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How to Help a Breastfed Infant to Take a Bottle. Tips on Breastfeeding and Bottles

Updated on August 28, 2015

Breastfeeding is best but problems do occur

Breastfeeding is a wonderful bonding experience for mom and baby. It is the healthiest way to feed your baby and the simplest. It gives your infant important antibodies against illness, promotes a strong bond, helps your body return to pre-pregancy state and save money.No more worries about bringing bottles, warming milk, etc. But what do you do when baby refuses a bottle when it is time for mom to be away such as returning to work?

We had this problem when my granddaughter was about 3 months old. My daughter had been giving her a bottle off and on when she worked since 6 weeks. It was a Dr. Brown bottle and nipple. The regular size nipple that many of us remember growing up with. Small nipple with long slender top. She just great for the first month or two and then it happened. She no longer wanted the bottle.

Gerber Easy Flow Comfort Latch Slow Flow Nipples

the nipples we finally used that my granddaughter preferred/a
the nipples we finally used that my granddaughter preferred/a

Refusing the nipple

My daughter had to be in a wedding and was going to be away for a few days. We had experienced no problems with her Dr Brown nipples so far. She pumped breast milk when ever she was away and we had plenty of milk. But for some unknown reason Isabelle refused the bottle from her father. He brought the baby to my husband and I as he prepared for the wedding. He had given up earlier in the day and driven the baby to the church to nurse. She nursed voraciously and now it was our turn. No she did not want the bottle.

My first attempt at the bottle was a heated battle of wills between Isabelle and I. For some reason she acted like the milk tasted awful and refused to even let me put the nipple in her mouth.

I had successfully breastfed 3 of my own children and was totally stumped. She took enough to get by but not enough for sleep, etc. That night at the wedding which we all attended Liz breastfed the baby once more before we left to put the children to bed.

The next day she was in a good mood but still refused the old nipple. Liz came to pick her up and we were so concerned about the situation. She was returning to to work the following Friday.

Researching an Answer

Being a mom and a pediatric nurse I immediately began to research possible problems.

I learned about slow flow nipples, different size nipples, how to get an infant to transition and even found a list of the best nipples for breastfed infants.

A little background here might be helpful. We had just gone through the holidays with both families getting the flu and Isabelle had not been given a bottle for at least 3 weeks.

Rejected Bottles

Reg flow nipples. The ones my granddaughter rejected
Reg flow nipples. The ones my granddaughter rejected | Source

Our Problems Begin

I really wonder if Isabelle had been continually given a bottle if we would not have faced this. My daughter was exhausted and it was so much easier to just breastfeed. When the holidays were over and she returned to work, Isabelle would have nothing to do with the bottle. Every time I would try to offer it to her she would scream and act like I was feeding her arsenic. That's when the researcher in me went to work.

My Granddaughters . See her cousin feeding her with no problems
My Granddaughters . See her cousin feeding her with no problems | Source

What Nipple to Purchase

I found that infants that breast feed nurse differently than bottle fed babies. They place their tongue differently against their mouth. They also work harder at feeding.

Three slow flow nipples were recommended. I had to find slow flow that allowed the baby full control over speed of flow. She still had to suck as she did when beast feeding. We also wanted a round nipple with a short end. It is found that most mothers have short nipples .An infant opens her mouth wide taking in the areola tissue and uses her tongue to control the flow from the nipple . She needs a round nipple so she can flatten her tongue and push it forward as she does to get breast milk. This also aids in proper jaw development. There are several nipple products on the US market that meet these criteria:

  • Gerber Comfort Latch
  • Evenflo Ultra and Elite
  • Playtex NaturaLatch

I had the baby on Monday and it was Saturday afternoon so I went to Walmart and the only one they carried was the Playtex. It had three styles although very similar in one package. I purchased it with the matching bottle.

How the New Nipple Worked

The first day was not easy. The baby did not want to touch the bottle until she became extremely hungry. We started with apple juice for a change in her association of the bottle with the breast.

She took two ounces with now problem. Then my daughter was planning on spending a few nights with us so I encouraged her to offer the bottle. Isabelle took the bottle every time from her mom without a hitch.

Now I was alone and it was my turn. I offered her the bottle slowly making sure I cradled her tight and smiled into her face. She slowly took the bottle and finished.

We have not had a problem since.

Breast Feeding Problems

Have you ever had problems with transitioning between breast and botttle

See results

PDF on Jaw Position with Breast vs Bottle

I found a great pdf article concerning the differences in jaw placement and formation with breastfeeding verses bottle. You might be very interested .In many cases it can help prevent the need for braces later in life.

Best bottle nipple


Remember to use one of the three nipples listed above. There is no hard and fast rule as to when to introduce a bottle but once you and your baby have become a good team you are ready.Try to offer your infant a bottle periodically even when it is not convenient so she won't refuse later bottle. Some moms prefer to let dad give the dinner time bottle when her milk supply is more than likely low from fatigue. This gives her some time to either relax and recharge with a nice bath or cook a relaxing dinner fo her and her husband. There are no rue ls.

It is so easy to pump and store breast milk today . You can have a good supply for your babysitters or emergencies. Label your milk with the date you pump and stored it. Thank you so muc for reading. If you further questions please let me know. If you like this hub please vote u


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