Bébé ne finit pas son biberon… Faut-il s’inquiéter ? - Élhée

Baby doesn't finish his bottle... Should we be worried?

  • Baby is choosy?
  • Do you have the impression that he shuns the very idea of ​​having a good meal?
  • Your appetite is not there?

Far from throwing a tantrum, your child certainly has excellent reasons to refuse the bottle you hand him!

When your child is reluctant to finish his bottle, it's natural to worry.

However, it is important to understand that this attitude is generally not just sulking. Your baby has well-founded motivations for not swallowing every drop of milk you offer him.


Why doesn't baby drink all of his bottle?

It is not uncommon for several factors to come into play when babies are reluctant to use their bottle. Possible reasons include:

  1. His level of satiety : your baby may simply not be hungry when you offer him his meal. The previous meal may still be too recent to allow him to have enough room in his tiny stomach!
  2. His health and general condition can influence his appetite. A current illness, even a simple cold, can reduce one's desire to eat.
  3. Your baby's tastes change, and he may no longer like the milk you give him for various reasons. Have you noticed a recent change in the composition of milk? It is also possible that the taste is linked to the material making up the bottle. Opt for an odorless baby bottle, preferably glass or silicone to avoid this.
  4. The consistency of the bottle : the preparation can play a role. If the milk is too thick or contains cereal, your baby may have difficulty drinking it. This also applies in the event of a bottle that is too generous and quantities that are not age-appropriate.
  5. If you have recently stopped breastfeeding and are in the weaning period , it is also possible that taking the bottle will be difficult, as baby is dealing with something completely new. If you have started introducing solid foods, your baby may also be less inclined to drink milk.
  6. If the milk is too hot or too cold , it could dissuade your baby from consuming it.
  7. The presence of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) will cause discomfort with each feeding.
  8. An unsuitable position or pacifier are also risk factors. If the pacifier delivers milk too quickly or too slowly, feeding will be unpleasant and frustrating for your baby. The same applies if the chosen position is uncomfortable or the inclination of the bottle does not allow the milk to be delivered correctly.

The list of reasons is long, so it's crucial to stay attentive to your baby's signals to determine the specific cause and remedy it.

When to consult your pediatrician or GP?

The reasons for consulting are mainly those listed below:

  • If refusing the bottle becomes a habit, there is a notion of recurrence .
  • If your baby seems to experience discomfort during or after meals to the point of no longer eating at all (crying, screaming, squirming, etc.).
  • If your baby is losing weight .
  • If dermatological problems appear on your body (plaques, pimples, redness, etc.).
  • If baby experiences episodes of vomiting or his stools show worrying variations (unusual texture and colors, change in their frequency, etc.).
  • If your baby looks pale and tired after drinking milk or during the day.

In all these situations, medical consultation is essential! Your primary care physician or pediatrician is the only one who can identify possible underlying medical conditions such as cow's milk protein (CMP) intolerance or undiagnosed GERD . He will be able to adapt the treatment accordingly.

Note that the list of symptoms present in this article is not exhaustive. If in doubt, contact your doctor or dial 15.

What to do with the milk left in the bottle?

When your baby can't finish his bottle for whatever reason, you're left with a dilemma: should you throw away the uneaten milk or can you save it for later use?

  • Generally, breast milk can be stored at room temperature for about four hours, in the refrigerator for three to four days, and in the freezer for several months. However, if you have thawed breast milk, you will not be able to refreeze it.
  • Regarding powdered milk , it is recommended to prepare it just before feeding and not to keep it for more than an hour at room temperature.

Make sure any remaining milk is promptly refrigerated (or frozen if it is freshly expressed breast milk with a breast pump ) after feeding to prevent bacterial growth. Place the bottle of powdered milk in the refrigerator within an hour, maximum.

Can we top up an opened bottle of milk?

It is recommended not to top off a bottle that has already been started , even if it is tempting.

Indeed, in the event that baby is not able to finish his bottle, you would find yourself with a clever mixture of different milks and therefore the risk of a preparation not suitable for consumption (presence of milk that is too old). ).

How can we limit the risk of waste?

If your baby has seen a doctor and the problem is not a health problem, you can:

  • Make sure the bottle teat is appropriate for their age and needs.
  • Make sure the milk is not too hot to avoid burns and prevent your child from eating meals.
  • Adapt the quantity of milk according to age.
  • Change milk or bottle if necessary to adapt to his tastes.

Even if it is well intentioned, the situation of a child who is not eating will not improve if he is forced to drink. Never force the pacifier into his mouth.

Calculate the quantity of milk to allow your baby to finish his bottle

During the first three months of life, it is considered that a baby should drink between 600 and 900 ml of milk per day. Of course, there are big and small eaters…

Since it is not possible to quantify the dose of breast milk ingested when breastfeeding, assume that if baby stops sucking, it is because he is simply no longer hungry. 😉 Remember to offer him both breasts at each feeding and make sure he is indeed full.

To find out the number of bottles and the quantities to provide depending on the age of your child, we invite you to read this article from our blog dedicated to the subject:

“How many bottles per day to plan for?”

To conclude

It is normal that your baby sometimes refuses to finish his bottle. This can be due to various reasons, such as a temporary lack of appetite which should not cause you undue concern. Adults don't always finish their plate either, which doesn't mean their lives are threatened.

However, it is preferable to remain attentive to your signals and to consult a health professional if adjacent symptoms occur (loss of time, digestive problems, paleness, etc.).

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