For reasons best known to the babies, feeding bottles are often rejected. Most times, mothers find this rejection to be very insignificant, as they can easily adopt another method of feeding. However, this is simply another journey on its own as the child would have to recognize it as a feeding tool and adapt to it. This would cost time, energy, and stress especially when milk formula is the main food and the baby is not qualified for complementary foods.
The mother should simply trace her mistakes and correct them. It might be the way she feeds or the pacifier. With knowledge of the reason for rejection, finding a solution would not be a problem. For the sake of precision which is a necessity in this topic, proper knowledge is very essential.
What Is the Proper Way to Feed with A Feeding Bottle?
Sometimes, babies reject feeding bottles because most mothers don’t know how to use them. Some mothers apply too much pressure when putting the pacifier in the baby’s mouth; with too much pressure, the feeding process would be painful. This alone can make the baby reject feeding bottles. A proper and precise guide on how to use a feeding bottle is a necessity. The guide is as follows:
1. Sterilize the bottle and pacifier
This is the very first step, which is the most important. Of a truth, babies have a fragile immune system; and for this reason, personal hygiene should be observed at its highest degree (especially with feeding tools). After sterilizing the pacifier, do not drop it carelessly; drop it upright and make sure it doesn’t get dirty. Also, pouring the milk into the bottle, tighten the lid very well to prevent leakage.
2. Wash your hands
Another necessity that cannot be overlooked. Wash between your fingers and the back of your hand very well.
3. Check the temperature and thickness
Put a few drops of milk on the back of your hand. This is to make sure the milk is not too hot for the baby and to also confirm the thickness of the milk. The drops of milk should not run too fast, neither should they be too slow.
4. Sit firmly in a very comfortable position
Ensure you are sitting on a piece of comfortable and functionally good equipment to prevent injuries.Make sure the baby is comfortable. This can be achieved by holding the baby with one hand, as the upper body leans on the mother’s elbow. The hand that is leaned on is to also support the buttocks of the baby. In this position, the baby is at 45 degrees to the mother, which is appropriate. The other hand is used to lift the bottle to the baby’s lips gently so the child would feed.
5. Watch the pacifier
After putting the pacifier in the baby’s mouth, watch it carefully to make sure the milk is not replaced with air. This would happen if the bottle is not inclined in the right way. If the milk was replaced with air, and the baby has already sucked in all the air, simply remove the bottle from the baby’s mouth for it to come back to normal. You can also remove the bottle, and open the lid a bit, and it would come back to normal.
6. Check the level of the milk
While the baby is drinking, watch the level of milk. If the milk goes down too fast, then the hole on the pacifier is too large. If the milk hardly finishes or takes time, then the hole is too small which means that the baby is struggling to drink. If either situation is present, the pacifier should be changed, or the whole bottle.
7. Do not lie the baby down after feeding
After successfully giving the child food, do not lie the child down. You can let him lean on your shoulders, or stand him uprightly. While the baby is in this position, you are to pat his back gently or let him burp. The essence of this routine is to remove air from the baby’s stomach to avoid the baby spitting up.
No matter how busy or occupied you are, never leave the baby alone with the bottle to feed himself. If the baby does not know how to sit, never put him and that position with the milk in his care and leave. Some parents even lie the child down and give the baby the bottle to feed himself after which they might leave the room. This is very dangerous! The baby can choke while drinking. It can also lead to suffocation and if the guardian is not around to help on time, it can cause other complications.
What Are the Solutions for Babies That Don’t Like Feeding Bottles?
Truth be told, this journey of childcare can only be in our favor when a handful of intelligible strategies are involved. In the same vein, immediately the baby rejects bottle feeding for the first time, the very first thing to check is if the baby doesn’t like the milk in the bottle, or the bottle itself. With this established, the mother can then follow these solutions for positive results:
1. Make sure the timing is perfect
The baby will not reject the bottle every time. There are times that he doesn’t have any other option; use this moment wisely. A perfect example is when the baby is hungry; this should be done on purpose as you can delay the baby’s meal. At this point, the baby has no choice but to eat!
Another opportunity is when the baby is drowsy. This is a very perfect opportunity, as the baby would drink from the bottle unconsciously which will be another win for you.
In addition to these opportunities, good timing is when the baby is playing. Sometimes, you can cheer the baby up with hugs and kisses, to create a friendly atmosphere. With this vibe present, the baby would happily drink from the bottle.
2. Pick a perfect pacifier
Picking a good pacifier for the bottle is extremely important. This is because, if the pacifier is too hard or has any sharp contrast with the structure of the nipple, the baby would reject it. A soft nipple-shaped pacifier is very much advised. The size of the nipple-shaped pacifier can be increased by using a sterile needle to poke a hole. The size is increased so that the rate of flow of milk should be similar to that of breast milk. Before you use the pacifier to feed, rinse it in hot water so that it would be soft, and the temperature would be close to that of the real nipple.
3. Gradually introduce milk powder
Do not just give formula milk directly. This is because it would be so abrupt and very new for the child, which he might reject. This is very necessary because the baby might like the bottle, but not the milk. Therefore milk should be given gradually and smartly.
Start by giving the baby water from the bottle first. This is for the baby to get used to the bottle. After some time, give the baby breast milk from the bottle. If this is done consistently, the baby would adapt quickly, and then formula milk can be given.
4. Try new feeding positions
If the baby is uncomfortable, there is a very high probability of the baby rejecting the feeding bottle. Also, when it comes to positions, baby’s wants seem to vary; some babies like to raise their feet while feeding, and others don’t like looking at their mother’s face while feeding. The mother should be vigilant, to know what position of feeding the baby is comfortable.
5. Tell the baby about the food
Please know that babies understand and believe you! Before you feed the baby, if you say “this tastes good”, the baby might react positively. This is mainly because he trusts you or wants to know for himself and you can use this trust for the betterment of both of you.
6. Be patient
The worst thing to do for your baby, who rejects feeding bottles, is to force him to drink from it. This is very wrong as the baby might develop a grudge for feeding bottles, which would hardly heal. It is best advised to be patient, and go according to the pace of the baby.
This is a very important issue of discussion, especially if the baby has not shown the features that make him qualified to take complementary foods and has to depend solely on breast milk and formula milk. It is even of greater importance if only a little amount of breast milk is involved. You must observe a very high degree of personal hygiene while feeding with a bottle and never shift the responsibility of holding the bottle to the baby. With the positive result in view and adequate knowledge at hand, the right solutions can be given.