I work full time, approx. 6-8 hours 5 days a week. My 6mo old son absolutely refuses to take a bottle during the day and it doesn't matter if it's EBM or formula. I've been working now for almost 2 months and he still refuses the bottle. My mother can get him to take a few spoonfuls of formula during the day, but other than that he'll only eat solids. When I get home, he nurses and then he'll nurse between 4-6 times over the course of the night (we cosleep). I can tell at night that he is swallowing and becomes satisfied. He is gaining weight and growing. He's about 24 lbs and 30 inches long. He doesn't seem hungry and is a very happy baby. He's also developmentally on target. I'm just worried that he is still refusing a bottle and that I'm doing something wrong.
Also, I just moved to a new state, so I haven't found a pediatrician yet. I'm worried I won't find a sympathetic ped.
What can I do? Do I need to do anything? Is this normal?
Well, if you switched the time of day (a 6-month old baby who slept 6-8 hours every night) would it worry you? Not a concern for most healthy babies. "Reverse cycling", which is what your DS is doing, is actually pretty common for babies of working moms. For some moms, it's a blessing (no need to pump as your body will adapt to his needs). For others it's a pain because baby is nursing frequenlty at night. If it's working for you and for him, then there's no reason to change it. Since he's now eating solids, what about offering him a cup of EBM or formula? Often babies who won't take a bottle will start drinking from a bottle, sippy cup, or regular cup once they get the idea that food comes from other sources. You don't necessarily need to tell your pediatrician - he nurses 4-6 times in 24 hours, right? Not really the doc's business WHEN he nurses!
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On the weekends, does baby nurse well during the day? That's also reassuring.
I don't think I'd worry about it. Although if you want to encourage him to take more when you're gone, you might try offering it in different forms. One of DS's favorite ways to get his milk at this age, when he was away from me, was in the form of frozen slush. DH would put it in the freezer, and stir it every ten minutes until it was slushy (so it didn't freeze into a solid block), and offer it to DS on a spoon, and he would go crazy for it. (It's nice during teething phases, too!) Another possibility is to offer the milk mixed with appropriate solids (mashed banana, for instance).
But I don't think I'd worry about it. 5 to 7 times in 24 hours is within normal ranges, and if he's happy and growing, then I would imagine he's fine.
I agree with Llyra about the different forms while you are away. Mine loved Momsicles when he was teething (still does!). I would put breastmilk in the ice-cube tray and freeze - then place a cube in a mesh feeder for him to chew/suck. He also loved cold mama milk in tiny shot glass.