Please help - DS refusing bottles

I need all the help anyone can give.  I have to go back to work on Monday and my son will not take a bottle at all.  We've tried every kind of bottle that I can find and he won't take any of them.  I've tried to give it to him, DH has tried, both grandmas have tried . . . I don't know what else to do.  Everyone tells me that he will take it from the daycare person if he gets hungry enough but it breaks my heart to think of him screaming in hunger all day when I'm not there.  It's hard enough to leave him but this is making it so much worse.  Any suggestions?

Re: Please help - DS refusing bottles

  • Ds didn't want a bottle when I went back to work either.  I was lucky enough to have my aunt watch him in my home, and she was so patient with him.  The first day, he only ate like 3 or 4 oz (although I did nurse him at lunch), but it was over like 3 or 4 feedings.  My aunt was so patient and gave him a bottle whenever, even though he only ate like an oz.

    What she tried (some of which worked): 

    -feeding him in his swing, while swinging, he was distracted enough to eat

    -having a "dirty" shirt of mine draped on herself while she fed him

    -having the bottle totally ready when he woke up and kind of sticking it in when he woke up, but was still really drowsy

    -sitting him on her lap, facing away from her (his back on her stomach) and feeding him that way

    -walking around while feeding him

    Are the bottles warm enough?  Sometimes ds doesn't care, but other times, when he's being picky, I have to make sure they're warm enough (milk coming out of me when nursing is warmer than I thought, and that's what he's used to)

     It took him about 4 days to actually take a bottle and have a "normal" amount.  It may just take time, which I know is very hard to think about.

    Oh, ds also was a lazy sucker, so like for the first week of his life, before I'd nurse, I'd have to put a paci in his mouth to "remind" him how to suck.  Actually in the hospital, the only way that we got him to suck off me (the first time in like almost 24 hours) was to put sugar water on a paci and have him suck it and then do the ol switcheroo - if your ds takes a paci, you might be able to try switching it when he's not paying attention.

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  • try different nipples.
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  • I had a really hard time with DD for awhile.  I tried every kind of bottle/nipple-- if she was hungry, she would scream/cry and spit it out and if she wasn't, she'd just play with it in her mouth.  She was sort of taking the avent bottles, especially if I would press on the nipple and squirt a little in her mouth.  I think I was also stressing her out a little because I knew she HAD to take it.  

    I talked to daycare and she was fine after the first day!  We even switched to Dr Browns after a few weeks, and she took it no problem-- which was one bottle she completely refused before.  BTW-- if DS doesn't eat much during the day, he will nurse a lot when you pick him up.  (I wasn't sending enough for my DD at first and she wouldn't let me put her down!) 

    It is tough, but in all likelihood, he won't be screaming from hunger, he'll figure it out pretty quickly.  GL-- going back to work is tough, but you will be surprised how resiliant you both are!

  • I know you said you tried different bottles but the lactation consultant at our hospital suggested Breastflow bottles by First Years for those of us that will be going back & forth between breast & bottle feeding.  See link below for more details.

  • I know you said you have tried every kind of bottle but have you tried a vented bottle? We have the Born Free vented bottle and its great because the flow is continuous which simulates breastfeeding. They are a little more expensive and a pain to clean because it has more parts, but just a thought!
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