21 Dec 2011

Refusing The Bottle

We've noticed something strange happening today, Eli won't take to the bottle - he's actually refusing it. This morning hubby mentioned he was doing this gagging reflex when he was trying to feed him and this afternoon when I tried to feed him the bottle he was doing the same thing. I knew he was hungry and when he first saw the bottle full of breast milk he quickly brought it to his mouth (I love it when he does that) but a few minutes later he started playing with the teat and was not swallowing the milk. So I stopped, wiped the excess milk which has spilled on his chin and proceeded to put the bottle back in his mouth. He would suck for a second but once he realised it was the bottle he would again stop drinking, arch his back and cry. He was getting really frustrated so I put him to the breast. 

I have been putting him to the breast more often only because I'm getting tired / lazy to express. Plus it's not like I don't need to be away from him at the moment. However I am worried he wont take to the bottle when he needs to take it, like when I'm away from him. Such as tomorrow morning when I need to pick up my parents from the airport.

I've been googling online to see if anyone else has had the same issue and it seems like its a common issue. Suggestions of other mothers who have tackled this problem include changing the bottle and nipples and to continue to be persistent in giving the bottle. I'm a bit confused in the change in behaviour, he'll usually take to the bottle just fine. Some friends with babies look at me with envy when I'm out with them and I can give my little man a bottle as their baby refuses it.

MJC feeds her daughter using the syringe approach as she refuses the bottle. I've seen her and her husband in action feeding their little girl and it really does take two of them to feed her. One to inject the syringe with the milk and feed it to their baby and the other to distract and encourage her to continue feeding. DT's baby girl also refuses the bottle so she doesn't go anywhere without her meaning she declines a lot of invitations if she is uncomfortable to breastfeed at the event. Knowing these mother's experiences I've come to realise that if the baby wants the bottle they will take it and if they wont then you need to come up with alternative ways for them to feed without you. They both attempted the bottle several times and it failed so they just seemed to have given up.

This recent behaviour isn't good, a bit over a month shy of me returning back to work. Plus I want to introduce him to rice cereal. I want to be the one to feed him his first "meal". I want to be present to see if he has any allergic reactions to the new food.

I don't really want to go out there and get new bottle and nipples. I don't know if I could force the bottle on Eli if he doesn't want it but I guess I have no choice at this point. I'm interested to know why this happens?

Uncle D bottle feeding Eli at 4 months

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