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Even as I write this, I want to laugh at those words “Struggling to get your baby to take a bottle”, because any baby would take a bottle surely?! Or at least that’s what we’ve been led to believe…
Yes that was me too – totally naive to the fact that my baby daughter would refuse to take a bottle. First she had refused to take my nipple for the initial three months. Then a few months down the line after that, my baby was refusing to take the bottle.
You can feel absolutely desperate when trying to get your baby to take the bottle and being met with flat out refusal. Whether it’s because you’re going back to work and need someone else to feed them, or you’re ending your breastfeeding journey. Either way, it can be absolutely bewildering and pretty worrisome when your little human laughs…okay, more like screams….at the mere prospect of having to drink milk from a bottle.
But the good news is that – like with all things in parenting – this too shall pass. In the meantime, I’ve teamed up with Minbie – the award winning bottle teat that allows your newborn to bottle feed with the same feeding actions as breastfeeding – to share my top tips for getting your baby to take the bottle.
Let someone else give your baby the first bottle
Think about it – you’re a baby who has been enjoying the comfort, joy and routine of drinking direct from mama’s breast. And then suddenly mum comes along with a bottle of milk – something which is totally alien to them. This is just not what your baby is used to. You may as well have offered him a cauliflower to suck on. Plus, all they can smell on you is YOUR milk. To make things easier, and lessen confusion, ask someone else to give them the bottle. It could be your partner, the grandparents, a childcare provider. Just not you!
For the best chance of success, combine the step above with you being out of the house…which also happens to be the perfect way of wangling some me-time. As we’ve already established, our babies can smell if we are around or not. So if you and your milk are hiding in the next room, it’s unlikely to end in success.
Use a Minbie
I have often wondered why most bottle nipples look and feel nothing like our ones. No wonder our babies are confused as a chameleon in a bag of skittles and baulking at the thought of putting one in their mouth! They seem almost set up to fail when trying to get your baby to take a bottle. Thank goodness then for Minbie and their revolutionary and award-winning bottle nipples. Not only are they designed to support instinctive breastfeeding latch on and motion, but have also been designed with with an Anti-Reflux and Anti-Colic feeding motion supporting good digestion.
All you need to do is read the almost 10,000 reviews online to know that The Minbie bottle has been a life saver for so many mums. Mums who were previously at their wits end because their baby would not take the bottle.
Stick with it
As I mentioned above, stick with it. You need perseverance and strength of mind when you’re trying to get your baby to take a bottle. Get creative and try offering them the bottle at different feeds – they may be more open to taking it in the morning to the evening, or visa versa. You can also try putting some of your own breast milk on the bottle nipple so that it smells and tastes like you. And if you’re planning on ending your breastfeeding journey, it is no old wives tale that rubbing lemon on your nipples will put your baby off your nipples and onto one that belongs to a bottle. Said she who knows!
Having said that, do not persevere to the point that you and your baby are becoming frustrated. After three attempts in a row, you are both likely to feel worked up and worried. Take a step back and know that tomorrow is another day. Then try again another time when they are less wound up and madly hungry.
You are not alone
Although in motherhood there are so many times that you feel totally alone – know that there are so many mums out there struggling with trying to get their baby to take the bottle. I was one of them. And we muddled our way through it with much of the above, and then guess what….she took the bottle, and there was no looking back. So remember, this is not a reflection on you. You are not doing anything wrong. It’s just your baby has other ideas!
Are you struggling to get your baby to take a bottle? Or perhaps you found it a challenge, made a breakthrough, and have some of your own tips to offer? Do share in a comment below.
We’ve teamed up with Minbie for a chance to win one of three
newborn feeding kits for 3 lucky winners
*This post was commissioned by Minbie
Cover picture credit: People photo created by freepik – www.freepik.com