Our Tips for Overcoming Bottle Refusal

Navigate challenges and bonding through bottle feeding with your baby

Why won't my baby take a bottle?!?!

Bottle refusal can be an incredibly challenging phase for both parents and babies. It can leave you feeling frustrated, terrified, maybe even a little lost - let’s face it: all of the above.

But take a deep breath!

We're here to support you and assure you that this is a common phase that many babies go through, whether they are exclusively bottle-fed or not. In this article, we'll share our tips for overcoming bottle refusal and help you navigate this journey together.

What Do I Do When My Baby Refuses a Bottle?

First and foremost, it's important to remember that this is just a phase, and it will pass. Take comfort in knowing that you're not alone in facing this challenge.

Our Tips for Overcoming Bottle Refusal

Many parents have been in your shoes and have successfully overcome bottle refusal with their babies. There are some tips and tricks that can help your baby transition to bottle feeding.

Keep a Level Head

When it comes to handling bottle refusal with your baby, the first step is to keep a level head.

We all know how frustrating and disheartening it can be when your baby refuses to take a bottle. But it's important to stay calm and composed throughout the process. Babies have an uncanny ability to sense our emotions.

If you start to feel frustrated or irritated, your baby may pick up on those negative vibes, and it could impact their feeding experience. The last thing you want is for feeding time to become a source of stress for both you and your baby.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, it's perfectly okay to take a step back and let another caretaker, such as your partner or a trusted family member, give it a try. Sometimes, a fresh approach from someone else can make all the difference. Your baby might respond differently to a new face or a slightly different technique.

Remember, every baby is unique, and what works for one may not work for another. So, don't beat yourself up if your baby refuses the bottle at first.

It's a learning process for both of you, and patience is key. By remaining calm and composed, you’ll create a positive and soothing environment for your baby, increasing the chances of a successful feeding experience.

Provide a Comfortable Feeding Experience

Creating a comfortable and familiar environment during bottle feeding can help ease your baby's resistance.

Consider providing skin-to-skin contact while bottle feeding, as it can promote a sense of closeness and security.

Try to follow the routine you normally stick to when breastfeeding. If you have a specific blanket or pillow that you used during breastfeeding, for instance, use these comforting items when you’re bottle feeding as well. These familiar cues can help your baby feel more at ease.

Try Different Bottles

Who would have thought that something seemingly simple could make such a difference in your baby's feeding experience?

Well, believe it or not, not all bottle nipples are created equal. They come in various shapes, sizes, and materials, and each brand puts its unique twist on them.

Now, if you've been breastfeeding your little one, you might find it helpful to seek out a bottle nipple that closely resembles the shape of your own nipple. After all, familiarity can make the transition from breast to bottle a bit smoother. And don't get too caught up in marketing claims of having the "most real-shaped" nipple.

Let's be real here; there's no one-size-fits-all when it comes to baby stuff, or nipples either, for that matter.

Try different brands and designs to see what works best for your baby. You might discover that your baby prefers a certain shape or material over others.

Now, keep in mind that this process might involve a bit of trial and error. Your baby's preferences can be as unpredictable as the weather. What works for one baby might not work for another. So, be patient, and don't be discouraged if the first few attempts don't go as planned. Remember, it's all part of the adventure of parenthood.

Our Favorite Bottles

Our Favorite Bottles

You want only the best bottle for your pumped milk. For breastfed babies, we love Comotomo bottles.

Let Your Partner Offer the Bottle

Babies are quite intuitive creatures. They become accustomed to certain routines and associations, especially when it comes to feeding. So, when they're used to snuggling up to your warm and comforting breast, it's no wonder they might be a bit perplexed when suddenly faced with a bottle.

In cases like these, try letting your partner or another caregiver take over bottle duty. By offering the bottle instead of you, baby may find it easier to accept. The change in proximity can help break the association and make it more likely for your baby to embrace the new feeding method.

Plus, there's an extra bonus to this approach: it gives your partner a chance to bond with baby through feeding.

As moms, we all know that those bonding moments are precious and irreplaceable. So, by sharing the feeding responsibilities, your partner can experience the joy of nurturing your baby in their own unique way. And hey, it might just give you a well-deserved break, too! Parenting is all about teamwork, after all.

Offer the Bottle When Baby is Tired

Babies tend to be less picky when they are tired or sleepy.

Take advantage of this by offering a bottle for feedings before naps or bedtime. Your baby may be more willing to accept the bottle when they’re more relaxed. Use this opportunity to establish positive associations with bottle feeding during these calmer moments.

Overcome Feeding Struggles with Willow

Overcoming bottle refusal can be a challenging journey, but with patience and perseverance, you can navigate through it successfully.

Remember, this is just a phase, and this too shall pass. By keeping a level head, providing a comfortable feeding experience, trying different bottles, involving your partner, and offering the bottle when your baby is tired, you'll increase your chances of success.

And if you're looking for additional resources and support, be sure to check out Willow's blog, where you'll find valuable insights and advice on feeding struggles. You've got this, and we're here to cheer you on every step of the way!

The content provided here is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of medical professionals. It should not be used to diagnose or treat medical conditions or problems. Please contact your healthcare provider with questions or concerns.
Which pump is right for you?
Which pump is right for you?

Which pump is right for you?

Which pump is right for you?

Which pump is right for you?

Which pump is right for you?

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