My 4 months old daughter suddenly refuse bottle. She has always been bottle fed with expressed milk.
Two weeks ago she was very easy going - if she is hungry she would open her mouth when the bottle approach then suck it. When she is not hungry she will simply not open her mouth, or use her tongue to push it out. Her schedule was also quite predictable - she was fed every 2-3 hours and she slept overnight easily.
Now it was a battle to have her eat. We usually feed her only when she shows hunger cue. She would drink about 60ml (2 oz), then start pushing the bottle away and turning her head around. In the past she can drink about 90-120 ml per session.
When she start pushing the bottle away, we will simply either lay her down on bed, or to play/read/sing to her for 10-15 minutes then try again. She is usually ok with it during the day. However she is not easy-going when she is tired:
- she will push away bottle after drinking just a little bit
- she will cry when being put on bed
- try to entertain her (gently) - she will stay calm for a little bit then start crying again
- cuddling may or may not work, usually the mom would have a better result but she will fuss eventually
So the feed before sleep is basically:
- feed 10 ml
- start crying and pushing bottle away
- put her down/cuddle her for a few minutes
- cry again
- back to #1, repeat a few cycle before finally drink about 90 ml
She is still sleeping overnight, but she now requires another feed at around midnight and she also wakes up a bit earlier. Fortunately she usually doesn't struggle in those feeds because she isn't fully awake.
Other then the feeding, she is mostly cheerful during the day and poo normally. She seems to have normal development - coo a lot, starting to like toy and can turn herself one way. Doctor just checked her and she is healthy except she has eczema which is being treated now. Despite all the struggle at feeding she is still eating about the same amount - just that it is being broken down into many small feeding sessions.
We have tried several things, such as - switching the feeding environment (doesn't work - same behavior) - not giving eye contact (work a bit during the day) - speak gently during feed (doesn't work) - feed in dark (doesn't work) - wait 15 minutes then try again (works if she is not tired)