When your breastfed baby won’t accept a bottle

baby wont take bottle

One of the biggest questions I get during breastfeeding class is, “when can I introduce my baby to the bottle?’ And while the answer is different for everyone depending on their situations, there’s one thing that doesn’t come up enough: When breastfed babies reject a bottle. When that happens, it’s frustrating for moms because they feel like they can’t leave their babies, and it’s frustrating for dads and other caregivers because the bottle rejection can feel so personal. So, here are some things you can try if you’re in this situation.

Please note: If your baby is simply not eating anything in any form for a length of time, please seek immediate, appropriate medical care.

  • Is the milk yucky?–Sometimes I forget to ask moms if they’ve had a chance to taste the milk that they have pumped. Sometimes, the pumped milk, due to an excess of lipase (which we dont really understand why this is the case for some moms), can end up tasting or smelly soapy. Kellymom.com has a great set of instructions to help you make your milk more palatable if this is what you’re dealing with.
  • Try a different bottle–Not all bottle are created equal, and even the (unfounded) marketing claims make it hard to figure out what kind of bottle to use for your baby. What I usually tell moms is that usually simpler is better, and a wider bottle is better. No matter what, I’d discourage any mom from making the choice for kind of bottles without baby’s input. He or she will let you know what he likes. One note: It may seem like a faster flow nipple will be better, but if your baby is already leery of bottles, a fast flow can end up coming out too fast and result in scaring your baby, compounding the issue.
  • Try movement– some babies need to be distracted into taking a bottle. the person giving baby a bottle may need to walk, swing, bounce, or sway while trying to feed baby. Some babies need to be sung to while being fed. Some babies prefer to look out of a window, while others may prefer to sit in the dark. Try all of these things– you never know what will work.
  • Try different temperatures of milk– it may seem like the best choice is to heat up the breastmilk to body temperature, but some babies get very upset when the milk is the right temp– but there’s no mom attached to the milk. If this is the case, try cold milk, try milk that’s warmer than body temp (but not hot), and see if any of those changes help.
  • Try something other than a bottle– Bottles are relatively new inventions in the scheme of things. Sometimes the best way to feed a baby who won’t take a bottle is to use something else to feed baby. Cups and spoons are two common things used to feed babies. And rather than me try to explain how to do it here or to send you out to the great web to find information, here’s a great playlist someone already put together of some really great videos:  Again, patience is the key.

If you find yourself in the predicament, it can be helpful to seek good lactation help, too. Sometimes having another brain in the mix can help you figure out what’s going on.

Have you dealt with this? Do you have any ideas? Share below!

Veronica Jacobsen, BA, CLC, CPST, LCCE, FACCE
Birth Doula, Certified Lactation Counselor, Child Passenger Safety Technician, Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator, Fellow of the Academy of Certified Childbirth Educators

Opening BabyLove in September of 2011 has allowed me to build a space where all families can come to get good information in a caring, welcoming environment. I have found that not only do I love teaching more than ever, but I also really love running a business. Hopefully my passion for every aspect of BabyLove shines through.
I live in Richfield with my husband, and I am a mother of a two great children. When I can steal a few free moments, I love to go on adventures with my family, cook, garden, thrift, can, and craft.

Where to go to prevent tearing

vaginal tears

Awhile back, I did a quick post on a few of the rates of tears at different hospitals in the Twin Cities area. The info has been slightly updated, and I decided to pull the information for all of the area hospitals.

A few notes: The website that lists this information doesn’t specify what degree of perineal tears they are talking about. Tears are rated first degree, second degree, third degree, and fourth degree. First and second degree tears can be pretty common. Most epidemiological discussions about tears focus only on 3rd degree tears and second degree tears. I’m hoping to get some clarification on what the heck they are talking about when they say “tears”, and I’ll update this post as I can.

Perineum Tears: Rates for Vaginal Deliveries without Instruments; for some reason, St. Joseph’s is missing.

Lowest rates to highest:

  1. Shakopee- 1%
  2. Ridgeview- 1%
  3. St. John’s- 1%
  4. HCMC- 2%
  5. Lakeview-2%
  6. Unity- 2%
  7. Regions- 2%
  8. North Memorial- 2%
  9. Mercy Hospital- 2%
  10. University of Minnesota- 3%
  11. United- 3%
  12. Regina- 3%
  13. Ridges- 3%
  14. Methodist- 3%
  15. Northfield- 4%
  16. Woodwinds- 4%
  17. Southdale- 4%
  18. Maple Grove- 4%
  19. The MotherBaby Center/ Abbott Northwestern- 5%

Perineum Tears: Rates for Vaginal Deliveries with Instruments

Lowest rates to highest:

  1. Regina- 0%
  2. University of Minnesota- 5%
  3. Hennepin County Medical Center- 10%
  4. St. John’s- 10%
  5. Woodwinds- 10%
  6. Regions- 12%
  7. Unity- 12%
  8. St. Joseph’s- 13%
  9. Southdale- 13%
  10. Northfield- 13%
  11. United- 14%
  12. Shakopee-15%
  13. Ridges- 16%
  14. North Memorial Medical Center- 16%
  15. Mercy- 19%
  16. Methodist- 24%
  17. Ridgeview- 27%
  18. Maple Grove- 20%
  19. The MotherBaby Center/ Abbott Northwestern- 24%

Beyond choosing your care provider and place where you give birth with a lot of thought and care, make sure you know the different ways you can make pushing and birth as safe as possible. Check out our Confident Birth and Beyond (Lamaze) classes, too, to learn how to have a safe and healthy birth.

Veronica Jacobsen, BA, CLC, CPST, LCCE, FACCE
Birth Doula, Certified Lactation Counselor, Child Passenger Safety Technician, Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator, Fellow of the Academy of Certified Childbirth Educators

Opening BabyLove in September of 2011 has allowed me to build a space where all families can come to get good information in a caring, welcoming environment. I have found that not only do I love teaching more than ever, but I also really love running a business. Hopefully my passion for every aspect of BabyLove shines through.
I live in Richfield with my husband, and I am a mother of a two great children. When I can steal a few free moments, I love to go on adventures with my family, cook, garden, thrift, can, and craft.