Saturday, September 8, 2012

Bottle & Pacifier "Strike?"

These last few weeks have been challenging with a newborn and toddler.  As a result, this blog and many other things in my life has been neglected.  My day to day life now consists of nursing every 2-3 hours, changing diapers, cleaning spit up (and occasional pooplosions) cooking, grocery shopping and entertaining a very active toddler.  My time spent on the Internet has been limited to whatever I can do on my cellphone while I nurse.  Typing one handed is frustrating and time consuming.  Despite all of this, I am finding a way to peck this post out of desperation.  I am presently functioning on no more than 3 consecutive hours of sleep since the baby was born 42 days ago.  To say that I am delirious is a gross understatement.  Please excuse any typos or grammatical errors since many things do not presently make sense.

My lovely baby has decided to go on a pacifier and bottle "strike."  He had taken a pacifier and bottle before.  Unfortunately, over the last week, he is refusing to take either one and only wants me to nurse him.  He is absolutely refusing to even latch onto a pacifier or bottle.  We have been trying nightly without any success.  A lot of milk has been wasted in our futile attempts.  To make matters worse, my husband has been working two weeks straight without a day off so I have been his primary caregiver.  I have turned to my favorite breastfeeding website,, for answers and despite trying many of their suggestions, the baby is still refusing to take a bottle.  We have a wedding to attend on Sunday but I am finding it less likely that I'd be able to go if this baby will not take a bottle.  I would also like to start getting more than 3 hours of sleep.  I can't do this if my husband cannot do a feeding with a bottle.  My supply is well established (which brought its own set of problems that I can write another post about) so supply being compromised is not a concern. I have plenty of expressed breastmilk ready to give to him and we do not have to use formula.  We have tried the following thus far:
  1. Feeding the baby when their cues indicate hunger, rather than on a schedule.
  2. Held in an upright position; it is especially important to avoid letting the baby drink from a bottle when lying down. Such a position is associated with bottle caries and an increased frequency of ear infections. Note also that babies should be held often at times when they are not being fed, to avoid the baby being trained to eat in order to be held.
  3. Gently, allowing the infant to draw nipple into mouth rather than pushing the nipple into the infant’s mouth, so that baby controls when the feed begins. Stroke baby’s lips from top to bottom with the nipple to illicit a rooting response of a wide open mouth, and then allow the baby to “accept” the nipple rather than poking it in
  4. Use a silicone rather than a rubber nipple to avoid an unpleasant odor or taste.
  5. Warm the nipple under running water before offering the bottle to the baby.
  6. Make sure the milk is not too warm and not too cold. If when holding the bottle in your palm, it feels warm to the touch, it is most likely too warm. If it feels cool to the touch, it is most likely not warm enough. If you can feel no difference in the temperature of the bottle and your palm, the milk is probably at the right temperature.
  7. Most babies will accept expressed breastmilk more readily than formula.
  8. Offer the bottle while holding the baby with his back to your chest so that he is facing outward, rather than trying to cradle him.
  9. Move with the baby - rock, sway, bounce, walk, walk in circles, etc. as you offer the bottle.
  10. Place the baby in a swing, bouncy seat, infant/car seat, etc. and offer the bottle. Try to distract the baby with something else as you offer the bottle.
  11. Place an article of mother's clothing up near the baby while offering the bottle, or wrap the bottle with an article of mother's clothing.
  12. Lightly tickle the baby's lower lip with the nipple and allow him to pull it in his mouth rather than trying to force the nipple in.
  13. Offer the bottle when the baby is already sleepy or just waking up (but not fully awake) or once the baby is already asleep. Many babies will instinctively suckle at these times.
  14. Try to use a bottle with a newborn or slow flow nipple no matter how old your baby is so that he always has to work hard with the bottle just as he does with the breast.
  15. Having my husband feed the baby without me in the vicinity of the bottle.
We have tried Tommee Tippee bottles and Medela bottles.  Our older baby used the Tommee Tippee, Medela and Dr. Brown's bottles without any problems.  He also used a pacifier until he was four months old and we discontinued using the pacifier.  This baby is six weeks old and I do not know if the six week "growth spurt" is the cause of our troubles.  Does anyone else have any suggestions or ideas??  I love my baby but mommy needs to get some sleep!  


  1. We had the same issue with our baby who is now almost 7 months old! Never and still does not take a paci. And she would fight tooth and nail with my husband when he would try to give her the bottle. ...she's definitely a boobie girl! I read somewhere that it helps if the mommy is out of the house too but that didn't seem to make a difference for her. We tried most of the things you listed. We had to go to a wedding too so we had a sitter watch her for about 6 hours. I was so nervous about her starving but she took two bottles from the sitter without a problem! I think it helped that she was in a new setting and that both mommy and daddy weren't around. She probably knows that when daddy is around, mommy will eventually be around too! Now she takes the bottle pretty well from daddy, although I haven't tried giving her the bottle myself. I say go to the wedding and enjoy yourself! :)

    1. Thank you for the comment and for reading my blog. I tried having my inlaws give the baby a bottle while we were at the wedding. Unfortunately, he didn't take the bottle so we went home after the ceremony and picked him up and brought him to the reception (there were other friends who brought their kids as well). I think it worked out better that way since we could stay longer at the reception and I even got my first mother-son dance. LOL! :) I'm just worried that when I go back to work, he just may end up starving. I've had friend's whose kids refused the bottle and just went without until mommy came home. I hope we don't have to resort to that! How did you come across my blog? Was it from the WTE message boards?