Really worried about leaving six month old. Any tips?

(15 Posts)
Snugabugz Thu 27-Dec-12 10:36:03

I am due to go back to work in a month and am worrying about how I can possibly leave my six month old DS2

The plan is at the end of January DH will work 3 days a week (over weekend) and look after the baby 4 days a week. I will work four days a week in February then full time from March. From March DS2 will be seven months old and he'll go to nursery three full days, go to grandma one day and with DH one day My worries are

1. He won't take a full feed from a bottle. The most he will take is about 2 oz then a bit of baby rice mixed with breast milk which i recently introduced to get a bit more milk in him when i am not there. After the first couple of ounces he won't go back the bottle but cries for boob and pushes the bottle away. He clamps his mouth shut, arches his back and gets really upset if i put the teat anywhere near his mouth. I can tell he's still hungry and I usually end up breast feeding him about twenty minutes later when he has a really long feed as if he's been desperate for milk.

I have visions of him screaming for me and I am not there. Will he accept the full bottle if I am not there? I worry about him being upset and not getting enough milk. I know he will have some solid food by then but milk is supposed to be main source of nutrition at this age. Does anyone have experiences to share to maybe put my mind at rest or to help the transition?
Is it better to go cold turkey and just leave him with DH for a few hours and see what happens? Or take softer approach and offer him bottle each day to see if he takes a bit more?

2. He won't nap in his cot during the day. Even if I feed him to sleep his eyes ping open when I lay him down. He's got used to napping in the pram on walks or in car seat when I am out and about. I am going to work on this, any tips? I have tried laying him down when he's sleepy and full but he just kicks his arms and legs about before eventually starting to scream. Is it worth introducing a dummy to help soothe him? I have tried when he was younger but he just spat it out.

3. He's still waking three times a night for a feed. I expect this will increase if he's not getting enough milk in the day.

Any advice would be great and which issue should j tackle first. Am thinking its more important to get him to take a bottle?

Thanks in advance

Ps I can't extend my maternity leave as I am the main earner and our savings have been used up

jkklpu Thu 27-Dec-12 21:07:25

Hi there, it's a stressful time, including because, even if it's unconscious, you'll also be thinking about work and wondering how that will go. One thing I'd say is that things can change a lot in a month - think back to what your lo was like a month ago. The night-feeding is a killer (when I went back to work after ds2 (aged 9mo) he was still feeding 3-4 times/night and waking up for the day at 5.30, so I was a zombie going into a new job. That said, I'd leave that for now as it is probably an anchor feeling for your baby and trying to stop could be very disorientating and is unlikely to resolve the other issues.

Can I ask how involved your dh is with feeding/putting to bed and other activities at the moment? Has he tried giving bottles with you out of the house? And would it be possible for him to have your ds for more than 1 day/week if he will be working for 3 days only? If your ds is at home for more days than he's at nursery, that is likely to help him feel more settled. I'd have thought you need someone else to try giving him the bottle so your ds doesn't know that the boob is an immediate option.

And finally, you won't have a clue what he'll be like at nursery until he's there and you get the reports from the staff. He might well decide that bottles from them are fine, or he won't and they'll have ideas about trying different cups, but milky foods are an option - lots of porridge or milk added to his fruit and veg.

So try to enjoy the last part of your maternity leave and not stress too much about how he'll be in a month. Very best of luck.

Snugabugz Fri 28-Dec-12 10:12:34

Thanks for replying

DH is only working three days a week in February as we transition me going back to work. He'll have the baby four days a week then but in March we both go back full time.

He does a lot with both children (we have DS1 who is four) and mostly DH is looking after the eldest whilst I sort out the baby. We are trying to swap as much as possible and have decided that on his day off I will take the eldest out for a few hours allowing DH some one on one baby time. He has tried giving a bottle a couple of times but gave up as he was getting so upset. We now realise we need to persevere.

Having said that I am delighted that yesterday afternoon DS2 took four ounces from a bottle then had some baby porridge mixed with milk. It's the first time he's been 'satisfied' after a non breast feed. He then lasted two and a half hours til bedtime feed. DH and I were so happy we both cried!

Incidentally he only woke twice last night. Probably unrelated but a result nonetheless.

I have been worrying too much I think and the plan is now to give a bottle every day and have daddy/baby time as often as possible so he gets used to it.

Many thanks for reading and replying

AndMiffyWentToSleep Tue 01-Jan-13 19:41:36

Mine doesn't take milk at nursery - he just makes up for it when I am around.

I could only get him to nap by feeding him or pushing him in the buggy - but nursery manage it!

My top tip is to plan as many settling in days as you can - less stressful for you (not just them!)

scottishmummy Wed 02-Jan-13 19:19:45

they do stuff,don't do at home.baby will be fine.chin up and don't berate self
enjoy last month,and don't go down the mummy Guilt route.nothing to be guilty about
are you doing any settle session at nursery?give them a fave toy or blanket of baby

Snugabugz Thu 03-Jan-13 18:44:04

Thanks all. I don't feel guilt for going back to work I am just worried that my baby will starve. Was much easier with DS1 as he was on bottles from four months.

I am sure we'll cope but I am a bit worried how I will function at work on very little sleep if he decides to feed all night to make up for it.

Thanks again

scottishmummy Thu 03-Jan-13 21:01:50

so don't feed your baby all night?if you need a certain level of alertness
adopt new routine that gives you enough sleep,that's pretty essential and self evident
tired on mat leave has no knock on consequences,tired at work has considerable consequence

RubyrooUK Thu 03-Jan-13 21:13:39

My son started nursery at 8mo and was full time within a few weeks. He never took a bottle.

He ate enough solids (particularly yoghurt) not to starve during the day and made up for it by breastfeeding all night. Although I would not rate this as "excellent fun" for his mother, as I was knackered, I didn't then worry he would starve.

DS also wouldn't nap for me. He hated the pram/pushchair so napped only in the sling mainly or after a lot of work in the pushchair. The traitor adapted to snoozing in a bouncy chair at nursery and would never replicate it at home.

What I'm saying is that you and DS2 will muddle through. He is unlikely to starve even if he won't take a bottle (which he might). He will find his own napping ways when with different people.

Sorry you're so worried. I know I was bonkers when going back to work with concern over my DS eating and sleeping. But it did all work out fine. Although he still won't sit in a pushchair aged two. grin

Dragonboobs Sun 06-Jan-13 13:04:57

I return to work tomorrow and my DS is just shy of 7 months. I tried desperately in October to get him to take a bottle in preparation but he was having none of it! After trying for ages my dm told me to concentrate on weaning him instead and use a cup.

It's actually worked really well. He now has 3 meals a day and drinks formula (i have trouble expressing) from a doidy cup. I give him lots of milk in food so he has porridge and fruit for break fast, the maybe cheese sauce and broccoli for lunch with fruit again. He has some milk and a yogurt as a snack at 3 and then dinner.

He breast feeds when he wakes and before bed and once in the night. I worked on gradually replacing bf with meals and have just dropped 3pm feed for the milk from cup and snack. It has worked fine and he has sometimes woken for more than one fee at night but mostly still has one.

Stopping trying to force the bottle gave me time to concentrate on the solids. I started weaning at 5 months though because of this. But was lucky a he took to it straight away.

Hope this helps in some way.

Snugabugz Fri 11-Jan-13 16:15:51

Thanks Dragonboobs

I did introduce solids at five months and he loved it. However after being poorly with a chest infection at Christmas he seems to have lost interest. He'll lick purée off a spoon but won't open his mouth for it.

We've had some success with a bottle. He will happily take two ounces then refuses to have any more. Usually I end up breast feeding him about an hour later.

Next week DH has the week off and we are starting baby boot camp where he does not get a breast feed at all during office hours. It may involve me going out for most of the day.

Even with breast feeds sleep has totally gone to pot and he's up every two hours for a feed in the night. So the way I see it, going cold turkey on the boob during the day can't really make the nights any worse. At least I will be able to sleep during the day when the boob amnesty is in place!

Wish me luck. I will post back and let you know how we get on

Polygon Sat 12-Jan-13 20:32:21

I went back 50% when dd was 3.5 months. It was horrible. The first (half) day she refused milk out of the bottle from her dad and when I got home she was ravenous. The next day she drank out of the bottle like an angel (so dh says). From then on everything was ok (except for pumping milk at work was no fun for me). The best thing that happened was that the few days before I started back I got a breast feeding shock (can´t remember what it´s called any more). I had a really high temperature and was quite ill. That got me a few extra days when I got myself really stressed about going back. In retrospect, I should have even "planned" a few days holiday in case I needed a bit of leeway with going back. I knew it would be hard and a few "slack days" would have made me feel less stressed.
I think if you can´t do anything else - if dh can´t take more than a month on parttime - I mean REALLY REALLY can´t - the best is not to worry about it and just see what happens. But, I think it´s worth asking people at work for what you need - they can still say no (eg. to a few days holiday after the first few days back, if you´re finding it tough). But, I tried to have such a stiff upper lip and afterwards heard that they would have been much more understanding than I had realised.

Laurachapman Mon 14-Jan-13 19:41:03

Snugabugz
Reading your post and I'm convinced I could have written it myself. I'm in an almost identical situation. I went back to work last week and have spent the last two months worrying about doing so. My little boy is breastfed, on solids but will not drink water or expressed milk from a cup or bottle. The most he will do is let a bit of water dribble into his mouth from a sippy cup. Very worrying. I would wake at night to feed him and cry silently about leaving him and worrying about him eating and drinking. He's with a childminder rather than nursery and she's fantastic but still struggles to get fluid in him. He has breakfast and boob feed before I drop him off, lunch and a dribble of water, then snack mid afternoon and a boob feed as soon as I pick him up. His soft spot was dipped all week and I'm frantic worrying. However she is giving him watery foods like veg soup (homemade) and yoghurts. I'm told he will settle and get the hang eventually.

Re: sleeping. I've never been able to put Noah down, he likes a cuddle after a feed and I've let him. My first day in work CM sent me a photo of him asleep in a bouncy chair! Your babe will be different in nursery to how he is with you. He knows what buttons to push with you. Persevere with the solids, try and enjoy the rest of your mat leave.
It's worrying but he will get the hang of the change in routine. You're not alone in your fears.

Snugabugz Thu 17-Jan-13 19:16:48

Thanks guys for sharing your stories. It really helps to ease my worries.

This week has been really successful. On Monday we made a pact that I wouldn't breast feed during office hours to see if he would take milk from DH in a bottle. He did have a couple of ounces and also lots of solid food - yoghurt, baby porridge and broccoli in cheese sauce all mixed with breast milk. I fed him in the morning, at 5pm and at bedtime (and every three hours in the night). He's never eaten that much food before so wonder if I was filling him up on milk.

We've continued this every day and yesterday he even took four ounces of formula from a bottle and today he's been eating fish pie, veg soup and fruit purées. There hasn't been a point where he's been screaming for milk which was my biggest worry. So even though he's not taking much liquid during the day he's not starving and he's not upset.

Thanks for helping to set my mind at rest. I am back to work in Thursday and won't worry so much now

Hope your babies settle too.

AndMiffyWentToSleep Thu 17-Jan-13 19:25:27

Good to hear - and good luck for Thursday!

ScaredySquirrel Thu 17-Jan-13 19:32:22

my 8 mo doesn't drink at all from a bottle (breast milk or formula) during the day. She eats loads though, and feeds a lot when she's with me (including all night!).

i do worry a bit, but she doesn't seem to be fading away, and according to her childminder she doesn't cry/seem upset.

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