A reader question about bottle refusal

One of our lovely readers, recently sent us a query about bottle refusal…

“I work part-time while my mum and my partner help with care for my 7 month old. I’ve been back at work part-time since she was about 4 months old. At first there were no issues at all, as she readily accepted expressed breastmilk in a bottle. However, she has now started solid food. She has started to drastically reduce her milk consumption when she is with her nana and her dad, but she will accept solid food. They have had to sneak the breastmilk into her food by mixing it with baby cereal, as she won’t take the bottle or the milk in a sippy cup. Has anyone else experienced anything similar? Does anyone have any suggestions? Or, is this even something I should be worrying about?” A.

Here’s our answer 🙂 

It is actually really normal that babies go through a period of refusing to take a bottle, even after taking it happily for some time!  You might find these tips a good starting point (under Tips for Encouraging Your Baby to Take a Bottle section): http://www.kellymom.com/bf/pumping/alternative-feeding.html.

As these articles say, with time and persistence, babies usually go forward to take the expressed milk happily again.  Distraction is often useful – taking baby for a walk around the house, finding a new view, jiggling her up and down in arms while your family try and tempt her.  Really important ‘not to make this a battleground’ as one of my local lactation consultants told me years ago so don’t feel that you have to force her.

In terms of the transition time, while you are working your way forward to where she will take the milk again, it’s important for her to still receive your milk somehow.  Check out that same page above for other ideas like cup, spoon and dropper feeding to get the milk in, but in the meantime, mixing it in with the food is a brilliant idea.  If she is having foods like baby rice, use breastmilk instead of water to make it up and finding other ways to add it to each meal.

Hang in there, our favourite parenting mantra is ‘this too shall pass’..  Well done on continuing to provide your baby with all the good stuff that’s in your breastmilk 🙂


Posted on August 26, 2011, in Feeding, Reader response. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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