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Our 2-month old baby is refusing to take a bottle, and my DP feels very left out

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    Taylor Walter

    Hey all,

    My partner and I welcomed our baby girl two months ago, after trying for two years for my partner to conceive without success and one attempt to get me pregnant. We are thrilled she is here, and my partner is thrilled to have been able to have a child — but she obviously also has some disappointment around not having been able to give birth herself. I think she had mostly resolved these feelings, but it is getting hard again because the baby has started refusing to take breastmilk from a bottle for my partner. This is very complicated since I’m working part-time and working on my degree, and we were counting on the baby being able to be with my partner two days a week (she also cut down to part-time work). But now that she won’t take a bottle, the days she is with my partner have become MISERABLE for both of them, and my partner is feeling very “inadequate” and not like baby’s mom. We had considered inducing lactation in my partner, but she gets terrible migraines and was afraid that the medication would make those worse and she also has no time to pump when she is working, so we gave up on that idea. Does anyone have any experience with breastfeeding sadness in this kind of situation? I’m afraid it’s really going to affect our relationship, not to mention making it very difficult for us to share parenting for a few months anyway. I’m considering trying to buy a lact-aid or an SNS system so that DP can try to latch baby on to her own breast and feed her expressed milk… since she is utterly refusing the bottle at this point. Has anyone tried using the lact-aid or SNS just to feed the baby, without the goal of inducing a milk supply? Was it worth it, or just a horrible pain in the neck?

    Any suggestions, BTDT, or advice on how to cope with resentment about mommy roles? This is hard stuff, sharing the mother role…

    Thanks in advance.

    Jamie Cousins

    I’m so sorry this is happening!! It took me a while to get pregnant and we thought about my partner trying, and I also felt like it would be so sad for me. So I haven’t been there but can relate a little bit.
    I think the Lactaid is better than the SNS, although if your baby won’t take a bottle she may not take a different breast. Also in my experience, the SNS was very challenging. I would meet with a lactation consultant to discuss options, there are lots of ways besides a bottle to feed a baby. Finger feeding worked well for us, where the baby sucks on a finger with a syringe or tiny tube and eats that way. You can also feed by cup or spoon. I think your best bet is meeting with someone who can demonstrate those things and give you more options.

    Asia Coleman

    My baby who is 8 months now has never been great with the bottle. We introduced it to her at around 4/5 weeks and she refused for two whole weeks. We tried every bottle we could find at our local store and found that she was at least put the Nuk in her mouth for a second before realizing she what was going on and refused it. SO we decided to stick with the Nuk bottle. I also went down to working part time so I am away from the baby for 4 hours 5 days a week so she “needed” to take the bottle. After two weeks she finally took some BM and she slowly got better. Not amazing, but better. After a little less then a month of her “taking” the bottle we had a two week break of me not working. When I went back to working it was like she forgot how to take the bottle and refused once again for a week. Then one day she decided to take it again. She has been taking it now for the past 4 months but she isn’t very good at it and it isn’t her favorite thing.

    I’m sure it makes it hard on you knowing that the baby isn’t eating as I felt the same way. I do know that if the baby is truly hungry enough it will eat. Some babies NEVER take a bottle and I was prepared for that. I actually had no idea about this until I would mention it to other moms and they would tell me how their babies never took a bottle. I nursed her before I left her and right when I picked her up. I understand that your partner is feeling left out – try to reassure her that there are tons of babies who don’t take bottles and it has nothing to do with her. You guys should be so proud of how successful BFing has gone that baby doesn’t want the bottle. Keep trying to give her the bottle every day but try not to get her so upset that there is no return. If she doesn’t take it then no big deal- maybe tomorrow. Maybe try different ways in giving it to her: walking around, her facing outward, in a bouncy chair, etc. Also when mine wouldn’t take the bottle the stroller helped calm her and going outside in a backpack helped too. Good luck with everything and try to focus on the bright beautiful side of this- that you have such a smart baby that she just wants the BM from the source 🙂

    Also- I hated it when people would tell me “this to shall pass” but its true. In the moment I hate it and feel like it won’t but it actually does. It did with the bottle and with baby not sleeping at night. So just remember “this to shall pass”


    Your case seems complicated. I am sorry for what you are going through. I understand raising a child can sometimes be complicated. However, your child will soon get used to the situation. I am also glad that the two of you managed to go through the procedure. I am sorry for your partner not being able to conceive for the 2 years. I believe it was a rough road for her,. But that it went through with you she should be glad. She should stop blaming herself. Let her look forward in raising the baby girls., And oh! congratulations for the baby. Many other women out there are trying hard to get one. Now convince your partner not to feel out of place. She can try various other ways to deal with that issue. Have you tried seeing a doctor? what did they tell you? It could be better if you seek medical information in your case.


    I can understand the disappointment your partner is going through. My congratulations are in order for being a mother. There are a lot of people who wish for that chance. Your partners inability to conceive should not discourage her. You should be her point of motivation. Such people always need care and support. And if they muss it, they become more miserable. So I would advise that you be there for her all the time. I was also once in her situation. I became bitter at everything. Sometimes even without a cause. I think the kind of desperation onw goes through affects them mentally. I can see this with your partner too. The baby refusing the bottle should not make her that mad. She should try to understand that babies sometimes are sensitive. Maybe the baby already recognizes you that’s why it does not want to be fed by a third party. But with time it will get used to your partner. So let her no feel inadequate. Both of you share parents and share equal responsibilities.

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