returning to work in three weeks...son wants nothing to do with the bottle - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 12 Old 02-04-2010, 04:32 PM - Thread Starter
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I want to enjoy the last three weeks of my maternity leave, but I'm finding myself increasingly anxious that my son is still stubbornly refusing to take a bottle. He is three months old and we've been trying every day/other day since 9 weeks and he just won't have it. Husband, aunties, grandmas - everyone has struck out.

At the advice of our lactation expert - we picked one bottle (Adiri) and stuck with that instead of constantly trying something new. But I'm doubting that now.

My first child took to the bottle with absolutely no problems. So this is new territory for me.

I've heard of reverse cycling, but the thought of that little sleep terrifies me especially when I need to be functioning for work. We tried co-sleeping and the little man gets so much more sleep when he's in his own space.

Any advice from those who have BTDT? What else can we try??? BTW- I am not close enough to feed him at lunch. He will be cared for by my inlaws that are 55 minutes from my office. If we do cup feeding - any cup recommendations?

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#2 of 12 Old 02-04-2010, 05:17 PM
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we had to experiment w/different bottles - only the wide mouth dr browns worked - so we used that for 1 week until we could sort of reliably get him on the medela bottles i had stocked up on.

not to sound insensitive, but hunger & necessity help...

maybe you could try a sippy even or cup?

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#3 of 12 Old 02-04-2010, 06:11 PM
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my older son magically took the bottle with zero problems. my younger son never really did, and we tried all kinds of nipples and a dropper and a spoon and . . . it just never happened. i don't think you should blame yourself if he doesn't go for it, because some babies just won't.

i was able to breastfeed on my lunch hour. that was about 3.5 or 4 hours after his last morning feeding before i went to work. then in the afternoons, he would maybe take an ounce or two at best, until i got home and fed him, and that was like 5.5 to 6 hours (from lunch to after work). he cluster fed through the evening, before bedtime. i'm sure he nursed plenty at night too, but i didn't really notice or care - we were cosleeping and it didn't really disrupt my sleep to feed him. our family doctor was not concerned about his refusal to take the bottle, as she went through the same thing with one of her daughters, and my son was gaining weight, peeing/pooping and was happy. she said babies will not starve themselves. once we introduced solids, he would no longer take any milk from the bottle whatsoever. he's now almost 3yo and still happily nursing away. maybe your guy will decide to take the bottle when he sees that you're gone all day, but if he doesn't, i just want you to know you guys will get through it!
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#4 of 12 Old 02-04-2010, 06:38 PM
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No real advice, just commiseration. I went back to work when my first son was 5 months old. He never took to a bottle and would just feed all night. It was not a pleasant experience, and I was very happy when he was able to have more food via solids. He also went almost straight to sippy cups and straws, though I don't think he ever took breastmilk that way.

I'm due with #2 right now and am hoping to have a smoother transition. I won't be working full-time anytime soon, but will need to be away for 3 hours at a time on occasion fairly early on.

Fingers crossed for you that getting into the routine and daytime hunger will win your guy over!
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#5 of 12 Old 02-04-2010, 06:43 PM
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can your mom or another friend come stay with you for a long weekend and do all the feedings while you sit outside.

that's what it took for us. after 3 days we were ok

but i had to be out of the house
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#6 of 12 Old 02-04-2010, 07:58 PM
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Have you tried being completely out of the house? One of my kids would never, ever take a bottle if I was anywhere in the house or even in the backyard. But if I were gone she was much better. I had the most luck with the Avent bottles.
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#7 of 12 Old 02-04-2010, 09:30 PM
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Try every single bottle you can find, nipple, anything, there may be one magical one he likes. Try warming up the nipple in warm water first so it is more pliable. Try different feeding positions, the typical bottle feeding one doesn't always work with BF babies because they think in that position they should be getting a breast! I've had some babies that would only a bottle sitting in a bouncy facing away from caregiver, try positions any position you can think of. This one is key, get an experienced bottle feeder to try but it sounds like you have done that one already. Wrap the bottle in something that smells like you, the shirt you slept in last night is great one. Try different milk temperatures, obviously not too hot but even try an little cooler then you normally would. Make sure that baby isn't too full or too hungry when you are trying. A hungry baby is not one that wants to learn anything new. He may end up taking one later when you are gone because of hunger, but he may not either.

If everything fails then there is always a syringe, eye dropper or cup. Reverse cycling is a definite possibility. And for next time or anyone else reading about tips, 9 weeks is late to be introducing a bottle if baby has to have one. BTDT myself, somehow the weeks just flew by and then I was never able to get mine to take one. And then I did it again the next time as well. And um got the 3rd to take one for several months but then slacked off during a month I wasn't working and he forgot so obviously I need to take my own advice! But by 9 weeks there is a definite nipple preference, not to say that some babies still won't learn to take a bottle at that age but in all the nursing mothers/babies I have worked with over the years, that is not the case with the majority of them.

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#8 of 12 Old 02-20-2010, 10:43 PM
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How is the temperament of your child?

My son refused bottles of all kinds from 1 week old to 7 months old. I worked 10, 16, or 24 hr shifts, oh so fun! He would go half the day and the sitter I arranged for the first month would tote him up for a feed and he would tank up! Of course by time I got home he was hungry, he was 5 months old when he waited 1/2 the day. months 3/4 family would bring him to my work. I truly believe he would not accept milk from anything. Of course he was 20 pounds by 4 months old, so he probably wasn't starving, but oh it was the most stressful and emotional time! I wish it wasn't as stressful as it seemed at the time.

Other babies will just be a little trickier, here are some tips: use a straight nipple bottle, like avent, or playtex natralatch, or try latex over silicone. Make sure the milk is the right temp, we used a digital thermometer and warmed it to between 108-100 degrees, some kids need distractions so put baby on your lap, facing out, tilted sideways, and jiggle while Gently tapping the lower lip, do not force the bottle in! Some breast babies are so confused they will push it out or not understand how to suck on a bottle the proper way for several feeds or days. Try to keep the tension to a minimum because babies pick up on the stress. Some babies don't want you to create the breastfeeding experience, they don't want to be reminded of what they are missing, so bottling is just a different way of eating to them. Also taking 1-2 ounces per bottle is normal for a breast baby just getting the hang of it. Good luck!
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#9 of 12 Old 02-21-2010, 04:07 PM
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I second the PP's suggestion about cup feeding. it is really easy once you've done it once or twice. You can cup feed a newborn, it is really amazing! Google cup feeding, or cup feeding infant and you will find some videos on you tube. You can also see a video on Jack Newman's site. You can also find an LC who can teach you how to do it in person.

The most important thing to remember is to NOT pour the milk into the baby's mouth. Read Jack Newman's description of it, it's very helpful.
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#10 of 12 Old 02-23-2010, 04:39 PM
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if he takes the cup, then that is great!
My DS is now 15+ months, but at 3 months, when I went back to work, he totally refused the bottle.
I was at a complete loss. It was so anxiety-producing, so I definitely have been there!
We tried EVERY SINGLE BOTTLE UNDER THE SUN, and I am not kidding.
The Adiri ones actually were the most confusing for him. I think he was like "you must be KIDDING if you think you're fooling me into thinking this is mom's boob"
So, the first day he was at daycare he had to be fed with a medicine dropper for the first feedings! Yup. THat's how stubborn.
My first day back at work, and I know my kid is eating from a medicine dropper - it was awful. But by the end of the day, he took the bottle!
Ultimately, it was the simple NUK bottles with the flatter nipples, and we stuck with those the whole time, but in retrospect I don't think it had to do with the bottle style, more just with me not being there and him being really hungry, poor thing.
He never really loved the bottle after that, and would sometimes put up a fight with different people - but ultimately got that if he was going to eat, he'd have to drink from the bottle and so he did it, however grudgingly.

loving momma to babyboy.gif born 11/2008, and his baby brother diaper.gif5/2012, just trying to stay balanced namaste.gif

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#11 of 12 Old 02-23-2010, 06:23 PM
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My oldest never took a bottle. We tried everything -- different bottles, different nipples, different positions -- and nothing worked. I was working full-time and returned to work when he was 10 weeks old. My mom was keeping him so she was more than patient. She ended up wearing him all day to keep him happy. I nursed him on my lunch break but he went the rest of the day without. He reverse-cycled and we co-slept. It was do-able. I'm convinced it was temperament and not anything we did or did not do. He is still high needs and tempermental to this day.

Definitely try cup-feeding!

Mama to DS 10/04, DD 12/06, and DD 11/09 my baby
Missing DS 10/08
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#12 of 12 Old 02-23-2010, 07:42 PM
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A week before I returned to work, dd refused to take a bottle. The first day I returned to work, she drank about five drops. The second day, she drank maybe 3 ounces. The third she drank maybe 5. This went on for about a week, and then she finally resigned herself to taking a bottle. Now she takes about 9-12 ounces during the day and nurses ALL night. Actually, she is slowing down a bit at night, as she is eating some solids.

Try the Breastflow! DD refused ALL bottles, including Adiri, until we tried the breastflow. I've heard some babies prefer the playtex drop-ins. Try three or four--just buy one of each!

Don't give up. I know it is really, really hard. I was so stressed out about this and posted on a million boards, including this one. I got zero work done for about 2 weeks, because I was so worried about my baby. Now she is almost 9 months old, and very happy, developing quite well, and chubby as can be. It will be very hard at first, but everyone will adjust eventually. Give yourself two weeks and things will be going a bit better.
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