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am i being selfish?

927 Views 20 Replies 17 Participants Last post by  IdentityCrisisMama
I have a 2 1/2 month old who has been exclusively breastfed since birth. in a week, I have a wedding to attend and would like to leave her for a few hours with her grandparents, but she doesn't know how to drink from a bottle, either that or i don't know how to give her one.
i have a two year old son who has never even been offered a bottle and weened himself right before his sister was born when my milk dried up during my pregancy.
i have literally been nursing every two hours for over two years.
i feel guilty saying that i need a little break, but i really do! and it's just for a few hours.
i have been expressing my milk for the past couple weeks and trying to get my babe to practise taking it from a bottle, but i just can't get her to do it.
i have tried various nipples, positions, even levels of hunger, all with no luck.
i don't know if i'm doing something wrong or if it just isn't meant to be. i feel like i'm being really selfish even trying, and am embaressed to even admit to anyone that i am. i don't plan to give her a bottle on a regular basis, i love breastfeeding my sweet girl. but i really need this one little break.
Is it selfish of me to be trying this? how can i make this work?
any and all advise would be much appreciated!
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Often babies won't take bottles from their mamas so it may just be that. I wouldn't presume to call you selfish since I don't know you at all but can I suggest a few alternatives?

Instead of leaving your dd with her grandparents for the wedding, could you:

-bring her with you and have her in a sling? (there are some fabulous fancy slik slings out there!)
-bring her with you and have dp (if you have one) hold her in a sling/carrier so that you're available to her but get a break from being the one in charge, iykwim?
-bring the grandparents to the wedding site and have them babysit there so you're available for nursing?

If you decide to not go with any of those options, I would skip the bottle entirely and get the grandparents to feed her with a cup (soft sided shot glass type would be best), a spoon, a syringe or medicine dropper.

I hope you find something that will work for you and your daughter
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i don't think it is selfish of you to try to get her to take a bottle! i sure wish my dd would take one- she is over 7 mo and won't drink from anything, but me! and it worries me that if something happened to me she would starve b/c I don't know anyone who is breastfeeding to act as a wet nurse!

just keep trying. try having different people give it to her- sometimes baby will not take the bottle from mama or even if mama is in the house... so maybe take a walk or a drive for 20 minutes and see if your DH, DP or someone else can introduce it to her.

personally, i would not have felt comfortable leaving my dd for hours at 2.5 mo if she wasn't taking a bottle. she was still nursing every 1-2 hrs at that age day and night and i would have worried about her. but this is just my thoughts on it and not a judgment on you or anyone else who would feel okay with it!

good luck mama!
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A lactation consultation once told me, "A healthy baby will not starve himself". She said this to moms who had to go back to work and who couldn't get their babies to take a bottle, and it's true: if you're not around and the only source of food is a bottle, your baby will take enough. At 2.5 months old, she will probably sleep most of the time and wake up when she senses that you've returned. This is what my dd did the first time I left. She was almost 3 months old and I left for 5 hours. She slept on my mom the whole time (she wouldn't tolerate beign put down *at all*) and toward the end she took a few ounces of milk. She nursed like crazy when I got back.

You're not selfish. What you're doing is very demanding. You deserve a few hours. Your baby will be fine.

I think it must be very hard to have two kids so close together and so young!

And nursing every two hours? Yikes!!!!

My DS wouldn' take a bottle either and I rarely got breaks. But we didn't have another one and I can now leave him for 2-5 hours. I don't do it often, but when I do...must admit I have a lot of fun

I think I'd go crazy if we had another baby and I had to wait another 2 years to get a break!!!!

I hope you can find a solution...maybe a syringe?

Good luck!

and you are not being selfish!!!!!!!!!!

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I had to have oral surgery when my ds was 2.5 months old...I left him for four hours w/his daddy and two bottles of milk...first time for a bottle. He wasn't a very happy guy (neither was dh..
) but we all survived. Ds ate a little and then went to sleep to await my return. These days ds is thriving and now dh is more comfortable with him than he was at first. It was a rotten way to have to try leaving him for the first time, but it was o.k. in the end.

It is worth a try...and you aren't being selfish...just tired.

Do you have a cell-phone or pager? You could have the grandparents call if they needed you and you could set it on vibrate and just not answer right away (i.e. during the vows)..slip away when the moment is right (reception...rice throwing etc.) and check in and see if you needed to come home early. on sentence

I would leave the grandparents with options (bottle, cup , syringe etc.) for feeding, as well.

Good luck. Have fun.
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I just wanted to add that if your Dd truly won't take a bottle while you are gone, there are other ways to get your milk into her...hospitals sometimes spoon feed or cup feed babies that don't know how to suck yet. I think chances are, like has been said, that she will take the bottle in leui of starving while you are gone but give yourself piece of mind by informing her caretaker about spoon or cup feeding (maybe pack a varierty of medical spoons, droppers and the tiny little cups). And of course having a cell phone on you would be a great idea.
No you are not selfish...nursing every 2 hrs for the last four years. I would say you are pretty selfless

I hope you find a solution...the cup feeding sounds promising.
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I don't think you are being selfish at all. And yes, you can try other ways of getting the milk in there.

I just don't know how much of a good time you are going to have thinking your little baby is very hungry and wanting the breast.

I think the best solution was have someone (grandparents) watch her somewhere very close by to you. That way you can guage the situation accordingly. Who knows, baby may be totally fine and you can have a great time at the wedding. But at least if baby becomes distraught, you can get to her quickly.

I hear you on the nursing thing, but 2.5 months is very young...
Go, enjoy your break, and know that your babe will probably sleep the whole time. You deserve it!
You are not being selfish at all! It's wonderful that you are breastfeeding in the first place. Asking for a few hours' break is very reasonable. Sorry I can't really offer advice, but I do think your baby might be more open to a bottle from someone other than you. Go to the wedding and have fun! You deserve it.
I had to go back to work part time when my daughter was 3 months. The week before, my husband and I planned that I would go out for 1/2 hour each day and my husband worked on giving her a bottle of pumped milk. That first day I basically sat in the car and watched the clock. When I came home the house was amazingly, peacefully silent and they were nowhere to be seen. I finally found them in the bathroom, laying on the rug, Rene staring up at this soft round light and sucking on a bottle. Steve told me she wouldn't take the bottle, woudln't take the bottle, then he remembered that when we changed her diaper in that bathroom she just loved that soft light so he took her in there and tried it. It worked. I think you need to practice something like this--someone else giving her a bottle while you go out briefly-- over the next few days so you don't leave your poor grandparents struggling with this the first time. But do it now since it will take such a load off your mind and you can actually look forward to the wedding instead of worrying.
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Selfish??? Heck, no!

Maybe try having someone else give her the bottle besdies you. She knows *you've* got the good stuff straight from the source.

As one (of thousands) of mothers who pumped in the first months of their kids' lives, dd's dad had a hard time getting her to take the bottle at first. We also used syringes with tubes, and finger fed with the tube so she could suck on the finger and get the milk out of the syringe and tube. When she was ready for a bottle (after her latch was down) dd's dad would wrap it in a dirty sweaty t-shirt of mine so it smelled like me.
I don't know you, so it's hard to say you're being selfish - but to me, 2 and 1/2 months is young for a nursing baby to be left behind. Especially for something like a wedding. But only you know how much you need the break.

I didn't do it when my kids were that age, so it's hard to know what to tell you. You know what's best for you and your children - no one else can really answer that. It seems like you're looking for permission to do what you want to do. No one can say how your baby will react. It is just a few hours.

Good luck with whatever you decide.
No, you are not being selfish; you are just being honest with yourself about needing a break. Sorry if this offends, but I believe that 2.5 months is really young to leave a newborn (except for some emergency situation). I really feel that at this young of age babies need to be with their moms. Maybe there is a way to address you needing a break that doesn't include leaving your baby; having someone help out during the day, attending mom's groups, etc. I also like the poster's idea about putting your baby in a sling or having your grandparents come and watch your baby nearby the wedding so you can be available if your baby needs you. I have attended numerous weddings with my nursling in a sling, and it was always fine.
No, you are not being selfish, you are being realistic. And, while some may believe this is "too young", many of us left babies a lot younger than this. I had to go back to work when both of mine were just 6 weeks old. And everyone is just fine, thank you very much.

Anyway, it is generally easier to get a baby to take a bottle from someone other than you. And it does help to build up to this in small steps, just as several others have suggested. Do you grandparents live close enough to you that you can do a "trial run" and let them feed her at least once before the big day? I bet it goes better than you think. Or let your partner try it a few times. It does sometimes take more than one try, and it is probably easier if you are completely out of the house if possible. If you take these steps, I'm betting you will be surprised at how easy it is.

So go, enjoy your break, and be a better mommy for it!
No, you're definitely not being selfish. If the wedding isn't far away from home, I would go in a heartbeat. Just find a way to be contacted if the baby really, really needs you and so you can relax if she/he doesn't. I do think the sling is a great idea but I can relate to that not being the kind of break you're looking for. You *do* deserve a break. Have fun, whatever you decide.

Originally Posted by Evan&Anna's_Mom
...while some may believe this is "too young", many of us left babies a lot younger than this. I had to go back to work when both of mine were just 6 weeks old. And everyone is just fine, thank you very much.
I don't think anybody here has said that leaving a young baby is always going to hurt them. I just think people are trying to guage the OP's own personal feelings and values on this issue, and give advice accordingly.

For me, I simply cannot fathom being away from a baby that young, but that totally doesn't mean I think anyone who does that is somehow harming their kids, or is less of a parent than me. That is just one of the "values" that is of high priority to me. Others that are of high value to others (a natural birth, for example) aren't something I would go out of my way to achieve. I just want to make it clear that I don't think there are any judgements happening here, just various people with various POV's.

Maybe the OP has decided for sure she is cool with it, and is looking for helpful advice on how to do this. Or maybe in her heart she is not sure and is looking for a way out, or a way to still attend without having to take a step she may not be ready for. Either way she is getting both sides of the coin, and I think that is most helpful!
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thank you all so much for the awesome ideas, advice and support!!
all of it. ( i don't take offence easily and i realize that everyone is trying to be helpful, so don't worry a bit about that side of it)
i am struggeling with leaving her at this age but i am also recognizing, that this is a break that i really need and deserve. it will only be a few hours, and is only about 5 minutes from home. (and yes, i'm sure it'll be harder on me than it will be on her) i'll let you know how it all turns out!
thanks again!
Aw heck, if you are only five minutes from home....grab a cell phone and go party!
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