Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

Bottle help

Posted by on Dec. 20, 2012 at 8:52 AM
  • 6 Replies

I will be returning to work 2 weeks from today.  My DD will be 4 months old and she is still refusing the bottle.  I've been away from her three times.  3 hours twice and 8 hours once.  She didn't eat the whole time I was gone, even during the 8 hour day!  My boys never had a problem.  I used the Ventaire bottles with them but didn't want to use those this time around.  My mom wasted a bit of milk because she would periodically forget to put the bottom membrane in.  This time I have purchased Tommee Tippee bottles and have some Similac bottles that were sent to me (we don't use any formula). I also don't use bottles.  Whenever I'm with my babies I nurse exclusively.  They only get bottles with dad and my mom who watches them while I'm at work.

What bottles have or have not worked for you?  This child is stubborn but I don't want her starving herself while I am away.  I know she will eat eventually if she's hungry enough but I want to make the transition easier and I don't ever want her to be that hungry.  Kwim

ETA:  I just remembered I was gone 8 hours on Black Friday night.  She did eventually take a bottle from DH but will not from either of the grandmothers who watched her the other three times.

by on Dec. 20, 2012 at 8:52 AM
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Replies (1-6):
by Kate on Dec. 20, 2012 at 9:06 AM

I'm going to copy a couple of articles for you that may help.  If she won't take a bottle, you can keep tryign or do on eof these other things (reverse cycling, alternative feeding methods).

Reverse Cycling

AUGUST 23, 2011. Posted in: WHAT IS NORMAL?

By Kelly Bonyata, BS, IBCLC

What is reverse cycling?

Reverse cycling is when baby nurses frequently at night and less frequently during the day.

Why do some babies reverse cycle?

  • Newborns may reverse cycle in the early days or weeks simply because they have their days and nights mixed up.
  • Distractible (and/or very active) babies or toddlers may nurse more at night to make up for missed or shortened nursing sessions during the day.
  • If mom is very distracted or busy during the day, baby may nurse more at night to make up for missed or shortened nursing sessions, or simply to get more uninterrupted time with mom.
  • If mom is away from baby during the day, baby may take just enough milk (by bottle or cup) to “take the edge off” his hunger, then wait for mom to return to get the bulk of his calories. Baby will typically nurse more often and/or longer than usual once mom returns. Some mothers encourage reverse cycling so they won’t need to pump as much milk. Reverse cycling is common for breastfed babies who are away from mom part of the day, especially those just starting out with the bottle.

Tips for handling reverse cycling

General coping tips for interrupted sleep:

If your newborn has days and nights mixed up:

  • During the day, keep the lights on and go on with your normal daytime activities — don’t keep things dark and quiet where baby is sleeping. Play with and talk to baby during waking times. Wake baby to nurse every 2-3 hours.
  • During baby’s night wakings, keep everything calm, quiet, and dark (if you need a light to breastfeed, try using a smaller light like a nightlight or closet light). At some point you may want to begin a bedtime routine (such as bath, story, breastfeeding) to signal that nighttime has begun.

When mom is busy or distracted:

  • Consider using a sling or other baby carrier so that baby can be with you and breastfeed while you go about your day.
  • Be aware of baby’s typical breastfeeding routine, and remember to watch for baby’s cues on busy days — this is easiest when baby is close by.
  • Be aware that after a really busy day (we all have them!), your child may need some one-on-one time with mom to breastfeed and reconnect.
  • Tips for juggling a newborn and toddler

If your baby is distractible, see The Distractible Baby for tips. Do babies under 12 months self-wean? has additional tips for distractible older babies.

If baby is reverse cycling and taking very little milk when mom is away at work:

  • Be patient. Try not to stress about it. Consider it a compliment – baby prefers you!
  • Use small amounts of expressed milk per bottle so there is less waste.
  • If you’re worrying that baby can’t go that long without more milk, keep in mind that some babies sleep through the night for 8 hours or so without mom needing to worry that baby is not eating during that time period. Keep an eye on wet diapers and weight gain to assure yourself that baby is getting enough milk.
  • Ensure that baby has ample chance to nurse when you’re together.
  • If you prefer to pump less milk while you’re away from baby, you may choose to encouragebaby to reverse cycle.
by Kate on Dec. 20, 2012 at 9:07 AM

You can have caregiver use a sippy cup with the valve removed--grandma tips, baby sips.  There are some other alternatives as well.

Tools for Feeding: Alternative Feeding Methods – Bottles & More


There are a number of options for feeding baby when you are unable to directly breastfeed – a bottle is only one of them. If your baby is older than 4-6 months old, consider going straight to a cup. If your baby is younger than 3-4 weeks old, consider avoiding the use of a bottle for a couple of reasons:

Following are some resources for alternative feeding methods.

Bottle | Cup, Dropper, Spoon | Finger Feeding | At Breast | Back to Breast | Older Babies

Bottle feeding

Alternatives to bottles for younger babies (including preemies)

Cup, dropper, syringe, and links with various methods

Finger feeding

Options for supplementing baby at the breast

Weaning back to the breast from other feeding methods

Additional options for older babies (4+ months)

After 4-6 months, there is really no need to introduce a bottle — babies this age can generally handle a cup just fine (expect to help out in the beginning, though). If you need to, try different types of cups to see what works best for you and baby: regular cup (try different sizes), sippy cup, no-spill sippy cup, cup with straw (or a cup with a built-in straw), and sports bottle are all options that different babies use.

Occasionally a baby will refuse to drink from any type of cup or bottle. In this case, try feeding baby breastmilk with a spoon, dropper or syringe. If baby has started solids, mix the solids with lots of breastmilk. You might also try a momsicle, ice cream, yogurt or a smoothie made with breastmilk.

by on Dec. 20, 2012 at 9:11 AM

Thank you!  We co sleep and she definitely feeds more throughout the night but so did the boys.

by Alicia on Dec. 20, 2012 at 9:58 AM
Also I've noticed with my current DS2 (whose just over a month), will not take a bottle from a woman, period. I have had to leave him 2 times for about 4 hours each time and he wouldn't take a bottle from my sil, who was watching him. Once she handed him to my brother he would take it but not really, which is fine by me. He's a total boob baby
Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
by Group Admin -Tabitha on Dec. 20, 2012 at 12:34 PM

Who is feeding bottles? How are they feeding bottles?(or trying to) Are you around?

by Marta on Dec. 20, 2012 at 1:22 PM

Try to get the bottles that mimik a natural breast flow. Slow flow. I know avent are ok they send some with the pump when you buy one, and the last time I went to the Lactation consultants office she had the new Medela bottles, They are kinda expencive but supposibaly the best.

Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)