Breastfeeding, Formula

5 Odd tricks to get your baby to take a bottle

Breastfed babies and bottles can be the most challenging pair to get along. Up until my daughters two month shots, she would effortlessly go between bottle and breast without a hitch. Then it seemed like after every round of shots she would go on a temporary bottle strike that seemed to last forever. I tried everything from switching bottles, nipple flows, trying a new formula. adding breast milk to formula, pumped milk, etc. and nothing worked. It turned out the original bottle and formula were not the problem.. it was everything else!

So read on for some odd tips on how to get your little one to take a bottle!.. before you switch bottle brands, formula, or give up on expressed milk.

1. Experiment with different temperatures

Some babies like a little chill, some like the milk warm but nipple cold, and some just like the whole bottle warm. Mom’s nipples come pre-warmed so it is important to make the bottle feeding experience as close to breastfeeding as possible. Here are some different bottle/nipple temperature combinations to try. Remember that every baby is different and will respond differently

  • Slightly chilled breast milk or formula, warm nipple
  • Chilled nipple, warm breast milk or formula
  • Chilled breast milk or formula and chilled nipple
  • Warm nipple and warm breast milk or formula (lukewarm or warmer than average)

2. The stationary sway

Sometimes standing in place and swaying (also known as the “helicopter” in the exercise world) while offering the bottle provides enough distraction for baby to latch. If baby is worked up from crying this can also help to calm them down.

3. Walk around singing

At one point, I could only get my daughter to take a bottle when I was walking around singing the “Jeapordy” tune.. “do, do, do” and all. Has she ever watched or heard the show? I don’t know, but any repetitive and slightly calming tune should do the trick! They key here is to provide distraction.

4. Look at lights or pictures

This one works best at Christmas time when you likely have lights around your house to look at. Sometimes bringing the baby to a lighted mantel or Christmas tree distracts them enough to latch. Bonus if you can get the lights to alternate or change colors.

5. Go in a different room or outside

Sometimes a change of scenery is all your little one needs for some bottle latching encouragement. I remember doing a combo of swaying, walking, and singing to find out my daughter liked eating in the hallway between two bedrooms! Fresh air is always good for you and baby (weather permitting), but it’s in the “can’t hurt might help” category for bottle refusal.

If you are reading this article chances are you are having some trouble with getting your baby on the bottle. I hope that one of the odd tips you read here that worked for my daughter, works for your baby. Remember “when it doubt, whip it out” and it’s completely normal for a breastfed baby to just want the boob.

Remember to never force a baby to take a bottle and take a few minutes and try again if both of you are stressed.

For additional assistance and other feeding methods,

check out the following links:

https://www.llli.org/breastfeeding-info/bottles/

https://ibconline.ca/information-sheets/finger-and-cup-feeding/

Leave a comment of an odd bottle taking trick that worked for you!

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-Chrissy Falkenham

6 thoughts on “5 Odd tricks to get your baby to take a bottle

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