Breastfed Baby Won't Take a Bottle at Daycare
Baby Toddler Safety

Breastfed Baby Won’t Take a Bottle at Daycare

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There are several mommies who vented out their frustration at the fact that their breastfed baby won’t take a bottle at daycare.

However, this isn’t usually something you should worry about. In fact, it’s a pretty normal phenomenon that happens to almost every baby. 

However, it can still be alarming for baby caregivers at the daycare.

This is why it’s important for caregivers to work with the parents to find a solution as quickly as possible.

Thankfully, we are here to provide guidance and solutions to the problem. 

Figuring out why the baby is refusing the bottle at daycare is the first important step.

There can be various reasons – or even a combination of factors. Breastfed babies, for example, tend to resist the bottle in the beginning. 

Other reasons can include simple positioning, teething, bottle malfunctions, milk quality, or temperature.

The last thing you should do is freak out when your baby won’t take a bottle at daycare.

It is generally accepted that it takes at least two weeks before a baby can settle into a routine in the daycare. 

But what exactly are the reasons why your breastfed baby won’t take a bottle at daycare?

How can you help ease the transition? Let’s find out.     

Why Doesn’t My Baby Take a Bottle?

First of all, the reason why your baby is having trouble with the bottle is probably not because they’re having a hard time latching or they don’t understand the mechanics of the bottle.

Bottles are designed to be easier than breastfeeding. 

Babies that transition to daycare can be very new and stressful for the baby and may cause behavioral issues. 

A baby in a brand new environment can easily be overwhelmed, new smells, sounds, people, plenty of distractions, and no mom or dad in sight!

Having a new person holding your baby can be stressful enough for them, imagine all of these new sensations. 

Some studies focus on moms that report that the transition from breastfeeding to daycare can cause distress for the baby.

There is also plenty of anecdotal evidence that formula-fed babies also suffer from the same problem when transitioning to a daycare. 

That said, here are some of the common reasons why your baby is not taking a bottle at the daycare.

Do note that it can be a combination of all these three factors.

  • Your baby just doesn’t like the feeling of an artificial nipple while feeding. This is very common when they first start but they get used to it over time.
  • Your baby may have had a negative experience while taking the bottle. However, this is the most unlikely reason.
  • Your baby has associated feeding time with you so strongly that they don’t want or understand the new bottle substitute.

Breastfed Baby is Still Rejecting Bottle After Two Weeks

Even after two weeks in and your baby is still refusing the bottle, there may be a larger issue going on than just your baby trying to adjust to the new daycare environment. 

Here are some other reasons why your baby might still be rejecting the bottle after two weeks. 

1. Issues with the bottle or nipple 

One of the biggest causes of bottle rejection may be because of the plastic nipple on the bottle. It may need a long due cleaning or replacement.

It is also possible that your baby is rejecting the daycare bottle because it’s different from the detergent you use at home. 

2. Daycare schedule disruption 

A disruption of schedules in the daycare can have significant effects on the baby.

If they’re used to eating at the daycare but suddenly stopped, you need to ask what changed specifically. 

Even though your schedule for your baby may look the same, the activities while they’re at the daycare may be changed. 

3. Different formula preparation 

Babies may reject the bottle if the formula is different from what they get at home.

Factors such as temperature, brand, water type, and even preparation differences can affect the taste of the formula.

These differences can change the flavor of the formula in ways your baby may not enjoy.

4. Baby is used to nursing 

Your baby may not be as excited to receive stored breast milk as they have bee

5. Baby is ready for a sippy cup 

Babies that are 5-6 months old may start preferring a sippy cup over the nipple bottle.

At this point, you want to slowly introduce your baby to the sippy cup both at home and at the daycare.

6. The baby may be teething 

Babies often reject bottle-feeding when they start teething. 

If you’re suspecting that your baby is teething, check for excessive drooling and swollen gums. 

Read a related post: Tips For Bottlefeeding

What to Do if Your Breastfed Baby Won’t Take a Bottle at Daycare

If your breastfed baby won’t take a bottle at daycare, here are some helpful tips you should consider to make the transition from breastfeeding to daycare easier:

  • Have a feeding routine – Make sure that the feeding routine you employ at home is also the same in the daycare.
  • Have a feeding plan set up – Creating a detailed yet easy-to-follow feeding routine will help your baby transition more smoothly to a daycare setting. 
  • Communicate with your caregiver – This factor is the most important when trying to find solutions to correct behavioral issues. Always talk to your caregiver about any concerns you have. Make sure that they’re using the same feeding plan and routine that you have at home.
  • Go to a relaxing location – A quiet and relaxing location can make a significant difference when trying to bottle feed your breastfed baby. Before the caretaker gives the baby bottle, make them go to a secluded and relaxing location so that the baby can relax while being swayed and rocked.


It can be very easy to worry if your breastfed baby won’t take bottle at daycare.

However, we provided the reasons why these behavioral issues can come up and some ways you can personally help ease them. 

If all else fails, you should talk to your baby’s pediatrician as soon as possible.

Contacting them for a professional opinion will only help you understand what’s the underlying issue. 

If you’re a breastfeeding mother, consider seeing a lactation consultant for guidance.

We hope that we’ve helped ease the worry and uncertainty of a baby not taking bottle at the daycare with this detailed guide. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I prepare my breastfed baby for daycare?

You can prepare your breastfed baby for the daycare by slowly introducing him to various sensations.

For example, you can try feeding them different temperatures of breast milk gradually. 

You should continue to breastfeed directly whenever you’re with your baby as this can provide additional health benefits while also maintaining your milk supply.  

Why is my baby fighting the bottle?

Here are some of the most common reasons why babies refuse the bottle: they aren’t hungry enough.

Your baby may be feeling sick, or they were recently weaned and want to continue breastfeeding a while longer. 

How do you feed a baby who refuses a bottle? 

If your baby is refusing to feed on a bottle, try giving them breastmilk using a different vessel. These vessels can be a spoon, sippy cup, etc.

The goal is to try and see if the vessel is the problem as babies can be very picky when it comes to feeding.

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Iesha Mulla

Iesha is a loving mother of 2 beautiful children. She's an active parent who enjoys indoor and outdoor adventures with her family. Her mission is to share practical and realistic parenting advice to help the parenting community becoming stronger.

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