8 Tips to Overcome Bottle Rejection

Sometimes introducing a bottle to a breastfed baby can be challenging. Baby may reject your first, or even first several, attempts.
Whether due to returning to work, sharing feeding responsibilities, or other reasons, introducing a bottle is often necessary. However, sometimes babies can be resistant to taking a bottle, leading to frustration and concern for parents.
Here are 8 simple tips that can help ease the process:
Tip 1: Offer bottle when baby is sleepy: Babies are often more relaxed and less resistant to new experiences when they're sleepy. Try offering the bottle during naptime or just before your baby drifts off to sleep, when they may be more willing to accept it without fuss.

Tip 2: Offer bottle after bathtime: Bath time can be a soothing and calming experience for babies, making it an ideal opportunity to introduce the bottle. After bathtime, when your baby is clean, relaxed, and in a positive mood, offer the bottle for a feeding session.

Tip 3: Try different bottles or nipples: Experiment with different types of bottles and nipples to find the one that your baby prefers. Some babies may respond better to bottles with wider or narrower nipples, while others may prefer bottles with a slower or faster flow rate. Keep trying different options until you find the one that works best for your baby.

Tip 4: Warm the nipple up: Warm the nipple of the bottle by running it under warm water for a few seconds before offering it to your baby. A warm nipple can mimic the temperature of breast milk and may be more appealing to your baby, increasing the likelihood of acceptance.

Tip 5: Put some breast milk on the nipple: Dab a bit of expressed breast milk onto the nipple of the bottle to make it more familiar and enticing for your baby. The scent and taste of breast milk can help your baby associate the bottle with the comfort and nourishment they get from breastfeeding.

Tip 6:  Have your partner or another caregiver offer the bottle: Sometimes, babies may refuse the bottle from their primary caregiver but accept it from someone else. Have your partner or another trusted caregiver offer the bottle to your baby to see if they respond differently to a new face.

Tip 7: Let baby play with the bottle or nipple: Allow your baby to explore and play with the bottle and nipple during non-feeding times. This can help them become more familiar with the object and associate it with positive experiences, making them more likely to accept it during feeding sessions.

Tip 8: Offer the bottle when baby isn’t too hungry: Timing is key when offering the bottle to a baby who may be resistant. Try offering the bottle when your baby is not overly hungry or fussy, but rather when they are calm and more receptive to trying something new. This can increase the chances of a successful feeding experience.

Be patient & keep trying! What baby rejects one day can totally change the next week. Just take a deep breath and keep offering the bottle. ⠀

Stay flexible, patient, and responsive to your baby's cues, and eventually, you'll find a feeding routine that works for both of you.

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