OK ladies I need advice. I just started back to work. My baby is 3 months old. We have been EBF and around 2 weeks before I started back at work we began trying to get her to take expressed milk from a bottle. She took 2 oz once, and that's it. She refuses all the nipples we have tried, tommee tipee, avent, medela (regular and calma), playtex latex, gerber, nuk. We heat the milk up, get the nipple warm, we've tried different positions... We kept hearing she'll take it if she's hungry enough, so we weren't super worried. She is home with my DH today and so far has gone 8 hours without eating. I still have another 3hrs of work to go.....Can they even go that long? I'm at work freaking out, and wondering if I should take my lunch and go home and nurse her, or will she eventually take a bottle? How long can they go without getting dehyrated? He said he's been trying all day and she's just screaming and will eventually fall asleep, but then wakes up and cries again. I'm in tears imagining my poor baby starving...this is awful. Anyone ever encountered this? What did you do?
Getting baby to take a bottle
i went to school when my DD1 was about a year. so she had to learn bottle that way. i took her and whole fam to NYC for the first few sessions so i could nurse her, but she basically went all day happily (at 10 months) and waited for me. Hubby figured if she was happy, then we'd figure it out (she did fuss, she's just fall asleep in the sling, and wake up and carry happily for a while then get hungry and fuss to sleep). she'd nurse all night, and then do it again. that lasted 2 weekends (four days total of 8-10 hours away).
when i went w/out her, i was terrified b/c i thought she wouldn't take the bottle. she did. i did 9 months of school, hubby had kids 2 weekends a month, and she was totally fine w/ it.
here's hoping she figures it out soon. i do believe if she's hungry enough she'll figure it out. but if you need to get home to relieve hubby and feed baby for your mental well-being, then do so!!! i think this is a call on your part. you're not being a neglectful parent, it's just a hard transition. so blessings on you and yours!!!
Check out Kellymom.com for a whole slew of advice on how to get babies to take a bottle. Generally, you keep trying and expect some "reverse cycling" which means you can expect a lot of night time feeding, which is what my first daughter did while I worked 12 hours shifts. She'd eat 2-3 ounces at a time (which is actually normal for a breastfed baby---read about that on kellymom too) but not always, and often just enough to keep her from being frantic. Then we'd nurse all night long. It was rough for awhile but temporary.
After 9+ hours she took about 2 ounces and kept screaming. I got home that night from work and my husband was totally tapped out, and LO was exhausted, lethargic, and hoarse from crying all day. I cried the whole time I nursed her and then she was up every hour or so nursing that night. (prior to that day she had been sleeping through the night) After that we decided to meet somewhere at lunch each day, so she could at least not have to go all day. She's still pretty fussy for him especially right before we meet for lunch and right before I come home. She has taken one or two ounces from him but it's rare and there's no telling when she'll take it. One day she will, the next day no way!
I feel heartbroken and have talked to my boss about how difficult the transition has been and possibly quitting. She's really awesome and has offered to request more unpaid leave from our executive director (I already used up the 12 weeks they are required to give me), and to possibly work with me on some kind of modified schedule. They've been great about me nursing at lunch, but I have to say I am kind of leaning towards having DH go back to full time work and staying home. I have never been so conflicted in my life.
So we generally had a pretty eager bottle feeder up until this past week. He was only getting a few a week but it was always fine. Then something shifted. Last week we left him with the grandparents and came home to find baby hysterical and refusing to take the bottle. DH tried too and no luck. I tested every nipple and read all kinds of stuff and finally tried Grandma's suggestion of giving him a bottle first thing in the morning and before he's crying as opposed to in the evening when he's less happy and is crying for food. Success! I had no idea the time of day and his mood was such a factor for him. I don't know if that's a stone left unturned but I thought I'd pass Grandma's advice along. We'll be doing morning bottles and slowly working our way back to afternoon and evening ones with fingers firmly crossed.
Dh and I are leaving kids with MIL tomorrow night to go see Star Trek.... I pumped 2 oz and will try to do another pumping session of 2 oz before tomorrow. We have born free bottles. We will see if he takes them. We will be gone 3-4 hours..... Hope it goes well. Will be our first time trying him on a bottle.