My 6 month old daughter is breastfeeding (I'm the Dad btw) but cannot take a bottle or pacifier because they trigger a gag reflect. But she can't go to work with her mother much longer, so breastfeeding will be out.

What can we do to resolve this? We're not concerned about the pacifier so much as the bottle. Different nipples have had no effect, and it doesn't seem to be the contents of the bottle - the moment the nipple is in there, she chokes.

She is normal size, even quite large, btw.

  • Hi and Welcome to Parenting SE! Have you been to the doctor about this? Is it possible that she has reflux or some physical difficulty? If not, there are other solutions, but it could be as simple as if she knows the breast is near, why choose a substitute?
    – WRX
    Jan 24, 2017 at 17:04
  • She's going to the doctor next week
    – Geminirand
    Jan 26, 2017 at 14:43
  • I am happy to hear that. We are happy to help, but knowing everything is fine medically is the best place to start. There are many people here who have breastfed, so I am sure you'll get some great advice.
    – WRX
    Jan 26, 2017 at 14:48

1 Answer 1


I had similar problem with my daughter at that age. In our case we solved it by cup feeding. She could sort of 'lick' the milk from the cup and this way I could feed her. I had to be patient - it's slow process and takes practice. But major advantage is that feeding this way does not mess up child's ability to breastfeed effectively so it does not impact lactation as bottles and pacifiers do. So you can train that in parallel with breastfeeding.

Also, six months is old enough to start with Baby Led Weaning. I can recommend from our own experience. You can start very slow, while still breastfeeding and add different meals over time without risk of gag reflex or choking.

Hope this helps and good luck!

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