My son has developed a new habit lately - when he's being fed, he'll push at my hand and at his bottle, frequently knocking it away from his face.

While adorable, I'm not sure how to interpret this action. When offered again, he'll start sucking on it like he's hungry but then a few seconds later start fussing with it again. And if he doesn't get the full bottle, he'll be fussing and hungry in a few minutes, if not sooner.

We know he might be feeling teething pain, but I haven't seen a tooth coming in yet in his gum line.

Is my baby getting full too quick, and rejecting the bottle for later? Are they feeling teething pain and I just don't see his tooth? Is he just learning his hand-eye coordination? Or is there some other explanation for this behavior?

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    Is he actively drinking/having suction on the bottle when he knocks it away? Does he respond differently if he knocks the bottle away himself or if you (accidentally) remove it before he is done drinking? Dec 22, 2021 at 14:38
  • I can think of worse things than inefficient feeding! This might be an opportunity for you to be put through the paces of following baby's lead. / I wonder if your baby might like to start to experiment with small amounts of solid (soft) food? True, usually one starts solids a little later, but if the doctor has no objection, maybe you could try a new food once a week and see what happens. Dec 28, 2021 at 0:58

1 Answer 1


This is a very good question, and the answer is "it depends". If your baby is underweight and you have been instructed by a doctor to do so, I have seen circumstances where "force-feeding" is required. Trust me you don't ever want to do that.

But under more normal circumstances your baby is probably just experimenting with how to get food. It's normal. How else are they supposed to learn how to say "I'm full".

You may try a different position, or angle, a different nipple or bottle brand. Your baby may just have gas and wants to slow down (or speed up).

Also just monitor the weight a bit closer. If you think your baby is getting underweight see your ped and ask for advice. Otherwise, it's just your baby exploring the world.

Oh and if you get your baby too full you will know. Not saying to overfeed, but if your baby is over full you will know, so don't worry about that end of it.

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