July 02, 2015

Q: My baby won't take a bottle. What's the best way to wean her onto formula?

A: Babies are creatures of habit, so if she's used to having the breast, it's normal for her to balk at a bottle at first. Before you move to formula, try putting some of your own pumped milk in the bottle. When your baby is a little hungry but not overly anxious to eat, have someone else offer the bottle ahead of her normal feeding time. Touch the corner of her mouth with the bottle's nipple and let her root for it. If she won't take the bottle, try again later or the next day. Use times when she is naturally curious or exploring her environment to practice with a bottle. After your baby learns to take a bottle with your own milk, you can then gradually begin mixing in formula so she can adjust to the new taste. --Gina Bevinetto Feld

Originally published in American Baby magazine, October 2007. Updated 2009.

Answered by American Baby Team