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Breastfed Baby Refusing Bottle

Breastfed baby refusing bottle

My 4 month old son is solely breast fed.  I tried introducing a bottle to him around two months and he refused it.  Since then my husband and I have both tried a few times to get him to take a bottle and he has cried for 45 minutes to an hour and never accepts the bottle.  He also refuses a pacifier.  I would like for him to be able to take a bottle occasionally, even though I still plan to nurse him.  I am also concerned about how he will be able to transition to a bottle or sippy cup later if he will not take a bottle now.  I have tried around four different kinds of bottles and have the same response with each one.  Do you have any suggestions?

We had this same issue with one of our daughters. At 4 months olds, we left her with an experienced baby sitter and tried to go out to dinner. Half way through dinner we got the call. She refused the bottle and was screaming. Upon arriving home, I (the great pediatrician) attempted to “show” our sitter how it was done. My daughter refused the bottle and I only showed how little in knew. Over the next several weeks we tried different bottles and nipples but failed to find one she would take. Bear in mind that our daughter did take a pacifier well. Our rare dates were short ones timed around her nursing schedule. We were only able to extend them when she learned to take solids well.

1.) Continue to have your husband do the feedings (Often breastfed children will not take bottles from the their mothers.)
2.) Continue trying with different bottle/nipples.
3.) Try to feed her before she is really hungry
4.) Start solids if you haven’t already

This personal experience and seeing similar situations in my practice has led me to recommend introducing bottles to breast fed infants at 2 weeks old. Breastfed 2 week olds seem more flexible and willing to learn to take a bottle.

Follow up - 2 weeks later

We will keep trying to offer a bottle to my four month old son. So far, we still have not had any success. I just started solids with him and he doesn't seem to be very interested in that either. I wondered if maybe I had offered the bottle too late (I didn't offer him one until he was two months old), so in the future my children will be introduced to the bottle much earlier! Thanks for the advice!


Written January, 2013 by
Dr. Gordon, Orlando Pediatrician







gregorygordonmd.com is intended to help parents understand the needs and behaviors of children. The information presented in the site is the opinion of Gregory Gordon, M.D.and does not reflect the opinion of his partners. This website is owned exclusively by Doctors insights LLC. The advice in this site does not apply to all children. Always consult your healthcare provider for your individual needs.

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