so confused about how to get her to take a bottle

(26 Posts)
pennyapples Sun 14-Jul-13 11:15:55

hello all
hoping somebody might have some good advice or experience they can share.
my DD is nearly 7 months and we are trying to introduce formula feeds - and it's not going well. I know not everybody would agree with doing that but I do have lots of reasons, return to work, wanting my DH to feel like part of the feeding process, wanting my period back so that we can TTC around Christmas time, and the fact that she is now ripping me to shreds with her mouth and hands when she feeds, as well as not being able to do in public anymore, and her generally fussing and not taking much it seems. I'm happy with the decision to combine feeding and gradually work to a full switch.
But she won't take the bottle - or she will - very occasionally - never from me. Most times when DH tries it she screams and screams and gets hysterical, real tears, and when we give in and I come to her she is so happy and relieved and sighs and laughs. DH taking it in good humour but it is crucifying me that there's that rejection factor with him. I don't think he is under any illusions that its anything but the milk - but still - I think I'd be sad in his position.
But then again, maybe three times she has taken it. so I'm thinking is not the bottle / teat.
can I ask what other people would do?
Another thing that's bothering me is I was thinking well keep trying it every time somebody else is here - DH, DGP etc, as sometimes she will take it. But now am concerned that if I do that often enough my milk supply will dwindle and then on the days when its just me (DH often not here till too late on a weekday) and no way will she take it I wont have any breastmilk for her either.
grateful for advice as very confused.

Writerwannabe83 Sun 14-Jul-13 13:09:48

Hi Pennyapples,

Don't feel you have to justify yourself for switching to formula. You have done an AMAZING thing by giving her breast milk for 7 months - that is something to be proud of!!

I think the issue is that after 7 months of associating you with feeding she is finding it difficult to make the transition - but she will. Babies have an extremely good sense of smell and if your little one can so much as smell you (and your milk) in the vicinity then it is likely she will scream until she gets you. Some mothers have said to me that when they are making the transition they try to be out the house when hubby/partner/nanny is trying to give a bottle. I know it isn't very practical but some mom's do say it helps.

And to be clear, because I can't figure it out, are you sometimes breast feeding but other times offering her formula? Or are you expressing and giving it to her in bottles alongside formula?

pennyapples Sun 14-Jul-13 14:24:44

Hi writer, thank you so much for replying.
She's pretty much always just breastfeeding. She's had formula from a bottle three times. I used to express but again she was very reluctant to take the milk from a bottle - she maybe did that satisfactorily about three times as well.
do you think if I go out sometimes and she starts taking the bottle on a more regular basis- if my milk then starts drying up - she'd be happy to switch altogether? scared about starving her...

Writerwannabe83 Sun 14-Jul-13 16:27:24

At her age, she won't starve, don't worry. smile

I'm assumed the weaning process has begun? If you are concerned about her milk take then offer her foods that you can mix with your breast milk or formula. i.e increase the amount of porridge you give her. There are probably a variety of ways that you could get milk into her via food, it is just a case of being creative grin

And has your Health Visitor talked to you about vitamin D supplements? The government big drive at the moment is for all infants over 6 months to be on supplements to make up for the fact that when they wean their milk intake will inevitably go down - it just takes that worry off a little that they are still getting the vitamin they need.

And what teats have you tried?? I know there are lots of brilliant teats out there but sometimes it is easier to go for the cheaper versions. With the expensive teats you tend to find they can be quite firm and in a fixed shape, whereas the cheaper ones are softer and more pliable. For a baby to go from a soft nipple that changes shape in its mouth to fit their sucking style, to then being asked to drink from a hard rigid teat, it can be quite difficult for them hence why they get upset at the bottle.

I can see why you would be worried about her missing her feeds in this hot weather though, as it is important to keep her well hydrated - will she take water from a bottle at all or is that a no-no too??

Have you looked at feeding cups? Some mothers have said they are God Send when they just can't get their breast fed baby to take a bottle :

http://www.realbabymilk.org/info-for-pros/19-baby-cup-feeding

Writerwannabe83 Sun 14-Jul-13 16:30:54

I think the feedings cups that are recommended for well babies are called Doidy Cups - it might be worth having a look on Google x x

GingerJulep Sun 14-Jul-13 16:43:40

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

pennyapples Mon 15-Jul-13 07:49:55

Thanks writer for all the information and ideas - she is actually on solid food now and loving it - she started at six months and really went for it right from the start, hates chicken with a vengeance but apart from that merrily eating away three times a day. and yes actually she will take water from a bottle - which is all a bit odd - which is what made me think its not the bottle / teat - but then I suppose it could still be - just with water she is not hungry when she has it so prepared to work a bit harder maybe.
I'm definitely going to get one of those cups in.
Ginger do you mean I shouldn't think about having another child? Because I want to bottle feed? We're planning on TTC around Christmas time because I'm going to be 40 and we would ideally like to have a sibling for our daughter (for us she is perfect on her own but that's my instinct to try) and as we have a family history of miscarriage I just wanted to try not to waste too much time. To clarify, if my daughter is really not happy switching to a bottle after different approaches then I won't force her, I'm not hopefully that bad a mummy.

chestnut100 Mon 15-Jul-13 07:58:03

OP: do not allow ridiculous, unhelpful posts like the one from ginger to upset you. You are giving your child a bottle, not heroin for gods sake. Your kids will express many desires and wants over the years. You don't have to acquiesce to them all!

I suggest a day with someone else with only a bottle ( and obv whatever she is having solids wise), as many times as is necessary till she gets it. It took quite a few attempts for this to happen for us (and I thought it never would). For what it's worth, the nuk teats were what eventually made the difference

Writerwannabe83 Mon 15-Jul-13 08:03:40

If she will drink water from a bottle but not your milk then I'm guessing she just can't get her head around why milk is coming from a bottle and not mummy smile Bless them, they are so quirky aren't they, even at such a young age.

Or maybe the sterilisation method you use makes the breast milk taste differently and that is why she is refusing it from a bottle? You just don't know what goes through their minds do you smile

I worked with a BF mom once and she had been BF'ing since birth and she was due to go back to work and nothing she tried would get her daughter to drink from a bottle. She used to come to Baby Clinics every week and still be having the same problems. She would get quite f rantic as the weeks were counting down until she had to return to work - she did see the funny side to it too though. Anyway, we advised she try the feeding cup and by the time she came back to clinic the next week, her daughter was drinking from it no problems. The mother couldn't believe it grin

Some babies just won't take milk from a bottle, especially when making the transition at a layer age when they only associate milk with breast not teats. Sometimes you just need to skip a stage and head to cups grin. It may take you and her some times to get used to it but hopefully it will turn out well - there is nothing to lose in trying.

Good luck with it!!!

Dackyduddles Mon 15-Jul-13 08:09:54

Fail to see what trying to switch to bottles has to do with expanding a family..... Actually alter that. Just refuse to. Daft.

I'm switching my 6mth over. I find lunchtime a good time. She's had something in the morning and will do later, so I don't panic if she won't take it as she won't be starving and I won't be starving her. Could try to do it after her food? I found it best that way with dd1 and its working with dd2. I'm up to 60ml a day. Then just work in more tries. So say mid am and after tea? I don't fill a bottle but do increase volume so I can see what she's doing. Ill have her on bottle at 11pm by a year and totally switched.

I found doing it at a certain time became expected which then made adding in others easier. By doing in mid am to just after tea also gives you time to adjust bf too. You do often have to give bottle before its asked for as they get stressed if hungry and then refuse til a tit is offered.

Good luck

Dackyduddles Mon 15-Jul-13 08:11:12

And try different makes as they all taste different.

Dackyduddles Mon 15-Jul-13 08:12:00

Doidy are great cups. Very much agree on that.

Writerwannabe83 Mon 15-Jul-13 08:26:13

Isn't Aptamil the one that is said to be most like Breast milk in terms of taste and texture?

Might be worth trying that milk if you haven't already? X

MrsReacher85 Mon 15-Jul-13 08:38:51

Hi, I just wanted to add in my experience. My DS is 10 months now and I started trying to get him to take a bottle at about 6 months. It was a real battle! He refused for ages. I started by offering it everyday at the same time- about an hour after lunch. He refused for weeks/months but eventually just started taking it. I'm sure he just got bored of me trying!

He now has a cup of formula at that time and a bottle before bed. I feed him during the night and first thing in the morning. The morning feed is next on the list to be dropped! Even now it can still take a while to get the full amount in him, so I just keep offering it over the course of 30-40 minutes or so. It used to be longer!

Also, when we dropped the bedtime feed and introduced a bottle, he went absolutely nuts! For a week or so it was taking an hour or more to get him to sleep. That passed too.

You'll get there!

Purplecatti Mon 15-Jul-13 11:19:01

I second the doidy cup.
We are also making progress with a sippy cup. Dd (8mths) will take the odd ounce or two from a sippy cupif I flavour the milk with pear or strawberry.
She would never take a bottle and as they aren't recommend for 12 months plus I gave up.
I too am trying to make the transition as it seriously hurts being clawed and bitten and dd won't feed at all unless she's in her darkened bedroom.

JiltedJohnsJulie Mon 15-Jul-13 11:35:06

Mine were both bottle refusers so you have my sympathy. There will be lots of old threads on bottle refusing in the Mn archive. Have a look too at alternative feeding methods, How to bottle feed the bf baby and childcare and the bf baby.

If you are finding feeing in public difficult have you read bfing manners? She would probably be ok out of the house with things like an oatcake, hummus and fruit or veg, does she like things like savoury muffins too? Will she take a little formula or ebm from a sippy cup if you are out?

DH doesn't need to feel left out either. If he is feeling like that, could he give dd her breakfast? That would give them some time together and you sone time to get ready for the day? If not, could he do her bath in the evening?

Your supply should be pretty robust at this age but if you are thinking of DH doing a bottle feed at at set time, say 8 and you are worried about what happens if he's not there, I think you will have enough to feed her. You are never without milk and your breasts don't store milk like warehouses, they produce it more when asked.

Ttc is a difficult one. My Af came back after my DC were moved into there own rooms so if you haven't already, it might be worth moving them and getting DH to deal with some of the night wakings. There are some useful tips on night waking here and on ttc here.

How old will she be when you return to work? I went back at 10 and 9 months. Neither would take a bottle. Instead they ate and had cows milk and some cups of water, both from sippy cups, and bf on the days I was there.

JiltedJohnsJulie Mon 15-Jul-13 11:37:06

Oh and no formula is more like BM, aptimil just do sone very clever marketing aimed at GPs and HVs smile

HPsauceonbaconbuttiesmmm Mon 15-Jul-13 11:43:30

Personally, I definitely wouldn't use a bottle at this stage, go straight to a free flow sippy cup.

DS bottle refused and was ebf til 5.5months, then food plus bf and formula, and switched to full formula at 7.5 months for much the same reasons as you.

I introduced a tommee tippee sippy cup at about 10 weeks and by 6 months he'd down a cup full amazingly fast.

If you use a bottle now, in 6 months time you'll have the task of getting rid of it. I'd focus on a cup and offer it at the same time every day, when he's not too tired and he's hungry but not famished.

Good luck!

HPsauceonbaconbuttiesmmm Mon 15-Jul-13 11:46:03

Sorry, just realised you have a DD not a DS...

pennyapples Mon 15-Jul-13 19:26:03

Hi everyone
Thank you so much, really appreciate all the suggestions, and think am definitely going to try the cup and see if changes things! Will go doidy then sip py if no joy. Hadn't thought of sterilisation possibly being the reason behind randomness of expressed milk uptake, or like you say maybe general quirkiness! Bless her, just want what is best, hence being upset re earlier comment, not trying to be mean to her! Is easy to feel pressured / guilty about stopping even after seven months, must be so rotten for people who can't BF at all when people are so full on about it. Glad other people think it's a bit much - thought that was just mean!
Thank you though, really great advice and appreciate the sympathy!

JiltedJohnsJulie Mon 15-Jul-13 20:07:33

You shouldn't feel judged about wanting to reduce or stop bfing, it is your decision and absolutely nothing to do with anyone else. You should feel really proud of everything you've achieved so far smile

Babygirlpw Mon 15-Jul-13 21:16:34

DD was a bottle refuser. Two things that helped/worked for us. Firstly, I expressed some milk and have her a mixture of breast milk and formula. Just for a week or so, whilst she got used to the bottle. Secondly, and I'm still doing this, I warm the formula by putting the bottle in hot water.

You've done brilliantly to breast feed for 7 months.

pennyapples Wed 17-Jul-13 09:10:24

Hi all
Just wanted to pop back and say thank you as was bit rushed yesterday. Am definitely in two minds as to whether to persevere with the bottle or go straight to the cup - and then whether to go doidy or sippy... but going to think about it some more.
Once have decided on bottle / cup am going to try your technique I think Mrs Reacher, and then get the GPs to come for a day in a couple of weeks and get out of the house - although that will be scary I think.
Thanks Jilted for the reassurance on supply - I think you're probably right - I've never had a problem with supply before despite some seriously erratic feeding from her in the past so probably will be okay I guess. She'll be 9 months when I go back to work - so the day with the GPS no bad thing anyway - she probably needs to get used to not being with me all the time.
Writer thanks for the tips on formula in porridge etc and vitamin D - all new info/ thoughts for me -much appreciated
And thanks all for your reassurance that I am actually allowed to think about having a second baby and should not be banned from procreating because I am an evil formula feeding mother

HPsauceonbaconbuttiesmmm Wed 17-Jul-13 19:47:44

At her age I'd try sippy before doidy. Doidy cups are v messy, so if she will take a sippy cup you'll find it much easier. You can also fill a sippy cup to take out, can't do that with doidy. You can make up and shake formula in sippy but not in a doidy.

I'd hold option of doidy in reserve for these practical reasons. My few attempts with a doidy were hilariously messy.

And good luck with ttc!

JiltedJohnsJulie Wed 17-Jul-13 20:39:54

And thanks all for your reassurance that I am actually allowed to think about having a second baby and should not be banned from procreating because I am an evil formula feeding mother grin

Definitely try a sippy cup first. If you want to try an open cup I'd try it in the bath first. The novelty will hopefully get her to drink some milk and you won't have to worry about the spills. Full fat cows milk will be fine for this smile

I had dc2 at 39 and was bfing when I conceived. You'll be fine smile

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