4 months, and probably the first 6 months. But the
    bonding is important for us as well.

    Any suggestion will be highly appreciated. Thank you very much

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    19,905

    Default Re: Baby prefering bottle over me. What should I do?

    Welcome to the forum!

    I know you have very little time before you have to go back to work, but I think that right now you need to work very hard on exclusively breastfeeding if you want to preserve your nursing relationship. Put the bottles away. I think offering the bottles when the baby was fussy and impatient is what caused the problems you're having, since the baby figured out that the way to get a bottle was to throw a fit at the breast. So for the next few days, I would aim to only nurse, no matter how frustrated and cranky the baby gets. Don't try to force the baby to stay on the breast, but don't give him a bottle if he comes off on his own after just 5 minutes. There's no reason to think that an older baby NEEDS to stay on the breast for a long time in order to get his meals.

    Are you nursing the baby at night? One way to overcome a nursing strike is to offer the breast at night, when both mom and baby are very relaxed and when the milk tends to be a bit more abundant than it is during the day.
    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!"

  3. #3

    Default Re: Baby prefering bottle over me. What should I do?

    My poor brain-What is 100 days-3 and a half months or thereabouts?

    Ok, so this confused me-
    Our original goal was to continue feeding him on my breasts at least once or twice a day (before and after I go to work) until he is 9 months, and still breast feed him once a day 9 month to a year or two. I will definitely give him 100% breast milk for the first 4 months, and probably the first 6 months. But the
    bonding is important for us as well.
    I think it is really great that you want to nurse your baby for a year, and provide your baby with your breastmilk as well, even while working. But I don't understand why your goal includes nursing so very infrequently. How often does baby nurse now? (before this nursing strike?)


    Ok so, aside from that, some thoughts.

    Many babies get very efficient at the breast by 3 or 4 months. So a five minute nursing sesssion could be entirely normal.

    I would also suggest that your baby did not get impatient with your breasts. Babies cannot get impatient. Babies have no patience to begin with. That is one reason why cue feeding is so important, because a sceduled baby may become a very hungry baby who is frantic at the breast.

    What I see happening sometimes is baby is fussing for some reason or another, and mom loses patience in herself, or confidence in her ability to comfort/nurture your child via breastfeeding.

    I also sometimes see this kind of problem come up when a mom thinks her baby should only be nursing a certain number of times a day. If you are trying to get enough breastmilk into baby in, say, 6 feedings a day, then each feeding MUST be at least 4-5 ounces and thus becomes terribly important and there is not room for normal fussiness, shorter feedings, or any of the normal ups and downs of infant feeding. This is another reason cue feeding is so important. Most 3 month olds would still be nursing a minimum of 8 times a day, or more-sometimes much more. Normal.

    Just pretend bottles do not exist. I have no bottles in my house, or formula, or a pump. So if my baby gets to fussy to nurse-and she does sometimes, as this is just normal behavior-then she does not nurse at that moment. It's OK, because I know I can nurse her again as soon as she is ready. Because we are not sceduling or trying in any way to limit her feeding frequency.
    This also works for working moms. You can nurse whenever either you or baby want when you are with baby, and you can teach your baby's caregivers how to cue feed with the bottles, as well. here is more info on that: http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...astfedbaby.pdf

  4. #4

    Default Re: Baby prefering bottle over me. What should I do?

    PS I wanted to add just to be clear-when I suggest, pretend bottles don't exist-I don't mean starve your baby into nursing. If your baby truly will not nurse, then of course baby needs to be fed somehow.

    This is a good article on gently encouraging baby back to the breast: http://kellymom.com/bf/concerns/child/back-to-breast/

    And this one has good tips for preserving the nursing relationship: https://www.llli.org/nb/nbjanfeb06p4.html

    Hope this helps!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    44

    Default Re: Baby prefering bottle over me. What should I do?

    I agree that i'm confused by the goals.
    Its very common to have a great pump output at this age but for many women the pumping output decreases overtimes. Offering bottles in a growth spurt makes them last longer. During the growth spurt baby is nursing frequently to change the composition of your milk to meet their growing needs. Bottles should be for ONLY while mom is away. any time a bottle is given you MUST pump at the same time to make up for the missed feeding and to continue to tell your body to continue producing.
    You've kind of created the problem by allowing baby to throw a fit and get rewarded with a fast easy flow of the bottle. How big are the bottles that are being given? Your going to have to outstubborn baby to get baby back to breast. Hand express just to let down before putting him on so that he won't have to work to get the milk to let down. If he gets frustrated take a break and try again. Offer the breast before hes starving watch for early hunger signs. If he absolutely won't be calmed give him .5oz in a syring/dropper/spoon/open cup.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    32

    Default Re: Baby prefering bottle over me. What should I do?

    Hi--I'm new here, but I'm also having a similar problem. I work 32-40 hours a week, and DH stays home with my 5-month old baby and gives her bottles (of my pumped milk). Last week I was having trouble with her and I still do at times. She has realized that the bottle is so much easier! We use the newborn nipples, but it's still easier compared to the breast. And now she is at the age where she is very easily distracted. I have had better luck with standing while feeding her or leaning over so that gravity helps with the flow of the milk, at least until I get a good letdown. When she gets fussy I switch breasts, and I might switch a couple times each feeding to keep her going. Also, my husband and I were just discussing this the other day: when he feeds her a bottle and she wants to look around the room, he can move the bottle with her, so she can eat/look around as much as she wants to. When she's at the breast, of course she can't do that. I don't know if it will make a difference, but he's going to start trying to keep her still so she can't do that with the bottle, so hopefully there won't be as much of a noticeable difference for her between the bottle/breast, as far as "looking around" goes. I've also had better luck feeding her in my bed, lights out, like I do during the night when she feeds much easier. Less distraction and I think it's a more comfortable, quiet place for her.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    212

    Default Re: Baby prefering bottle over me. What should I do?

    My initial thought is that it would be less important to keep the baby still than to keep the bottle still. 5ish months is a perfect time for distraction since they're so newly aware of and excited about the world. So my little guy (who has always been king of the take a swig then stop to check out your big brother method of eating) may be on and off for a whole nursing session and I just keep kinda reminding him what he's up to, and we get through till he's really done and won't turn back any more. I think if I tried to force him to stay by physically holding him still we'd both get frustrated. You do want bottle feeding to mimic breast feeding as much as possible, so if your breast isn't going to move around with baby, then neither should the bottle. Good luck, and don't forget to enjoy your baby.

Posting Permissions

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