My Nine-Month-Old Will Not Drink His Bottle

Feeding your baby is one of your most important jobs as a parent, and for that reason it can also be a huge source of stress if your baby won't eat. Around the age of 9 months, some babies show resistance to drinking their bottle. At this age, most babies have started eating solid foods, but should still drink from a bottle most of the time. If your baby is fighting drinking his bottle, you may be able to figure out the reasons why and solve the problem.

Refusing Bottle (Image: Purestock/Purestock/Getty Images)

Short-term Health Issues

Sudden refusals to drink from a bottle at 9 months of age may indicate the onset of a health problem. Ear infections are common in infants, and refusing to drink from a bottle may indicate that an ear infection is present. Sucking from a bottle exercises the jaw muscles, which may cause related ear pain. Teething and other illnesses, including the common cold, may also cause your baby to push away the bottle.

Milk Issues

Check the contents of the bottle to make sure that the taste is right. Subtle changes in the taste of a bottle's contents can make your child refuse to drink it. Formula can be mixed improperly or with bad-tasting water, for example, or breastmilk could have absorbed refrigerator or freezer odors from storage.

Too Many Solids

Have you recently increased the amount of solid food your baby eats? At 9 months of age, formula or breastmilk should still provide the greatest percentage of his nutrition, and solid foods should be mostly for introduction purposes to other tastes. If he is eating too many solid foods, it may be displacing room in his appetite that should be satisfied by formula or breastmilk instead.

Weaning to Sippy Cup

Children eventually need to wean from the bottle to a sippy cup, and 9 months is a normal age to begin this process. Some children may have outgrown the practice of drinking from a bottle, especially if they are frequently around older children who do not drink bottles. Because formula or breastmilk is the important aspect of bottle feeding, you may want to have your child make a transition from a bottle to a sippy cup instead.

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