How can I get my breastfed baby to take a bottle? Transitioning to a Bottle

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baby bottle dripping milk
iStock/Freer Law

Some babies switch from breast to bottle -- and back again -- with no troubles. Others may need a little encouragement. Get great bottle-feeding tips here from experts and moms.

Give Yourself a Break

"Choose a feeding time that allows you a moment of much-needed rest as a new mommy. On a personal note, I breastfed three children for a year and each of them went back and forth between breast and bottle from day one. If you wait too long, baby may reject the bottle completely, which I have seen happen." -- Heidi Miller, pediatric speech pathologist and feeding specialist, Heidi Miller Speech LLC, Florham Park, NJ

All Babies Are Different

"My older daughter could easily go back and forth from early on, but my youngest will take a bottle only with a little coaxing and never from me."

Practice Before You Need To

"I had each of my caregivers start to give 'practice' bottles before I returned to work. I wanted peace of mind that my little ones would be eating in my absence."

Keep on Trying

"My baby would scream her head off at night when I was away, leaving my poor husband in tears when I got home. She only did this for a couple of weeks and now doesn't care which parent feeds and cuddles her to bed."

Give the Bottle to Someone Else

"She knows you have the goods, so she'll probably be hesitant letting you give her a bottle."

Try a Sippy Cup Instead

"My oldest would never take a bottle -- we tried just about every kind there is -- so I couldn't be away from him for longer than in between feedings until he started taking a sippy cup."

Use Some Trickery

"Lay him on your bare chest as if you're going to breastfeed, put the bottle nipple near yours, and basically trick him. Once he takes the bottle, give him one or two a day to get him used to it. Once he's used to the bottle, get others to offer the bottle. This worked great for me."

Trust Your Baby Won't Starve

"No baby starves himself. Baby will take an alternative feeding method when he's really, truly hungry. You can also try a cup!"

The advice on CafeMom aims to educate, inform, and provide a range of solutions to the issues moms care about. It is not a substitute for consultation with a medical professional or treatment for a specific condition. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem without consulting a qualified professional. Please contact your health-care provider with questions and concerns.