Author Topic: force fed, now refusing bottle  (Read 16874 times)

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Offline mini_egg282

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force fed, now refusing bottle
« on: November 20, 2009, 14:56:38 pm »
We've been having some issues with feeding over the last few weeks, and I'm sad to say that I practically force fed my 6 month old. I just knew he would usually eat more and wanted to make sure he was getting enough calories. Now he is refusing the bottle. Every time it comes near his mouth he start to cry. He will take a few ounces from a sippy cup, but he's really not very good with it yet. We've given him a little formula from a small cup, but most of it ends up on his shirt.

How can we get him back to the bottle? Should I just keep offering it without pushing it on him until he is hungry enough to take it? Should I offer the sippy cup or will that hinder my efforts at getting him back on the bottle because he won't be quite so hungry?

Yesterday between 7 am and 4 pm I got him to drink 4 oz from a bottle twice, after quite a struggle. He normally drinks 8-11 oz per feed. Last night I finally realized that trying to force him to drink is causing the problem :(

Please help! I feel terrible at having caused this. Hopefully I can fix it.

Offline *Jo*

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Re: force fed, now refusing bottle
« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2009, 11:12:23 am »
Hi there, i was in exactly the same boat as you, when Caleb was 3 months old we used to force feed him as well, holding his head so he wouldnt squirm away from it and putting the bottle into his mouth.... this led to a feeding aversion, i eventually went to the hospital because he was only taking 100mls per day. it turned out he had a suspected Milk Protein Intolerance and poorly treated reflux, these were causing him pain with eating and then we were forcing him to eat which made him ill so he associated the bottle with pain.

what we did was this: we offered him his bottle, thats it, just offered it, if he took it then fine, if he didnt then we just said "its ok, you dont have to drink it" it was tough for a bit, we ended up getting his formula changed and that made a huge difference because it wasnt hurting his tummy anymore but we still had to deal with the feeding aversion.

If you suspect there is a reason for him not eating as much then you should mention it to the dr (mind you the amount of times i was brushed off was ridiculous!)

as long as he isnt dehydrated, isnt losing weight then i think just be gentle with him for a little while as he gets used to taking the bottle gently.

and dont be too harsh on yourself, i was the same way, i basically sobbed my heart out when i realised what i had done, but its nothing that cant be fixed and these little ones have short memories, in a months time he wont even remember it!

please let me know how you get on :)





Offline Mashi

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Re: force fed, now refusing bottle
« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2009, 11:17:51 am »
Agree with Jo, the more you push the more problems you can cause - but I am just wondering if it is something simpler like he is ready to move up to a faster nipple/teat?

Offline *Liz*

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Re: force fed, now refusing bottle
« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2009, 11:56:47 am »
Agree with the others - we have dealt with this as well - what you have to do is stop worrying about how much they are taking and just offer and allow them to refuse.

Yes, they might be hungry, and yes they might be up all night as a result, but you have to forget that and just offer. Allowing them to refuse puts them back in control and overcomes the aversion.

8-11oz is a HUGE amount of milk. I wonder if that was actually too much and was making him feel bloated as well. My DS is a small baby, and low volume feeder, so those bottles migt seem extra large to me. Also sometimes they take big volumes for a GS and we forget to let them cut back when it is over.

Have you started solids yet? That can change their desire for milk quite a bit.

Your lo will not starve themselves or do themselves any harm from eating very little for a short period of time - just follow your los lead for a while and I'm sure this will settle down.

((hugs))


Offline Tweakster

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Re: force fed, now refusing bottle
« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2009, 12:40:14 pm »
It's so hard isn't it.  You didn't 'cause' this, he's developed an aversion for a reason, whether it be that he's dropping his intake (which Finn also did at that age - he went from 4 to 3 bottles overnight, rather than dropping volume slowly), or something simple like a teat change (we also went through this, twice no less - he moved to the 3 month teat at 2 months and then to the 6 month teat at 3 months!).  And of course my all-time favourite destroyer of good feeds - teething.  Any signs of him teething?  Finn goes completely off bottles when his teeth are coming through.

We still go through this at 8 months.  One thing I have learned is it's near impossible to get them to take it if they don't want it, particularly the older they get.  Finn's very clear now at 8 months, he will just slap it out of my hand lol.

You really do just have to follow their lead and usually they get back on track on their own.  Keep offering when you think he's hungry and just see where he takes you.

Hugs!!!

The tweaking never stops!

Offline mini_egg282

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Re: force fed, now refusing bottle
« Reply #5 on: November 23, 2009, 20:41:18 pm »
Thanks so much for your responses and hugs!!!

I'm taking it easy on him with the bottle now. I'll offer it but take it away as soon as he starts to fuss. He's still not eating a whole lot - about 25 oz per day instead of the 35-40 oz he normally has. I've decided to take him to see the doctor later today because although he seems to be in good spirits I am concerned that he is starting to lose weight. Sometimes he only takes 3 oz for a feed, which is definitely not enough for an 18 lb baby. I just hope the doctor doesn't try to brush this off. Mom-instinct tells me that something is wrong.

We moved up to a faster teat about a week and a half ago. I think he's probably eating a little more now because of it, but still not interested in eating much.

We had started solids about 10 days before we started having problems. We cut them out completely just incase that was causing an upset tummy or something, but his appetite didn't increase. We just started back up with them again to help us get more calories into him.

At first I thought it was probably just teething, but he started being harder to get to sleep about 4 weeks ago, and started refusing to eat about 2.5 weeks ago. Seems like an awfully long time for teething to go on. He only woke up at night once because he was in pain. He seems happy the rest of the time, unless we're trying to feed him or if he's just getting hungry and refusing to eat.

It's 3:30 and I just put him down for a nap. He'll probably get up around 5, and has only had 12 oz of formula and 2 Tbsp of rice cereal so far today. I sure hope the doctor can help somehow.

Thanks for the encouraging words about me not being the cause of the eating problems. I still feel bad that I probably contributed to them, but really needed to hear that it wasn't my fault. *tear* Thank you so much :)

Offline *Liz*

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Re: force fed, now refusing bottle
« Reply #6 on: November 23, 2009, 21:14:21 pm »
Let us know what your doctor says.

I must say that 25oz of milk a day is not too bad really, but of course weight loss would be more worrying.

I was often amazed by how little Jacob could eat without affecting his weight or development. He is a small baby though.

((hugs))

Offline Lolly

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Re: force fed, now refusing bottle
« Reply #7 on: November 23, 2009, 21:32:31 pm »
I agree with Liz, my 19lb baby has averaged 25oz a day for ages now and stayed on the 91st centile - she is 6 months today. She has reflux and the pead advised increasing her solids but she really isn't hungry for solids either. She will take anything from 2oz to 6oz in a feed but generally takes 3 or 4oz.

I know it's easy to say don't worry - and heaven knows I do. I shouldn't, she is gaining well both weight and length, she is meeting milestones early and is happy, content and active, has wet and dirty nappies - but I think worry comes with children especially when you have limited control. DD is very clear when she has enough, clamps her lips shut and nothing is getting in there except the dummy - and she can tell the difference between the dummy and the bottle teat in the dark with just a slight touch to her lips ::).

Definitly keep on at the Dr if you think something is wrong. I tend to get DD weighed every 2 or 3 weeks just to keep an eye on her so we go tomorrow. Yesterday and today have been very similar for us - between wake up and bedtime she has had 15oz of formula, about 1/2 a small jar of food, a couple of teaspoons of yoghurt and a finger of toast (sucked about half). She will have a feed tonight, I have cut that to 4oz to try to get her to take more in the day.

Let us know how you get on at the Dr.

Laura


Offline mini_egg282

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Re: force fed, now refusing bottle
« Reply #8 on: November 24, 2009, 02:22:18 am »
The doctor diagnosed him with reflux tonight. We started meds right away but am told it can take a few days to start working. He lost 2 pounds in the past two weeks :(

I'll report back here in a few days!

Offline *Jo*

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Re: force fed, now refusing bottle
« Reply #9 on: November 24, 2009, 02:48:10 am »
oh! im so glad you got some progress!!!! thats fantastic (not about the reflux) at least you can start moving forward now, see you werent to blame! and you were only doing what any worried parent would do: trying to get your child to eat because you know how important it is for him.





Offline *Liz*

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Re: force fed, now refusing bottle
« Reply #10 on: November 24, 2009, 07:28:20 am »
He was probably comfort eating before then - drinking those huge bottles of milk so readily- and that can be very deceptive, making reflux harder to spot.

((hugs))

Let us know how you get one with the meds.

It took us several months of trial and error to find the right medication for Jacob, and we did have periods of complete food refusal and bits of weight loss in between all of that. 2lb is a lot of loss though  :(.

Your 6 mth old babies are the same size as my 15 mth old!!

Offline * Paula *

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Re: force fed, now refusing bottle
« Reply #11 on: November 25, 2009, 09:59:22 am »
I am so pleased you finally got somewhere with the doctors.  Yes it can take a little while for the meds to start working, and it will also take a while before your lo realises that the milk is not hurting him anymore.  Try to offer the bottle and if he does refuse, I know how hard it can be, just take it away and offer again a little later.  Remember your lo can feel your stress and emotions too, so try to just smile and say ok, we will try again a bit later.

My DD was also diagnosed with reflux and it took a lot of doctors visits to actually get them to listen to me.

Huge hugs hun.
Thomas Michael - 12 July 2005
Abigail Louise - 23 October 2007

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Re: force fed, now refusing bottle
« Reply #12 on: November 25, 2009, 10:11:58 am »
Good that you know a bit more what is going on now.

Just thought I'd mention that there is a reflux and colic board (in the health board section) if you want any support/info.  I only found it after months of being on the site and it really helped me. 

x

Offline rwtslo

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Re: force fed, now refusing bottle
« Reply #13 on: December 27, 2017, 19:32:22 pm »
We are having the same issue.  Our 4 month old would not take a bottle unless he's asleep. How did you solve the issue for your little one? Or did he just grow out of it? Thank you!

Offline Haribo2012

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Re: force fed, now refusing bottle
« Reply #14 on: December 27, 2017, 21:05:04 pm »
Hi this is a very old thread, you will be best to start a new one of your own and get more eyes on the issues.  :)
Zoe