DP wants to bottle feed our EBF two week old.

(29 Posts)
gingercat2 Fri 03-Jan-14 04:29:09

He has five kids from previous relationship who were bottle fed. My child from previous relationship was EBF. He says he feels useless and is worried he won't bond with new bub. I'm feeling stuck on what to do.

shinynewname Fri 03-Jan-14 04:36:29

Just try to reassure him that he can help with plenty of other stuff and the ebf bit is only a tiny but of babies life.

Nappy change, bathing, cuddling sleeping baby while you get a wee rest, taking baby for a wander in a pram or sling.

Also once baby its a wee bit older and on solid food he can help with that too.

gingercat2 Fri 03-Jan-14 04:42:36

Thank you. I'm wondering if I should try to express for him to bottle feed, or try mix feeding, or will he just start to feel OK with it soon?

NickyEds Fri 03-Jan-14 04:50:06

I think it's quite common for new Dads to feel a bit useless at first isn't it ? I think he'll get used to it- If you're succesfully EBF you deserve a medal and I wouldn't interrupt it.DP can bond with cuddles etc or just let it come with time- as I mentioned Ithink it's quite common for dads to feel a bit out of it until babies get to the cuddling back age

mustardtomango Fri 03-Jan-14 04:50:20

My Dh was keen on bottle feeding too, just so he could be part of it. Midwife advice was to wait until lo was 6 weeks old, and by then I felt strong enough to say I didn't want our son bottle fed. Dh was great with this, and it's meant that he's involved in other ways now that are exclusively his - he worked to find things that he could do that were special with him.

Personally, my heart would have broken to bottle feed at that age, the bonding and feeling of purpose I got whilst bf wasn't worth risking.

AnythingNotEverything Fri 03-Jan-14 05:25:55

Useless? He obviously isn't bringing you enough cake or tea grin

DD is 10 weeks and only recently have I found time to express regularly. It's a bit soon.

To avoid feeling left out, DH did all nappies changes (inc at night) during paternity leave, and still does all baths.

You're a team. Feeding is your number one skill. There are other ways he can be involved.

I'm posting this after the 5am feed,while dp changes our 3-week-old's nappy. He's been holding him & burping him since the feed finished, and brought me a glass of water during.

My point is that, as pp have said, there are loads of ways that dads can be involved. Bf is just one specific task. I find it a bit off tbh that your partner thinks it's ok to pressure you to stop ebf if that's what you'd prefer to do.

beginnings Fri 03-Jan-14 05:47:47

With the greatest of respect, it's not about DH, it's about the baby so he needs to find other ways of being involved. DH got much more involved with DD1 when she self weaned at 9 mos and now at 20, it's all about Daddy!!

AngryPrincess Fri 03-Jan-14 05:53:21

I've read research (can't remember whose), that babies bond with people that communicate and play with them. (Usually the mother), but as long as he's communicating, mostly by cuddling I guess at this age, then he'll be able to have just as strong a bond. And the breastfeeding is so good for the baby. And easier, once it's established. Reassure him but continue to ebf.

(There's also Harlow's Monkey love experiments to back this up)

MadIsTheNewNormal Fri 03-Jan-14 05:56:02

I'm confused. confused

Surely if you are express breast feeding then you are giving the baby your milk, but from a bottle. Why can't he give the baby that?

And why would you bother to EBF all the time rather than just BF?

This is bewildering me

ChunkyPickle Fri 03-Jan-14 05:58:21

I think that sometimes feeding looks like such magic - calming an upset baby, being able to sit down for a bit with them so entranced, that dads feel that they'd like a bit of that action.

DS1 was a bit fussy, so DP spent ages in the bath with him (I'd leave them to it) which gave him that chilled bonding time. DS2 is a lot calmer anyway, so there have been plenty of non-bath cuddles and playing instead. DP is also the one with the carrier if we go out.

Which is lucky, because the first time round I could barely express a tablespoonful, and this time round I can express a bit more, but the baby has no-idea what to do with a bottle (and I really can't be bothered to express anyway)

ChunkyPickle Fri 03-Jan-14 05:59:01

EBF - also stands for Exclusively Breast Fed - ie. not mixed fed/FF

dozily Fri 03-Jan-14 06:15:11

Please don't express or mixed feed just to please your partner. Expressing is so time-consuming and such a faff, and mixed feeding will reduce your supply of milk and probably make breastfeeding harder.

There are so many other ways he can be involved, as others have said. As someone else suggested, can you ask him to support you up to 6 weeks (or preferably 12) without asking you to stop, and see how he feels then?

I strongly feel that if a woman wants to bf that is her right and no one else should really have a say but at the same time I realise you don't want to alienate him. Good luck (and congratulations on your gorgeous newborn flowers)

3bunnies Fri 03-Jan-14 06:44:55

Why not encourage him to join in? Male lactation is perfectly possible or maybe agree to try expressing around 3 months when bf is well established and less likely to confuse. Could you discuss it together with the midwife? Congratulations.

MadIsTheNewNormal Fri 03-Jan-14 06:50:04

Oh I see! Thanks. That explains it. grin

AuntieStella Fri 03-Jan-14 07:05:10

Mixed feeding invariably meant weaning until only about 2 or 3 years ago, and the new usage just causes misunderstanding (remembers threads!)

OP: how do you get on with expressing?

gingercat2 Fri 03-Jan-14 07:17:45

Thank you everyone, I've brought the subject up with him again and he said he is getting used to it......... Aunty I haven't tried expressing yet but had no luck with hand expressing for first bub.

PiratePanda Fri 03-Jan-14 07:23:18

Expressing so he can feed the baby your milk from a bottle is a good idea. But you have to wait until breastfeeding is firmly established, which may take 6-8 weeks.

If you're going to do this though, for heaven's sake get a Medela electric breast pump. Far too much faff otherwise.

littleducks Fri 03-Jan-14 07:37:33

" babies bond with people that communicate and play with them. "

Definately! DS is 3 months and absolutely adores dd who is 7 years old, he starts grinning and wiggling his arms and legs when he sees her. She does no babycare (no feeding/bathing/changing) just baby entertainment (singing/peek a boo/nursery rhymes with lots of actions).

Can your dh do skin to skin time with the baby?

TheCrumpetQueen Fri 03-Jan-14 07:42:55

Just keep doing the best for your baby, don't worry about your h, he will bond with his dc fine

Icedfinger Fri 03-Jan-14 08:47:50

My DD was EBF for 6 months and has an amazing relationship with DH. She grins the second she sees him.

When she was tiny and he was about I used to feed her then hand her to him and he would lay her on his chest to sleep.

PenguinsDontEatKale Fri 03-Jan-14 08:51:57

I really hate the idea that 'bonding' with a baby is all about feeding them. It really is something that has been put about by the formula industry as a 'pro' of their products (not saying that there aren't others, just that this isn't one).

If you make the decision to mix feed or ff or express it should be because you feel it is the best way to feed your baby, not because of pressure or upset about 'bonding'.

If your husband did everything for the new baby bar the feeding, guess who would be spending more time with the baby? He needs to realise that bonding with his baby needs to be about the changing, winding, cuddling and stop focusing on the feeding. smile

gingercat2 Fri 03-Jan-14 11:47:32

Thanks again everyone, I know these comments are all wise, I have been feeling less confident in myself this last fortnight which I guess is par for the course smile

dozily Sat 04-Jan-14 08:47:58

It sounds like your dp is coming round to the idea smile.

To be fair, it must feel a little strange to him after 5 bottle fed babies but he'll soon get used to it.

peppajay Sat 04-Jan-14 11:17:39

I breastfed both my children till they were 16 months old and never used a bottle so no sterilizing or no making up bottles ever required. My DH was extremely supportive but so many of my friends have given up due to pressure from their partners or their mothers so they can be involved. This is the problem with the 'new man' thing and advertising says you cant be a real father unless you help with the bottles. At 6 months or before sometimes dads can be involved with the weaning and the feeding of solids, they can change nappies and bath and dress the babies so there is a lot of opportunites for them to be involved. Sorry but I think these dads and mums/mil's are just being selfish!

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