I know this can be very frustrating as well as worrying if your baby who was feeding very well till now has suddenly stopped feeding or will take a very little amount of milk and will push the teat of the bottle out of her mouth.
Well, the first thing I’d like to tell you is, be a patient mama. Raising children or even a single baby will always be a full hands-on job, so there can be times when you want to speed up things or wish to be a little quicker so that you can get other things done but remember babies don’t work that way.
The only communication they know is by crying or giving certain cues here and there to show what they feel or want. So, be present at the moment and look for these cues before panicking and stressing out.
Major reasons why babies refuse a bottle
There can be a lot of reasons why babies push the bottle out of their mouth with their tongue. Try different approaches which are mentioned below and you’ll know why she does it.
She’s not hungry
This is one of the most common reasons why babies refuse a bottle or try to push the teat out of their mouth. Although you might think that babies are small and can’t make out a difference about whether they’re hungry or not, well, you’re wrong. Babies are smart enough to let you know that they’re hungry and when they’re not.
Other signs along with pushing out the teat are turning their head away from the bottle, crying, cues of sleepiness, arching their back. So, don’t worry if you’re little one is refusing to feed, it can be just that she’s not hungry. Wait for a while and then try again.
The second reason is, she’s not hungry but teething. Being an adult has its advantages, the hardships of experiencing the pain of a tooth eruption, teething, and losing a tooth are all behind us. But your baby has just started her journey of experiencing all these phases.
So, if she’s pushing out the teat with her tongue can be because she wants something to suck or bite with her gums, but doing that with a bottle, which is filled with milk, has milk coming out of the bottle instantly, and because she’s not hungry at the moment, this can frustrate her.
So, keep the bottle away, offer her a teether and let her chew on it for a while. After some time, offer her the bottle again. Don’t worry about your baby going hungry. She’ll surely let you know if she gets hungry, but if you think that it has been very long since she had her milk then try consulting your doctor.
She doesn’t like the formula
It turns out that your child may not like the taste of the formula you’ve been offering her. Either you might’ve changed the formula recently, or shifted her from breast milk to formula. Also, it’s common for babies to reject a particular formula simply because they didn’t like it.
So, try changing the formula and try again.
You’ve have introduced a bottle to a breastfeeding baby
This can be a reason for many babies to reject a bottle. My son was one of them. He was exclusively breastfed since he was born, but as soon as I started working or have to go out while he stays with my parents; I started offering him breast milk in a bottle. But, come rain or shine, he wouldn’t drink more than 1oz from the bottle. It took a lot of practice, tears, and struggle for him to be familiar with milk coming from a teat.
So, recognize if this is the case with your baby. If yes, then be patient and offer him milk every day through a bottle if you want him to be on bottle feeding, and slowly your baby will surely get the hang of it.
It’s time to change the teat of the bottle
If nothing else works, it can be simply that your baby wants a faster flow, which is obvious because as he grows his sucking reflex develops too, and he might want a faster flow teat.
So, try upping the teat to faster flow and try paced feeding your baby, so that she doesn’t end up overfeeding, or has gas build-up.
Other than the above reasons, your baby might simply not in the mood to feed right now. She might be just playing with you, or want to sleep, or has a dirty nappy that is irritating her. So, check for all these signs and try offering her again.
But remember if you think that her weight is decreasing or your baby is not active or has less than 5 wet/dirty diapers, then you should consult your doctor immediately.
Meanwhile, mama, be patient and relax. It can be just a phase your little one is going through and it’ll soon be over.
Located in India and a mother to a joyfully mischievous son, Kelin is the wife of the world’s most patient man and a busy homemaker. When she’s not busy cooking and running after her kid, you can find her in a corner reading, or penning down words on her laptop. She believes the world will always try to instil ‘mom guilt’ in new mothers, but she goes by the maxim ‘a mother knows best’.