What To Do If the Baby Is Chewing on Bottle Instead of Drinking?

When your baby starts nursing, they will need to drink a lot of milk. While breastfeeding, your baby will naturally suck on your breast and drink the milk. If your baby is bottle-fed, you may notice that they are not drinking as much as they should.

Your baby may be chewing on the bottle instead of drinking from it. Chewing on a bottle can prevent your baby from getting enough milk and can also lead to tooth decay. Parents seem to be super worried about this issue.

Almost every woman faces a common challenge during motherhood, which is when a baby chews the bottle instead of drinking. Well, if you ask us, feeding milk to the baby using a bottle is a tough job and it requires special skills.

Normally, your infant will not seem to understand that the bottle is for sucking, not for soothing or chewing. Your baby won’t care even if it looks so lovely and cute. So it is very frustrating, especially when you are trying to feed the baby breast milk.

So, we are here to show you what to do when the baby is not drinking anything from the bottle but instead chewing it.

Things to do when your baby chews on bottle nipple instead of drinking

When your baby starts chewing on the nipple of a bottle, it’s not always clear what to do. You can try a few things to help get your baby drinking from a bottle again.

  • First, ensure the nipple is wetted adequately before giving it to your baby. Second, try putting the nipple in your baby’s mouth and letting him or her suck on it to see if he or she wants to start drinking from a bottle again.
  • Try changing the position of the nipple on the bottle. Put a pacifier on the bottle nipple to help distract your baby from it. (You can also use a teething ring or soft toothbrush.) Put the nipple in your baby’s mouth and see if he or she will suck on it again.
  • Make sure you use a nipple that is the right size for your baby. Check the label to see how many ounces of liquid your baby can get from each ounce of the nipple. 
  • If your baby is sucking on the bottle nipple and seems to want to drink, try replacing it with a different nipple. Remove the nipple from your baby’s mouth and wash it with soap and water. Then let your baby suck on the clean nipple for a few minutes before giving him or her fresh milk.
  • Try offering your baby different kinds of milk or you may make baby formula milk taste better. Fourth, put a pacifier in front of the baby’s mouth when drinking from a bottle.
  • If these things don’t help, you may need to consult with a pediatrician about other options.

Why The Baby Chews On The Bottle Nipple Instead Of Drinking

Why The Baby Chews On The Bottle Nipple Instead Of Drinking

Bottle nipples are designed to be sucked on, and babies instinctively suck on them when they are hungry or thirsty.

If a baby is not getting enough milk from breastfeeding, or if their nursing is interrupted, they may turn to suck on the bottle nipple to get some milk.

This can cause problems because the nipple can become worn down and easily broken off, leading to SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome).

Also, babies often chew on bottle nipples because they are teething. The teeth may be coming through, and the baby is trying to get a grip on something.

Babies also chew on bottle nipples because they are upset or bored. They may chew on bottle nipples because they are thirsty or hungry.

You can see certain behavior changes in your baby while he is not drinking from the bottle rather he is busy chewing it. We are here to show you some common reasons why your baby is showing this certain behavior.

Eye contact with your baby matters

When it comes to feeding your baby with a bottle, you might be wondering if it’s best to make eye contact. After all, you probably want to create a bond with your little one.

The truth is, there isn’t really a right or wrong answer. Some parents find that their baby seems to eat better when they make eye contact, while others find that their baby doesn’t seem to mind either way.

If you’re not sure what to do, you can always try making eye contact for a few feedings and see how your baby responds. If your baby seems to be more relaxed and content, then you can continue doing it.

But if your baby seems to be fussier, then you might want to try not making eye contact. Ultimately, it’s up to you and your baby. Just do whatever feels right for the two of you.

Introducing Bottle-Feeding To Your Baby

If your baby refuses to drink from the bottle, it is because you might have introduced your baby to a bottle. This could happen if the baby gets used to breastfeeding and doesn’t want to stop breastfeeding. This could also happen if you use both ways (bottle feed and breastfeed) to feed your baby.

Not Liking The Nipple

Breastfed babies often become picky about the size and shape of the nipple. The nipple needs to be comfortable and soft, which will make them feel like the breast. Not to forget, the flow of the nipple is also very important.

So, when the nipple is not providing sufficient flow of the milk and if the baby finds the nipple hard or not to their liking, they will most probably try to bite or chew the bottle instead of drinking.

Altering The Milk Prep Routine

Babies are susceptible to the temperature of the milk. So, with any minor change from their regular temperature, they will reject or chew the bottle nipple instead of drinking. It would be good if you warm the milk a bit before feeding as breastfed babies prefer body temperature breastmilk.

If The Baby Is Sick

If your baby is sick, then you might witness some change in his bottle-feeding behavior. If the baby has a fever or catches a cold, he might chew or bite the bottle. So, once the baby gets better, it will start drinking again like the regular feeding routine.

If The Baby Is Teething

If a baby bites the bottle nipple at six months or beyond, chances are he is teething. Though, many babies start teething at the age of 4 months. So, if the baby is teething, they have a strong desire to chew on everything they get to ease their gum pressure.

Feeding Them In Private

When a baby becomes aware of his surroundings, he will get distracted while feeding by anything happening in his environment. Once he reaches a certain level, he will want to watch you or other faces while feeding; he would love to hold the toys.

He will show more interest in the surroundings than in drinking from the bottle. Hence, he will chew or bite the nipple instead of drinking.

When The Baby Is Not Hungry

A very normal and simple reason could be the baby is not hungry, and if they are not hungry, they will chew the bottle instead of finishing it. So, a mother needs to know about the baby’s capability and set the expectation according to it when it comes to feeding.

How To Stop The Baby From Chewing The Bottle Nipple

If your baby is not drinking from a bottle or sippy cup as desired, one possible cause may be that the baby is chewing on the nipple or mouthpiece. Chewing can damage the appliance and, eventually, no milk being drawn from it.

baby chewing on bottle nipple instead of drinking

You can take steps to stop your baby from biting the bottle’s nipple. So, let’s take a look at them-

Ensuring A Friendly Feeding Environment

The first and one of the most important things you need to do is to ensure a friendly feeding environment. Just like adults, babies also enjoy their food when the environment is good.

If you show any sign of stress, babies can also pick up the stress, so you need to show your composure in these situations. Make sure the environment is very relaxing and comfortable for the baby. How about you play a nice lullaby or a soothing song? You can also dim the light a bit.

Change The Nipple Of The Bottle

As we said earlier, babies are very picky about the size and feel of the nipple. So, try different types of nipples and see which one fits with your baby’s choice. The good thing is, there are so many options for you in the market.

If the baby is used to a pacifier, then buy a nipple just like a pacifier. You can try different flow nipples, some babies like high flow, and some of them like slow flow.

Let The Father Do The Job

Breastfed babies aren’t so familiar with bottles. That’s why they don’t feel comfortable taking the bottle from the mother. The baby may stop drinking and start chewing the nipple if he can sense the mother nearby.

So, it would be better if the mom leaves the room for some time and let the father do the job instead. In most cases, if anyone apart from the mother feeds the baby with a bottle, the baby will take it.

Give A Boring Room Trial

Babies easily get distracted by their surroundings, especially when they get distracted while feeding. So, they decide to bite the bottle nipple. Take your baby away from all the commotions and sit in a peaceful room.

Find The Cause Of Their Behavior

Find the reason why your baby is chewing the nipple instead of drinking. What can be the cause? Is he fine, or is he just teething? Are they going through a social promotion stage, or do they want autonomy?

Think about recent changes that have been made in the family that is causing the baby to behave like this. If you can find that change and settle it down, you will see your baby drinking from the bottle again.

Different Preferences In The Formula

As we said earlier, babies are very sensitive to the temperature of the milk. They might be biting the nipple to get the right temperature. Even though some babies are good with the cold temperature of the milk, many likes to have it at the body temperature of the mother.

Warm the milk a bit before feeding it to the baby. You can examine with different temperatures and see which one works for your baby.

Never Force The Baby To Drink From The Bottle

You can help them take the nipple in their mouth but never push the nipple into their gums. This can put the baby in an uncomfortable position, and also it can irritate the baby. If the baby gets upset and doesn’t take the bottle, then take a break. Try again later.

Keeping The Baby In The Correct Position

The baby’s correct and proper position is vital while feeding him with a bottle, and it can stop the baby from chewing the nipple. We suggest the best position for the baby while feeding with a bottle is to hold the baby upright. Just make sure the baby’s body is in a straight line and his head is in a straight position.

Pro tips

Put a piece of cloth between the bottle nipple and the baby’s mouth when drinking from a bottle. This will help discourage chewing

Use a pacifier instead of a bottle when breastfeeding during the first few weeks or months. Pacifiers are less likely to be chewed and may help promote breastfeeding. The pacifier is smart if you plan to supplement your baby’s milk with formula. A pacifier will help prevent the baby from biting and sucking on the nipple.

Cutting a small hole in the nipple or mouthpiece to make them more comfortable for your baby.

If you are still breastfeeding, use a nipple shield rather than a bottle. A nipple shield is silicone and designed to fit in the baby’s mouth. The silicone pad will prevent your baby from licking and biting the nipple.

The baby bottle market is expanding according to research, so you may try out a bottle that your baby will love to suck!


Is it safe for Baby chewing on the bottle?

Do you ever worry that your baby is chewing on a bottle? According to some experts, it’s perfectly safe for babies to do so. 

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) says that “Bottle-feeding provides nutrition and protects against choking hazards and infections [and] encourages breastfeeding.” 

If you’re still concerned, however, you can do a few things to ensure your baby is getting all the nutrients she needs from her bottle. 

How do I get my baby to drink from a bottle?

There are plenty of options available for getting your baby to drink from a bottle, but the right one for your child may depend on his or her temperament and preference. 

If your baby is fussy or doesn’t like being held closely, try using a sippy cup first. Give your child fluids orally every two to three hours during the day, depending on their age, weight, and activity level. 

Try different bottles and nipples; some babies prefer silicone types while others prefer traditional rubber nipples.

It’s important to keep trying different methods until you find what works best for your little one!

Is it OK to force a bottle into a baby’s mouth?

Parents of babies often face the dilemma of whether or not to force a bottle into their child’s mouth. Some feel it is necessary for the baby to get enough milk, while others think it is coercive and abusive. There are pros and cons to forcing a bottle, but ultimately the decision comes down to personal preference.


Baby chewing on bottles is a big problem because it can lead to tooth decay and, eventually, milk refusal. Chewing on a bottle can also interfere with the baby’s ability to learn how to drink from a cup or bottle. Try keeping your baby safe and know what to do to stop the baby from chewing the bottle.

We have stated some common reasons why your baby is biting the nipple instead of drinking from it. We have also highlighted some tricks to stop this behavior.

Don’t give up quickly if the tricks aren’t working. It will take some time; keep trying other ways until you find the right way to stop your baby from chewing the bottle nipple. Good luck then.

Sarah, a health writer and editor since 2014, is an adoring wife and dedicated mother to 2 daughters and 1 son. As the creator of Babies Plannet, she combines her extensive expertise with her maternal dedication to provide essential care and safety advice for infants, nurturing their well-being and happiness. Her writing explores topics like fitness, pregnancy, and women's healthy lifestyles.

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