This can be a huge challenge for parents and there is no simple solution.

We find that some babies sit and play with the teat in their mouth before realising that they are hungry and howling. Other babies cry before the bottle gets anywhere near them! You might try several different bottle and teat combinations until you find one that works. Babies generally do best with a faster flow teat and warmed up milk, expressed milk if you have it because you know that baby likes it. You might try waving a toy, bouncing on an exercise ball or even walking around with your baby to distract them while you get the bottle into their mouth. The idea is to get them sucking by instinct. Asking someone other than mum to offer the bottle can help to reduce everyone’s stress levels.

If your baby cries while you are trying to feed, keep the teat in your baby’s mouth so that baby learns that there is milk in it.  Try standing up and walking around with the teat still in baby’s mouth, many babies will stop crying.

Some parents set aside 24 hours and offer nothing but the bottle. Others find this too overwhelming and keep the process gentle, offering a bottle when baby is in a happy and slightly sleepy mood.

With a older baby (over 4-6 months) consider transitioning straight to a sippy cup or beaker.

Good luck!