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Why Is My Baby Suddenly Refusing Their Bottle?

Your child suddenly refusing their bottle can result in a great deal of worry for new parents, especially when your child can’t yet tell you why. Although there’s no one single answer to this problem, a variety of solutions available are fairly simple in nature.

Have You Recently Stopped Breastfeeding?

If you’ve recently started weaning your baby from breastfeeding they might resist being fed from a bottle. This is often referred to ‘nipple confusion’ and is a very common reason for bottle refusal. Your child simply doesn’t understand (or like) the object being offered to them instead of your breast.

One solution is using a breast-like bottle as opposed to a more alien, unfamiliar one. I’ve found it also helps to have someone else (who your baby doesn’t associate with prior breastfeeding) offer the bottle. If that doesn’t work, give it time breast weaning is a process, and it might take a bit of time for your child to be fully comfortable with a bottle.

Could It Be Your Position?

Could It Be Your Position?<img alt=”” src=”//www.sarahslovelyfamily.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/baby-drinking-milk-from-a-bottle.jpg?ad713f&ad713f” style=”width: 600px”>

Via babycenter.ca

Tying into the above, a recently weaned baby may be confused by their position at feeding time. One very common way to feed your infant is by cradling them in your arm. This has been known to cause confusion, as your child expects your breast but is instead presented with a bottle.

Try out different positions each time. Walking around while feeding has often helped me, usually with a baby sling so neither of us gets tired. Other babies may prefer being held upright on your lap, or even holding the bottle themselves if they’re capable.

Are You Overfeeding/Underfeeding?

Babies are finicky, and it could be that they have already had enough to eat already and doesn’t want anymore. That, or it’s been too long since your baby’s last feeding and they are too cranky to accept the bottle.

How much your child should be eating varies by age. I’ve had the best luck with this article. If you’re not sure about what/when your baby should eat, speak with their pediatrician.

What Temperature is the Milk?

The milk you feed your baby should be roughly body temperature (that is, 98.6 F or 37 C). There is wiggle room, however, and all babies have their own preference. Milk that is just right for one baby may be slightly too warm for another, or just a little too cold.

Try out slightly different temperatures at each feeding. There are a variety of ways to do this. Try freezing the milk beforehand, thawing it overnight in the fridge, and then placing it under warm running water. There are also bottle warmers if you’d like to keep things simple.

Never use a microwave to warm the bottle, as they tend to heat unevenly and can cause patches of milk that are far too hot, risking potential burns. Sooner or later you will find the temperature that is just right for your baby.

5. How Quickly Is The Milk Flowing?

Your baby may be refusing their bottle simply because the size of the nipple restricts milk flow, or lets the milk out far too quickly. Again, every baby has their own preference. Your child might find it frustrating to suck on a very slowly flowing bottle, or they might be overwhelmed by how quickly the milk comes out.

Test how quickly your baby’s bottle flows by holding it upside down and letting it drip. While every baby has their own specific preference, one drop per second is generally recommended. Start with this, and if they still refuse the bottle, try out different rubber nipple sizes until you find one that is just right.

6. What Is The Environment?

Babies are far more easily distracted than we are. While it might be easy for you and me to tune out intrusive noises while eating a meal, a baby hasn’t had time to learn this strategy yet. Something as simple as a television or a loud radio is enough to overwhelm your baby if they are trying to eat at the same time.

This is, for the most part, very easily dealt with. Make sure there isn’t any stimuli that may overwhelm your baby at mealtime. Turn off the TV, lower any music, and make sure any surrounding conversation is at a low volume. This way your child will be able to focus on their bottle and only their bottle.

7. Does Your Baby Have Trouble Sucking?

Some babies have trouble sucking on a bottle, especially if they have recently been weaned from the breast. If they’re accustomed to a human nipple and have suddenly been presented with a bottle, they may struggle with sucking in a slightly different fashion than before.

It helps to find a rubber nipple that is as similar as possible to your breast. Some manufacturers even produce rubber nipples specifically modeled after human nipples, areolas and all! If your child struggles with sucking in general and is old enough to handle a sippy cup, consider purchasing one specifically designed not to spill.

8. Is Your Baby Sick?

If all else fails, it may be time to visit your child’s doctor. Various illnesses, such as ear/throat infections and the common cold, cause discomfort when swallowing and may be the reason your child is refusing their bottle. If your baby exhibits any symptoms of illness, make sure from a licensed professional that it isn’t something serious – after all, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Conclusion

There are many reasons your baby may be suddenly refusing their bottle, most of them easily rectifiable (recent breast weaning, position, food quantity, temperature, speed of flow, environment, difficulty sucking), though you should always have an eye open for something more serious, such as illness. If you play around with milk preparation and bottle presentation you’re more than likely to eventually settle on the right combination.

Other Related Articles:

  1. The Best Baby Bottle Sterilizer You Need to Buy for Your Baby’s Health 2018
  2. How to Induce Lactation Quickly: Several Ways Mothers Should Try
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Reasons Your Baby Keeps Waking Up Every Hour

It’s a situation parents of infants know all too well. You and your little one have had a big, exciting day, and now it’s time to sleep. You’re certainly all but ready to pass out for a few days. The only problem is that your child just keeps waking up, even though she should be out like a light.

Why is your baby waking up every hour? Is it no big deal, something to be concerned about? Will she (or you) ever sleep through the night again? Taking care of your baby can be a full-time job, especially when your little darling doesn’t let you get any sleep. There’s no one specific reason your baby is waking up so frequently, but there are a few common factors I’ve found that affect the sleep patterns of babies.

1. Is Your Environment Noisy?

Is Your Environment Noisy?<img class=”tve_image” alt=”” src=”//www.sarahslovelyfamily.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/baby-cant-sleep-noise.jpg?189db0&ad713f&ad713f” style=”width: 3603px”>

As an adult, it’s relatively simple for me to tune out distractions. While a passing car or neighbour’s television might be annoying, it won’t make it impossible for me to eventually fall asleep (within reason, of course). Babies haven’t had the time to adjust to intrusive sounds and how to tune them out, and as a result, struggle to sleep consistently if there are distractions present.

Once you’ve put your baby down to sleep, make sure any nearby activities are quiet enough to avoid disruption. A white noise machine helps for those outdoor interruptions you just can’t control, and will also help soothe your baby to sleep as an added bonus.

2. Is Your Baby Hungry?

Is Your Baby Hungry?<img class=”tve_image” alt=”” src=”//www.sarahslovelyfamily.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/baby-is-hungry.jpg?189db0&ad713f&ad713f” style=”width: 3684px”>

There’s a chance you may be underfeeding your baby during the day. Have you researched exactly how much nutrition your baby needs throughout each stage of development? It might seem obvious, but many new parents don’t realize how precise the line between under and overfeeding can be.

There is also a chance that this may not be actual hunger, but merely habit kicking in. If you have a pattern of regularly feeding your baby throughout the night, she will grow to anticipate these set times. This is especially common if you are trying to wean your baby from nighttime feedings all at once. Keep in mind that you should not attempt to wean infants six months and younger from night feeding.

3. Is Your Baby Teething?

Is Your Baby Teething?<img class=”tve_image” alt=”” src=”//www.sarahslovelyfamily.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/teething.jpg?189db0&ad713f&ad713f” style=”width: 3456px”>

It’s no secret that teething hurts; those of us who have suffered through emerging wisdom teeth can attest to that. The general discomfort of new teeth bursting from their gums is more than enough to force a baby awake every hour.

You can’t make the pain from teething completely vanish, but there are small ways to help soothe it. A cold chewing ring works wonders (make sure there is absolutely no risk of it being a choking hazard if you plan on leaving it in the crib overnight), along with soothing gels. When putting your baby tosleep, try using a cold, thin washcloth to gently rub her gums.

4. Illness

Illness<img class=”tve_image” alt=”” src=”//www.sarahslovelyfamily.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/baby-illness.jpg?189db0&ad713f&ad713f” style=”width: 3456px”>

Everyone gets sick, no matter how old they are, and it’s bound to happen to your infant at one point or another. It doesn’t help that she can’t tell you they’re sick. Being under the weather will keep any of us up, especially a little one who doesn’t understand what’s happening.

Common signs of illness (beyond the obvious and highly recognizable fever/rash) include a change in usual demeanor/appetite, increased frequency of crying that can’t be soothed, and abnormal bowel movements. Make sure you keep an eye on your baby’s symptoms and consult a licensed medical professional if you have any questions.

5. Is Acid Reflux a Factor?

Acid reflux isn’t just for those who are middle aged. If your baby has been diagnosed with GERD (GastroEsophageal Reflux Disease, it can be very difficult to get some sleep, especially considering that lying on your back for extended amounts of time can worsen the effects of acid reflux.

Frequent burping (especially after feeding), feeding in an upright position, and serving smaller portions of food more frequently are all ways to prevent acid reflux. Baby carriers and a propped crib mattress are additional methods of treatment and prevention.

6. Lack of “Wind Down”

Everyone has a hard time falling (and staying) asleep if they’re still amped up from a particularly stimulating day. Doctors often recommend that we lead up to bedtime by staying away from electronic devices and other distractions. This applies for babies as well if they’re still filled with energy when you lay them down to sleep, it’s far more likely they’ll wake up and stay up throughout the night.

It’s best to ease your baby into bedtime. An hour before preparation, focus on simple, quiet, non-electronic activities. Keep lighting and noises low, then follow an established bedtime routine that ensures your baby recognizes it is bedtime and that it’s time to go to sleep.

7. Personalities Differ

Everyone reacts differently to various situations, whether they’re a baby or an adult. Have you observed that your child is more likely to be vocal in general? All babies wake up throughout the night, but some are just more prone to make some noise about it.

There isn’t much you can do to change this, but it can help ease concerns that something more sinister is in play as to why your child seems to be waking up more frequently than normal. Of course,you should still keep an eye out, as there may be a combination of reasons this is occurring.

Conclusion

There are a huge variety of reasons your baby might be waking up every hour. Most are easily preventable or treatable (noise, hunger, teething pains, lack of winding down, personality) while others may require the input of a licensed professional (illness, acid reflux).

What do you think? Have these solutions worked for you and your baby? Do you have some awesome suggestions of your own? Make sure to comment with any questions or thoughts!

Other Related Articles:

  1. Your Baby Won’t Sleep Unless Held? Find Out Why and How to Solve It!
  2. Best Advice for Parents when Newborn Won’t Sleep in Crib
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