Author Topic: Help! Trouble switching a breastfed baby to bottlefed  (Read 3840 times)

BuffaloStache

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Help! Trouble switching a breastfed baby to bottlefed
« on: May 29, 2017, 09:02:15 PM »
Long story short- the Mrs. and I have a son that took right away to the breast (we are lucky!), and had been happily breastfeeding for 7 weeks. Since my wife plans to go back to work around week 12 or 13 (and plans on pumping/bottlefeeding with breastmilk), we figured this would be a good time to start implementing some bottle feeds. However, our son doesn't seem to want to take it at all!

I've done some internet searching and read these articles: http://yourkidstable.com/my-baby-wont-take-a-bottle/, http://www.justbreastfeeding.com/bottle-feeding/when/, http://balancedbreastfeeding.com/the-breastfed-baby-that-wont-take-a-bottle/, and https://www.popsugar.com/moms/6-Tips-Get-Baby-Drink-From-Bottle-28138178.

We are following most of the advice found there; establishing a routine, sticking with it (trying at least once per day), trying various nipples/bottles. But nothing seems to work. Our son will take 3-4 sips and then start bawling (I think he gets frustrated with really 'slow-flow' bottles, and overwhelmed with quicker flowing bottles). Any experience or tips here? I'm going to stick with it, but anything that could help ease the transition would be great!
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Cowspot28

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Re: Help! Trouble switching a breastfed baby to bottlefed
« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2017, 09:59:34 PM »
Obviously each child is different, but I went back to work at 8-9 weeks without issues. We didn't do any sample feeds at all, and I strictly breast fed. I just pumped and dropped off bottles on the first day I left him at daycare (half day while I ran errands), and he drank the bottle. In my experience reading a lot on the internet is detrimental for new parents. I got so worked up about various issues that never came to pass due to my internet reading (pacifiers, weaning, potty training, etc). If he's truly hungry, he will eat, and it often helps if the bottle is given from someone besides mom (and maybe dad) while mom is actually gone from the house.The daycare probably has experience with this  as well, and they can be a good resource. You have probably read about reverse cycling which is a good way for baby to get food at night while away from mom during the day. If he's generally a healthy baby, he will be fine. Congratulations! This is such an exciting time for you.


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marion10

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Re: Help! Trouble switching a breastfed baby to bottlefed
« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2017, 10:17:17 PM »
A few suggestions-
Someone other than Mom give the bottle - maybe even have her out of the room.
Find a sweet spot- when he is hungry but not so hungry that he is frantic
You may have to try - "non-nursing position "- lying in the lap or in a carrier.
Experiment with different nipples.

dannymurphy

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Re: Help! Trouble switching a breastfed baby to bottlefed
« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2017, 06:32:36 AM »
Have you tried a sippy cup top instead of a bottle nipple? That was the only thing that worked with both of my kids.
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Anatidae V

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Re: Help! Trouble switching a breastfed baby to bottlefed
« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2017, 08:33:40 AM »
I heard from someone today that her husband got baby to take the bottle by putting a dummy/pacifier in first, then quickly switching the dummy for the bottle by easing one in while removing the other.

ec.arevalo114

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Re: Help! Trouble switching a breastfed baby to bottlefed
« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2017, 08:53:41 AM »
We had trouble switching as well. Eventually my mom got my baby to drink from the bottle. She would sing to her and walk her around the house, seems like distracting her worked. Also, sometimes she would take it while still asleep.

iowajes

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Re: Help! Trouble switching a breastfed baby to bottlefed
« Reply #6 on: May 30, 2017, 09:51:48 AM »
 just one other thought but have you tasted the milk? I know that my milk has high lipase so after it's been in the fridge for about 4 hours it tastes horrible. Thankfully my daughter will still eat it but I've heard a lot of babies will not eat the milk when it starts tasting soapy. In which case after pumping you need to scald it to prevent the chemical reaction that causes the taste of change

mm1970

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Re: Help! Trouble switching a breastfed baby to bottlefed
« Reply #7 on: May 30, 2017, 10:09:55 AM »
I feel like we had a hard time finding the right bottle/nipple combo.  We went with Avent bottles with both kids.  With kid #2, I first tried one of the low-flow, supposed to be just like the breast bottles - and he hated it.  (Had a double nipple?)

Ended up liking the Avent like his big bro.  I think probably started with size #1.

BrandNewPapa

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Re: Help! Trouble switching a breastfed baby to bottlefed
« Reply #8 on: May 30, 2017, 11:11:11 AM »
Sorry to hear you are having trouble. We had the opposite problem. My daughter did not want to take the breast, but was fine with bottle.

The solution for us was to use a nipple shield. It is a little silicon piece your wife can put over her nipple with holes it in. It kind of simulates a bottle nipple, but is much more like a real nipple. They are cheap, only a few bucks. You can find them near the nipple cream in the store.

I would recommend you try it out. Your baby may just be upset that they are near and dear with mommy. This allows them to get the feel of a bottle nipple while still being close to mother. Use it for a week or so then start transitioning one or two feedings a day to a bottle and see how it goes.

We also like the Munchkin Latch bottles with the vent on the bottom. Out daughter didn't like anything else.

BuffaloStache

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Re: Help! Trouble switching a breastfed baby to bottlefed
« Reply #9 on: May 30, 2017, 04:04:54 PM »
Thanks all for the advice. We have been trying most of the suggestions, but will definitely try the others!
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tthree

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Re: Help! Trouble switching a breastfed baby to bottlefed
« Reply #10 on: May 30, 2017, 08:22:55 PM »
I wish you all the best.  I don't buy the if they are hungry they will eat.  My oldest took a bottle twice at then decided he was over it.  Wouldn't take a bottle from anyone, didn't matter how long I was gone (but I was never gone longer than a few hours so maybe he would have eventually).  We tried a few different bottles and nipples to no avail.  My second wouldn't take a bottle and wouldn't take a soother.  My perseverance was spent so I just resigned myself to being tied to her side for a year.  I hope things go better for you.

kimmarg

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Re: Help! Trouble switching a breastfed baby to bottlefed
« Reply #11 on: May 30, 2017, 08:40:25 PM »
you're still 4 weeks away. that's over twice the baby's life so far, so a lot will change. I worried at about that point and we tried and she rejected it.  I went to work 4 weeks later and it wasn't a big issue and she took it. I would say she would only take it if I was not home, so try sending mamma out for a bit.

cats

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Re: Help! Trouble switching a breastfed baby to bottlefed
« Reply #12 on: May 30, 2017, 09:19:26 PM »
Our son was so-so with the bottle at first also.  We introduced a bottle around 4 weeks, and while he would occasionally take as much as 2 oz, he often refused it.  I was freaking out about returning to work and it was obviously frustrating for my husband, who was in charge of the bottle feedings.

What finally "clicked" with us was one Saturday my husband gave him a bottle midday, after baby had woken up from a nap.  The entire bottle was drained within minutes, and from then on, no problems with bottles.  Prior to that we had mostly tried bottles first thing in the morning or right before bed.  In retrospect I think these times may have been not so great b/c in the AM baby was too hungry to think about trying something different (having just woken up from an extended sleep session), and in the evening he was probably not hungry enough (since he often would have eaten just an hour or so earlier.  So my advice would be to try offering the bottle at different times of day, and also just to keep at it--babies change a lot at that age, so something your kid can't stand this week could be totally normal next week.

All that said, I personally know two women with infants who completely refuse to take bottles.  The mothers both work FT, so the kids frequently go 8+ hours without milk.  Apparently they then stay up all night nursing.  The mothers are obviously less than thrilled with this setup but the babies are growing well.
« Last Edit: June 20, 2017, 11:27:17 AM by cats »

MrsWolfeRN

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Re: Help! Trouble switching a breastfed baby to bottlefed
« Reply #13 on: May 31, 2017, 05:13:54 AM »
You could try making the milk a little bit warmer. My son was fussy and slow with bottles until we got the temperature just right for him.

We had the best luck with the Munchkin Latch bottles.

BuffaloStache

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Re: Help! Trouble switching a breastfed baby to bottlefed
« Reply #14 on: May 31, 2017, 01:19:08 PM »
You could try making the milk a little bit warmer. My son was fussy and slow with bottles until we got the temperature just right for him.

I only have 1 data point (yesterday), but this may be the ticket for us. I heated the bottle to slightly higher than I had been doing in the past, and he guzzled it down without any issues. I'm hoping we can repeat it today.
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JustTrying

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Re: Help! Trouble switching a breastfed baby to bottlefed
« Reply #15 on: May 31, 2017, 10:21:14 PM »
If he did well yesterday, than you're probably on the right track! I'd stay just stick with it. I was very careful about pumping and giving a bottle every day that I could prior to going back to work. (Of course if we were particularly busy that day, I skipped it). My kiddo hated Dr Brown's nipples because they would drip all over without her sucking at all. She did well with MAM nipples. But I'd stick with what you did yesterday for now!

BuffaloStache

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Re: Help! Trouble switching a breastfed baby to bottlefed
« Reply #16 on: June 01, 2017, 02:50:56 PM »
Thanks - sticking with it (at least 1 bottle a day) is our plan. Yesterday we started off trying a different nipple, and it didn't work so well. Then I switched to the nipple that worked the day before, and it worked fine... I guess DS knows what he likes
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wordnerd

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Re: Help! Trouble switching a breastfed baby to bottlefed
« Reply #17 on: June 01, 2017, 03:18:51 PM »
That's a tough situation, but keep at it. Another thing you can try is different temperatures for the milk.
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BuffaloStache

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Re: Help! Trouble switching a breastfed baby to bottlefed
« Reply #18 on: June 04, 2017, 09:32:49 PM »
So far we've been mostly successful doing 1 bottle a day with warmer milk. I'm a little nervous about doing multiple bottle feeds in a row, but I'm sure DS will get used to it
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Re: Help! Trouble switching a breastfed baby to bottlefed
« Reply #19 on: June 13, 2017, 08:36:35 AM »
Our son also had some trouble with this, a little later on then yours but equally troubling :)  What ultimately worked was having my mom give him a bottle while DS was in his swing, which had a little mobile thing that he could stare up at.  For some reason having the comfort of the swing (where he napped for about 3 hours every day in his first 6 months -- so it was a familiar place for him) and the distraction of something to look at did the trick.  Another thing that worked was having DH or my mom do it with DS in their lap or in a lounger seat, with the TV to stare at.  Not approved by the AAP though...;-).  Good luck!

I also searched kellymom.com, one of the websites I found super helpful for evidence-based breastfeeding advice, and found this article:
http://kellymom.com/bf/pumpingmoms/feeding-tools/bottle-feeding/

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Re: Help! Trouble switching a breastfed baby to bottlefed
« Reply #20 on: June 13, 2017, 09:40:53 AM »
I wish you all the best.  I don't buy the if they are hungry they will eat.  My oldest took a bottle twice at then decided he was over it.  Wouldn't take a bottle from anyone, didn't matter how long I was gone (but I was never gone longer than a few hours so maybe he would have eventually).  We tried a few different bottles and nipples to no avail. 

This was my daughter (our first).  Would not take a bottle with breast milk at. all.  Breast milk came from breasts.  Period.  And it didn't matter how hungry she was.  However, frozen breast milk in those mesh things with the little handles?  Yes, that was fine.  So, I would go home once a day and feed her up until ~4.5 months (I was worried for my husband's sanity as well as her), and after that she got breast milk popsicles until she started eating solids (around 6 months, although we did extended breastfeeding).  I agree with the other poster who said that there's still some time before you need to panic....babies change so much in short periods of time.  Good luck.  Its definitely stressful.

BuffaloStache

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Re: Help! Trouble switching a breastfed baby to bottlefed
« Reply #21 on: June 16, 2017, 08:05:34 AM »
Thanks everyone. Still on and off success, but we still have 2 weeks till DW goes back to work. Even on the bad days, he'll drink a little bit, so I'm not as stressed as I was.

Gonna keep at it everyday, hopefully it will get better.
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BuffaloStache

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Re: Help! Trouble switching a breastfed baby to bottlefed
« Reply #22 on: July 06, 2017, 08:21:30 AM »
Figured I'd give a final update- the wife has gone back to work and I'm happy to report DS is taking the bottle like a champ! Thanks for all the help and suggestions here.
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JLR

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Re: Help! Trouble switching a breastfed baby to bottlefed
« Reply #23 on: July 15, 2017, 07:01:53 PM »
I'm so glad to hear it has worked out for you.

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Re: Help! Trouble switching a breastfed baby to bottlefed
« Reply #24 on: July 23, 2017, 08:00:25 PM »
Congrats - I know that had to be stressful for you.

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BuffaloStache

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Re: Help! Trouble switching a breastfed baby to bottlefed
« Reply #25 on: July 23, 2017, 10:08:20 PM »
Mom of baby who went from breast, and nothing else, to spaghetti at 7 mos

Eeeks, that does not sound fun.
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esq

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Re: Help! Trouble switching a breastfed baby to bottlefed
« Reply #26 on: August 06, 2017, 02:43:40 PM »
Mom of baby who went from breast, and nothing else, to spaghetti at 7 mos

Eeeks, that does not sound fun.

Eh, I could have made a big deal out of it, but she was my last and I stayed at home with her. She weaned herself at 3, and I was perfectly fine with that. Trying to give her rice cereal and 5, then 6 months, was hilarious. Baby food was soundly rejected at 7 months - she went for the regular food.
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BuffaloStache

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Re: Help! Trouble switching a breastfed baby to bottlefed
« Reply #27 on: August 07, 2017, 10:06:44 AM »
So, I have a new question that is only mildly related, but do any of you in this thread have experience with getting your child to drink from a bottle that isn't hot?

My son exclusively drinks breast milk either from the breast, or from a bottle where the milk has been heated up significantly. While this works fine, it isnt exactly a mobile solution (need access to either a bottle heater or boiling water to feed him). Should I just very slowly start lowering the temperature and see how it goes?
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Re: Help! Trouble switching a breastfed baby to bottlefed
« Reply #28 on: August 07, 2017, 06:12:21 PM »
Are you sure he won't take room temp milk? In order to be more mobile, I froze my milk into cubes and then put some in my son's bottle, and he'd drink it room temp or a bit chilled.

To do it your way, depending how fussy your baby is with the cooler temp, you might have to get a thermometer and do it by degrees.

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Re: Help! Trouble switching a breastfed baby to bottlefed
« Reply #29 on: August 07, 2017, 06:19:07 PM »
So, I have a new question that is only mildly related, but do any of you in this thread have experience with getting your child to drink from a bottle that isn't hot?

My son exclusively drinks breast milk either from the breast, or from a bottle where the milk has been heated up significantly. While this works fine, it isnt exactly a mobile solution (need access to either a bottle heater or boiling water to feed him). Should I just very slowly start lowering the temperature and see how it goes?

Sorry, I did not.

My children both weaned to formula at around 7-9 months for a variety of reasons. My older child was happy to have cold tap water. The younger one was insistent on warm water. Nothing else would do.

You could try lowering the temperature. Never know, it might work.
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MrsWolfeRN

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Re: Help! Trouble switching a breastfed baby to bottlefed
« Reply #30 on: August 08, 2017, 01:44:41 PM »
I have always microwaved my son's bottles, even though this is against the official advice. Most gas stations have a microwave. Just shake it well and test the temperature to make sure it is not too hot.

iowajes

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Re: Help! Trouble switching a breastfed baby to bottlefed
« Reply #31 on: August 08, 2017, 02:31:10 PM »
So, I have a new question that is only mildly related, but do any of you in this thread have experience with getting your child to drink from a bottle that isn't hot?

My son exclusively drinks breast milk either from the breast, or from a bottle where the milk has been heated up significantly. While this works fine, it isnt exactly a mobile solution (need access to either a bottle heater or boiling water to feed him). Should I just very slowly start lowering the temperature and see how it goes?

Have you ever offered cold milk?

I just never warmed the bottle, so my daughter takes cold milk.  She prefers it warm from the breast, but if I'm not around, she'll take it cold.

BuffaloStache

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Re: Help! Trouble switching a breastfed baby to bottlefed
« Reply #32 on: August 08, 2017, 03:36:49 PM »
Yea, we've tried cold milk a couple times, and he did not take it.
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