We gave Atticus a bottle periodically around weeks 4-6, to make sure he'd take it. Once he was able to eat from the bottle, we forgot to keep it up...and now he hates it. I've left him alone with my husband a few times, and we've left him with my mom for a few date nights, and he just screams the entire time either of them try to feed him. I know he won't starve - once he's hungry enough, he'll eat, even if it's from the bottle. But how do we make things easier for my mom & husband in the meantime? He is a LOUD screamer, so it's a pretty miserable experience for them. And I'm going back to work next week, so they're going to have their hands full. He also hates pacifiers, but loves stuffing his hand in his mouth, so I think he just prefers sucking on skin to plastic. Anyone have tips or suggestions?
Getting the baby on the bottle
Could they try a cup or a spoon? My baby hates pacifiers too but does like certain toys that act like pacifiers while supervised (I say this since my kid likes to stick thhings over his whole face) in a way rather than his hands. Here are some ideas:
Edited by Sol_y_Paz - 11/19/12 at 3:51am
Oh, I feel for you. My older daughter never really did take a bottle, even after I went back to work, causing tons of stress for all concerned. This time around, it's been better but still hit or miss--some days my baby will take it no problem something my older daughter never did, but then other days she wants nothing to do with it.
FWIW, here's a copy of an email I wrote to a friend about the issue a while back, when she was stressing about returning to work when her son didn't take a bottle:
Ohh, the bottle dilemma. Yup, we definitely went through this,
and it is really stressful. I can only give you one piece
of certain advice--you will be able to return to work, and P will
not starve! Really, one way or another he’s going to get the milk he
needs. But I know that when you are in the middle of it, it doesn’t
always feel like that.
So, other advice, since I have spent way too much time thinking and
reading about this and talking to my friends who babies were going
through the same thing. It seems like there are basically three types
of kids (putting aside those magical babies that just take to a bottle
immediately ;)). Some babies, it’s just a matter of trying lots of
different variables. So if you haven’t already, I’d try just about
whatever variation you can think of—different bottles (the Playtex
drop-ins with rubber nipples worked best for us), different types of
nipples (the trick is to match to your flow, so if like me you have a
really fast flow, you actually will probably have better luck with a
fast flow nipple made for older babies), warm v. cold, freshly pumped
milk v. frozen, daddy v. mommy v. someone else giving the bottle,
hungry v. less hungry, different positions (being held, while in a
swing or seat--this actually worked best for Annabelle, walking
around). One of those or some combination just might do the trick.
Oh, and I found that filing bottles with only an ounce or two while we
were trying all this was really helpful so I didn’t feel like I was
wasting so much precious milk.
Then there are a large number of babies who none of this will seem to
work for, but when you go back to work, all it will take is a day or
two for them to realize that you are gone, and they take to the bottle
like a champ and never look back. This is actually really common. So,
while you shouldn’t give up on offering the bottle over the next few
weeks, don’t make yourself too crazy about it, and just figure that
even if he’s only ever had an ounce of milk there is a definitely
possibility that he’ll just start drinking tons one you go back.
And then there are babies, like my little girl, who nope, don’t
really have a magical transformation when mom goes back to work. But
even then, we got through it with no harm done. Basically we continued
to do a mix of trying different variables, and also introduced a
regular cup (she was about 5 months old). Obviously you have to hold a
regular cup for the baby, but they can actually lap it up from pretty
early, and overall she ended up liking a cup better than a
bottle. We liked the silicone cups for a good mix of flexibility,
strength, and safety. She tried a sippy cup too, but this didn’t work
so well at this age—most of the “no-spill” ones are really hard to get
anything out of. Eventually she started taking about 4-8 oz a day
in a mix between a cup and a bottle. (Oh and she liked a spoon too,
although that doesn’t really get you quantity). She never seemed
hungry or upset during the day. The rest of the milk she got when I
was home—I’d feed her in the mornings and evenings (at first twice in
the morning and twice in the evening) as well as during the night (We
co-slept so it was actually not too bad for my sleep). This is common
enough to have a name—reverse cycling. I know it’s not for everyone,
but it actually worked out fine for me, in some ways all that contact
when I was home was a blessing in that it made being away for work
easier to deal with. Since I didn’t mind it, I didn’t try to change
it (until she was around 1 and I did start to mind the night nursing).
And eventually, they start eating more solids and needing less milk
anyway. That said, if night nursing is not something you are open
too, I’m pretty confident that the baby will still eventually figure
out a way, one way or another, to get in enough calories.
(Post script, my friend's baby took a bottle the first day she went back to work and was completely fine after that)
I feel your pain, though for different reasons. Due to tongue tie, Baby Bird *couldn't* take a bottle. I know there's a lot of stuff about moms giving up on breastfeeding because of tongue tie, but for whatever reason, it was totally the opposite for us - he could nurse fine, no pain to me, but a bottle was an absolute impossibility. We didn't try giving him a bottle until 8 weeks, and it didn't work. We got the tongue-tie diagnosis a few days later. We've been working with a speech pathologist for three weeks now. Due to tongue and lip tie (found that one later), he has poor muscle tone in his mouth, and uncoordinated sucking. He also has a really strong gag reflex. So we're working to correct all those things so he can actually suck on a bottle. Luckily, I'm not going back to work, so he doesn't *have* to take a bottle. Unluckily, I'm losing my mind from never getting a break from him. But he eats every 2-3 hours during the day, so it's very hard to leave him. (He can't take a pacifier for the same reasons.) So yeah, I hate leaving him with someone if there's even the slightest chance of him getting hungry.
We are making progress with the exercises, and since dh is home all this week, we are going to work really hard to see if we can get the bottle thing working for us.
Miri won't take a bottle yet either. Granted, we haven't tried terribly hard, but she just hates anything but mom in her mouth! She has a strong gag reflex, too. I left her with DH for 2 hours the other day and a warm bottle, and she was fine for the first hour, but then got hungry. He tried all sorts of things to get her to take it, but she wasn't interested. So she basically screamed for an hour. She ended up swallowing a bunch of air, was fussy for the rest of the afternoon, then projectile vomited her dinner because of the air bubbles I couldn't get. Ugh. Poor baby.
So yeah, I'm with you Monkey on the needing to get away thing! 2.5 hours is the longest I have been without kids in the past 4 months. Eek!
I think we're next going to just try using a cup. And if that doesn't work, then just suck it up and wait until she is doing solids in another couple months. Its really such a short period of time... it just feels like forever!!!!
One thing that my mom has found successful is wearing short sleeves while feeding him - she holds him in the cradle position, and lets him suck on her arm by her elbow. While he's doing that, she sort of slips the bottle in at the corner of his mouth. It sort of tricks him into thinking he's sucking on skin.