How to Prevent or Overcome Bottle Refusal

from Yanna Lowe - The Modern Moms Club


When I found out I was expecting baby number two, I knew from that moment I was going to breastfeed. I missed out on the experience with my first son due to pure ignorance towards breastfeeding and its benefits. Eventually, I regretted it and knew the next time around I would give it a go!


When everyone around me heard about my feeding decision, they were pouring in with support and advice. One of my good friends even warned me about baby binkies and introduction to bottles early and how those two can cause nipple refusal. Nipple refusal? Say what?


So in my mind, I was like “Okay cool, don’t give my baby the bottle more than the boob, especially early on, or else he may reject my boobs, and I will have to pump exclusively. Noted.”

NO ONE told me anything about Bottle Refusal. Not one soul. Not even the lactation consultant at the hospital. (sad to say)

My son was born in December, and I stopped working four months after he was born and stayed at home with him while working freelance and starting this AMAZING BLOG. While being at home, I saw zero need to warm up bottles when I already had the milk warm and ready.


My son developed bottle refusal around four months, and he would not take a bottle from ANYONE. Especially from me because why would he? I even sent him to his paternal grandmother's house for a day, and he went 9 nine hours only drinking 3 ounces combined. At the time he was four months, so his milk was his food and drink.

I felt horrible because I knew my baby was thirsty and STARVING. The moment I picked him up he latched to my boob so quick like he was dying of hunger and thirst. Which I am sure he was. From there on I began my search for the perfect ‘breast-like bottle’.

Over 4 months, and after buying four different bottles and spending around $50 for all of them I was to the point of giving up. My friend tagged me in a post from Mimijumi, and I was intrigued by the brown-colored nipple and its resemblance to my own. I can admit the price almost scared me away, but once I read their money-back guarantee I was SOLD!


I will probably stick with this brand of bottle with my next child. IF I have another child. Only because I love the design and I love the results I had with my son. There are a lot of other “nipple like” bottles out there that are good for breastfed babies. 


How to Prevent Your Baby From Bottle Refusal

Give your baby a bottle. I know for some moms whipping out your boob is soo much more accessible than thawing or warming milk. HOWEVER, it is a task that will benefit you and your little one in the future. I suggest giving the baby a bottle 30% of the time and boob 70% of the time.

Let your partner or someone else feed them. Letting my partner feed him was my biggest downfall, I didn’t allow his dad to feed him as often as he should. My excuse was “I need to empty my breast anyway” “Why when I could just whip it out and feed him.” Not because I wanted to be selfish and keep our son to myself. It was because I didn’t want to have to pump, to feed him or pump period. I can admit I HATE pumping and I’m a horrible pumper. note: PUMPING is essential to great milk supply. PUMP OFTEN, empty those breast. Don’t be lazy like me. Letting someone other than yourself feed your little helps them to realize they can get the good stuff from a bottle and someone else. Therefore you are not their sole milk supplier. It also encourages bonding and security to someone else, so you’re able to get a break when needed.


Purchase a breast-like bottle. I am going to of course suggest the Mimijumi bottle because that is the only bottle that worked for me this time around. However, there are other bottles out there you can give a try if you aren’t interested in this particular brand or bottle. I love how this bottle mimics a breast not only with the shape and flow but with the color. Having a bottle that mocks your boob may help prevent nipple and or bottle refusal.

disclaimer: Every baby is different, try bottles and methods that work best for you and your little one!

Already there?

How to Overcome Bottle Refusal

Find a bottle that works best for you. Depending on your child’s age they may pick up the bottle on their own and show interest. Or you may have to give it to them and see if they are interested. Some babies aren’t interested in the first try, so give it a few days or weeks before you move on to the next bottle.

Patience. Realize that babies become comfortable with what they know, especially when it comes to people, places, and methods of feeding. It will take a while to break this refusal but trust me that when it comes to consistency babies can learn anything. Babies are so smart.

Step away from the child. Babies have to learn that mama isn't the only one with the good stuff. Taking a break is when you get your village involved. Try letting your parents, siblings, friends or any other trusting adult spend more time with your little one. Eventually, they will realize that mommy and this bottle has the good stuff and with consistency, they will eventually take a bottle from or around you.

Bottle Refusal is very hard, especially on a new nursing mom. It feels like you’ll never get a break from your little one without causing them to starve. With precautions or advice on how to overcome, I pray this journey for you will never begin or end soon.

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