How do I get my two-month-old breastfed daughter to take a bottle? We’ve tried several different bottles and nipples, along with different people giving it to her. She’s just not liking it! I have to return to work soon…

Breastfed babies are really smart and some of them decide pretty early on that they prefer their milk directly from the breast rather than the bottle. I usually recommend that moms who are returning to work begin introducing a bottle that is routinely given by someone other than mom around 1 month of age as long as breastfeeding is well established. After that, it can be really tricky to convince them to take a bottle. Some babies will hold out on feeding until they are able to nurse directly and then feed frequently to make up for lost time.

In addition to finding a bottle that your daughter likes best, you should make sure that someone else feeds the baby while mom is not around so she doesn’t see or smell mom. If she still refuses, you can ask your supervisor about whether your employer is willing to implement a “bring your baby to work” policy like the one DC Health is piloting or try cup feeding her (there are YouTube videos on how to do this).

If you would like help learning how to cup feed breast milk, please contact the Children’s National East of the River Lactation Support Center on 202-476-6941.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sahira Long Sahira Long, MD, IBCLC, is a board-certified pediatrician and lactation consultant at Children’s National. She is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at George Washington University School of Medicine and serves as the Medical Director for two Children’s Health Centers in medically underserved Southeast Washington, DC, and for the Children’s National East of the River Lactation Support Center.

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