Why is baby refusing the bottle?

We as adults don’t like too much change, can you imagine how much change your baby has experienced since coming out of your womb. They’re whole life has changed and if all they’ve ever known is to breastfeed, it’s like us learning how to eat all over again using something besides forks & knives.

All babies are unique and everyday we’re learning what they like and dislike. Whether you’re going back to work or need someone else to help feed the baby, you need to remember that learning new habits requires time and repetition, like they say, “practice makes perfect”.

Most common types of bottle feeding problems

There are several signs of babies refusing the bottle and these can include:

  • Turning away from the bottle
  • Gagging or fussing as the bottle’s nipple comes closer to the mouth
  • Being unable to latch onto the bottle’s nipple and express milk
  • Constantly chewing on the bottle’s nipple
  • Sputtering or coughing while feeding
  • Not being able to completely swallow their sip of milk, so that some drips from their mouth

Why do many babies have problems when switching to a bottle after breastfeeding?

In most cases, bottle feeding problems aren’t due to abnormal oral motor function, nor are they usually due to an underlying medical issue.

Actually, one of the most common reasons breastfed babies won’t take a bottle right away stems from not being introduced to one early enough in their growth. In fact, the number one mistake families make is offering a bottle too late.

Babies are born with an automatic sucking reflex. But at 2 to 3 months old that reflex becomes voluntary. In effect, that gives babies the ability to turn down a feeding if they’re not comfortable with it.

When given a bottle, not only is the milk flow different, a baby has to adapt to a different nipple shape and texture. They also need to slightly adjust their posture from what they’re used to. For someone so new to the world, making these kinds of changes can be hard and overwhelming, leading to fussing, tears and why your breastfed baby won’t take a bottle.

Bottle feeding Tips  (6 Helpful Tips)

    1. Mummy-blues

      If you have been breastfeeding and are looking to switch to the bottle, your baby might simply miss the smell, taste and touch of Mum’s body when she feeds. Try wrapping the bottle in a top or blanket that smells like Mum. You might find that the baby is much happier to feed from the bottle when she can still feel close to her Mum.

    2. Switch back and forth between breastfeeding and bottle feeding You give your baby the best chance at developing their feeding skills if you alternate between bottle and breast in the midst of feedings.

    3. Take a step back mum. Have a family member other than mom offer the bottle whenever possible. Each person will hold your baby a little bit differently for feedings. When your little one can get used to these differences early, it helps them learn how to adjust their posture so it’s less likely to be an issue when their sucking reflex becomes voluntary.

    4. Feed before they're hungry When first introducing the bottle, it’s better to try feeding when your baby is relaxed and not when they’re already crying for milk

    5. Create a relaxing environment Babies feel everything we feel, try to stay calm and relaxed when giving them the bottle, try some soft, soothing music in a darker room with less noise and minimal distractions

    6. Trying new bottles 'The One' baby bottle has been specially designed for babies finding it difficult to latch, with our naturally soft breast-like nipple and textured surface, it feels familiar for babies and creates a seamless transition between breast and bottle feeding. 

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