Parents go through different kinds of struggles daily, from finding the best formula milk to switching from one formula to another. Yet, one of the most commonly experienced ones is the dilemma that comes with formula-feeding your little one. Finding the best formula that will suit your baby’s taste and needs can truly be difficult, and if you cannot get the right one, your baby will definitely be fussy because of more ways than one.
Babies can indeed become really picky eaters as they grow, even before the first tooth comes out. The problem mostly starts when parents notice that their babies do not like formula milk or begin refusing the bottle. However, there is no need to panic at all because this post will be about why your baby is refusing to drink formula with tips and tricks on what to do when your little one is having issues with the formula milk you are giving. If you are dealing with this kind of issue, then read on.
Why your baby is refusing to drink formula
They are used to breast milk
If you have been breastfeeding your baby for quite some tie and decided to switch to formula, then this might be a reason why your baby is refusing to drink formula. It is very common for those babies who have tried breast milk, and they are more likely to refuse because they prefer their mother’s milk. If this is the problem, you can make bottle-feeding time very close to breastfeeding as much as possible by incorporating skin-to-skin contact and warming the formula.
Their stomachs cannot tolerate formula.
According to published studies, around 20% of babies cannot tolerate the lactose in most formulas made from cow’s milk. Some babies are even allergic to the proteins that come with it. You have to look for signs of lactose intolerance, such as being very fussy, gassy, bloated, and having loose stools. Whether your little one is intolerant or just not very much agree with the formula you have given, it is always important to note which kinds they cannot tolerate. So that you will be able to find a formula that will suit them very well easily.
As your babies grow older, they can now be attentive to other things, which can be why they are not taking the bottle. Your babies can become too distracted to drink their formula milk; however, this can be very easy to resolve. When feeding your baby, try to find something or someplace where they can be relaxed and more focused on drinking their milk.
Not hungry at all
This is the most common reason babies refuse to drink their milk, but most parents hardly notice it. Sometimes, parents tend to follow a feeding schedule for their babies without considering the activities or what went through their baby’s day. If your baby has already eaten late or has been sleeping more than they used to, then there is a reason why they could not be hungry yet. This also happens when you have started introducing solids to your babies’ diet. They tend to remain full for a longer period of time; therefore, there will be a tendency that they will refuse their formula milk if you give it to them.
They can be sick or not feeling well.
Like adults, infants also do not feel like eating when they are sick or not feeling well. Experts have said that if you notice that your baby has been fussy and uncomfortable during feedings, it can be due to a cold, fever, sore throat, or some kind of infection. If this happens, look for signs of congestion or if your baby has been feverish. Your baby will not take the bottle because maybe he or she has been feeling a bit under the weather.
They are not comfortable with the baby bottle or nipple
The type of bottle or the flow of the nipple can also be a reason why your baby is refusing to drink formula milk. If you are bottle-feeding, always make sure that you choose the right baby bottle and the appropriate nipples so that your baby will become comfortable during feedings.
What to do if your baby does not like the formula
Add breast milk
As mentioned above, babies who have been breastfed will more likely prefer breastmilk over formula milk. Adding breastmilk to your formula milk will greatly improve the taste and will give a familiar taste that your baby will truly enjoy. Try adjusting the ratio from time to time until your baby gets used to or adjust to his or her formula milk alone.
Slowly switch formulas
If your baby does not like the taste of the new formula, you can always try the half and half trick. This technique works if you have recently changed from one formula to a new one and your baby is not welcoming the new taste. All you need to do is incorporate the older one with the new one slowly until your baby can adapt to the new taste.
Do not overheat the milk.
Remember to heat the formula milk accordingly, overheating can truly alter the taste of formula milk, and your babies would not want that. Also, please avoid using the microwave since it will not be able to heat the milk evenly. Always follow the instructions of the formula milk you are using to ensure that you will not be altering its taste.
Mix and prepare properly
As mentioned above, it is important that you follow the instructions and prepare the formula milk properly. Remember to mix it properly and gently to avoid clumping and the formation of bubbles as well.
Do not rush and be patient.
Always remember to give your babies some time to adjust to formula milk and be patient. Try to do all the things that were previously mentioned and wait it out. If nothing works, try to seek professional and medical advice.
Factors to consider
- Feeding items and equipment, most especially the baby bottle and nipples.
- Properly following the steps for formula milk preparations.
- Fluorine levels from the water and the formula itself.
- Take it easy and avoid being abrupt.
- Try to find the best-tasting formula milk out there.
When to see a doctor
Although it is completely normal for a baby to refuse drinking formula, there can be instances where chronic refusal to eat or drink can indicate a more serious problem or disorder that may require medical attention. Eating or feeding disorders can happen among infants and may result in malnutrition; that is why if nothing works for you and your baby, then you might need to see the doctor for immediate attention and help.
You will need to contact your doctor or make an appointment right away if your baby has been continuously refusing the bottle combined with symptoms of fever, vomiting, difficulty in breathing, and non-stop crying.
Difficulties when it comes to bottle-feeding are indeed common, and there is really no need to panic. There are many approaches and tricks on how to make bottle-feeding work; you just need to pick one that is right for you and your baby. With constant love, care, determination, and tons of attention to your little ones, you will surely be able to help them overcome their struggles around formula-feeding.