Getting him to bottle feed…

I’m trying not to panic. At least not yet.

I am shooting a wedding on February 28th. That gives me about a month to get Parker to take a bottle. As of tonight, it hasn’t happened yet.

I had a wonderful friend send me a bunch of Playtex bottles and nipples before Parker was born. I tried them with Parker, and he absolutely will not use them. So, we bought other bottles. We bought every single bottle on the market, including the ones that are “just like breast feeding.” Yeah. The kid won’t take a single one of them.

Today, I tried basically *forcing* Parker to take nothing but a bottle. That lasted about 4 hours, and I couldn’t take the crying any more. He nursed no problem, but the child will not take a bottle. I don’t know what to do.

I have tried everything. I’ve had hubby try to feed him, I’ve had Ashley try to feed him. He screams and cries even harder for them. I’m not feeding him formula, it’s breast milk, but he won’t touch it.

What am I going to do next month while I’m shooting this wedding? Invest in a really good sling so that I can just pop my boob in his mouth while I’m shooting? I think not. Get the family posed and then say, “Ok, hold it right there. I’m going to nurse the baby, and I’ll be right back.” SIGH.

Anyone have any tips? I’ve got a month to figure out how to make this work. That’s really not much time.

Help! Please!

Angie Vinez (2893 Posts)

Angie is a wife and mother to 8. Her life revolves around cooking, cleaning, laundry, and other household duties. She is passionate about her life in Christ and wants to encourage other mothers in their own walk of faith. Angie is active on many social media networks, loves technology, photography, and graphic design, and loves creating blog designs for other mom bloggers.


  1. 1
    A little piece of 7th heaven says:

    Sorry Angie..I know how it goes as 4 of my 5 WOULD NOT take a bottle. After trying every bottle and nipple on the market, I went straight to the sippy four months old. I would try them with every type out there. The one that was the best was the disposable ones because they can just compress the tip and it will flow out and there spout is nice and LONG. Mine would NEVER take a bottle, but they needed something for when I returned back to my 3 day a week gig. They would not devour it down, but eat just enough to sustain them until I returned. I am trying it now with my 6 month old and she is not quite getting it. I should have done it sooner like I usually did. Hope it works out for you. I will say a prayer!

  2. 2

    Well, babies aren’t stupid, so as much like breastfeeding something is supposed to be, it’s really not 😉 I really wish I had some fool-proof advice for you on this one, but I didn’t really have to deal with it. Lauren is the only one of mine who refused the bottle, but I never had to be away from her for an extended time, so we worked around it. There were times I left a bottle for her only to find out when I got home that she hadn’t taken it, even if she should’ve had a feeding while I was gone.

    I don’t know what else you can do except to keep trying the bottle, every day if need be, for the next month. Don’t wait for a normal feeding time when he is likely to be very hungry so that he is more relaxed. Don’t offer him the breast immediately after he refuses the bottle, either. I guess that’s kind of like a “reward” for refusing it. That’s why it would be helpful not to try when he is really hungry. Try a cup or spoon (or even a dropper), too, and see what he does. This page may have some ideas you haven’t tried yet:

    You could also try calling the La Leche League or a lactation consultant for some help.

    How long do you figure you will be gone?

  3. 3
    Tammy and Parker says:

    I wanted to stop by and thank you for your sweet words over at 5MFM and your sweeter prayers for our Parker.

    Good luck with the whole bottle thing!

  4. 4

    my Lactate consultant from the hospital said to not put the child in the position as you would breast feed. Incline the child a little higher then the breast. Dahlia is the same as Parker would not take the bottle at all. but I tried that advise she did take the bottle. She does drool while drinking from the bottle but after a minute or so she will drink it. But make sure that the milk is warmed just like your breast milk that is the only way she will drink it. Try it out and see how he will do.

  5. 5

    Angie, I thought of one other thing. By the time this comes around, Parker will be well over 4 months. Maybe Gene could give him some cereal mixed with breastmilk to tie him over while you are gone if he continues to refuse the bottle.

  6. 6
    Cat@3KidsandUs says:

    Angie, some breastfed babies will just not take a bottle, even if you try for hours, use different bottles, nipples, people, positions, it just won’t happen. Save yourself and Parker the frustration and stop trying.

    What you can try though, which I’ve heard some success with is to spoon feed him the milk. How long are you going to be gone? If it’s just a few hours, the spoon feeding should hold over until you get home.

  7. 7
    Janice (5 Minutes for Mom) says:

    Oh girl!!!!!!! I know exactly how you feel!!!! Neither of my kids would take bottles after ten weeks old. (Up until then , they took one bottle of my breastmilk so I could rest.)

    At BlogHer, I was so busy I didn’t get to nurse Liv for 12 hours!!! (When I did go to her, she had fallen asleep!) But fortunately by then she was old enough to eat solids. She still wouldn’t take a bottle, but she would take a sippy cup with water.

    My best advice would be, to either have someone bring the baby with you so that you could sneak away during a break to nurse.

    Or just leave him at home with that bottle. If you are gone long enough, he might take enough to keep him going. Or else, whoever has him can spoon feed or use a cup.

    Liv still won’t often take a bottle. She knew there was a much better way and she wanted only the best! LOL

    Don’t worry, Parker will survive. He most likely will drink at least an ounce or two if you are gone long enough.

    And THANKS for your comment on my post about Jackson. So sorry to hear about your struggles. I suffer from depression and I had brutal PPD after Jackson. {{{HUGS}}}

  8. 8
    morethanapairofchutes says:

    Ang, I am going through the same thing right now. Averie won’t take a bottle, even though she did until 2.5 months. I’ve bought $100 of new bottles since, plus tried the ones I used to have. The ones I have the most hope for are the new Nuby ones and a Maam sassy. I’m going to try holding her upright, like your friend suggested. Camdyn started the Nuby sippy cup at 5 months, after denying the bottle since 2 months.

  9. 9
    Heather L. says:

    Sorry Angie – I don’t have any great advice. When Ash and Gene are feeding him, are you gone from the house? Like, completely gone? Maybe he can smell you or sense you in the house and won’t take the bottle because of it. Just a thought. I am dreading this part of nursing! I hope you can work something out soon.

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