You are breastfeeding your child but you have to go back to work soon and you are wondering how to do it ? Baby has always been bottle-fed but for some time now he has been refusing it? Among the other causes of refusal, which can appear at any age, we could talk about changing milk, small childhood illnesses, teething, digestive problems, the fact that baby gets tired of bottle -feeding as he grows, asserts himself and wants to switch to solid food... So how can we meet his nutritional needs without this tool which seems indispensable to us? A first question we can ask ourselves is: does baby refuse the teat or the bottle?
If baby refuses the teat or if you do not want to give him a bottle, you can useother containers such as the needleless syringe, the lactation aid (called DAL), the Babycup, the spoon, the fingertip for the little ones, the bottle spoon, the bottles for the older ones, the Softcup, the straw... Your child may also have a preference for the composition of the teat (silicone, rubber...), the shape or the size. Remember to choose a low flow rate for the teat, in the early stages, to avoid the risk of choking which can block baby's acceptance of the bottle.
If the bottle is rejected instead, remember to offer it through a relative so that baby does not smell his mother's scent or his milk if he is usually breastfed. Perhaps baby prefers cold milk or rather warm milk? Try changing the temperature of the milk.
If you are weaning your child, it is best to change only one thing at a time: first offer a bottle with breast milk, then increase the ratio of infant milk to breast milk and gradually move to a bottle with infant milk only.
Before dietary diversification
If your child refuses the bottle even before dietary diversification, it is important to know that there may be pathological causes for this: food intolerances or allergies, tongue or lip brakes, inappropriate sucking, disturbances in food orality ... In order to rule this out or confirm this, you can get help from a lactation consultant or a health professional specializing in pediatrics. In this article, we will instead continue to talk about the refusal of the breast or the non-pathological bottle.
During and after dietary diversification
A little reminder: from 6 months onwards, it is recommended that a child should consume at least 500ml of milk per day or equivalent: understand, calcium equivalent! For children in the process of diversification or diversified who refuse milk, I will give you these famous milk equivalents. 150 to 180ml of infant milk provide as much calcium as natural whole milk dairy products such as 1 yoghurt (125g), 1 fromage blanc (100g), 2 petits suisses (120g), 1 faisselle (100g) or 30g of cheese...
You should also be aware that some mineral waters contain calcium. However, limit consumption to a few tens of millilitres per day so as not to overtax babies' kidneys. Oleaginous fruits (almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, cashew nuts...) also provide calcium and their essential fatty acid content is interesting. They can be introduced in powder form in formulas or pureed directly on toast.
You can enrich your preparations (soups, purées, dishes, compotes, desserts...) with a few measuring spoons of powdered infant milk (or liquid or mother's milk, if this does not liquefy your preparation too much). You also have the possibility of making béchamel to decorate your dishes and milk-based desserts such as home-made yoghurts made with infant milk bought directly from the bottle (or UHT whole milk), milk-based desserts such as fine semolina with milk, rice pudding or infant cereal porridge with milk and orange blossom, vanilla or cinnamon for example. For older children or as part of the dietary diversification led by the child (DME), think of making pancakes, pancakes, muffins, biscuits... with infant milk!
I insist on mother's or infant milk because it has a real nutritional interest: low protein intake, presence of essential fatty acids, source of calcium and iron intake in the case of infant milk!
If you substitute milk with all the tips given in this article, don't forget to keep your baby well hydrated next to it. Breast milk or bottles provide a significant amount of water. Don't forget that this refusal is often only transitory, it is essential not to force it and to respect your child's appetite . Always bear in mind that meals should be a moment of pleasure and that perseverance rhymes with patience!
Dietitian - Pediatric Nutritionist