Why Breastfed Babies Refuse Bottle? What Is The Solution?

Why Breastfed Babies Refuse Bottle What Is The Solution

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Just when you thought that you are finally starting to return to your regular life, re-joining your workplace or maybe planning to go out on a dinner date with your significant other, you try feeding your baby with a bottle and… fail. They flat-out refuse to even take a sip.

Well, do not worry because your baby’s behavior is not unusual at all. In fact, a lot of breastfed babies refuse the bottle. Before we look at how to help your baby complete the transition from breast to bottle, we need to understand why some babies find it difficult to complete this transition. Here are three reasons why your baby is not ready to accept the bottle:

1: Increased movement as they grow

As babies grow older, they are able to develop their motor skills allowing them to gain more control over the movement of their bodies. You may have noticed your baby trying to explore their surroundings while they were being breastfed. The greater the mobility of your baby, the tougher it gets to feed them from a bottle. This is because they may simply push the bottle away or perhaps turn their head away in retaliation since they are not ready to accept the transition from breast to bottle.

2: Disappearance of the ‘suck’ reflex

Newborn babies develop a reflex in the womb referred to as ‘rooting’. When something makes contact with the roof of a baby’s mouth, the baby involuntarily starts sucking on it [1]. This helps a baby find a nipple or a bottle during the feeding process. However, the reflex only lasts for about four months. This means that older babies may not drink milk when a bottle is inserted into their mouths.

3: There is a great difference between a bottle teat and a breast

Babies who are breastfed for a long time develop a connection with their mother’s breast. They make use of their tactile memory to understand when it is time to be fed. Therefore, bottle teat suck on is a foreign object to them. They may have no clue as to what they need to do with this new object that has been put in their mouth.

Now that you know why your baby is refusing the bottle, here are some ways to help your baby make the transition from breast to bottle:

1: Get someone else to offer the bottle to your baby

Your baby may be ready to accept the bottle from other sources if you are not visible to them. This is because your baby gets confused as to why their mother is offering them a bottle instead of a breast to be fed with.

2: Experiment with different feeding positions

Some babies may be willing to accept the bottle if they are positioned the same way they are breastfed. However, some babies may accept the bottle in a completely different position!

3: A sleepy baby may be more accepting

Try offering the bottle to your baby when it is about to fall asleep. Alternatively, offer the bottle to your baby as they wake up from sleep, as they are still half asleep in this state.

4: Try offering the bottle during bath time

A warm bath will help your baby feel more relaxed and accepting. This is the perfect time to try and feed your baby from the bottle, as they may feel more comfortable in this scenario.

5: Experiment with different bottle teats

Some babies may prefer being fed from one type of bottle teat to another. Try different bottle teats to find out your baby’s preference. [2]

It may seem like a daunting task to get your baby to transition from breast to bottle, but you need to remain patient and persistent. Try applying what you have learned from this article and hope for a quick transition. Good luck mommy!

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