So, your baby won’t take a bottle. While this definitely is not the worst thing to be dealing with, it can be extremely frustrating. On the bright side, your baby is probably loving the boobies and has latched well. However we much as you love your little one and love breastfeeding, you aren’t going to be with them 24/7 and it’s very hard to leave them in someone else’s care if they won’t take a bottle. It becomes a real problem when you finally feel ready to shed the sweats and go out on a date night and once you’ve returned to work you definitely want this sorted out.
We have all the tips you need to help you get through your baby not taking a bottle. We got you, mama, and we are sending all our good luck vibes your way. After all, you can’t lose that amazing babysitter you found just because your hungry baby is inconsolable!
Reasons Your Baby Won’t Take a Bottle
The very first step you should take when your baby isn’t taking a bottle is to find the source of the problem. We give you 5 great tips below to work through this struggle, but you will find a lot more success with them if you address the root of the problem first! Below are some common reasons that babies refuse a bottle.
- Stress– This may be due to the environment or your baby could be feeding off your own emotions. Whatever is causing your baby stress may make it harder for them to want to try something new, like a bottle.
- Mom is Too Close– Your baby is smarter than you think! They associate mom with food and if she’s around, they may refuse all other methods.
- Don’t Like the Artificial Feeling– Some babies just flat out don’t like the feeling of the bottle. This is why it is important to try different nipples and bottles. It may also just take some time to get them used to it!
- Likely Does Not Have Anything To Do with Latch– While it is possible that your baby is struggling with latching to the bottle, this is not very likely. If they are breastfeeding fine, they should be fine with bottle feeding so I would look to the other reasons listed here first. However, if you do think this is the problem try out a couple different nipples and bottles!
Methods To Help Your Baby Take a Bottle
1. Pay Attention to the Environment:
Make this as stress-free as possible, this means figuring out how to calm down yourself too! Try to practice some breathing. It might also be helpful to find a quiet spot with minimal distractions. Take into consideration that this whole bottle thing is brand new to your baby and they may be a little confused as to why their food is not coming from mom. The less stressed out you both are the more likely your baby will try out the bottle. If you are feeling overwhelmed, hand the bottle duty off to someone else like your spouse or the new grandma & grandpa.
2. If Your Baby Won’t Take a Bottle, Make it Similar to Mom:
Maybe your baby just likes you too much! Can you really blame them? Some things you can do to make them feel a little better are warming the bottle nipple or even choosing a brown/nude colored nipple instead of clear. This may trigger their memory and remind them of their normal feedings. You should also try holding them just like you do when breastfeeding. Many parents do not notice how much they are changing the feeding routine when they go to give their baby a bottle. If you notice you are holding them completely different just try to mimic your breastfeeding hold. Obviously, you will need to help other caregivers with figuring this out!
3. Try Again and Again:
Different bottles, different types of nipples, different flow. Try them all and then do it again. The answer to getting your baby to take a bottle may be as simple as finding the perfect fit. While figuring out how to latch is not typically the issue, it is possible that this is why they won’t take the bottle. Some bottles may help them to figure this out so trying different kinds is worth it.
4. Get them in the Perfect Spot:
If your baby won’t take the bottle, trying to give it to them when they aren’t hungry or when they’re too hungry is just going to disastrous. Try bottle feeding when they are right in that perfect not too hungry spot. You have a much better chance of getting them to be cooperative when they are not grumpy.
5. Get Out of the House:
If your baby won’t take the bottle from you, give them a chance to give it a try with someone else like your spouse or a loved one. As we said, they may just like you too much and sensing your presence just adds to their confusion.
Bottles We Recommend for Breastfed Babies
This bottle is truly amazing, and hopefully, your baby will agree! It is meant to mimic a mother’s breast in feel and shape, which you can clearly see in the photo. They are specifically made to help babies who are refusing the bottle. They also allow your baby to latch properly and control the flow of milk just as they would when breastfeeding. This is beneficial for their oral and dental development too! It is made with medical and food grade silicone and also is easy to clean. Check it out!
Comotomo Natural Feel:
This bottle is soft and squeezable. It also has a slow flow, which is good for young Breastfed babies. It also has anti-colic vents to keep your baby’s tummy feeling good. Best of all, it is BPA, PVC, and phthalate free. This makes it very easy to clean and heat up as it can go in the dishwasher and microwave. Plus, I love the super modern look of it! Get yours here.
My sister-in-law is planning to try these bottles with her sweet new baby! She brought my attention to them and I think they are awesome! They are shaped just like a boob, which is helpful in recreating your baby’s normal feeding routine. This bottle is a great choice if you will be switching between breast and bottle frequently because it won’t cause too much confusion for your baby. They also warm up quickly and evenly, making them great for impatient little ones. They come with a breast pump adapter, so you can pump right into the bottle. Super convenient! Check them out here.
Tommee Tippy Closer to Nature:
Tommee Tippy did a wonderful job with this bottle nipple. It is as close as an artificial nipple can get to the real thing in feel, movement, and stretch. These bottles are also very easy to hold and they have few parts making them easy to clean. You can purchase them in 3 different flows; slow, medium, and fast. Best of all, they come at a great price tag. Purchase yours here!
Munchkin Latch BPA-Free:
You are probably still feeding your baby breast milk even when you try the bottle, which means you will be pumping. The Munchkin Latch BPA-Free can be attached to a pump adapter making it adaptable to most popular breast pumps. The bottle itself has a great nipple that many babies like. It also has an anti-colic valve and encourages proper latch, so your baby won’t suck in extra air. You can buy the whole newborn set here at a great price!
Other Helpful Articles About Feeding:
7 Super Great Options for a Nursing Sports Bra
Best Baby Bottles for Gas, How to Ease Your Baby’s Belly!
3 Breastfeeding Tips I Heard Over and Over- And 3 Things I Wish I Heard Instead