Bottle Refusal: Tips & Tricks


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TIPS FOR BOTTLE REFUSAL (in no particular order)

  • Many babies are more sensitive to the temperature of milk – make sure the milk is at least room temp if not warmer (close to body temp)
  • Try a slow flow nipple. If your baby is used to a fast flow or very efficient at breast, try a faster flow nipple.
  • Freeze breastmilk, let it thaw to slushie type consistency then
    spoon feed it to the baby. Sometimes the new texture and temperature
    will help overcome baby's refusal.
  • Freeze breastmilk in an ice cube tray, pop out one cube and put it
    one of those mesh baby feeders and then give it to baby to
    gnaw on. Baby won't actually get a ton of nutrition but it might make
    parents feel better emotionally.
  • Soak the bottle nipple in mother's milk so that the taste and smell of mother's milk is on the nipple.
  • Have her use a take-off from systematic desensitization technique:
    Have a bottle with a tiny bit of water or breastmilk in it available for
    baby to play with at all times. Take it in the bathtub, tuck it in the
    carrier when baby is traveling, etc. (not as a source of food but to
    become a familiar object.) Snuggle the bottle in with mom and baby when
    mom is feeding at the breast (so baby starts to associate the bottle
    with the comfort and happiness of breastfeeding) . When baby has had
    time to adjust to the bottle in a happy context, use the under-the-arm
    technique (look at this page on lowmilksupply. org:
    http://www.lowmilks bottles.shtml
    <http://www.lowmilks bottles.shtml> ) to feed baby only the
    last little bit of a feeding when he's mostly full, sleepy and content.
    The whole point of this idea is to change baby's associations regarding
    the bottle from negative to positive.
  • Finger Feed with syringe and tube – WASH HANDS THOROUGHLY!
  • Try using a nipple shield while nursing
  • Dream feed
  • Bottle feed while bouncing baby on exercise ball