What Is Bottle Aversion And How To Solve It?

From the baby’s perspective.

What Is Bottle Aversion?

Bottle aversion is an adverse reaction to the bottle.

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What Are The Signs Of Bottle Aversion?

  • Skipping feedings without fuss.
  • Showing hunger cues but not eating.
  • They are beginning to eat but consuming very little and stopping abruptly. They may arch their back and cry or turn their head away or chew on the nipple.
  • When the bottle is presented, shutting their mouth and turning their head away.
  • When put in a feeding position or when a bib is placed on them or when they see the bottle, they scream.
  • Eating only in their sleep (dream-feeding).

How Bottle Aversion Is Caused From The Baby’s Perspective

Bottle aversion is caused by experiencing some type of discomfort by your baby. It could be because your baby has reflux or other types of a medical condition that causes her to experience pain or discomfort at each feeding. Another common cause of bottle aversion is forceful feeding.

Often, moms have a strong idea of how much their babies SHOULD drink, and if the baby doesn’t “perform,” they get anxious and force their baby to drink more. This leads to bottle aversion.

The baby links bad feelings to feeding each time. She will get to a point when she can’t accept the bottle anymore. Your baby rejects the bottle even when she is hungry. The mom gets more stressed and more desperate and tries to force the feeding even more. It’s a vicious cycle.

Your baby doesn’t reject the bottle by choice. Your baby rejects the bottle by instinct. She is protecting herself. She has no conscious choice.

The good news is that babies are extremely adaptive. They adapt to anything quickly. Once you change your approach, they will change their behavior fairly quickly.

How To Solve Bottle Aversion From Your Baby’s Perspective

To solve bottle aversion, your baby needs to have a positive experience at each feeding. This way, she will link good feelings to feeding, and she will drink as much as she needs.

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Now, bear in mind that the amount your baby will drink may be different from the amount your baby SHOULD drink. If you want to feel at peace with your baby’s eating, let go of the SHOULD amount and accept your baby’s individual needs.

Many moms have problems with letting go of their need to control the amount of milk their babies drink, leading to constant worry and stress. If you need help with your anxiety, please reach out to me and book a coaching session. I can help you reduce your anxiety so you will have the right mindset to help your baby.

Once you create a positive experience for your baby and keep doing it CONSISTENTLY, your baby will adapt to the new circumstances. Your baby will have no choice again. She will act by instinct and will drink as much as she needs. The feeding will be a joyful and intimate experience for both of you.

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