Dealing with a baby not drinking milk can be stressful for parents. Here are 4 proven tips to make feeding time easier and more successful for you and your little one.
It’s the worry that plagues every parent: what to do when she notices her baby not drinking milk all of a sudden.
Maybe your baby goes on a bottle strike when you offer one, or squirms and wriggles during a nursing session. Teething isn’t the culprit, nor is she sick with a fever. It’s been a few days, and both of you are feeling stressed.
What can you do to encourage your baby’s appetite for milk again? This article will show you how. Hopefully, it’ll come in helpful as it did to this fellow mom who wrote:
“Awesome article. Such a big help to me. My twins have decreased their formula intake gradually. Thanks for sharing your journey with us.” -Shweta
Table of Contents
1. Feed your baby between longer intervals
One of the best decisions I made was to feed my babies after they woke up, not to feed them to sleep. This helped them learn to self soothe, but it also meant that their feeding times adjusted as they grew up.
You see, your baby will take fewer naps the older he gets, which also means fewer feeding sessions. In the beginning, he might’ve taken five naps a day and drank milk five times as well. But as the number of naps decreases, he’ll also have fewer times to feed.
If he isn’t drinking milk, see if you can stretch the times between feedings so he’s hungrier come the next one. He might need more time—and space in his tummy—between feedings to finish a whole bottle or nursing session.
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2. Check how much milk your baby should be getting
At some point, your baby will hit a stage when she won’t need to gain quite as much weight or consume as many calories from milk as she used to.
For one thing, her level of growth isn’t as fast as the newborn stage, especially since she grows the most in her first few months. She’s also more interested in hitting other milestones and would rather spend her time learning to crawl than eating. And lastly, eating solid food can provide some of the calories she used to only get from milk.
The best way to find out is to reach out to your pediatrician to learn more about your baby’s milk intake and how much she should be eating. You might be stressing about something that isn’t an issue after all.
3. Offer milk before solids
Introducing solids was one of my favorite stages. I loved blending purees, trying new combinations, and tracking which foods I introduced.
My babies were also as excited. They were so excited, in fact, that they preferred eating solids over milk. After all, milk was nothing new, whereas eating from a spoon offered a different flavor and experience.
So, I switched things up: I made sure to offer the milk before the solids.
This way, I knew they had the appetite to finish a nursing session or bottle before eating solids. I figured they would finish the solids even after having drank the milk, whereas they might not drink the milk as much after having eaten the solids.
If drinking milk and eating solids at the same time is too much for your baby, try offering the milk much later after solids. You might have better luck giving him milk, say, an hour after eating solids when he has more of an appetite for it.
4. Add milk to your baby’s solid food
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Worried your baby isn’t getting enough calories and nutrients when she doesn’t drink milk? Try mixing the milk with her solids.
Instead of using water to prepare her oatmeal or rice cereal, mix it with milk so she gets both solids and milk at the same time. (This was the cereal I used with my babies.)
You can also mix milk with fruit or vegetable “smoothies” you puree, especially if you were already going to water the texture down anyway.
Another option is to make “momsicles,” or breast milk or formula frozen as an ice pop. Sucking on milk can be a creative way to draw a curious baby to consume her milk. Keep in mind that this can get messy, especially if your baby is new to holding and sucking on an ice pop.
It’s never easy when your baby takes an hour to drink milk or pushes you or his bottle away when you try to feed him. But as you’ve seen, you’re not stuck. Try these simple tricks to help him start drinking milk regularly.
Get more tips:
- FAQs About Transitioning from Breastmilk to Whole Milk
- How to Get a Breastfed Baby to Take a Bottle of Formula
- Baby Only Wants Mom? These 6 Tips Can Solve It!
- 5 Reasons Your Baby Wakes Up Crying Hysterically
- When Your Baby Is Teething (And Won’t Stop Crying)
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