What Can I Do If My Baby Won’t Take His Formula?

baby won t take formula
Beeki / Pixabay

So, it’s feeding time, and baby doesn’t want to drink all of his formula. Why not? You are going on the pediatrician’s recommendations, isn’t your baby supposed to drink up every drop of that formula? If baby won’t take all of his formula this is not a reason to panic. All babies are different and there might well be a good reason behind it. In this article we are going to discuss reasons why your baby won’t drink all of their formula as well as give you a few tips and tricks to help remediate the issue when it occurs.

Baby doesn’t like the formula

If you are beginning to add formula to feedings when baby was used to only breast milk then you might just be looking at a temporary rejection of the formula, From baby’s perspective there was a perfectly fine arrangement for feeding and now you’ve gone and changed it. As a species we are fairly resistant to change and you are viewing firsthand evidence that this behavior starts early, but don’t worry. Give it time and a few more feedings and as your baby gets used to the formula then this should be less of an issue. You will just need a few tricks to move things along faster and we’ve got you covered there!

How to get your baby to drink formula

baby won t drink formula
skeeze / Pixabay

When a breastfed baby is resistant to changing to formula then sometimes you have to reach into your bag of tricks in order to help them to transition. You are going to need some patience at this point because your little one is going to fight you on this, but with a few of these tricks you will endure and succeed. Try one of all of the following to coax your baby into drinking their formula:

  • The most boring room in the house – Sometimes you can trick your child into eating by simply moving them into an atmosphere that is as close to clinical as possible. With the bottle nearby, your child will sometimes eat simply out of boredom. It’s a little on the sneaky side but certainly effective.
  • Sneak in some solids – If your baby has been drinking formula for some time now then it may be time to sneak in a little bit of solids as well. Even if it is just a taste of applesauce or some Gerber pureed veggies, adding a little flavor to feedings might be just the trick that you need to stimulate your baby’s appetite so that they will eat their formula.
  • Eat on the porch or in the park – A change of atmosphere can sometimes distract baby enough that they will simply eat while looking around. Humans crave entertainment at any age and sometimes simply eating on the porch or in a park will get you the desired results.

What if baby still won’t eat the formula?

Should the previous ploys fail you will need to roll up your sleeves and try some different tactics. We’ve got a few more gems that you can add to your collection to help when your previously-breastfed baby refuses to give formula a chance. Try one of the following strategies:

  • Less formula, more feedings – Try making half a bottle of formula and increasing the frequency of the feedings. Everyone has different eating habits and your baby is no exception. So try more feedings with less formula and see if your baby is more receptive to a lot of small meals a day instead of a few big ones.

                   ” Cut out those ‘after bedtime’ 3am feedings.”

  • Cut out the late night feedings (with pediatrician approval) – If baby is old enough and your pediatrician approves, then cut out those ‘after bedtime’ 3am feedings. It may take a week or two for baby to get used to a new feeding schedule but you might find that feedings are more productive with the new one. Your little one is growing up, after all!
  • Change the temperature of the formula – If the bottle is always room temperature, try warming it up a little. If it is typically warm, try serving it cooler. A little variety is sometimes the key to productive feedings.
  • Try a faster flow nipple – If your baby isn’t finishing their formula it could be that they are having to work too hard for it. Nipple flow is just like it sounds, it’s the rate at which the nipple you are using on the bottle expresses milk when baby is feeding. A slower nipple flow can frustrate your baby if they have outgrown it and a medium flow or faster flow nipple might be called for. If your baby is less than 6 months, go with a medium flow, but if they are 6 months or older then try one of the faster flow nipples. If baby coughs or spits up milk then the nipple flow is TOO fast so you will need to do a little experimentation to find the perfect flow.
baby doesn t like formula
amandacatherine / Pixabay

If none of these techniques are helping

If nothing seems to do the trick then we urge you to check with your pediatrician to see what they will recommend. Don’t worry that you are ‘bothering’ them with a million questions. Your pediatrician will be happy, after all, this is their job! It is always best to consult an expert when you aren’t sure so that you have only the best advice for you and your baby.

Some final words

In this article we have discussed some strategies and techniques that you may employ when your baby is resistant to drinking formula. Be patient through the process, as all babies are different and it may take a little time to find out what works best for your baby. Just hang in there and use our tips and tricks and before you know it your baby will be moving on to solids. Until then, happy parenting!

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