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My breastfeeding baby won't take a bottle, can you help?

My three month old daughter refuses to take a bottle from the sitter. She has gone as long as 12 hours with out eating! What can I do to help her? Is it safe for her to go so long without eating?

Catie Van Gestel | Other-provider

Catie Van Gestel

Babies often times go through reverse cycle feedings where it is common for babies to eat less and sleep more while they are away from mom. Once back with mom, they usually nurse more frequently to make up for missed feedings. They will take in about 24 oz. in 24 hours at this time.

Here are a few tips to try!

  • I would suggest practicing with the bottle at home 2-3 times per week and have someone, other than yourself, give the bottle. Practice for 10 minutes and if baby seems reluctant, stop.
  • You may want to consider sending a t-shirt or blanket that you have used recently so that they can smell you during a feeding.
  • When your sitter is feeding your baby, have them try and feed when baby is calm and in a position similar to how you hold your baby when you breastfeed.
  • Find a local breastfeeding support group! Many other mothers have walked in your shoes and it can be helpful!

Would it be possible to visit your baby on your lunch break or have someone bring baby to you for a feeding, in the meantime?

I would also encourage you to speak with you healthcare provider and lactation consultant. There are so many tips and tricks and working with them to find what works best for you and your baby is key.

Read more answers by Dr. Van Gestel