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How do I get my breastfed 3 1/2 month old to accept a bottle so that I can go back to work?

My son took a bottle in addition to breast feeding for the first 2 months, but over the past several wks is starting to refuse it. We have tried every bottle out there (Avent, Dr. Brown's, Second Nature, Nuk, Playtex Drop Ins, Adiri, Nuby, and MAM). We have tried different sizes of nipples. We have tried having others feed him. We've tried having a piece of mother's clothing next to him (while feeding). We have tried fresh breast pumped milk, 3 different kinds of formula, and stored milk. We've tried sugar on the nipple (this worked a couple times but no longer does) and finally we even tried (with the permission of our MD) waiting him out (this took 16 hrs and 45 minutes, but then he still went back not really wanting the bottle. I even tried a couple sippy cups but nothing seems to work. Does anyone have any suggestions?


Asked by Anonymous at 11:10 PM on Feb. 15, 2009 in Babies (0-12 months)

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Answers (11)
  • Offering your baby only a bottle is certainly not abuse or neglect. No one is going to arrest you because your baby refused the food you were offering her that's just ridiculous.

    Also,  I just love how moms on here think everyone should quit their jobs to be a SAHM. More power to you if you can do that, but I know for most of us who work it is not an option. The last time someone told me to be a SAHM because it's better for the kids I checked out her page. The "woman" telling me how she quit her career to be a SAHM was a 19 year old living in her BF's parents basement.

    Anyway... once baby figures out the only food around is coming from the bottle it'll get better. You will have a rough start, but it will end up OK!


    Answer by Anonymous at 1:20 AM on Feb. 16, 2009

  • i think you should use the avent bottle because the nipple is shaped like our breast. thats how i got to go back to work.

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:14 PM on Feb. 15, 2009

  • Are you in the room during these attempts? That can be the big needs to be gone.

    Babies don't starve themselves. Go on back to work. Really. Practicing with a bottle tends to be an exercise in frustration.

    Many breastfed babies are perfectly content to wait till mom gets home. This is reverese cycling and is normal.

    Answer by gdiamante at 11:15 PM on Feb. 15, 2009

  • Lol, wow, no I sure can't think of anything that you haven't tried. That really sucks.

    I do have to say that I can't believe a MD would say it's okay to let a 3 month old baby go 16 hours without food ... that is just crazy and I'm pretty sure could constitute as child neglect and get you arrested. I can't imagine what your poor baby was going through and the pain of being hungry ....

    That said, how many hours a day will you be working? How far from home will you be?

    The only other thing I can suggest is having someone bring baby to you to feed on your break, because it seems that is the only thing that will work.

    Answer by Arkaidy at 11:18 PM on Feb. 15, 2009

  • try to put breast milk all on the nipple of the bottle see if the baby takes it then.

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:18 PM on Feb. 15, 2009

  • Breastflow bottles are also good.

    Have you tried warming up the nipple before feeding, so it's warm like mama?

    Answer by Arkaidy at 11:23 PM on Feb. 15, 2009

  • Thanks for all your answers. Tried the Avent, doesn't work. I have tried several times being out of the house and having others feed him, that doesn't work. We have tried warming the nipples and putting milk on the nipple, that doesn't seem to work. What is a breastflow bottle? Perhaps we could try that, if we haven't done that already, but Second Nature bottle which we tried have milkflow like a breast. My job requires a few overnights, therefore feeding him when I get home would not be an option. I wish I could quit my job, but in this economy that doesn't appear to be an option.

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:36 PM on Feb. 15, 2009

  • You will be surprised how much more you spend by going to work. Sometimes its cheaper to stay home. You can make more money by babysitting another child.
    Your baby needs you and if you have to stay home than you stay home.

    Answer by gammie at 12:04 AM on Feb. 16, 2009

  • And you've tried cups too? Many babies who refuse bottles will take a cup. Remove the spillproof valve. Caregiver tips, baby sips. Removing the spillproof valve is key here.

    The Breastflow is a bit better than the Second Nature, so give it a try.

    I would stick with the breastmilk and try warming it if you aren't doing that.

    But bottom line? NO baby will starve themselves. When TRULY hungry, they eat.

    Answer by gdiamante at 12:06 AM on Feb. 16, 2009

  • Try Born Free. These bottles are pricey but my son took to them right away! If your baby doesn't like the nipple of the bottles, try introducing a pacifier first.

    Answer by Anonymous at 6:25 AM on Feb. 16, 2009

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