I will be going back to work in about a month, when my son is 4 months old. I am wondering about the practicality of cup feeding as opposed to bottle-feeding while I'm away. It would be my mom who would do the cup feeding. We have tried bottle feeding with a BreastFlow bottle, and he just doesn't seem to like it. DH has given him his last feed before bedtime, and he wakes up hungry 2 hours later. So he's not getting enough and then loses interest, I guess? He will usually only get in about an ounce of the 3 ounce bottle, it seems. And it takes forever. Would he be better off with a cup? or that Medela SoftFeeder? Is this practical, considering I would be gone from him for about 6-8 hours, three days a week? Has anyone done it?
I would wait until right before you go back to work. Babies develop a lot in a month. An open cup can work with any age baby but it can take a long time and the baby has to cooperate.
At 4 months your baby may be able to use a regular sippy cup. My son had developmental delays and had to go to a developmental clinic at a childrens hospital. What they had us do is find or buy one of the old fashioned Tupperware bell tumblers (the primary colored cups you probably had) with a seal (flat lid). Take a regular hole punch and punch one hole in the lid. Go to the hardware store (ACE) and go to the tubing section where they sell plumbing tubing. Buy some tubing that fits snuggly through the hole. It is very cheap. Buy as much as you need for the cups you are making. It can be washed but is easily lost.
Put the liquid in, seal, put tubing in and it is a super easy straw to drink out of that has little or no waste if dropped. You can also not use the straw and the baby can drink out of the hole. The fluid comes slowly and some breastfed babies/kids like to suck it out of the cup this way. You could experiment with different size holes. Be careful plastic is smooth and doesn't scratch baby.
: Grandmother , 3 Adult Sons
Is there some reason a regular bottle won't work? Are you merely concerned about nipple confusion? Bottles are much easier to use then other methods with an infant supposedly. Less waste of bm because you can refrigerate the bottle and reuse the milk. I ebf and my kids had bottles when I worked wft but never around me or in my sight.
You don't pick the nipple, the baby does. Try out several different models. We had the best luck with the newly redesigned medela nipple. The fact that your LO doesn't like it now when you are mostly available is normal. Most ebf babies will only "agree" to bottles with a regular caregiver schedule.