our everyday life

My Four-Month-Old Baby Will Not Take a Bottle

by Susan Revermann, studioD

As your little one grows and ages, his dietary needs and preferences also change. Your once hearty eater may all of a sudden decide that he doesn’t want to take a bottle. To help keep your 4-month-old happy and healthy, there are a few procedures you may want to try to rectify this issue.

Ensure that you are mixing the formula with the appropriate amount of water. If the ratio is off, the formula may taste bad to your baby. In his book, “Your Baby’s First Year,” Dr. Steven P. Shelov recommends that you mix the infant formula exactly to the manufacturer’s specifications. Otherwise, too much water will prevent your baby from getting the calories and nutrients she needs for proper growth. Too little water will make the formula too concentrated and may lead to diarrhea or dehydration.

Make sure you are using warm, not hot or cold, water to prepare the formula. Not only will this prevent burns or scolding, the temperature of the milk may be a contributing factor of whether your baby wants to drink it or not.

Use a different type of bottle nipple. Your baby may not like the feel of one specific kind of nipple. Some nipples flow slower than others and your baby may lose interest if the milk fails to flow at the proper speed.

Check to see if the bottle nipple is clogged. If the milk is unable to flow through the nipple, your baby will look fussy or disinterested in the bottle. Use a bottlebrush with a nipple brush attachment to adequately clean inside the small nipple groove.

Date pumped breast milk. Use refrigerated breast milk with the first day or two. Freeze the milk if you don’t plan to use it right away. Use frozen breast milk within one month if stored in a regular freezer attached to a refrigerator or within three to six months in a deep freezer. The fats in breast milk start to break down over time, so your baby may not get the appropriate nutrition from old milk and it may even taste bad to him.

Document how much you are feeding your 4-month-old. At this stage, he should be eating between 4 and 6 ounces per feeding. Since his stomach capacity has grown over these months, he may only require four or five feeds a day. Trying to feed him too frequently may result in bottle refusal.

Items you will need
  •  Bottle brush


  • Contact your pediatrician if you are still concerned about your baby’s refusal to take the bottle.

About the Author

Susan Revermann is a professional writer with educational and professional experience in psychology, research and teaching. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Washington in psychology, focused on research, motivational behavior and statistics. Revermann also has a background in art, crafts, green living, outdoor activities and overall fitness, balance and well-being.

Photo Credits

  • IT Stock Free/Polka Dot/Getty Images