Struggling to get your baby to take a bottle? Read this…

baby to take a bottle

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.

baby to take a 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!

Be gone!

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.

baby to take a 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!

If you’re considering looking into getting a Minbie you can find out all about their range here.

Enter on our giveaways page here


Cover picture credit: People photo created by freepik –


  1. Everything can look daunting – are they getting enough – why are they being sick – breast /v bottle – my neice is asking all these questions – she’ll love these

  2. When you are going through it especially the first time around it seems like it’s just you going through it. This post is great as it helps highlight to others that may be going through the same thing that it isn’t just them.

  3. My first grandchild is due in September and I am wondering how long my daughter will be able to feed, these would be helpful if there are any problems 🙂

  4. Oh it’s so difficult isn’t it? One of mine never did have a bottle but they both drank happily from a straw by six months. They’re all different and you’re right, it is really tough when you feel completely alone but there’s always someone going through the same thing.

  5. It’s difficult and expensive finding one that they like, and then you have to keep a steady stock because if you can’t get a spare you are in trouble as they will refuse others that look identical to us

  6. Gosh! What a stressful time! I totally can feel you being so nervouse especially if it is your first baby, but one thing you are so right about ( I remind it to myself every single day of my life): “And this shall pass” 🙂

  7. Mine always refused a bottle which was tough on my husband as he wanted to get involved in feeding too

  8. My first daughter took a bottle really easily, whereas my second daughter it was a real challenge. We tried so many different brands and techniques, so this brand sounds perfect! I am currently expecting baby number three and am nervous about he’ll take a bottle, but hopefully it will all go smoothly 🙂

  9. I haven’t had a baby yet so haven’t experienced the difficulties of getting them to take a bottle, but I love the look of this and it would be my go to if I come up against this problem!

  10. I struggled with mine when they born to take a bottle I did attend breast feeding so not sure when I stopped it was harder for them to take to a bottle.
    Now I child mind my great nephew & he is a challenge to feed

  11. l have to say all 3 of ours we were really lucky and they took straight away but my friends baby didnt and it was so stressful for them!

  12. My sister-in-law had all sorts of problems and it really got her down. It is nice to see that there are so many other women who ‘get it’ and understand how hard it is. We all need to support one another and remember that its all about doing what is best for you and your baby.

  13. i had to bottle feed as produced no milk and was lucky all managed to take to bottle 🙂

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