My baby won't take a bottle

You're not alone with this, but it will get easier.


Whether you are moving from breast to bottle or combination feeding it can be pretty frustrating if your little one refuses the bottle. It will certainly lead you to wonder who the boss in this relationship really is! 

It’s a problem many parents face and there’s lots of advice out there with no magic solution. But before you try every bottle brand on the market, some perseverance and a few tips might get you a little closer and save you dollars.

Let’s face it you baby has had the luxury of your warm comfortable breast so far and anything else isn’t going to be quite so lovely. So expecting instant results is rather unrealistic (but it it happens then celebrate!). The longer your baby has been on the breast the more unimpressed she may be when you give her the bottle. So be prepared for things to perhaps not to go as smoothly as you might expect.

But before you tear your hair out remember most babies go through this and get there in the end. Here’s some top tips for you to try if your baby won’t take a bottle.

Start early

If you’re moving onto a bottle as you’re going back to work give you and your baby plenty of time to get into your new routine. If you’re planning on moving to formula try to get her comfortable on the bottle with breastmilk before changing to formula. 

Remember most babies go through this and get there in the end.

Bring in the volunteers

Imagine you’re on a diet and you’re having your healthy lunch with a scrumptious cake on the table. No wonder baby isn’t co-operating when the thing she wants the most (your boob) is right there. Try getting others to do the feed so you’re not around to remind her of what she’d prefer. 

Baby looking at bottle


Having a nipple on your bottle that closely mimics your breast is likely to help your baby accept the teat. Tommee Tippee nipple are most breast-like in shape and also movement so baby is more likely to accept.


Once you have tried all the above and more you may be tempted to keep trying different bottles and nipples until your baby accepts one. Each time you try a bottle your baby gets a little more comfortable with it. Assuming you’ve tried all the above, 6 tries of the same bottle is likely to be as successful as trying 6 different bottles. So save your dollars and persevere with the bottle you think is closest to breast in shape and movement.  

Babies don't come with an instruction manual, they don't need to
We asked parents for their bottle feeding tips. Learn some tricks from your fellow parents.
Read More