Weaning your baby
If your baby refuses the bottle…
- Try to express your own milk for at least the first few bottles, and apply a few drops of it to the nipple of the bottle. If your baby recognizes the taste of the milk he or she is accustomed to, he or she will accept it more readily.
- Do not wait until your baby is very hungry before you offer the bottle, since he or she will be too frustrated to try a new experience.
- Experiment with different nipple materials and shapes, especially ones that most closely resemble the shape of the human nipple.
- Warm up the milk before offering it to your baby, so that the experience will be similar to breastfeeding. But do not use the microwave, as there is a risk of burning the milk, and microwave heating will denature the protein.
- Ask someone else to feed the baby with the bottle (baby’s dad, nanny, grandma etc.), and use the time to take a walk or do some shopping. If your baby sees that you are near, he will not understand why your breast is not being offered.
- Give the bottle in a different room, with a different temperature and in a different position than what the baby is accustomed to for nursing.
- Do not insist if your baby refuses the bottle, pulls back or begins crying, as he will just become more stubborn. Play with him for a few minutes instead, and then try again a bit later. Above all, do not lose patience or become angry. The more pressure your baby feels, the less he will want to accept the bottle.
- Reassure your child and simply explain why it is now necessary to drink from the bottle rather than nurse. Dialogue with your baby is very important.
- If your baby is over six or seven months and refuses the bottle, you can put the milk in a sippy cup or even a regular cup.
- At nine months, if your baby does not seem to like the milk, you can replace it with dairy products such as yoghurt or cheese.