HELP! DD wont take bottle? - Mothering Forums

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Old 12-17-2003, 02:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I just went back to work this week and my DD is 3 months old. Pumping is going fine. I have my own office and can just close and lock the door and I'm pumping plenty. Plus we have about 30 oz. of reserve in the freezer. But my DD just wont take it in a bottle.

My DH in between jobs, so he is being a SAHD until I finish working in April. Then I'll be the SAHM and he'll go back to work. But right now he's struggling to get DD to eat anything during the day. On Monday she only took about 3 oz. and on Tuesday she wouldn't take anything. We've tried different bottles and different nipples and she was doing okay when DH gave her the AVENT slow flow nipple last week, but now that I'm gone she wont take it. Then when I get home from work DH is frazzled because she's been either fussing because she's hungry or fussing because he's trying to give her a bottle, and DD is frantic at the breast. Then my poor DH has to cook dinner and do all the household chores in the evening too, because I can't help because DD wants to nurse all evening because she's soooo hungry.

I refuse to stop BF her since I only have to work for 4 more months, but the past 2 days have been though enough that I can't imagine getting through 4 months of this.

Any suggestions would be welcome!!!!

Thanks in advance,
Kate

Crunchy Mama to the Triad of Chaos-- DD1 (9/03) & the Twinadoes- DS and DD2 (6/06)
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Old 12-17-2003, 03:56 PM
 
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Hi! First, I want to say congratulations on pumping for your baby and your determination to continue to BF!

I know it can be hard for everyone when things need major adjustments, but my advice it to hang in there and see if things don't work themselves out on their own. The first week I went back in to work I was only part time but still DD had a few hard sessions trying to go to sleep without nursing. I was ready to quit work, worried she'd end up "crying it out". But instead she just adapted. She started napping earlier when she and DH are in the car (they drop me off at work in the morning). Some days she just doesn't nap at all. But she's none worse the wear for it, so it's okay. Babies do figure out what will work for them!

Anyways, my advice is for your DH to NOT PUSH THE ISSUE, otherwise it's going to make bottles associated with trauma for your baby. Second, why not try giving milk another way? Your baby may be able to take small sips of milk from a spoon, or dripped into her mouth. Now is also okay to let her play with a sippy cup and eventually she may be able to use it soon enough.

I know it must be hard for your DH, just reassure him. And it wouldn't hurt him to make dinner, LOL. When I come home from work, all I want to do is be with DD and she positively clings to me. So DH has to make dinner. I clean up after DD has gone to bed.

It won't last forever, I promise!

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Old 12-17-2003, 06:26 PM
 
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Wow! Great job with the pumping!

I agree, it's still early yet for your DD and DH to get their stride with the bottle. Your DD won't starve herself, though she may start making up the difference at night.

Have DH vary the position he holds DD in with the bottle. Some like the nursing position, some want to be facing away from the caretaker.

My DH had the best luck with giving our DD the bottle just as she was starting to wake up. He'd have it ready at her lips as she was starting to stir. On really bad days, DH would give it to her by dropper, blowing on her face to encourage a swallow reflex. He found he could feed her just enough to keep her happy that way.

Encourage your DH to keep her moving, going for walks or shopping. The distraction should help keep both of them sane.
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Old 12-17-2003, 06:40 PM
 
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My dd is ten months old but I can very clearly remember the trauma of returning to work when she was three months old and was refusing the bottle. She had taken it just fine until the week I had to go back to work and then she decided to have nothing to do with it. I was frantic. She went for ten hour days with just two ounces of milk delivered by a medicine dropper as she wouldn't suck on the bottle. I made sure that there were two people with her whenever possible--usually my au pair and my mother. It can be emotionally and physically exhausting when a baby is hungry but won't eat. I was so tired of people saying "she will eat when she is hungry." SHE WAS HUNGRY!

I agree with previous post about not forcing it. Once she starts crying I would stop trying so that she doesn't have a bad association. My dd went two week (three work days each week) without taking the bottle. Finally, my au pair had success feeding her just as she was falling asleep. She would cry herself to sleep and once she had stopped stirring, au pair would slip the bottle in her mouth and she would suck. She would hold her flat against her just like you would do with a little sleeping baby and then she would hold the bottle in the air over her head--it was not comfortable but it worked. If dd opened her eyes she would start to cry again! After awhile it seemed to become a game with dd pretending to fall asleep when she was hungry. This went on for a few more weeks before she finally gave up and just took the bottle.

Good luck. Hugs to you and your husband. Don't give up. Keep freezing all the milk you are pumping in case you need it later.

Mama to two wonderful daughers: 02/03/03 and 10/19/05
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Old 12-18-2003, 08:56 PM
 
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I second all that has been said about pumping. You are doing the best thing for your babe!!!

DP breastfeeds DS, but I am home with him most of the time, as she is a fulltime teacher. We had HUGE challenges with the bottle, but I wanted to report some strategies to you and mention that he has been a very solid bottle feeder ever since she "really" went back to work in September. I count him a hero for it and her an even bigger hero for pumping!

Strategies:
We practiced with the bottle every day once we figured out DS hated it. We would try and when he got upset, stop, so that he didn't have a bad association.

We used an orthodontic nipple. Something about the shape was easier for him at first. We later transitioned to Avent. I advocate buying as many different nipple shapes as you can to see what DD might prefer.

We often started out by putting a bit of the breastmilk on our finger, letting DS suck on it, then pulling out the finger and quickly slipping in the bottle. He then got the same thing from the bottle. This seemed to work on occasion.

We also tried dripping milk from the bottle onto DS's lips to get him into the milk, the giving the bottle.

The best method, however, was having my mother give him the bottle. She was SO calm with DS, not nervous like we were that he would never get it. Her patience was what did it -- he took the bottle with her for a few days straight during a family vacation, usually once or twice a day. I'd highly advocate having a non-parent try with DD.

Finally, just be persistent. Try on weekends, even though you're home. DD will definitely get it. When DS was with me and I thought he was hungry but didn't take the bottle, I wore him in a carrier, which was always sure to sooth him, as I think often he just wanted the soothing of breastfeeding, not the nutrient side of it. I'd urge DH to use some sort of carrier to help sooth DD.....

mostly, know that you are doing the right thing and DD will surely get it.

best of luck!
megin

Mommy to an amazing 8 year old, wife to an inspiring principal, and welcoming Wylie Grace! Our July 4th babe!
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Old 12-28-2003, 06:40 AM
 
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my (now 18mo) did the same thing. We were never able to get her to take a bottle. Ultimately what worked for us was re feeding was for dh to spoon feed her BM and cup feed her BM. He'd have her sit up in a bouncy chair or other inclined surface and give her bit at a time until she turned her head away.

Quite frankly I don't think my dh tried very hard, he figured that I had nothing better to do in the evenings than nurse dd.: So he'd drive her around in the car all afternoon until I got off of work.

I wish you best of luck but jic the bottle thing doesn't work, plan on doing lots of night nursing. simplify your evenings as much as possible, I'm talking eliminate all unnessary housework! Take out food and bagged lettuce is not a sin.:
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Old 12-29-2003, 01:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all the ideas-

So far, nothing else seems to be working. She took the Playtex nurser bottle once and then has refused it every other time. DH is probably going to try the spoon thing next.

My mom suggested giving her water from the bottle to keep her hydrated during the day and that she may just think that if the milk doesn't come from me, there must be something wrong with it. But I am apprehensive to give her anything but BM right now.

Thank goodness I only have 62 days of working left to go. And good thing she's home with my DH instead of at a daycare.

Kate

Crunchy Mama to the Triad of Chaos-- DD1 (9/03) & the Twinadoes- DS and DD2 (6/06)
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Old 12-29-2003, 08:09 PM
 
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I'm pretty sure that it is just fine to give a baby that age water (I think I heard that from that ladies at the WIC office). Normally they don't need water at that age so most people don't bother but in your case I don't see any harm in it, obviously nipple confusion isn't a prob, lol.

I can't remember what age they tell you to stop boiling-sterilizing water for formula but you might use that age as you guide to whether plain tap water is OK (like if you have well-water or whatever).

Anyway, tell DH to keep up the good work and help him find a comfortable (and masculine looking carrier, my dh loved the baby bijorn) so that they are comfortable and baby is not too fussy.

Remember your baby is choosing to refuse the bottle, if she was starving she wouldn't refuse. Congradulate yourself on having such a smart and decisive little girl, those qualities will serve her well later in life.
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Old 01-06-2004, 03:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for everyone's help.

Lorelai seems to just have her own ideas about how she is going to adjust to life with a working mummy. And they don't include a bottle. She sleeps more during the day and doesn't eat until I come home. Then we nurse about every 2 hours all night long. She's still gaining weight (15lbs now at 15 weeks old) and she pees like a champ. So I guess the best thing DH and I can do right now is just not worry so much. :

Kate

Crunchy Mama to the Triad of Chaos-- DD1 (9/03) & the Twinadoes- DS and DD2 (6/06)
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Old 01-06-2004, 04:59 PM
 
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Yup your little girl sounds just like mine. The good thing about reverse cycle nursing is that you may be able to quit pumping much earlier that you would otherwise. Just be sure to take your vitamins and eat properly so that you can still function during the day.
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Old 02-25-2004, 12:37 PM
 
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We had a similar problem when DS was little, he absolutely refused to take a bottle, no matter how many nipples we tried. But at about that age, we had success with the Avent sippy cup--they have a soft spout that they recommend for 3 mos +. I started out without the valve in the spout til he got the idea, then put the valve back in (no spilling!). It worked really well for us. He would also take it from a little medicine measuring cup, but that was messier. Of course, he's 11 months now, and he will take a bottle if I'm not around, but until he was about 8 months, it was boob, sippy cup or nothing!
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