Breast milk is the only best option for your baby, and it is superior to any other human-made formula or milk derived from any other mammal such as a cow. According to world health organisation (WHO), breastfeeding is a unique method of providing suitable food for the healthy growth and development of babies ; it is also an essential part for the health of the mother especially in the reproductive process. For the first half a year of life, infants (one-year-old baby) should be exclusively breastfed on demand as the breastmilk supplies all the needed nutrients within this period. After three months, bottle feeding may be appropriate since mother may not be able to do breastfeeding day and night due to some factors like resuming back to work.
Which are the best Tips on How to Get Baby to Take Bottle Quickly?
If the baby refuses the bottle, it can be hard to deal with and more challenging to the limited time available for feeding the baby. So, it is important you know that breastfed baby refusing bottle at 3 months needs a different mouth and tongue movements, unlike breastfeeding. Therefore, your baby may take more time before getting used to the bottle feeding. You can try the following top proven tips for a good transition while still maintaining the breastfeeding relationship.
- Select the suitable bottle nipple for your baby
There are many varieties of bottle nipples to choose from, and you can be lucky to identify the one that fits your baby at first selection. You may be required to try many varieties (slow-flow, firm, narrow base, flexible, broad base, and fast slow) so that to identify the one that your baby will accept.
Watch the baby closely during the feeding to see the kind of bottle nipple that is friendly, and she/he is using comfortably. Many people make mistakes of using the bottle nipple that is not meant for the breastfed baby which may be the reason for a breastfed baby refusing bottle. Be sure to consult a qualified and licensed nutritionist for the best choice in case you are challenged. If the baby rejects one bottle nipple, try others. It does not matter what the packaging says as there is no rubber nipple that it like the mother’s nipple.
The baby may not be able to hold a faster milk flow from the bottle nipple and thus select the nipple that equals the breast milk flow of one drop per second is essential for a adequate feeding.
- Get some assistance
The baby can smell the mother’s breast milk and also is used to breastfeeding every time the mother holds him/her close to the chest. By letting to someone else bottle feed the baby, it makes it easy for the baby to accept the bottle. Therefore, you can choose to stay in the nearby next room just in case there is a problem. The first time you introduce the bottle, let someone else start for a smooth transition and reducing baby refusing formula at 3 months.
- Hold the baby in a different position
Nursing mums use different position in holding and attaching the baby to the breast like tummy to tummy (cradle hold), cross cradle, football hold, and side lying. When you start to give breastfed baby refusing bottle at 3 months bottle feeds, try different positions and ideally popped up to enable him/her to drink easily from the bottle. Always remember to support your baby head with your arm position her at a 45 degrees angle to avoid inhaling a lot of air and straighten her head and neck. Holding a baby in a different position during the bottle can be tiring, and therefore you may place a pillow to support you. After 20 minutes keep switching the positions to give arms a break and to make the baby enjoy the moment. If you offer the bottle when the baby is lying down it may cause the milk to enter the middle ear through the Eustachian tube leading to ear infections.
- Burp the baby
During bottle feedings, a baby may swallow a significant amount of air which may cause stomach pains. Doing some burp in between feeds will go along way in helping the baby take more feeds and feel more comfortable. Also, to reduce air swallowing tilt the bottle during feedings and wait for the milk to fill the bottle nipple and displace air out before feeding. Choose some bottles with nipples that decrease air swallowing. During the burping, you can change the position as you engage and maintain direct eye contact and get breastfed baby to take bottle. Be sure to check for the signs of swallowing air – baby starts fusing, turns the head away from the bottle after few minutes.
- Give small frequent bottle feeds
The baby’s stomach is small and can hold a limited amount of bottle at a time. To meet the nutritional demands necessary for proper growth and development of the baby, you may be required to provide high amounts of bottle feeds. Therefore, giving small frequent meals will help you achieve the nutritional requirements without overfeeding which may cause the baby to spit out. Create some interactive sessions during the bottle to make the baby relax as you hold the baby in a sit up position. Also, remember not to bounce or shake the baby after feeding as he/she may vomit easily since the digestive system is still growing cannot adequately hold the feeds. Do not focus on how much the baby takes when you start feeding instead let your baby decide and if he or she gains as well, keep up the excellent work.
- Create a conducive environment
Feed the baby in a peaceful and calm environment free from distraction to enable the focus with the bottle. Try bonding with your baby during this time by placing him/her on the skin contact as you are bottle feeding. Also, you can warm the bottle nipple to match the body temperature that the baby is familiar. If the baby is breastfed by someone else apart from the mum try something the smells like parents to make it comfortable for your baby. Always dress your baby loose clothing especially around the stomach and avoid pressing the belly when you carry the little one. Always take note that feeding is two ways – nourishing and comforting either with bottle or breast.
- Warm bottle feeds to a suitable temperature
If you refrigerate breastmilk, you should warm it up to at least room temperature as baby prefers warm feeds. The appropriate way to warm milk is to place in a container in a pan with water and use low heat to warm as you rotate. Microwave and direct heating should be avoided as they can overheat the milk and also lead to some loss of heat sensitive nutrients. The bottle may as well explode in the microwave leading to accidents. Also, very hot feeds may burn the baby mouth during the feeding, and you should always be cautious. Before giving a baby bottle after warming check the milk temperature by shaking and dropping few drops on the inside of your wrist.
- Start with breastmilk
If you intend to give the baby formula, gradually start bottle with the expressed breast milk.. Many nursing mothers have reported that when they begin bottle with breastmilk, they easily progress to the formula and get used to the bottle. You may begin by breastfeeding for a while but make sure that the baby is not filled up then let someone else take over and try bottle to fill up the baby.
- Offer consistently and patiently
Baby may reject the bottle at first, and this should not discourage you from trying more times. Give a pacifier to the baby to suck as this will even make it easier to change to bottle. Don’t give in the first few trials or force the baby to take as this may lead to aversions to bottles. Slowly with time have been shown to make a baby fall in love with bottle faster.
- Break the monotony
Let our baby experience new environments by taking them out for a walk especially when he/she is upset. Do not cover the face of the baby instead let them have a look of the surroundings as you walk around. Avoid the baby head facing the mother’s breast as the baby may need to breastfeed. Also, when they face the other side, they will be distracted by many in the environment. Choose a baby carrier that is ideal for a casual walk and allows the comfortable carrying of the baby while facing from the mother’s chest. As you walk, try to offer the bottle and hold well for the baby to suck.
- Be timely
You should not wait until the baby is extremely hunger as this will make it difficult to control the baby when crying. For infants, new experiences are easier to handle when the baby is comfortable and has rested. Try and maintain feeding intervals that are ideal for the baby and allows the baby to take more feeds while not leading to excessive hunger.
- Attach bottle nipple properly
Try and not force the bottle nipple into the baby mouth instead put it close to the mouth and encourage him/her to open as it happens during breastfeeding. Ensure you hold the bottle steadily and in the right position to enhance active sucking. Watch as the baby takes drop by drop as you stimulate through singing. Make this moment wonderful for the baby by being playful when the baby takes a break as you change the position. Ensure the baby does not doze off to avoid choking him/her. Also, never leave the baby unattended during the feeding as it significantly dangerous if the baby chokes.
Which are the Bottle-feeding problems and solutions that you need to know?
There some problems that you might face while bottle feeding breastfed baby refusing bottle at 3 months. We have explained some of the common issues and solutions to equip you while handling your three months baby.
- Feeding aversion
A baby might acquire feeding aversions if the previous experiences were painful, stressful or unappealing. Though feeding aversion is complex, you should try and make it enjoyable during the feeding time. Also, avoid forcing the bottle rather be patient and offer small but frequent. Practice an upright position all the time and ensure the baby is attended throughout during the feeding. Baby needs attention to prevent the episode of choking which may be associated with aversions. Other problems affecting the baby’s mouth and the gastrointestinal may also make the baby refuse the bottle.
- Poor feeding patterns
Some babies may take little milk and refuse to accept more than after two or three hours want to take more. Though this may seem to be a challenge, it is not if the baby takes enough within 24 hours and gains weight usually. In a situation where less milk is consumed trying to encourage bottle after 45 minutes with increased frequency may be helpful. If appropriate, extend the feeding times without distressing the baby while avoid forcing the feeding all the time.
- Too high expectations
Is your baby drinking too little than you expect? You should not panic instead try giving many times without forcing large amounts. Consult a qualified baby health professional for the quantity the baby should take as it may depend on the age and weight. Some things influence the amount a baby might take at the time such as growth rate, genetic, metabolism rate, feeding patterns, state of health and cavities levels. The essential indicator if the baby is taken enough is weight gain which you may consider assessing monthly in a health facility. Try to check for all the signs that show the growth and development of your baby from your health care provider.
- Baby too exhausted
Does your baby doze off during feeding? Sleeping and feeding are closely associated and equally vital in the growth and development of babies. Tiredness may cause your baby to sleep before finishing feeding. You need to ensure that the baby gets adequate sleep and feed her before she sleeps. Try and maintain a routine feeding and sleeping to separate the sleeping and feeding times.
- Baby always distracted
Your baby may be too busy looking around attempting to do some other things apart from feeding. In case you experience such a problem, which is familiar for babies from three months, feed your baby in a quiet and calm place away for the distractions such as television, radio, and other children.
- Poor feeding bottle nipple
The essential part of feeding equipment is a nipple. Make sure you identify the collect one that your baby will be at ease while using. Feeding problems may occur due to short, long, too fast or too slow nipples that may cause the baby to fuss or cry altogether. The nipple needs to be the right size and speed and fits your baby’s size, age and the capability to suckle. It is difficult to have the perfect nipple, but it does not harm to experiment many varieties until your baby is comfortable. Some nipples may crash in the baby’s mouth or cause swallowing of the air which you should always be cautious. In such cases, try and burp the baby to allow air to move out.
- Difficulties changing to bottle feeding
Since you have been breastfeeding your baby for three months, there are chances that the baby will refuse to make the transition to bottle feeding. However, it is possible to change to the bottle with minimal challenges by starting gradually with breast milk for those who would like to give formulas. Also, follow the information discussed above concerning the nipples carefully. Always be patient and keep trying without forcing your baby.
- Mistaking baby’s cues for the signs of hunger
Babies display certain specific reflexes such as sucking and swallowing which may go beyond hunger. One should observe this sign in the baby to avoid forcing feeds which get the baby upset or pulling away from the bottle. A baby may become hungry if he/ she is getting less and especially if one is using formula and does to increase the feeds according to weight gain. Rapid growth is another factor that makes the baby feel hungry quickly, and you may be required to add the bottle feeds to match the nutrition demands. Some of the factors may cause the baby to be mistaken for hunger includes infant reflexes, sucking urge, tiredness, tummy discomfort, irregular feeding patterns, and thirst.
You can get breastfed baby refusing bottle at 3 months to take a bottle quickly by following the above tips that will guide you in overcoming any challenges that you might encounter. Also, the problems that might result due to the bottle and solution will get you prepared for any shortcomings. Though the described information in this article is not conclusive or specific to certain baby, be sure to follow your healthcare provider advice. Be sure always to follow directions especially when you are using infant formula to support optimum growth and development of your baby.