How to not get your baby to take a bottle

I considered myself an authority on most things mommy (when it comes to babies) when my oldest became a toddler. However, the more children I have, the more I feel like I have no idea what the heck I am doing. Take, for example, my youngest child, Wren. Wren is six months old. She has taken a bottle once in those six months. It was a wonderful evening in May. Daddy took her from me so that I could cook dinner. She was hungry, and I handed him a bottle. She drank the whole thing after screaming for only about five minutes. The thing is, she hasn’t done that since, and Scott does not remember what special magic, if any, he worked on her.

When I go to the pediatrician, the nurse asks me if I have any questions or concerns for pediatrician. I tell her that Wren won’t take a bottle. The nurse inevitably follows that question up with: is she formula fed or breast fed? I tell her that she drinks formula from my breast. She writes that down. I begin to suspect that she is not listening to me.

Our pediatrician is a tough love kind of guy and suggested that I take a weekend vacation without the kids. That way, Wren will be faced with the tough decision of taking the bottle or spending a very hungry weekend. Which will it be, Wren? The Lady or the Tiger? I love our pediatrician, but shockingly this will not be the solution we shall be putting in action. Any solutions my dear readers have to offer would be much appreciated.

In the meantime, I will share with you my cautionary tale about how to get your baby NOT to take a bottle.

Step One: spend the first three months of your baby’s life never offering her a bottle for fear of the dreaded nipple confusion.

Step Two: Offer your three month old a bottle for the first time with formula in it because you hate pumping with the passion of a hundred fiery suns. Give up immediately when the baby refuses it.

Step Three: Leave your three month old with your parents for the first time while you go off on a date with your husband. Leave them for six hours (we went to dinner and a baseball game) with bottles, formula, and hopefully good luck. Pretend to be shocked when your distraught parents tell you that she had a huge tantrum and has not eaten in six hours. Shellshocked parents swear to never try and give her a bottle again.

Step Four: Try every bottle known to man. Watch her angrily refuse them all.

Step Five: Despair.

I’ll be eating steak before I take a bottle, Mom


About sylcell

Wife, mom of four girls, Catholic, insatiable sweet tooth
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21 Responses to How to not get your baby to take a bottle

  1. Pingback: How to get a stubborn breastfeeding baby to take a bottle | Tales from the Mommy Trenches

  2. bronwyn says:

    lulu won’t take a bottle either… hates it. refuses. if you learn the secret, tell me!!!!!


  3. morgan says:

    Still don’t think you are a failure – they’ll forever try to trick us. Sometimes I think they are Loki reinvented 😉 laughed so hard about the pacifier story. 😀 Sorry, couldn’t help it.
    My three decided to clear our living room. BY THROWING ALL OF THEIR STUFF OUT OF THE WINDOW!!! While I was in the bathroom taking a much needed break (When I left the room I already had forgotten I opened a window).
    I threw a laundry basket on our front lawn and forced them put all their stuff inside and carry it back. My neighbors were very much entertained …

    Liked by 1 person

    • sylcell says:

      LOL! The only time mine clean up is when I am trying to get them out the door. Strangers think it is pretty weird to hear my toddler wailing, “But I wasn’t finished cleaning up!!”

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you for your humor! I love the way you write, and can relate to the way you word things so well! As a new blogger (and Mommy myself) I look forward to reading your posts! Keep it up!


  5. morgan says:

    Maybe waiting three months was NOT the cause. My daughter refused the bottle, too.
    I remember clearly that afternoon date with a friend when we met for a movie. My daughter was about 8 weeks old at that time and though I had several failed attempts behind me bottlefeeding her (same was with my eldest. he refused to take a bottle from me but during the 1.5hrs I was at the after-birth-sports-training he drank a whole bottle even though I fed him before and after my session).
    So I pumped milk, drove to the theater, watched the movie, drove straight home and was welcomed with a desperate “FINALLY YOU DECIDE TO GRACE US WITH YOUR PRESENCE!!!” Husband and his sister told me she started screaming like hell about 5mins after I left. They tried to give her the bottle, she screamed louder. They tried different bottles, different suckers (? those thingies on top with the hole in it…), and then even tried to dribble the milk in her mouth with a spoon (resulting in it going down the wrong pipe and… more screaming).
    Over the months we tried again and again but eventually gave up.
    I never pumped milk with my third one. We had a couple of attempts when he was about a year old trying to replace the breast during the nights by a bottle – he usually threw it at my head. With as much force as he could muster.


    • sylcell says:

      Yeah, we call that a pacifier. She won’t take that either. Glad to know I’m not alone! I feel like such an abysmal failure.


      • morgan says:

        You are not a failure. I didn’t get all my three kids to take a pacifier. Especially that second one just screamed louder when we came round the corner with that stupid thing. And she kept screaming until I took my breast out.
        Everyone told me that this is because she’s a girl and girls are just that way… HAHA. It’s a relief to read that you have three daughters and only one of them shows a similar behaviour!
        I felt better once I accepted that my daughter is just as stubborn as I am (damn those genes! ;-)).


      • sylcell says:

        Oh it gets worse. My older two found all our pacifiers (when I was trying to get the babies to use them) when they were about 18 months and now they STILL use them to go to bed. Haha, epic mommy fail.


  6. Siné says:

    My son was losing weight when my supply tanked when I got pregnant with my daughter. He had refused bottles ever since we attempted a formula bottle. Eventually after an 11 hour stand off with a donor milk bottle (with a little holy water sprinkled in at the 11th hour), he started taking a bottle. I used to loathe pumping too because i would get vasospasms. Have you tried pumpin’ pal breast shields? They make pumping way more comfortable.


  7. Laura says:

    I know you said you hate to pump but my baby takes milk from a bottle soooooo much better than a bottle full of formula. The other thing is I think Nuk nipples are shaped to mimic the breast during a natural latch. If you haven’t tried it, that might help. Even try a Y cut nipple. She may not like it bc she can’t get as much as fast. Good luck!


  8. Mary says:

    I knew it was a ruse! Hoist on your own petard. Signed, traumatized grandmother.


  9. How about a sippy? I am not big on sippy’s as a regular thing once they’re old enough to have a regular cup (which she might surprise you and be able to drink from as well). My boys were FF but it’s worth a shot 🙂 my oldest took to his cup around 6 months and quickly ditched the bottle.


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