July 1, 2009 -- Question: A 1-year-old refuses to take the bottle. the mother works and cannot continue breast feeding. What can a parent do?
Answer: For mothers who elect to wean their babies because its times to return to work or because its' just time to wean them, there's several things for them to consider. First of all it's important that a caregiver other than the mother offer bottles. Babies will smell or see a mother and smell her breast milk and decide that they'd much rather breastfeed than take milk from a bottle.
Another consideration is that when you first offer a bottle or cup to the baby, you want it to be filled with expressed breast milk if you can. That way the baby quickly identifies that the substance in the cup or bottle is actually breast milk. The last thing that you want to do is make sure that you continue to offer the baby milk from the bottle because it often takes them a while to get the hang of the sucking motion that's required to extract milk from the bottle versus that that's required to actually breastfeed.