Guidelines for Babies That Reject Breastfeeding

Guidelines for Babies That Reject Breastfeeding

Most breastfeeding mothers find it very surprising when babies turn their faces to the other side when a nipple is brought to their lips. In this surprise, they tend to panic especially when the rejection is consistent. However severe or persistent this rejection might be, the mother is not to force the baby to breastfeed. If the baby is forced, the rejection would be gratified.

Everything has a cause and a solution; the mother should try to find the cause for this rejection and provide a solution on time. Remember, breast milk is the most essential food with all the essential nutrients for babies and its absence or shortage might lead to malnourishment; therefore, the mother is to be vigilant to notice on time.

Also, in this period of rejection, some other forms of food can be given to the baby. Appropriate knowledge is required as it will help the mother or guardian to find the correct cause, give other appropriate foods to prevent malnutrition, and deliver the proper solution; thereby preventing complications.

What Can Make A Baby Reject Breastfeeding?

Truth be told, rejection of breastfeeding is not impulsive. There is always a reason behind the turning of the face when a nipple is felt. Some babies do not like breast milk or milk in general but the reaction is a bit different and not just sudden. If a baby rejects breast milk all of a sudden and starts being consistent with the rejection, the following might be the reasons behind it:

  • Babies reject breastfeeding when they have indigestion. Indigestion makes babies very uncomfortable and giving breast milk is the worst thing to do for your baby in this condition. To find out if the baby has indigestion, observe if the baby for farts and check if the baby gave out yellow stools.
  • Distractions from the surroundings can lead to rejection. As babies grow, their vision and hearing develop; as a result of this, they become distracted very easily. From every little sound to people passing and objects, they are very curious and want to see everything. Although it is a very good development, it is usually very frustrating for the breastfeeding mother as the baby would end up taking very small or no breast milk at all.
  • The awful smell from the nipple can make the baby reject breastfeeding. Every breastfeeding mother should know and understand the sensitivity of a baby’s system. A breastfeeding mother’s nipple can have an awful smell either from sweat or a former suckling after which she did not wipe her nipples clean. This smell would make the baby very uncomfortable and he would reject breastfeeding.
  • Foaming from inside the baby’s body can cause rejection of breastfeeding. On different occasions, when a baby is angry, there will small bubbles in the innermost part of the baby’s body; these small bubbles come out as foam in the mouth of the baby. In this condition, taking breast milk will cause severe pain to the baby, and for this reason, the baby will reject breastfeeding.
  • Improper breastfeeding posture can lead to rejection. It is very uncomfortable to eat when you are not positioned properly; the same goes for babies. Making the baby comfortable should be the first step to be taken while breastfeeding.

What Solutions Should Be Given To Babies That Reject Breastfeeding?

If the baby has been observed and examined thoroughly, solutions can be given. Note that solutions should be given according to their respective causes. These solutions are to be given as timely as possible to prevent other complications. Again, solutions should be given according to the causes observed. The solutions to be given are:

  • Take the baby to a doctor. If the cause of rejection has been observed is indigestion, the child should be taken to see a pediatrician. The doctor would prescribe some drugs which are to be taken judiciously for positive results. After the medication, the child would resume breastfeeding.
  • Breastfeed in a quiet surrounding.  When the baby is very distracted while being breastfed, the mother should breastfeed in a quiet environment. The mother can also give the baby something he likes, something like a baby toy, while she is breastfeeding.
  • Clean your nipples before and after every breastfeeding. From observation, if the breastfeeding mother’s nipple has an awful smell, she should wipe it clean before every breastfeeding. The mother s also wipes her nipples after every breastfeeding. This should be emphasized as any form of bacteria due to dirtiness can cause harm to the fragile immune system of the baby.
  • Immediate medication when rejection is accompanied by foaming.  If the foam is seen on the mouth of the baby as he rejects breast milk, the mother or guardian should take the child to the hospital as quickly as possible. Make sure that the baby is treated as the baby will resume breastfeeding only after recovery.
  • Make the baby comfortable.  If the mother feels that the breastfeeding position is uncomfortable for the baby, she should change the position of the baby. When the baby gets comfortable, she can then breastfeed.

What Other Foods Can Be Given Apart From Milk?

Truth be told, some babies do not like breast milk or any form of milk. This is normal different people like different foods; therefore other forms of foods can be given to the baby. Also during rejection, the mother can give other forms of food for the supply of nutrients. Note that the food to be given depends on the age of the child and other requirements. The other foods given should have almost the same nutrients as milk or higher as every form of the nutrient is on-demand in babies. Some foods that can be given in place of milk include:


Yogurt is a very common baby-friendly food. It is made by adding lactobacilli to sterilized fresh milk. After the addition, the mixture is to be fermented. The nutritional components of yogurt are the same as the nutritional components of the milk it is made from. However, small changes are made in the structure of the milk as the lactose is broken down into lactic acid, and the proteins in the milk are broken down into peptides and amino acids. This lactic acid gives the yogurt a sour taste, and the peptides make it easier to digest, thereby making it very appropriate for lactose intolerant babies.

It is most advised that the yogurt given should be homemade. This is because yogurt is to be eaten at a certain temperature, and it should be eaten plainly (with no additives) for the health of the baby. A measurement of 300g per day should be given to the baby.


Cheese is made from the coagulation of milk. The production of cheese is very similar to that of tofu as enzymes are added to coagulate the milk, squeeze, and remove water. The last stage is the fermentation of the fermented milk. The amount of cheese depends on the concentration of the milk. Also, with water, some lactose and water-soluble vitamins removed, the concentration of the nutrients is 7-8 times more than that of milk. The remaining lactose is broken down into lactic acid. These features make cheese good for lactose intolerant and diabetic babies.

When making cheese, calcium, salt, and other substances can be added. A baby should be given a measurement of 30gper day. However, due to its high salt and fat content, cheese is not to be given to babies with high blood pressure.

Milk buns

This is a very simple meal that is made by mixing milk or milk powder with noodles. This meal is very much healthy as the temperature of cooking the noodles does not affect the nature of the milk.

The only disadvantage of this meal is that the milk content is very small compared to other foods. Therefore, this meal is specifically for babies that don’t like drinking milk.

Most times, the issue is that the baby does not enjoy drinking. This can be handled smartly as the mother can add the milk, or milk powder directly to the food when cooking. For example, instead of boiling eggs with water, you can boil them with milk. Meals like milk mushroom soup can also be made using this procedure. While these foods are given, supplements of nutrients can also be added so that the child won’t lack any nutrients.

For calcium

Calcium supplementation is very important if the baby is not taking milk.  The mother can give bone soup of which she added a suitable amount of acetic acid for absorption of calcium. The acetic acid should not be too much to prevent excessive gastric juice secretion. Small fish and seaweed foods can also be given for calcium.

For vitamin D

Vitamin D is very important in the utilization of calcium, can be supplemented with salmon fish or eel and milk.

In Conclusion

The breastfeeding mother must act fast when the baby rejects breastfeeding, instead of panicking. Finding the specific cause, giving appropriate foods, and giving the proper solutions on time, would be a very great benefit to the health of the baby.

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