Wednesday, April 11, 2012

How Do You Wean a Bottle Refuser?!

Right now we have a battle raging in our house. It's Hubby and I against and 8-month-old. And the baby is winning. 

Peanut took a bottle for the first couple of weeks after he was born, as at the beginning we had to supplement a couple of times with formula. After that, he was exclusively breast-fed until he started solids a few months ago. So, since about 2 months old, Peanut has adamantly refused the bottle. It makes no difference what is in the bottle. We have tried pumped fresh milk, pumped frozen milk, powdered formula, ready-to-feed formula, water. We have tried cold, room-temperature and warm. We have tried 2 different types of bottles, 2 different types of nipples (slow and fast flow). We have tried 5 different types of sippy cups. Even the miracle-worker Rubbermaid juice box! And nothing. He still screams bloody murder every time we try. We have just picked up a Doidy Cup, and he refused it. We are hoping to try it again when he's happier. 

This is our arsenal of weapons. So far, they are all duds.
We have tried someone else giving him the bottle. We have tried it when he is happy and not hungry (he takes it easily, but just chews on it and makes noises with it, and doesn't actually drink anything from it). We have tried waiting him out and hoping he will eventually get hungry enough to take it. This does work, but it's hell on the nerves, and he usually will only drink about 2 ounces. This battle usually lasts a few hours, so there is no possible way we could ever do THAT in public. Someone would call child services...This boy is stubborn. And he definitely knows what he wants. And what he wants is boob! 

When I first had Peanut, I only was planning on breastfeeding until 6 months. I had a lot of trouble in the beginning, and it was painful and all I could do was imagine that magical 6-month mark when I could stop. I am not sure why I had it set in my head, but that was my goal. Well, when 6 months rolled on by, I wasn't ready to wean. To be honest, I'm still not ready to fully wean, but man, I sure would like a break. I am at the point now where I am feeling exhausted and would love to have 1 FULL night of sleep. Or where I can go out for the evening and not worry about how long he has been screaming for, since I know that he will be once he gets hungry. The guilt makes it hard to enjoy my time away. And not only that, but the 8 little razor sharp teeth he is sporting have been wreaking havoc on my sensitive bits from time to time. Which makes things rather painful sometimes. So I want to be able to give him a bottle every now and then. To take a break. To have Hubby take over a feeding. Ideally, I would like to still nurse him a couple of times a day. But I am not sure that he will go easily between the 2 if we ever do get him to take something else. 

And the strange thing? He loooooves to eat. He will eat just about anything we set in front of him. But try and get him to drink and you might as well pop in some industrial strength ear plugs and settle in for the long haul. 

So we are stuck. This little dude is so incredibly stubborn (I wonder where he gets that from...hmmm...). I really don't know what to do anymore. I need help!! Are there any baby-gurus out there? Has anyone dealt with this situation before and succeeded? Share your wiseness with me!


(One tired Momma who doesn't know what to do next)


  1. Amy...I had a bottle refuser too and I just left her with cereal to eat when I went out so she wouldn't be hungry. You are is hell on the nerves, but looking back almost 14 years later gives one some perspective. Finn has his own little personality. So it will take patience. And I think I would tell myself of 14 years ago that it doesn't matter that much if they take a bottle or not. He might scream but he won't starve! As long as his milk intake over the day is sufficient, a missed bottle won't hurt.He will only continue to grow older and it will become less and less of an issue. As for the sleeping thru the night thing...totally identify with that and lived it! I never did get my daughter to sleep thru the night as a baby but we did a family bed {she and I in a queen in her room} to cope and I slept pretty well as long as I didn't have to get vertical. But I know that is not everyone's style, so I respect that. My 2nd baby slept great at 9 months AND in his crib at night. So that was his style. I don't know if you would say I succeeded, but I dealt with it and found some creative solutions that worked for us. I also comforted myself that it won't last forever. Now I don't sleep at night because I have a teenager out at night with her friends who are now every stage comes with it's own fun! Ha!
    Try the cereal! He might eventualy take a bottle if you are out somewhere and he gets thirsty enough! You will be okay! Angie xo

  2. My daughter never ever took a bottle. I was lucky because I didn't have to go back to work, so I could just relax into exclusively breastfeeding. I introduced various cups starting at 6 months (with water - just to get her used to the idea of a cup) and she really didn't take to anything until about 9 months when she started to slowly accept straw cups. We like the Zoli but any straw will do. Now at 15 months I am happy to say she drinks from a cup - it just took a really long time. Hang in there!

  3. Oh how frustrating! When the bottle is offered are you in the room or away? I've heard that baby's can smell Mama within 20+ feet, so trying to get the baby to eat from a bottle might be easier if you are completely out of the house. :/ Also, Tommee Tippee have amazing bottles that really really do feel like a boob. Totally amazing. Not sure you have the energy to try that again, so totally understand if not! The best advice I feel I've received is always this: This too shall pass. Hang in there lady! Praying you get some deserved rest and reprieve soon!

  4. I'm having the same issue! It's not so much that I want to be able to leave the house (don't get me wrong, of COURSE I want that!), but my daughter has been seeming sort of constipated and I'd like her to get a little more liquid in her. But she won't even drink juice! She thinks sippy cups are toys and just chews on bottles. Sigh...


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