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HELP!! Won't take ant bottle!

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
I must return to work 2 days a week and have been expressing milk for a while. My sweet 10 week old daughter, however, refuses to accept the bottles we've offered. She drank ONCE from a Dr. Brown's and ONCE from a Playtex nurser. Avent made her gag, and the only way I had success was to "bait and switch" from breast to bottle. The one day I HAD to leave her with my husband for 3 hours we had to resort to an eyedropper. It worked...the first time, but not the second. She knows it's mom's milk, but refuses the source if it's not actually from mom. We've tried not having me there, having me there, letting her be really hungry, letting her be not so hungry....any suggestions for introducing this new "device" and helping her adjust?:
post #2 of 12
Leslie: this is a frustrating problem for lots of moms, and you sound really worried...have you tried contacting LLL? Or your pump rental person? they would be able to help you or your caregiver through this.(www.lalecheleague.org)

There are lots of techniques you can use to help her take the milk; sounds like you have tried some of them. I have some more suggestions from a LLL conference I attended last fall:

1. Wrap the baby in one of your nighties (one you've worn) when you offer the bottle so she can smell you.

2. Don't put the bottle nipple in the baby's mouth; lay it alongsdie her mouth and let her pull it in herself, or tickle her mouth with the nipple to get her to open wide.

3. Try different bottle niplples; you know the Avent doens't work. Keep trying til you find one that she can handle. It's probably the difference of flow that upsets her as much as your absence.

4. I thought this one was interesting: for many babies, it works best to imitate the breastfeeding posture as much as possible; for others, the opposite is true. They prefer to face OUT from the caregiver, with their back against his or her chest, to take the bottle

5. Sometimes moving around while you offer the bottle can be calmingto the baby.

6. Put the nipple in her mouth when she is sleeping.

7. Offer her breast milk by spoon, cup, or eyedropper, as you have done...

Good luck.
post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks for some suggestions. Some I have tried (the nursing posture, the holding away from me). She seems interested in playing with the nipples if she's already been nursed. Then she gets a taste of the milk, but soon starts to cry (confused maybe?)

Our pedicatrician suggested trying slightly sweet water to get her intrigued by something new, then switching to breastmilk. Not sure I like this idea--she's only 10 weeks old. At least he didn't say try formula! He also said it usually takes about 2 weeks of trying before they "get it." We're 1 week into this, so far. Guess I'll keep some cotton handy for the ears....

Maybe I'll try the nightie-wrap next--or have my husband give it a try. Ultimately we've got to find SOME way to feed her while I'm away, but I don't think my caregiver would have the ability to do eyedroppers....talk about tedious!

Thanks for your help
post #4 of 12
have you thought about letting your DH finger feed her?

can't remember the exacts, but basically you get a bag and tube from the doc and have DD suck on a finger (probably the pinky) and get milk that way.

this would also eliminate the nipple confusion also.

You could also try cup feeding, you get a very soft cup that can bend and then pour small (very small) amounts of milk at a time on your DD's bottom lip and let her natually suck it down, or I have heard that many babies will lap up milk from a cup like a kitten.

Also, Breastfed babies start to suck when something touches their lips, and a bottle nipple first touches the back of the hard pallat (sp?) so this may feel like it is gagging her. if you are determined to use a bottle, then I would also suggest only putting the bottle nipple up to her lips at first and letting her suck it in.

post #5 of 12
I went back to work when DD was 12 weeks old. We had NO luck with any artificial nipple. We could use a cup, but even then she'd only take a couple of ounces. I'd be gone 8 hours and she'd hardly eat a thing. She made up for it after I got home and nursed frequently at night. When she was 5 months old I quit working to be a sahm. I didn't have to worry about bottles any more.
post #6 of 12
I agree w/ MammaV.

My dd never took a bottle, so I was a SAHM. The same for her two brothers.

W/ #4, I nursed, but put a bottle in his mouth and there were plenty of willing arms to feed him.

I nursed him for a year. I was always very "full" at the end of my eight hour shift and could not wait to nurse him emotionally and physically.
post #7 of 12
Had this difficulty with my dd too. We had been working at cups with her til we tried the Adiri breast bottle which she has done very well with, to our surprise. And practice with that has helped.
post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 
I wondered if anyone had success with that breast-bottle. I ordered one while trapped at home in the snow...hope it shows up soon! The sahm option isn't really viable for me; I've already made all the schedule adjustments I can and keep bread on the table--and the two days I'll be out will be long days away from babe, so she must take SOMETHING or be a total mess by the time I get home. Given that she did actually drink twice from two different types of bottles, then refused later tries, I'm guessing it's a preference-thing. She can do it, just chooses not to right now....gotta find a good motivator...on the bright side, she's making me feel really special right now
post #9 of 12
The air valve didn't work well on my original breast bottle, but with the newer ones I got they've been made better. It took a bit of practice learning to use the bottle for both of us - I need to work a little to maintain enough pressure inside the bottle for dd so it's firm-ish and doesn't collapse. Bottle comes with directions for this, but it's not as easy as a standard bottle. DD mouths more than she sucks with any kind of bottle introduced and would gag on long nipples, which is why this one worked for us.
post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the info--I'll keep it in mind as I try to decypher the instructions. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it will be the magic one. I guess after having one child that would take ANY nipple--mine, any bottle or pacifier--I never imagined it would be such a challenge with baby number 2. Frustrating as this is I am grateful she is nursing well...
post #11 of 12
I use the evenflo ultra nipple with regular evenflo glass bottles. I learned the hard way that a baby needs to "know" a bottle. I was very ill in hospital for 4 days when ds1 was 11 months old. There was no way I could nurse, he went for 4 days without anything! He refused all bottles, solid foods, everything. He was a wreck by the time I got home and could nurse him again. With my last two babies I made sure they had/have a bottle of ebm at least once or twice a week to keep them in practice. Best wishes!!

post #12 of 12
Just a thought for you - my ds would NOT under any circumstances take a bottle from me. If I was not to near he would do it for my dh after a lot of work. I work 2-3 days a week since ds was 3 mo old and he loves the bottle from daddy now. The funny thing- ds won't take a bottle from the babysitter if my dh is in the room! he knows it's a daddy thing I guess. babies are so smart!
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