Many mothers have wondered, "What can I do if my baby refuses to drink formula?" This question does not have a clear answer. Do not feel embarrassed if you are struggling to successfully bottle-feed your baby. 25% of parents will experience difficulties with their child's feeding at some stage. It might be difficult to transition your breastfeeding baby to a bottle.
Similarly, even for newborns who are used to being bottle-fed, problems can arise if you switch up their formula or breast milk, or if you use a different bottle. The use of a bottle is not restricted to the administration of Formula.
Bottle-feeding breast milk is something that many breastfeeding parents desire to do. Breastfed infants should wait at least three to four weeks before being introduced to a bottle. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests exclusive breastfeeding during the first six months of a child's life.
That said, it's not always possible to wait a full year before introducing the bottle. Feeding a baby who refuses the bottle can be very frustrating when you first start using them. Shop for all of your baby needs at My Baby Nursery. Nonetheless, you can gradually acclimatise your infant to bottle-feeding with hard work, experimentation, patience, and love.
Why Does My Infant Keep Declining The Bottle?
Parents and carers may be perplexed when a baby flat-out refuses to take a bottle because of a lack of verbal communication. If your infant is refusing the bottle, you should check for the most prevalent causes, including the ones listed below.
Because Of Breast Milk, They Dislike Formula.
Babies may dislike feeding because of the new formula's flavour and aroma if you just made the changeover from breast milk. Naturally warm, the flavour profile of a mother's milk regularly shifts as a result of the mother's diet.
Your baby may reject Formula if he or she has already tried breast milk and found it preferable. Infants often have a strong need for breast milk even if they haven't had any yet. Attempt to make feeding time as similar to nursing as possible if you think this is the case and your baby is refusing Formula.
- Make use of direct contact between skinned individuals.
- Get the Formula nice and toasty.
- If at all feasible, choose a bottle with a nipple that is the same size as your own.
They're Allergic To Infant Formula
Approximately 40% of infants have lactose intolerance, and some are also allergic to the proteins found in cow's milk formula. Cow milk intolerance manifests in infants with colic, gas, bloating, and loose faeces.
Your baby's stomach will require time to adjust to a new formula, whether they are allergic to cow's milk or there is anything in the formula that bothers their stomach. Document both the formulas you have tried and their total period of use.
How long did you use formula A before moving to formula B, for instance? It's preferable to wait at least one to three days between formula modifications rather than changing several in a single day. Your baby may feel gassy or bloated during moments of transition; you can help them feel better by increasing their tummy time, bicycling their legs to push out the gas, or massaging their stomach.
They Can't Focus While Being Fed.
Distractions during bottle feedings can cause your infant to reject the formula. There's a good chance that your baby is too preoccupied with other things to notice that they're not drinking, even if it seems like they're refusing the formula because they hate it. Avoid feeding your baby in a noisy or distracting place, since they may be more interested in exploring their environment than drinking.
When transitioning from breastfeeding to bottle feeding, infants may get preoccupied with their previous feeding habits and refuse to take the bottle. Get some assistance if you need it. For the first two of formula feedings, have someone else try to feed your baby from the bottle. This keeps them from becoming distracted by thoughts of being breastfed and instead allows them to concentrate on the Formula in front of them.
They're Not Hungry And Refusing Formula
The desire to feed may decrease after introducing solids to your baby's diet. Your infant may be too full to drink now that they are eating solids. It's possible that the irritability you're witnessing is the result of fullness. Your baby's appetite may decrease once you introduce solids to his or her diet. Babies who are already eating solids may be full and refuse to drink. This irritability may be a result of fullness rather than any malice.
If this is the case, the post suggested trying to feed your infant again a little while later. By then, perhaps, they'll be drinking less fussily and have more of an appetite. Make some notes to discuss with the paediatrician when you next see him or her.
Your baby's physician and dietitian can determine the total amount of Formula your baby consumes in a day if you keep track of how much Formula your baby consumes at each feeding and how often you feed them. Limiting how much is given at once and giving your infant an extra feeding may help if his or her overall intake is too high.
They're Sick And Don't Want Formula.
Some infants share the same feelings as many people when they are sick: they don't feel like eating. A cold, sore throat, or ear infection are all possible causes of your baby's fussiness during feedings. Indicators of illness in a newborn include a high temperature, congestion, coughing, and overall irritability. If you think your baby may be sick, you should contact a paediatrician immediately. When sick, many people find that they lose their appetite.
Their Bottle Doesn't Seem To Be Draining Properly.
Your infant may be unhappy with the milk flow if they are fussing while being fed. Your infant may become agitated while trying to feed if the nipple on the bottle is either too short, too long, too quick, or too sluggish. If your infant is having difficulty eating, you may find that switching to a different nipple that is the right size and pace helps. It's important for parents to experiment with different bottle nipples until they find the one their kid prefers.
How To Get To The Bottom Of The Bottle Refusal Mystery?
If your baby gags or spits out the bottle as soon as it touches their mouth, it may be because they don't enjoy the taste or texture. Babies of a certain age may do this if they catch on that you're attempting the bottle again. They'll make it clear right away that they're not planning to just spit it out. If a baby is sensitive to the feel of a bottle, they might also reject a pacifier. If your child was taking the bottle nicely and then suddenly stopped, this could indicate that they had a bad experience. It is unusual for a baby to refuse a bottle overnight, but it is possible if a considerable time has passed since the last time they were given one.
The infant may be unable to take the bottle because the flow is too fast, they may gag or throw up, or they may be learning to take bottles from someone who constantly puts the bottle in and out of their mouth. After eliminating these other possibilities, the most likely cause of bottle refusal is that your baby just prefers you. Babies like this may appear to accept the bottle at first, but they won't latch, and they'll simply start crying if you keep trying to feed them. Even if you can't pinpoint a specific cause for your baby's refusal to drink from a bottle, there are several likely culprits to consider, and doing so can help you prioritise your efforts as you work through the following points.
Get A Head Start
Unfortunately, the boat has sailed for the vast majority of you. You're probably here reading this because you're in a jam. To be proactive, however, parents should start offering a bottle as early as the second week, and even the first week if you've studied this article in before. Many infants refuse to take the bottle because it is so strange and different from what they are used to. Keep nursing as the primary feeding method, even if the baby accepts a bottle right away. In the beginning, it's important to limit bottle use so as not to interrupt breastfeeding.
Don't Be The One To Pass Around The Bottle.
It may not seem like much, yet it can have a major impact. Even at such a young age, your baby can detect your scent and recognises that you are the source of what they crave most—YOU. Feeding the baby together is a wonderful way for you and your partner or other family members to form a bond. However, at least at initially, you may wish to have someone with some experience do the task in order to demonstrate that your infant will take the bottle.
Changing your environment to one that is peaceful and free of distractions can have a dramatic effect. Your baby will be more cooperative and calm if they are rocked or swung for a few minutes here before anyone tries to feed them a bottle. In a calm and gentle approach, the bottle can be offered. Online baby product directory at My Baby Nursery.
Identify The Sweet Spot When Your Hunger Levels Are "Just Right."
When your baby is really hungry, you could think about giving them a bottle. Logic tells us that they need food so badly at this time that they must give in and take the bottle. There is a high probability that this will fail. Your baby will need to pay attention and relax while they learn to take the bottle for the first time.
There is no time for that while they are starving. When you can tell they are hungry but not famished is when you should give it a try. You shouldn't attempt too soon, though, because they won't be hungry enough to accept the food if you do. Finding the "just right" window of being hungry enough but not too hungry may require some trial and error but has the potential to yield successful results in the end.
Place Them Correctly
Some infants perform best when held in the same way to take a bottle as when you breastfed them, but if that doesn't work, you'll need to try others. Here, you need to be creative because you can never tell what will work. On sometimes, second child would prefer to take a bottle with his back to whoever was offering it to him.
Get Out Of Here!
If you have to leave the house, or even just walk to another floor or lock yourself in a room for a while, that's not so bad. You wouldn't do it without first having a fair amount of success in the bottle. Do not forget that your baby's ability to hear, see, and smell you can disrupt anyone's attempts to give them a bottle.
Explore A Range Of Bottle Options
Although this is the initial course of action most mothers take, you should exhaust all other available options before dropping a hefty sum on this one. Of course, there's no substitute for your baby's favourite bottle. We suggest simply buying three or four different bottles to use at once and sampling one or two at a time during feedings. The next section contains our top picks for bottles suitable for breastfeeding infants.
Try Different Flows
It's important to adjust the ebb and flow of things every once in a while. A slow flow nipple may annoy some infants, but others need it in order to accept a bottle. This is especially true if you experience a significant letdown. Although your baby may prefer a fast flow nipple, you should consider whether or not they are developmentally ready for one. Aspiration, in which liquid enters the lungs, is a dangerous complication that can occur if the baby lacks the motor skills necessary to properly swallow a steady stream of milk.
Put Your Baby On A Pacifier
Pacifiers have a bad reputation, especially among breastfeeding advocates, and they do have some detractors who make good reasons. A pacifier may help a baby under four months get acclimated to having anything other than their fingers in their mouth. If your baby seems to be upset by the sensation of a bottle, using a pacifier a couple of times a day may help desensitise them to the experience.
Continue Your Efforts
Despite how clear it is, giving up is surprisingly simple. Implementing the aforementioned strategies on a consistent basis will have a profound effect on your baby's ability to take a bottle. Your infant may only require a bottle once a day if you give it to them every day.
Use A Syringe, Cup, Or Spoon If Needed
We'll be completely honest and say that we've never actually utilised this method before, but we're also aware that it has its place. When all else fails, and you have nowhere else to turn, then we might consider trying this.
Even More Suggestions
In addition to the above-mentioned solutions, a relaxed and consistent attitude to bottle-feeding is crucial. Infants are sensitive to their carers' emotions, and your frustration with bottle-feeding may have a negative impact on their ability to adapt. When bottle-feeding a fussy infant, attempt to model the following behaviours:
- Preserve a reassuring custom of sitting down to the same meals every day.
- When bottle-feeding, it's best to avoid interruptions from things like TV, music, and toys.
- Your infant should be fed every three to four hours at regular intervals.
- Maintain composure and uniformity. Avoid getting frustrated, agitated, or overly excited while your child is eating.
- Try to eat in no more than 30 minutes.
- Be patient with yourself and try not to become angry during feedings. If you need a break, another carer could offer the bottle.
- You should wean your baby off breast milk gradually and consistently.
- Don't feed your infant until you know he or she is really hungry.
- You may see how your kid reacts by experimenting with different bottle sizes, shapes, nipples, etc.
- Adjust the milk's or Formula's temperature and see what happens. Make sure the bottle is neither too hot nor too cold, as this will affect the baby's ability to take a sip.
- If your baby is experiencing the discomfort of teething, you can ease their suffering by massaging their gums, adjusting the temperature of their milk (teething babies sometimes prefer cold milk), or a combination of these techniques.
- Hold your baby in a different feeding position and see what they respond to.
- Allow someone else to handle the feeding. When switching from breast milk to a bottle, this can be a great aid.
You may wish to consult your child's paediatrician before making any drastic changes to the formula you've been using. While there are specialised formulas for a variety of applications, using them excessively or the wrong sort can introduce new complications.
Identifying The Need For Medical Attention
While occasional bottle refusal is to be expected in infants, persistent refusal to feed may point to an eating disorder or a health problem that needs medical treatment. Somewhere between one and five percent of infants and toddlers suffer from malnutrition due to a feeding issue that prevents them from eating enough.
Getting enough nourishment is vital for a growing infant. You should consult a doctor right away if you suspect your infant has a feeding condition that is preventing them from gaining weight. Problems with eating in infancy or early childhood are a serious public health concern.
Babies with feeding difficulties are more likely to lose weight and develop nutritional deficiencies in the near term (or inadequate weight gain). Even yet, over a prolonged period of time, your infant runs the risk of developing physical and mental health issues. Your baby's doctor should also be consulted if your child suddenly stops eating, especially if the refusal to eat is associated with an illness or pain. In addition to limiting bottle time, you should contact your doctor if your infant exhibits the following signs:
- Difficulty breathing
- Constant crying
Your child's picky eating habits may be related to underlying medical conditions, therefore it's important to discuss this with a doctor.
If you are having trouble getting your infant to take bottles, you need not feel ashamed. Approximately one-quarter of all parents will struggle with their child's eating at some point. With time, effort, experimentation, patience, and love, you can help your baby adjust to being fed from a bottle. Breastfeeding exclusively for the first six months of a child's life is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Consider using a different formula if your infant has shown signs of an allergy to cow's milk formula or has been exposed to breast milk. A baby may refuse to take the bottle if it is too preoccupied with anything else for it to realise that it isn't drinking.
- If you are having trouble getting your infant to take bottles, you need not feel ashamed.
- Transitioning your infant from breast milk to a bottle may be challenging.
- Even for babies who are accustomed to being bottle-fed, issues can develop if you use a different bottle or formula.
- When giving Formula, a bottle is not required.
- Many mothers who are nursing express a wish to supplement their child's diet with breast milk fed from a bottle.
- Before introducing a bottle to a breastfed infant, parents should wait at least three to four weeks.
- It can be incredibly irritating to try to feed a baby who refuses the bottle.
- Visit My Baby Nursery for all your infant necessities.
- However, with time, effort, trial, patience, and love, you may successfully acclimatise your newborn to bottle-feeding.
- Lack of verbal communication can leave parents and carers baffled when a baby flat-out refuses to take a bottle.
- In the event that your infant is refusing the bottle, it is important to look into the most common explanations, some of which are detailed below.
- If you have recently switched from breast milk to formula, your baby may resist feedings due to the taste and smell of the new formula.
- If your infant has already tried breast milk and prefered it, he or she may refuse to drink Formula.
- Even if they haven't had any yet, infants often have a strong need for breast milk.
- If you suspect this is the case and your baby refuses Formula, try to make feeding time as similar to breastfeeding as possible.
- Warm up that Formula of yours.
- Whether your kid is allergic to cow's milk or there is something else in the formula that upsets their stomach, it will take time for their stomach to adjust.
- Keep track of not only the many methods you've tried but also the entire time they've been in effect.
- If you're trying to bottle-feed your baby and there's a lot going on around you, your baby can refuse the formula.
- Babies may be more interested in exploring their surroundings than drinking, so it's best to avoid feeding them in a busy or distracting atmosphere.
Frequently Asked Questions
Try slowly introducing small amounts of the new formula by mixing it with your regular formula. Slowly increase the amount of the new formula over time. Be patient, since it may take some time for your baby to get used to it.
Being able to formula feed is a life-saver for many parents and their babies, but it isn't free of difficulty. Some of the most common formula-feeding problems include fussiness, gas, and spitting up. Some babies may refuse to take a bottle because they're not used to the nipple shape or size.
- Nestle Nan Pro Baby Formula Powder.
- Gerber Good Start GentlePro Powder Infant Formula.
- Enfamil Premature Infant Formula 20 Cal With Iron.
- Enfamil A.R. Infant Formula.
- Enfamil NeuroPro Infant Formula.
- Similac Pro-Total Comfort Infant Formula With Iron.
- Gerber Good Start Gentle Infant Formula.
First infant formula (first milk). The cows' milk in formula contains 2 types of proteins – whey and casein. First infant formula is based on whey protein which is thought to be easier to digest than other types of formula.
It's safe to mix and match infant formulas if you are following standard mixing instructions. Really. Although spitting up or gassiness is usually not due to the protein in formula (cow's milk versus soy versus hypoallergenic), sometimes changing formula helps new babies and their parents who worry.