Health experts across the world recommend breastfeeding to a newborn baby. Breast milk is the best food a newborn child can get. It is easy to digest and full of nutrients. It is a bit difficult in the beginning, but every mother prefers to breastfeed the child.
Unfortunately, some health conditions prevent some mothers from feeding breast milk to the child. It can be due to an infectious disease or lack of milk supply. Whatever the reason is, you can’t keep the child hungry. Formula milk or milk powder is an ideal alternative to soothe the infant’s hunger cravings.
What to do if the baby does not eat milk powder? Some newborns and mature infants refuse to consume baby formula. This post will provide a sufficient guide to help you in dealing with this issue.
Why Does the Baby Refuse Formula Feeding?
It is tough to interpret why babies do what they do because they can’t communicate. All you can do is guess a potential cause of the issue. A baby may refuse to consume formula milk due to one or all of the following reasons:
The baby is not hungry!
If you are mixed feeding the child, this issue can trouble quite often. Mothers with a lack of milk supply choose to mix-feed the child. They breastfeed first and then start feeding formula milk through a bottle.
Some infants refuse to consume formula milk because their tummy is almost full. Different in the nipple size and bottle makes it less interesting for the baby. Therefore, the child refuses to consume formula milk.
The baby is sick
Babies consume formula milk through a bottle. You need to hold that bottle in the right position to make feeding easier for the child. A baby can refuse to consume the bottled milk if he is not feeling well.
The issue is the same with grown-up kids! People don’t like to eat food when they are ill. Babies are not any different. You need to feed them patiently so that the child can consume some food to get stronger and healthier.
Uncomfortable feeding position
Cradle, cross-cradle, side-lying, etc. are some comfortable feeding positions. Suppose you are feeding formula milk to a 2-3 months baby for the first time, you have to hold him in the same breastfeeding position. It tricks the baby that you are breastfeeding.
Suppose you hold the child in an uncomforting feeding position, he won’t consume the milk. The child will soon start crying due to growing discomfort. Both mother and father should ensure the feeding position is right. Thus, the child is less likely to refuse formula feeding.
The baby doesn’t like the milk
It can be milk temperature, texture, or flavor that your infant does not like. Consequently, he will take milk in his mouth, keep it there for a while, and then spit it out. Many babies do it, especially 5-12 months old babies.
A mother should ensure the milk tastes similar to breast milk. Its temperature and texture should also be similar to breast milk. Thus, your child won’t refuse to consume it and sleep calmly once the tummy is full!
It’s tough to suck milk from the bottle!
Some bottles come with a large size nipple or very tiny hole. Feeding milk becomes an exhausting experience for the infant. Babies try for a while and then give up. They look upset and start crying. It is a sign that you should change the milk bottle immediately.
Feeding should be an effortless task for the baby, especially for newborn babies. Check how easily your child can suck milk through the bottle. If it is tough, the bottle is responsible for formula milk refusal.
The baby does not want formula milk!
Most mothers want the baby to consume more formula milk than breast milk. It is quite difficult for working women to breastfeed the child on demand. Therefore, they carry formula milk in insulated pockets with them.
Babies, who are breastfed for the first six months, do not want formula milk. They can’t speak, but this action indicates that the child wants breast milk only! Do not force your child to consume formula milk.
Some babies take a long time to start consuming formula milk, but they eventually switch to it!
How to Encourage A Baby to Consume Formula Milk?
Try the following tips to encourage your child for formula feeding:
1. Feed patiently
Feeding formula milk can be quite difficult for a baby, especially for a newborn child. Newborns even consume breast milk so slowly. You have to hold the milk bottle in the right position for several minutes. The baby sucks it gradually and swallows it pretty slowly for a few days. Feeding speed increases when the baby gets habitual of formula feeding.
Suppose you are trying to feed a 6-7 months old baby, let it be a gradual transition. Do not force your child for formula feeding! He will get familiar with the feeding method and consume formula milk within a few days.
2. Do not feed if the child is not hungry
The baby won’t consume formula milk if he is not hungry. He may even refuse to breastfeed when the tummy is full. You should wait until the child is hungry. Begin with breastfeeding and then slowly put the milk bottle in the baby’s mouth. He will continue sucking milk until the tummy is full!
3. Try a few different size bottles
Most babies try their best to feed milk from a bottle. They find it too difficult to suck the milk and then they refuse to consume formula milk. It happens to many infants and parents can’t find out the issue.
You should feed the child from different bottles with a different size nipple. Thus, it will be easy to identify a bottle that makes formula feeding an effortless task for your baby.
4. Feed the milk at lukewarm temperature
Breast milk is lukewarm and babies are habitual of consuming their food at this temperature. The child might not consume milk if it is too cold or too hot. Therefore, you should check the milk temperature before feeding it to the baby. Your infant is most likely to consume the milk if the temperature is right.
5. Change bottle’s position
If the bottle is perfect, the milk temperature is right, and the baby is refusing, the feeding position is not right. Hold the milk bottle at a different angle and see how the baby reacts. The baby will suck formula milk if he is comfortable in the new feeding position.
What to Avoid When Feeding Formula Milk to the Baby?
1. Avoid distractions
Babies are quite sensitive. They get distracted so easily. It is difficult to feed formula milk to a baby when music or TV is on. Turn off noise-producing gadgets and maintain a calm environment. There should be a relaxing environment in your house at the child’s mealtime. Be calm and feed patiently!
2. Feeding on a particular schedule
It is believed that babies get hungry within 3-4 hours. It does not apply to every child though! You should feed formula milk to your child on demand. Wait until the baby looks a bit restless or hungry. His facial expressions will change and the child will lean more towards you. That’s the time to feed the child!
3. Avoid unnecessary movements
Babies do not like it when you hold them and feed on the go. Babies consume milk happily when you don’t move a lot and comfort them as much as possible. Newborns can take up to 30 minutes to feed and matures babies might take 5-15 minutes. Sit comfortably and feed the child without moving. Thus, you will help the infant in eating properly.
What If You Do Everything Right And the Baby Still Refuse to Feed Formula Milk?
If follow every advice and the baby still doesn’t consume formula milk, an underlying health condition can be responsible. Babies do not like to stay hungry. They start crying to gain your attention and get fed as soon as possible. Babies are quite small but smart enough to know how to fill their tummy.
A baby suffering from diarrhea, constipation, calcium deficiency, and other health issues might not feed properly. So, what to do if the baby does not eat milk powder in such a condition? You should see a doctor!
Take your child to a renowned pediatrician. The doctor will diagnose the health issue and provide proper treatment. The child will start feeding normally once he feels healthy.
Milk powder or formula milk is a new kind of food for babies. Parents should not get frustrated or angry if the infant does not consume formula milk. Follow the tips shared in this post to encourage the child for eating on time.
Formula feeding is quite beneficial for mothers, who get tired due to their daytime job and household chores. The father can handle the feeding responsibility while the mother is taking some rest.