Head turning, pressing lips together, and lots of crying and screaming. These are all common behaviors a baby shows when it rejects the bottle.
What is the solution to this problem? Well, first you need to be very patient with the process of your baby getting used to the bottle; this does not always work out right away and needs time to be introduced to your baby.
Why does Baby Reject the Bottle?
Type of Bottle
Some baby’s do not like silicone or other types of materials such as rubber. In this case, try using glass or a small cup for them to drink out of - this usually works as the best solution for most babies.
Type of Bottle Nipple
Breastfed babies get used to mom, and those synthetic nipples are strange. Warming up the nipple, and trying different types of nipples might help.
Slow-flow nipples could be too slow for moms with fast let-downs as well as older babies. Or perhaps the rate of flow is too fast for babies used to a more slower rate of speed directly from mom. In either case, try different types of nipple sizes - They are usually in 0-month, 3-month, 6-month, 9-month and 12-month sizes.
Let's face it, formula smells/tastes different than breastmilk. This is why we sell organic formula that smells and tastes as close to the original. Try the formula yourself and see!
Mom's breastmilk is body temperature, and so the bottle should be too if baby is finicky. They may not like colder milk, and in this case try getting the milk to the same temperature as mom.
Mom is nearby
That keen sense of smell in babies is like no other! If you are supplementing while also breastfeeding, you may struggle to get baby to take the bottle. Try handing baby off to someone else and leave the room, so baby doesn't see/smell mom.
Ways to Help Baby Take the Bottle
Some mothers shared that eventually when the baby’s hunger is too big, they will take the bottle. Of course this is not the ideal way to introduce the bottle, but it does get the job done.
We have a few other suggestions to try as well:
If possible use a breast pump and fill the bottle that best suits your baby with your breastmilk. If you have no problem breastfeeding, switch to the bottle slowly. It is recommended to start with pumping and once the baby gets used to the bottle filled with breastmilk, switching to a formula should be no problem.
When baby is breastfeeding, skin-to-skin contact is natural. If possible, have the caregiver trying to feed the bottle hold the baby without their shirt on and baby directly against the caregiver's stomach.
Another trick is to have the caregiver wrap baby in a shirt or clothes that mom has worn. This way mom's scent is near during the feeding time, even if mom is not around.
Positioning can make a huge difference in how much milk is released from the bottle. Since milk doesn't release as fast from mom as it can from the bottle, keeping the baby upright is key.
With baby sitting upright (perhaps skin-to-skin with caregiver), hold the bottle horizontally with a slight tip to allow milk fully into the nipple. This lets baby control the flow, and not gravity.
Latching is something babies are used to, so shoving a bottle into their mouth might feel strange. Instead, wiggle the nipple around their lips a little so they start to get the taste of the milk. Then take the nipple from above their mouth and near their nose and slowly move it to their lips. This will allow baby to take the lead and latch on.
Timing can be used in your favor. Wait for hunger cues from baby instead of following a clock. And if baby is already past hungry to the sign of irritation, it might be best to try when baby is calmer.
Some moms use the sleepy-time trick. Wait for baby to be super drowsy and about to fall asleep and then try to give the bottle. or try it at the end of the nap when baby is slowly waking up.
Don’t lose hope. If your baby is still not getting the hang of the bottle, keep trying!
Many mothers tend to give up here and go back to breastfeeding full-time, but it is very important to be calm and keep trying - multiple times a day even.
Sometimes using one method might work, but perhaps multiple methods mentioned above all at once might be the trick. Just remember, the baby can feel the tension and stress, so a peaceful and calm environment is highly recommended during this transition stage.
Once the transition to bottle is complete - if you are looking for some healthy organic formula options, we have plenty to choose from here!