How long should I keep trying the bottle?

(84 Posts)

The age old problem - I'm back to work in a few weeks and my ebf 4 month old baby has flatly refused a bottle for the past few weeks. I have been in the house each time we've tried, and my health visitor has said that I need to leave the house entirely and let him cry it out, and he'll eventually take it. I was out for four hours tonight (DS usually feeds every 2 hours...) and my DH said that DS cried solidly for those 4 hours, refusing and refusing the bottle. My question is, how long do we carry on like this for? When do we draw a line under it? Another HV suggested using a sippy cup, which is messy and time consuming, but a viable alternative (tho possibly not in the eyes of our poor childminder.) my last month with my beautiful DS is being ruined by this dilemma. Any advice appreciated.

chipmonkey Mon 10-Dec-12 12:27:28

Long time ago for me but when ds3 refused the bottle, we eventually got him to take it by
1/ playtex bottle ( Do we notice a theme here?)
2/ Holding ds3 away from me with teat in mouth
3/ Walking around singing very loudly!
He never was very good at taking the bottle compared to ds1 and ds2 who were happy with either breast or bottle.
I was so worried with ds4 that I expressed and fed him from the playtex bottle every other night from when he was 2 weeks old.

Bramshott Mon 10-Dec-12 12:36:42

If he'll be 5 months by the time you're back to work, I'd be tempted to chill out a bit (easier said than done!). DD2 was very like this, and started with her childminder at 5 months. We got through it by:
1) starting weaning at 5 months, and including lots of milk/yoghurt in her diet
2) me feeding her at the childminders when I dropped her off
3) the CM giving a mid-afternoon formula feed in a sippy cup, which TBH she never drank that much of
4) cramming in 3 breastfeeds when she came home - teatime, bedtime and dreamfeed

chipmonkey Mon 10-Dec-12 13:47:41

Oh and ds3 also used to feed all night when he got home. It''s called reverse-cycling I believe. Also known as maternal torture.

letsgetreadytoramble Mon 10-Dec-12 14:23:41

Oh god, reverse cycling - that's something I'm very keen to avoid - he already feeds every 3 hours at night, so if he starts waking up more often we'd both just need to stay up all night really...

He took 40ml from the avent/playtex hybrid bottle today from me (singing loud Christmas songs) - I would prefer to stop BFing altogether now but I think he may be wise to that, because he only takes enough formula to take the edge off his hunger, and then I have to keep BFing him to make sure he gets enough nutrition and stays hydrated. We're getting there though. I fully expect to be a mad wreck of a person when back at work anyway, so breast feeding DS all night long won't make a huge amount of difference. smile (Think MN needs to add a sleep deprived smiley...)

letsgetreadytoramble Tue 11-Dec-12 22:13:12

Gah, DS has croup and has wanted to BF non-stop for two days, it's the only thing that calms him down. Deep breath... Will recommence Operation Bottlesarenottheworkofthedevil on Monday.

Firsttimemum2012 Wed 12-Dec-12 17:06:57

Oh no Lets! Sending hugs and hoping little Lets gets well soon - here Granny arrived at the beginning of the week and yesterday he took 5 oz from her out of a normal avent bottle for his mid morning and late afternoon feed! Result I thought but last night he woke up at 12 and refused to go back to sleep! I BF but he didn't seem that interested - it might be wind or gum hardening but either way he was awake until 6. He only had 2 oz from his bottle this morning but 5 oz this afternoon so I don't think I can say we have cracked it as yet

letsgetreadytoramble Thu 13-Dec-12 18:28:19

Oh my goodness Firsttime - 12 till 6?' I feel your pain. It's like torture isn't it. I think you're doing so well though, he's actually taking the bottle so it'll probably be a natural progression when you start work for him to start to take more.

I'm just on my way home from my work Christmas lunch (they kindly invited me even though I've been languishing on mat leave these past few months :0) and my Mil was looking after my baby boy. She text me and said he'd taken 95ml formula from her this afternoon between a bottle and baby rice, so she's doing better than me. He lost his voice with the croup and I just couldn't do anything but BF him these past few days, because I knew that's the only thing that makes him feel better. In some ways it might be better for him to be going to a CM now rather than later, because he's happy to stay with anyone who'll sing to him and smile at him at this stage, whereas when he's older he might find it harder. desperately trying to make self feel better about it...

letsgetreadytoramble Sun 16-Dec-12 12:29:48

How's it going Firsttime? DS still has croup so I'm struggling to refuse him a BF when he wants it, but he's still very hit and miss with the bottle. Our new routine is:

6am - BF
9am - 3 x teaspoons banana porridge mixed with 80ml formula
10am - 20ml formula from bottle (if I'm lucky)
1pm - big BF
4pm - 40ml formula from bottle and cup
6pm - 4 teaspoons baby rice mixed with 60ml formula
7.30pm - BF
Midnight - BF
3.30am - BF

I know it's the world's worst schedule. I've started offering him a bottle at midnight and at 3.30am, but he cries so much and then starts coughing, and I'm also worried that he then won't be getting enough milk, so I give in and BF him. Can't go on like this, I know I'm making a meal of it.

DH wants to give him 3 solids a day, mixed with formula, to get more formula into him, but I can't get my head around the fact that a solids feed (mixed with formula) could replace formula from a bottle.

The CS has asked me to give her a print out of our routine ahead of him going to her beginning jan. hahahahahahaha. Sob.

letsgetreadytoramble Tue 18-Dec-12 20:13:13

Just want to add a postscript to this thread (in case anyone having similar problems stumbles upon it) to say that DS, a staunch bottle refuser, took 120ml from a bottle from me today in 5 mins flat. Here's my advice for anyone else in the same position:

1. IME, starving them into submission does not work.
2. IME, the Playtex drop in nurser bottle with the brown latex teats are the most effective (that's what he eventually took) (infantcaredirect and amazon do them)
3. It took at least a month of us offering various bottles every day, several times a day to get him used to it.
4. What finally worked for me was to stop his nighttime breastfeeds (which he doesn't need anyway at 5 months) and to refuse him the breast all day one day and offer the bottle every hour or so that day. He needed to know there was no alternative. It was really hard but worth it when he took the bottle.

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