Help! My Baby Is Refusing The Bottle
Whether you have decided to exclusively bottle feed or switch between breast and bottle, there is nothing more frustrating and confusing than when your baby decides they won’t feed from a bottle. If you’re currently struggling with this, you are not alone- Many parents encounter this challenge in the first year of their baby’s life. This blog has some simple tried and tested tips and tricks that I have used during my maternity nurse and nanny career to overcome the battle of the bottle.
Consider the Type of Bottle and Teat You Are Using
Regardless of your baby’s age, when introducing a bottle you’ll need to consider the size and shape of the teat. There are a huge range of bottles on the market and unfortunately some babies can be rather fussy with the type that they prefer. The brand of bottle you choose should have information regarding which teat would suit your baby best, but as a general rule as your baby grows you will need to gradually change the teat to allow an increase in milk flow. A teat that restricts the flow of milk too much will lead to baby becoming tired and frustrated whilst feeding. On the other hand a teat that allows milk to flow too fast can cause baby to take in air whilst feeding, subsequently causing bloating and discomfort. Unsure whether your baby is currently using the correct teat? Consider the following points;
- Is your baby taking an appropriate amount of time to feed or does feeding seem to last forever? • Is your baby becoming fussy, pulling on and off the bottle or biting the teat? • Is baby able to easily feed from the bottle and do they seem comfortable? • Is the teat becoming indented whilst baby is feeding? If so, the next size teat may be needed.
- Is baby coughing or allowing milk to flow out the sides of their mouth? If so, the flow may be too fast.
If your baby is refusing the bottle altogether it is worth considering trying some different brands of bottle. This has the potential to be an expensive process so I would suggest starting with a cheaper bottle and working your way up to the more expensive brands. It may seem completely ridiculous that your baby will have such strong preference for bottles which all seem the same to you but often by trying different bottle types baby will select the bottle that allows them to feed most comfortably and effectively for their individual needs.
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