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Desperate. How to get DS to take a bottle?

(11 Posts)
Primafacie Fri 14-Oct-11 18:47:36

DS is 5 months and EBF. From about 3 weeks he used to take a bottle of expressed BM once a day but that stopped on 20 August. Since then we have kept offering, tried different teats including tommy tippee and breastflow, tried various cups but he will have none of it.

DH, my mum, my aunt and two nannies (ours and a friend of hers) have tried. He has a few sucks but then explodes screaming and will refuse to suck, and the screaming lasts forever or until he crashes with exhaustion.

I have tried leaving him for a few hours, then longer periods, thinking when he is really hungry he will suck it up (literally). That hasn't worked - yesterday he had less than 4 ounces (I suspect closer to two) over a 14 hour period. I feel horribly guilty that I am starving him and don't want to jeopardise his growth - he was born six weeks early and has been gaining really well so far, starting on the 0.2% centile and now between 9th and 25th despite reflux.

I am absolutely desperate to get him to take bottles so I can go back to work. I work long hours and taking him with me is not an option. DH and I were also supposed to go on a one night trip in a country inn at the end of the month after what has been a really difficult year (horrible pregnancy issues, lost one twin, then my dad passed away and then several hospital stays with tiny preemie). We've already postponed it twice and I could really do with a break sad gosh I am wallowing in self pity aren't I? blush

Please, please someone tell me how to get him to feed from a bottle! He used to take them with no fuss at all, which makes it even more frustrating.


WombOnTheBroom Fri 14-Oct-11 19:52:53

Poor you (and no, it doesn't sound at all like self-pity). I'm so sorry for your losses.

It must be so annoying that he used to take bottles. And so upsetting too.

I tried just about everything like you have - what ended up working for us was me being at a training course for five days when DS was 6 months. DS and I were staying with my mum and dad and I fed him as normal mornings and evenings (and at night) but during the day they just persisted. I was away for about 7-8 hours per day, which would have been about 3 feeds. I think it was day 3 that he finally started to accept the bottle. It was my dad who got it working - he found that if he held DS in a slightly forward-facing (as opposed to a cradle-type hold) he was keener on it. Also they tried to distract him with CBEEBIES so he didn't really clock what was going on.

After that week DS still loved his breastfeeds but would take bottles if needed (though he was never keen on them from me).

Bubandbump Fri 14-Oct-11 20:25:35

Just a thought - are you sure the reflux isn't caused by cows milk protein intolerance? I am not sure but it could be made worse by using formula as it is more cows milk based than breast milk , therefore making him associate it with increased pain. Completely off the wall but I have nothing to add as 5mo DD won't take a bottle now despite taking one with every feed for the gaviscon up to about 10wo. So very similar! Stubborn these babies...

Bubandbump Fri 14-Oct-11 20:28:00

Sorry I do have something to add, DD has been slightly more receptive to a brown orthodontic teat from nuk. We are just persevering and trying every day.

Primafacie Mon 17-Oct-11 23:33:02

Thanks Womb and Bub, I am at my wits' end! Will try the nuk teat and I will also try to get someone in to feed him during the day for a few days on end. Finges crossed...

babyambition1 Wed 19-Oct-11 17:36:48

Totally sympathise, I'm in the exact same position with my 6 month old. I've tried different bottles, different teats (incl NUK which he isn't impressed by), cups, sippy cups, formula, BM, water, juice, other people trying to feed him, different positions - anything and everything to try and encourage DD to take from a vessel other than my boobs! All he does is put the bottle is his mouth and use it as a teething toy, spitting out the contents. A woman on the bus today did tell me that the same thing happened with hers and then one day, DD accepted defeat and took the bottle. Maybe it's about gentle perseverance every day until they give in!!! Good luck and persevere.

Primafacie Sun 23-Oct-11 19:18:36

Well we admitted defeat and called in a professional! I hired a maternity nurse and within hours he took the (Tommy Tippee) bottle from her shock. I think the little devil knew she meant business and that resistance was futile. He then took bottles from DH and me too. It has been 5 days now and he is guzzling them down like nothing ever happened - makes me wish I'd called a MNurse much sooner. She also put him on a routine which means he sleeps for much longer at night and has also helped with the reflux as he is not feeding constantly . All in all an excellent outcome. Thanks everyone for your advice and commiserations, and good luck with your bottle refuseniks.

Hoooray! Thats good news. I'm sorry you've had such a tough year & hope you have a brilliant break.

Do you mind me asking where you found the nurse? And what part of the country are you in? LO won't take one either. He's only 10 weeks so I'm not quite panicking yet but I'd definitely look into it if he's not taking one by the new year.

Primafacie Mon 24-Oct-11 09:46:18

ATruth, she is with an agency called Eden Nannies which a couple of my friends used and recommended. I'm in London.

Good luck with your son, I hope he takes a bottle soon!

Robotindisguise Mon 24-Oct-11 10:52:25

Go up a teat size. I know some say BF babies should stick with newborn tests but this wasn't our experience. DD would start refusing teats as she "outgrew" them, went up a size and we were away again

witchwithallthetrimmings Mon 24-Oct-11 11:01:18

when do you plan on going back to work? Now-ish or in a month or so. If you can afford to leave it a bit it might be better to wait until after he is on solids and is happy drinking from a beaker.

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