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Please help - baby refusing bottle

  1. #1
    premama is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2007

    Please help - baby refusing bottle


    I have been exclusively breastfeeding the baby until about a week ago when I introduced formula as I will be going back to work next week. I introduced bottle feeding much earlier, although my baby never drank very well with the bottle (90ml at the most) and usually after crying for 5-10 minutes.

    He still wakes up twice a night (usually around 1-2am and again at 4-5am). In preparation of going back to work, I decided to ask my helper to feed him once in the night so that I can get maximum sleep. We've tried this for a couple of days now but my baby usually cries and refuses the bottle in the middle of the night - even when he drinks, he will only drink a minimal amount (50-60ml) which means he gets hungry quickly (usually within an hour or two) and I end up waking up twice anyway to feed him.

    My helper is currently trying to feed him formula at night - as she says it's easier and quicker to prepare in the middle of the night- but I'm wondering whether I should change this to EBM? What is the best way to heat up EBM (frozen or refrigerated) in the night so that we can feed the baby as soon he starts stirring? Do bottle warmers help?

    I would appreciate advice/comments from those with similar experiences - I'm so worried that my baby won't happily take the bottle while I'm at work and that I won't get enough sleep at night because he doesn't like bottles.


  2. #2
    FutureHKmom is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2008

    Unfortunately, I don't have any advice on getting your baby to take the bottle because I was lucky in that my son was happy to take breast or bottle from the beginning.....

    As for heating up EBM though - I would put it in a bottle and put the bottle in a bowl/cup of hot water to heat up. I had a bottle warmer but found that it was more convenient to use a bowl/cup of hot water. I always used defrosted EBM - I always took the frozen EBM out the night before to put in the fridge so by morning it would be at least partially defrosted and I could pour it into a bottle to reheat. It takes MUCH MUCH longer to heat up frozen EBM.

    If the problem your baby has is with the bottle and not what is in the bottle, then I would suggest perhaps you should give him formula in the middle of the night because he will be fuller with formula and last longer until his next feed. Plus, it really is much quicker to whip up a bottle of formula (by putting in the right mix of hot and cool water) then waiting for your cold EBM to warm up. Of course, direct BFing is quickest of all. I almost exclusively breastfed (either direct BF or EBM in a bottle) my son after returning to work- the only exception to BF was giving him a top up bottle of formula after his last BF at night. When I returned to work when my son was four months, his last feed would be 10pm and he would last until 6:30 or 7.

    Anyways - good luck! Just be persistent with the bottle and he will eventually take it....

  3. #3
    plumtree is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Hong Kong

    Hi You don't say how old your baby is, but one idea is perhaps to give your baby a 'dream feed' at about 10 or even 11pm (just before you go to bed yourself) as this might help him to skip the 1am feed? The idea is that you wake your baby up to feed him, changing his nappy if need be to wake him, and he should take enough to last for a few hours. That way, you can still feed him once with only one bottle feed?

    Like the previous poster, I found using a bowl of hot water much easier than a bottle warmer.

    Good luck! Keep persevering with the bottle and he'll learn to like it.

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