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Our baby has mainly been breast-fed so far, and, while it has worked reasonably well (she's gaining weight), it would be nice if I, as the father, could feed her once in a while to allow my wife some rest.

She did take the bottle at around 2-3 weeks of age, but I only needed to feed her three times. Now, since she lost her rooting reflex at around 8 weeks (I've read that this is common around that age), she doesn't seem to understand that the bottle is food too. (She gets the breast without problem though, even on her own if she's close enough.)

Adding to the frustration, she really dislikes being cradled in anyone's lap. Holding her with two hands away from the body, or on the shoulder, or "face-down" two handed is fine. When breast-feeding, she starts to get upset but often she starts eating before it goes out of control. When I attempt bottle-feeding, it's near impossible to try to find a comfortable position for her where I can try to get her to understand that the bottle is something that she must suck on.

If it matters, we're using a bottle that requires some suction in order for the milk to flow, so that she can eat at her own pace. It worked great when she did eat from it, but now she just hates it when something is poking at her mouth.

All ideas and tips greatly appreciated!

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FWIW, this solved it self when she was 5.5 months. She realized it was ok and then I could do it. Sometimes, there's no point in fighting nature (a.k.a. one very strong-willed, now 2.8 years old, small person). ;) –  Macke Jan 6 at 8:16
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2 Answers 2

It did happen for our daughter and in her case changing the teat/nipple to one with different speeds helped. On faster speed it still requires some effort (can control when to get milk or not) but it's a lot easier for her.

For the position our daughter moves a lot also but she doesn't especially dislike being cradled. You should try to let her seat more straight and let her look out the window or some toys, don't let her drink everything in one go and make her burp at half the bottle; it helped for us. (3 months old now)

Also, before feeding her make sure she's not too hot (holding her will increase the feeling) and that her diaper is clean.

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This sounds good. I had partial success today following your advice. –  Macke Jun 2 '11 at 12:47
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Is your wife in the room with you while you attempt to bottle feed your daughter? If so, she could be smelling her mother's milk and would rather have that - which means your wife can't be present while you try to bottle feed.

A different sized opening on the nipple of the bottle might help too, so she can get more milk out at first, then you can switch it back to make her work for it and help encourage her suckling.

If all else fails, and you can't get her to suckle at the bottle - start trying to give her the formula/breast milk in a small cup (think a plastic shot glass). Most babies can drink in that manner and it might save you all the irritation of bottles. We gave our son my breastmilk in a shot glass to avoid nipple confusion - it allowed my husband to have our son sitting upright (which they both liked) and my son could drink from the cup just fine.

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Thanks for the tips. Will try different nipple size. Feeding out of a cup has never worked for us before, as she's much to lively (and temperemental) to cooperate, but it's probably worth a try, esp if I can try when she's calm and happy. –  Macke Jun 2 '11 at 12:48
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