View Full Version : Trouble with bottle feeding after nursing

08-02-2002, 02:54 PM
My son is about 3 months old and is successfully breastfeeding.
My wife will be going back to work soon and I want to be able to help out more with his feeding. He's reluctant to go back to the bottle. We've basically gone back and used the Avent size one nipples, but he doesn't seem to want to take the bottle. He gets very agitated and puts it against the side of this mouth, but doesn't really pucker his lips and swallow. In the end, I have to get my wife to try and nurse. Has anyone experienced this problem and can they suggest some things I can try or some web sites where I can get some more info or help
Thanks for any help

08-02-2002, 06:34 PM
You'll probably have to try different nipples (bottles). When my son was that young I went through a few different kinds until I found the only one he would take was the NUK nipple (Gerber), and NOT the silicone one. If he continues to refuse all nipples you try, you may want to call a lactation consultant. My SIL was able to procure (through her LC) a "finger feeder", which is essentially a tube that comes from the bottle and attaches to your finger. The baby then sucks your finger and gets his milk. That was all she could use when her son refused the Avent bottle, too.

Hope this helps!

08-02-2002, 11:28 PM
Congratulations on the breastfeeding (afterall, it's a family accomplishment :-))! We also had difficulty with bottles. Beginning at 6 weeks, we offered almost every type of nipple there was with no success. Our daughter would chomp on the nipple or just stick it in her mouth, but seemed not to understand how to suck from it. I'm not sure if this is exactly like what you're describing. While I don't believe it's very common, some babies do have "nipple confusion" and can't go between the breast and the bottle - the mechanism to suck each one is different.

My advice is twofold - First, if you really want, or have to get your son to take a bottle, call an LC or La Leche League leader for ideas. Second, if you aren't set on using a bottle, try the Avent soft spout. It turned out to be our solution. It looks like a sippy cup, but the spout has a hole where the milk pours out. You will have to tip the cup into your son's mouth and regulate the flow as the flow is not suction based. There are handles on the cup so that your son can begin to hold on for himself. You'll find that before long he'll be grabbing them and tipping the cup for himself. Of course, you'll still need to supervise him, but it's a nice consolation for skipping bottles. It also makes a great teether :-)!

The basic rule is that you should try to offer the bottle when your wife is either not in the room or not home at all. Again, this may not work so you may want to have your wife call and check on the two of you after a brief time away. It is NOT true that your son will definitely take a bottle if he's hungry enough. Some babies will alternate crying and sleeping until mom comes home. A nursing baby generally will sleep more when mom is not around, and then make up with nursing when she gets home. Also, some babies reverse-cycle nursing. They will drink almost no milk when mom is away and nurse all night. Of course, that is provided that the mom sleeps with the baby or stays up nursing.

Other ideas if trying different nipples doesn't work - freeze the milk and form a slush that you can spoon to him, hold him with the bottle in the nursing position, try the opposite and put him in a bouncer or someplace else that he never nurses, prop him on your lap facing away from you, have someone else drive the car while he's in his carseat while you try to offer the bottle, catch him just as he's waking up and slip the nipple into his mouth and he may start sucking, put him in a baby carrier (sling or BB) and walk him while offering the bottle. If all of these suggestions don't work, and you have your heart set on a bottle, get into a warm bath with your son and try the bottle there.

Try these suggestions and keep in mind that he's not "refusing" the bottle in a negative sense - he just doesn't "get it" for lack of a better term. Try anything that makes a baby want to nurse and then try the opposite. Some want the bottle to be like nursing, and some want it to be a completely different experience.

My strongest advice would be to skip it all and go with the Avent soft spout. I supplemented our daughter by cup with milk that I had pumped when she was only 2 days old, so don't worry that he's too young. The finger feeder that the other person mentioned is also an option. I found it a little messy, though.

Good luck!

08-03-2002, 09:07 PM
I had this same problem with my first son and also this week with my newest 3 month old son. Before you try a bunch of different type nipples, try a faster flow nipple. I think when my milk lets down, the milk just pours out. A number 1 nipple is for newborns and your son has to work pretty hard to suck the milk through it. I purchased an Avent bottle for my 3 month old, and I didn't notice that in tiny print it says "fitted with newborn nipple." I had to make another run to Target to get a "4" nipple, and this did the trick. He sucked down 2 oz today in nothing flat, and got mad when it was gone (so then I breastfed him the rest of his meal).

Good Luck and be patient. It probably took him a few weeks to get the hang of breastfeeding, so it may take a while to get the hang of bottle feeding.


08-04-2002, 11:40 AM
give him bottle practice EVERY day. i dropped my baby at my in-laws every day for a few hrs for 2 weeks before he would take the bottle without fussing. same bottle/nipple as you. when he know the breast just wasn't there, he eventually caught on.

08-06-2002, 04:39 PM
I'm also having the same problem and would like more advice from moms who have gone through this. My son is 10 weeks old, and as mentioned from the prior message, I gave him a "practice" bottle (Avent) every day since 2 weeks of age. He was just fine until about 2 weeks ago, when he started to fuss.... most of the time, he will drink 2-3oz, but then play, cry, etc. sometimes if we (my husband or babysitter) persist, he will drink up to 3 oz more. I've tried #2 and #3 Avent nipples, and the Evenflo Healthflow. Same results.

Please help!!!

08-06-2002, 05:52 PM
Try a rubber nipple rather than silicone. DS likes the Nuk 6month+ size.

08-08-2002, 09:40 PM
Thanks to everyone for the suggestions
I tried the soft spout and different types of nipples
In the end I managed to get him to feed using a faster flow Avent nipple (don't remember the size, but it was the 3+ month one).

I did try the soft spout, but found it difficult to regulate the flow. I needed to do that since he was taking in too much milk and couldn't swallow it fast enough

I also tried positioning him differently than normal. In the past I cradled him and he moved around too much. This time I cradled his head on my lap and let the rest of his body lie on the sofa. At least for me, this worked really well

I also think that my son realises when my wife's around to expect to nurse, so I make sure that she's out of the room when I'm trying to feed him

I think he still prefers breastfeeding but I hope to gradually increase the number of bottles he takes, so he gets used to the bottle. I'm just so relieved that he's even willing to take a bottle :)

- richard

08-10-2002, 09:16 PM
It's great to hear that things have worked out :-) If your wife finds any trouble with ds' latch in the future, you may want to go back to a slower flow nipple (hopefully, there will be no need). BF'ing is hard work, and some babies don't like to go back to the breast and "work" if the flow of a nipple is faster. Again, hopefully everything will be smooth sailing from now on in. Congrats on your accomplishment!