East Dulwich (Mobile) Forum

How to get baby to take the bottle?

Can anyone share some tips or tricks for getting a baby to take a bottle? I have a stubborn 3month old bottle refuser. Tried different bottle types, expressing/formula, different people offering the bottle and we are getting nowhere!

I love breastfeeding but I've got tickets to the Chelsea Flower show (never been before, always wanted to go) and I've got to crack the bottle by then as babies aren't allowed...

Thanks in advance!



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit was april 19, 07:38pm by omagem.

A few thoughts below that I lifted from a previous post of mine on the same issue. Good luck!


Are you warming the milk in the bottle up? (This was unnecessaary for my eldest but my youngest wouldn't touch milk that wasn't warmed up until he was nearly two). Another thing to try if you haven't already is to go out when your partner tries to feed your baby with a bottle - they're clever little things who can sense when the real thing is around, even if you're in a different room!
Hi, have you tried NUK bottle with latex teats? My baby used to refuse the bottle. We tried all sorts of different things just like you until we tried the NUK bottle and he took it. I recommended it to another friend of mine who had exactly the same issue age her baby took it too.
Thanks for your replies!
Yes we've tried the NUK latex. I would say it was the most successful, as she put up with it in her mouth without screaming for the longest time. But she still won't suck, just chews until she's really fed up then screams the house down until she's breastfed.

I'll see if I can get other half to have more of a try as I'm trying everyday and getting nowhere. Possibly as she knows the real thing is right there. Fingers crossed we get there in the end!
could you try it as a dream feed initially?

though this might mess with your routine too much if you don't already do one.
I agree with a previous post. You may try to leave the baby for half a day she will most certainly get hungry although it wont be easy for the carer. My exclusively bf son has never taken a bottle:/ as we have started it too late. My daughter was on one bottle NUK with latex tit as mentioned previously is excellent. We have started at 5 weeks of age with her she will drink it but only from me:/ they are clever and very selective creatures;)
we had this issue with number 2 and after trying every bit of advice going, after 2 months of trying (at 5 months old) we played hardball. She woke up one morning and was only offered the bottle Exclaimation. She refused feed number one, took a drop of feed number 2, another drop 3 hours later, and then on feed number 4 early/mid afternoon she wolfed down the whole thing and some (from a NUK bottle). Next feed again she took the whole thing. I was expressing through the day. Next morning first feed was bottle and then after that she was happy with either bottle or boob. It wasn't fun, but problem solved in a very short space of time!
I had the same problem with my little one and I came to conclusion that the only thing that works is time. I tried everything I could think of and nothing worked. I was desperate because was getting married and in the end my daughter and my husband came on my hen do and I breast fed on my wedding day!!! And then at about 5 months old for no reason she just started taking it. A friend of mine's daughter took 7 months before she would. Probably not the answer you are looking for but it can take a lot of energy and stress trying to force the issue, especially if you've set yourself a deadline. I never really managed to play hardball though - just too upsetting watching your little cry.
Had this issue with son no2. Took 6 months and lots of different bottle types (and money!) For him to eventuality take the bottles we'd had from first child!

What worked for me was feeding when he was quite hungry (but not starving hungry) mid morning in the park when he was in the buggy. First time he didn't take much but did the right sucking to get some so i knew he could do it. Then tried again later and was fine from then on.

May not work for you, but i think it was the distracted situation which helped.. .

Good luck!
I also had a bottle refuser. However at 8 months he had to go to nursery 2 days per week, and he took the bottle
for the staff there, when the boob option was no longer around. So as others have suggested, you might have some success if you try a different setting, or with another person offering the bottle.
I know this sounds like a hassle, but if you don't manage to crack it by your deadline, could a friend or relative come with you for part of the day and look after your baby outside, then you could pop out for a feed (or two!). Not ideal, but another option might take away the stress for now whilst you keep trying.
The advice I had was not to try when the baby is hungry, because all they know is that it is the breast that solves their hunger, and they just get upset and frustrated with something that seems like not what they know works. The advice I had was after a good amount of feed , try, and at other times let them play and experiment and discover that the teat does the same job.

Having said that, one of mine was a total bottle refusenik, and eventually went straight to a cup.

When is the CFS? If your baby is 6m / starting to wean by then it's possible to manage on spoonfuls of baby food heavily laced with milk. Mine managed like this during the day at nursery and caught up on his milk intake between me coming home and the next morning.

But my parenting strategies are usually 'desperate contingencies' rather than a model to follow.
Check out Minbie bottles - my little one eventually took to bottle with these bottles.
I asked the same question for my daughter who refused to take a bottle. I got loads of great tips and tried them all. I think I spent over £100 on bottles, teats and different formula. I even hired a trouble shooting nanny from a nanny agency who assured me could solve the issue. Unfortunately, nothing worked. I tried her on a bottle every day from 14 weeks and she eventually took one at around 8 months! It is of course worth trying everything but my experience was that she only moved to a bottle when she really got into food and was more interested in taking a spoon and having different textures in her mouth.

I wish you lots of luck and pm me if you have any questions.

Jessica
Hi, my 2nd refused at first, but what worked was - getting my husband to give the bottle and making sure I was nowhere nearby. Also getting a second set of muslins for bottle feeding. When my husband tried feeding her with the normal muslin over his shoulder (ready to catch any drips/voms), she would turn her head towards the muslin. Even if it was clean! I think she could still somehow smell breastmilk or me on the muslin. We got a set of yellow muslins which were "bottle" only!
Thank you all so much for your replies, advice and experiences. Well still no joy but I'm going to persevere maybe with the distraction technique and getting her used to 'playing' with the bottle as she's now getting the hang of grabbing things. Fingers crossed, though the CFS is at the end of this month so I'm not too optimistic we'll crack it by then...
I agree with Carbinara

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