Tips for Getting Your Breastfed Baby to Take a Bottle

Jul 05, 2023

Tips for Getting Your Breastfed Baby to Take a Bottle

Getting your breastfed baby to take a bottle can be incredibly frustrating. You’ve been through the emotional journey of labor and delivery, and you’ve learned the art of breastfeeding, but now all that work is undone when you need your little one to take a bottle — but they refuse it. 

Your baby can accept this new feeding technique if done right. There are some tricks you can use as a mom or caregiver to make the transition from the breast to the bottle smoother for both you and baby, such as creating an atmosphere that encourages openness, and accepting small steps towards change. 

Here at Angel Kids Pediatrics, we know that bottle feeding can be a challenge when your baby is used to nursing. From nine locations across Jacksonville, Amelia Island, and Saint Johns, Florida, our seasoned pediatricians can help make feeding your baby a success. Here’s what you should know.

Why your baby may be resistant to taking a bottle

As a parent, you may experience some resistance from your baby when taking a bottle. It's important to understand that this is a common issue, and there could be various reasons for it. 

One possibility is that your baby is uncomfortable with the bottle due to being used to the comfort and closeness of breastfeeding. Alternatively, it could be that the nipple size or shape of the bottle isn't familiar to them. 

It's essential to approach this situation with empathy and a practical mindset. Experiment with different bottle types and make sure your baby is in a comfortable position while feeding. Remember, persistence and patience — in equal measure — are key when it comes to helping your breastfed baby adjust to bottle feeding.

Don’t put pressure on yourself or your baby

As a new parent, it can be tempting to want everything to be perfect right away. When introducing a bottle to your baby, it's important to take a step back and allow your little one to adjust at their own pace. 

Forcing the situation or putting too much pressure on yourself or your baby will only make things more stressful for everyone. Instead, take a breath and allow your baby to explore the bottle on their own terms. With patience and persistence, you'll get the hang of things quickly. Every parent and baby is different, so allow your journey to unfold naturally.

Try different types of bottle nipples

It’s natural to want to find the best bottle for your little one. But with so many options out there, knowing where to start can be overwhelming. While you’ll want to do a bit of research, you also need to be patient and willing to experiment until you find the right fit for your baby's feeding needs. 

This may mean testing out different nipple shapes and sizes, or switching to a sippy cup as they grow older. Remember, every baby is unique, and what works for one might not work for another. So don't be discouraged if your first choice doesn't work out. Keep trying until you discover the perfect bottle for your bundle of joy.

Get creative with homemade purees 

Finding ways to encourage your baby to take a bottle can be challenging. If your baby is already eating solids, getting creative with how you serve meals can be an effective solution. 

Have you thought about using frozen peas in a mesh strainer? This way, your little one can enjoy the taste and texture without the risk of choking. Another option is to mix a couple of tablespoons of homemade purees (i.e., sweet potato, carrot, banana) into their formula or breast milk to add a new flavor dimension. 

By trying different methods, you may discover new ways to make feeding time a fun and enjoyable experience for you and your baby. 

Get extra support from our experts 

Taking the time to figure out why your baby may be resistant to taking a bottle can be an enjoyable process. Each baby is different; figuring out what works best for them takes time. 

Let us support you every step of the way so that you can focus on bonding with your baby. At Angel Kids Pediatrics, we offer comprehensive care and support for breastfeeding parents, and that includes bottle-feeding support. 

Whether you need some advice or want to know more about getting your baby to take a bottle, we can help. Schedule your appointment today by calling 904-224-KIDS (5437) or using our online form.