Will bottle-feeding cause nipple confusion in a newborn?

Q. My 4-month-old baby starts crying when I take him near breast for feeding. Kindly help me.

Answered by
Dr. Rakesh Radheshyam Gupta
and medically reviewed by Dr. Sushrutha Muralidharan
This is a premium question & answer published on Jul 18, 2021

Hi doctor,

I have a 4 months old baby boy. For 20 days, my baby is refusing breast milk. He cries whenever I bring my breast near him and turns his face away. He is not resuming breastfeeding even after many different methods I tried searching online for help. So, I am feeding him with Nan pro formula. What is the cause for him to refuse breast milk and wants only the formula? Should I completely stop breastfeeding? Kindly give your opinion.



Welcome to icliniq.com.

Are you latching your baby properly? Also, look for oral thrush, etc., which causes pain while feeding. If you are using a bottle to feed your baby, this can also cause nipple confusion, and the baby would not take direct feeding.

Please answer the questions so that I can guide you accordingly.

Hi doctor,

Thank you.

Yes, latching is proper. But my baby cries and does not like to come near my breast whenever I try to breastfeed. So I had to bottle feed my baby. He is on formula milk. Kindly help me.



Welcome back to ilciniq.com.

It would help if you tried to give express breast milk. Take out in a bowl and give with a spoon. Also, if the baby takes bottle feeding, he may not like to take directly from the breast as breastfeeding takes effort.

Stop bottle feeding. Give by spoon expressed breast milk. Put your baby to the breast daily gradually. He will learn to suck. I hope this was helpful.

Hi doctor,

Thank you.

I have tried all methods to breastfeed my baby. He simply does not like to come near the breast and refuses. He cries and screams a lot. I am not able to enjoy motherhood because of this, and I am getting a lot of stress due to this. I am feeling to get detached from my baby. Kindly help me.



Welcome back to ilciniq.com.

Probably he has nipple confusion and developed a habit of bottle feed. Keep patience. It would help if you gave breastmilk by spoon. Also, stress may lower your milk formation. Be positive. Gradually he would learn to suck directly. Keep trying. I hope this was helpful.

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