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Switching 3-month-old from BF to FF - struggling

(9 Posts)
jesstar Sun 24-Jul-11 15:42:00


I have been BF since birth, although was topping up with formula in the first couple of weeks as we had some issues getting started. I want to switch to FF now as I will be returning to work part-time in October, and won't be able to to express. Problem is, she's fighting the bottle! I have read lots of advice about this, eg getting someone else to feed her, trying different bottles etc, but I was wondering if any of you who have succeeded with 'the switch' had any advice re strategy.

Initially I was hoping to replace one feed a day with a bottle, and started this a week ago. However she just screams and won't drink it. I've left her up to about half an hour trying to calm her and give her a break then retry, but she doesn't take it. Now I'm thinking of giving her a bottle 3-4 times a day to see if she will eventually get used to it and accept her fate! I'm quite upset at how it's going, and was hoping for a gradual switch. I'm worried that if I offer her so many feeds, my own supply will switch off sooner than I hoped, and if she is only taking bits of milk at a time, that she might not be getting enough of either milk.

Just looking for some reassurance I guess (or otherwise!) that I will be able to switch and hoping I'm not in for months of crying - I hate that I'm the one responsible for making her upset!

JiltedJohnsJulie Sun 24-Jul-11 16:25:41

jesstar just wondering if you are giving formula in the bottle or ebm? She may take the ebm more readily. Not really sure though as both of mine were bottle refusers. In fact I returned to work part time with both of mine and still managed to bf although they were older than your DD.

RitaMorgan Sun 24-Jul-11 17:22:35

Do you want to completely stop breastfeeding by October, or just give her formula while you are at work? How long will you be apart for?

Maybe leave it a month and then see if she'll drink milk from a cup instead?

tiktok Sun 24-Jul-11 18:23:09

jess, I agree with Rita - there seems to be no rush for this, and you are both getting upset. It's not worth struggling - no one learns a new skill when they are upset (imagine trying to learn to drive when you really don't want to and are distressed....). Leave it a few weeks, try again in a low key way...and as she will be 6 mths by the time you absolutely need her to take a bottle, she can have a cup anyway smile

jesstar Sun 24-Jul-11 18:28:15

Thanks for the replies, I have tried EBM and formula, she doesn't like either unfortunately. I am using Avent bottles with the slowest teat as she doesn't drink too fast and it collects in the back of her throat and she coughs if it's too fast. She has taken the bottle once or twice, usually when I've been out, so I know that she CAN suck from this bottle - I get the impression that she just doesn't WANT to sad

I would like to stop completely by October as I will be working Mon-Weds and I've never been able to express a great deal of milk, certainly not enough to keep her going all day when she's in nursery.

suzym1984 Sun 24-Jul-11 20:06:24

Hi Jess,

I had this same problem with my DS when he was 12 weeks old, apparently this is prime time for bottle refusal, he had previously taken a bottle every day no problem!
Things I tried:

* gave him the bottle to play with, he loved holding it and then would inevitably stick it in his mouth!
* I gave DS a dummy to suck sometimes, so he got used to something other than my nipple in his mouth.
* when things were getting upsetting I left it a few days so that it didnt become a big issue, then tried again.

I managed to get DS to take a bottle after about a week and with no crying or fuss, using the strategies above. Also, try not to feel awaful about it. You've given her the best possible start in life, and you are not starving her or doing anything awful. Please dont feel guilty.

Nagini Sun 24-Jul-11 20:11:59

I agree letting her play with the bottle is a good idea.

A lot will change in 3 months, she will be weaning and you can introduce formula from a cup if you have to. I would lay off for a bit, as it is really going to stress you out trying 4 times a day.

Also remember that a 6 month old feeds on far fewer occasions per day than a 3 month old, so cutting down BFs later will be much easier than it is now.

jesstar Wed 27-Jul-11 11:26:14

Thanks everyone for the support, I am getting increasingly stressed about it, as I have been trying one or two bottles each day and not getting anywhere. She plays with the teat in her mouth for a couple of minutes but then screams the place down. She managed to drink once or twice facing away from me distracted by loud music on the TV, but won't drink from my mum or husband. I think you're right, I need to leave it a while and accept that if it doesn't happen, she could try a cup later on.

nomoregandtforme Wed 27-Jul-11 13:22:40

Hi jesstar - I'm currently in the process of switching to formula in the day - ds starting nursery in 2 weeks. I was having similar problems - i found the only way was to heat the milk 'til it was really warm. Sometimes this meant reheating after half a bottle!! If it was too cold he would just chew on the teat.

However I didn't start trying 'til 5months - so if it really upsetting her maybe try again later.

Another thought - our first success with any bottle was at the dreamfeed - maybe fooled him?!

Good luck!

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