Breastfed Babies and Bottles


There’s nothing like the fear of a mum who can’t get her baby to take a bottle.  She’s then faced with the choice between staying in close proximity to her baby until baby weans OR go out at the cost of leaving baby starving and distraught.

Or are there more choices than that?

There are alternatives to bottles.

If your baby won’t take a bottle, have you considered using a syringe or cup?  Even brand new newborns can drink effectively from a cup.  Your caregiver may need to take some extra time and care with a syringe or cup, but the bonus is that there is no risk of nipple confusion or bottle preference.

Your baby won’t die of starvation.

When we were at home, as babies my kids would easily feed eleventeen billion times a day.  So I can understand the fear of your baby being hungry without you.  You need to keep it in perspective though.  How many hours could your baby sleep in a row at night?  Would you panic about hunger if your baby slept, say, 8 hours in a row?  If your baby can sleep for 8 hours in a row at night, then there’s no reason to panic about them being without boob for 3 hours while you get your hair and nails done.images 2

Your baby doesn’t need to learn to use a bottle.  A bottle is ridiculously easy to use, especially in comparison to drawing milk from a breast.  And no bottle in the world adequately replicates a breast, no matter how the nipple is shaped, how many “endorsements” it has or how many dollars you spent on it.  Your baby knows your boobs are attached to you.  Don’t fall for a con.


Society makes us pin a lot of hangups on breastfeeding.  We are convinced that breastfeeding must make our babies clingy.  We’ve created a rod for our own backs by making it so that no one else is able to share the burden of responsibility because they can’t breastfeed our baby.  This is incorrect.  Our babies get upset when we leave them because we are their Number One.  We’ve been their primary (sometimes sole) carer since before they were even born!  If your baby is upset, it’s because they miss mummy, not her boobs.

If you’re convinced your baby is devastated because your breasts are gone, you’ve set your child’s caregiver up for failure before you’ve even left the house, and you’ve also sabotaged your ability to enjoy your outing.  Accepting that your baby is upset over a new experience with a person who is not mummy is going to be easier for you to swallow. Most kids get upset the first few times mum leaves them, not just the breastfed ones.  A good caregiver may even calm your baby enough to get them to take that bottle you’ve been panicking about!

Please don’t envision yourself as a jersey cow, who’s only purpose in life is to provide milk.  You are valued so much more than that, and you need to see that value for yourself.  The woman that you were before you had kids is still there, but now she’s more than that.  She’s a mother.  But she’s still a woman with needs beyond emptying her boobs.  So go.  Enjoy your yoga class.  And when you come back home, enjoy the fact that you were missed.

Join the Conversation


  1. I had this problem before but since my little bubba has been going for longer hours without the boob naturally, I’m becoming more relaxed. And yes you’re right that we can always cup feed and use the sippy cup. He seems to like these more than the bottle. xx

    1. That’s great Jacq! Really great that you’ve been able to get some other solutions in place

  2. There is also finger feeding and spoon feeding to explore. I have seen some pretty cool spoon feeding apparatus lately. And if bub is taking solids you can skip to the sippy cup also.

  3. My bub spills a lot from a cup though (I don’t want to waste all that milk!) and hasn’t mastered a sippy cup. She’s seven months – what to do?

    1. Hi Liz! Although my kids drank from a regular cup, they still needed hands-on help for quite a while.

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