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Help! How Get EBF 8 months old on to bottle before starting back at work?

(11 Posts)
Vielendank Sat 05-Jan-13 09:57:10

Have been breastfeeding since baby born, initially was pumping and storing milk as paranoid re milk supply. This wasn't a problem in the end and my boobs were pretty much always engorged as I think i messed with the regulation of milk.

Ended up getting mastitis at 2/3 months which was pretty horrid and put me off expressing (I used both a hand amd machine pump and would often find boobs a bit sore). Never really liked hand expression.

In first few weeks would take BM from bottle in evening as 'extra top up' and this helped with sleep as milk supply often diminished and felt she was often sucking on empty boob otherwise.

Also took ff milk (occasionally and with much encouragement!) when had to leave with parents for emergency (only ever left for max 2-3 hours).

Since mastitis have been put off expressing, and wish to try and encourage drinking ff from bottle. Also would like to give bottle at night to free me up more and also hopefully prolong sleep at night ( I know people may say this may not work but I wish to try it nonetheless).

Has not had bottle since about 3 months at all. Weaned at 6 months, sporadic intake.

Past 4 months sleep has gone to pot...possiblly due to teething. Used to sleep through from 9/10pm til 3/4am with a breastfeeding and nappy change and then sleep through til 8/9.

Now wakes up at least 4/5 times. Sometimes needs feeding, sometimes settles with cuddles. The other night woke up literally eventually 20 minutes. Am knackered and very very stressed as am going back to work in a few weeks.

Hardy ever sleeps during day despite encouragement for naps in mornng and evening, max sleeps for 10- 20 minutes.

Problems is

Won't drink from bottle - pushes away, may take a few sucks and then realises is not boob and starts crying/getting angry. Have tried when sleepy, happy etc. partner and gps also tried, me in and out of room. Warm/cold. Tried different bottles and teats. Different brands. Tried breast milk in bottle- no joy.

Have tried being bit tougher in the day, just trying to encourage milk fom bottle, yogurts, cheese, milk and food. Variable.

Will then breastfeed at night (feeds to sleep) and through the night approx 2-4 times.

Would be happy to continue breastfeeding whilst at work ie morn/night, but am starting back with random shifts which means early morning starts, last evening starts and often not finishing until the early hours of morning. This would not really fit in with her sleep pattern

Don't really like expressing milk after past experiences.

How can I get her to take the bottle? There may be no option when I get back to work, and I'm getting very stressed by the prospect.

Sorry for the essay, have been lurking for ages and trying to get answers but am close to giving up!

Thank you all in advance!

jennimoo Sat 05-Jan-13 13:53:52

I went back at 8 months and my bottle refuser would only drink from straws. The munchkin ones were our favourite. HTH

ZuleikaD Sat 05-Jan-13 16:00:40

You won't be able to get a bottle refuser to take a bottle, especially not if she hasn't had it for five months. However at 8 months she can get milk from a sippy cup during the day.

Most 8mo are still having night feeds - is there any way you can avoid night shifts for a couple of months? IME around 10m is often when it starts being easiest to wean them off night feeds because solids are starting to kick in.

Somersaults Sat 05-Jan-13 16:05:58

I had similar problem but without irregular shifts at work. In the end I just left her in the day without and when I wasn't there she didn't seem to want it anyway. Would not/will not take anything from a bottle but will drink milk and water from a straw cup throughout the day. I feed her when I arrive to collect her in the evening and then whenever she demands throughout the night and early morning. I know that doesn't help your tiredness because of night feeds but they will gradually diminish I'm sure, especially as she starts to eat more solids in the day.

cassell Sat 05-Jan-13 16:06:34

My 8mo bottle refuser is happy to take some ebm in a sippy cup- I've been trying with him with it in the day when he's not too upset/hungry and he likes it. Have you tried a sippy cup?

KristinaM Sat 05-Jan-13 16:10:04

DS woudl take fridge cold cows milk in a sippy cup. I don't think he associated it in any way with BF. Wouldn't touch formula -no wonder, have you tasted it? It's vile after lovely sweet BM

zaz123456 Sat 05-Jan-13 16:19:27

I breastfed both my children. My daughter was easy to get on the bottle, however my son was very difficult. I went back to work when he was around ten months old, my son was going to day care nursery. I tried the cold turkey approach by giving him the bottle, he hated it, I then was advised it may be because he can smell the breastmilk from you and is confused, I then asked husband to feed him, again he would not take the bottle. The staff at nursery tried him for a month and he still refused the bottle, but whilst they were trying this they put dry m=baby milk powder in his food and he still ate this. I just breastfed him in the morning and evening. Eventually he did take the bottle after around a month and a half. Just check with your health visitor if you can put baby milk powder into babies food as my experience was eight years ago. I hope this helps!!!

Molehillmountain Sat 05-Jan-13 16:42:43

I went back to work for a whole when dd1 was eight months old and carried on feeding her morning and evening (and initially a fair bit at night). I expressed at work but to be honest, she never really drank it. She just drank water from a cup in the day. The hv said she'd get enough milk from two good feeds a day and it seemed to be true. By then she also had three good meals a day.

ElphabaTheGreen Sat 05-Jan-13 16:47:36

Forget about the bottle and just go straight to a sippy cup - you're supposed to wean off bottles at 12 months anyway so don't bother with them. My 7 mo DS is a complete bottle refuser but is now taking full feeds of EBM from a sippy cup. It took persistence, but it's a lot easier to win them round with a cup, I found.

WRT constant night feeding, we have the same issue here. On the boob every 1.5 to 2 hours and I'm back at work in a month. confused As I understand it, that has more to do with an inability to get through sleep cycles independently, rather than solely a need for nutrition. Certainly in our case, it is boob that DS needs, rather than the milk so DH with a sippy cup of EBM won't cut it. You can either co-sleep and feed lying down if you don't want to night wean, or try something like the Pantley Pull-Off or gradually reducing the length of each feed over time then using other methods to settle (white noise with cuddling is effective for us) so that your DC also becomes less reliant on a full tummy. The frequent night waking may continue, though, even if you succeed with night weaning, especially around 9 months, as there's a sleep regression, but at least you might be able to share the load with your DP.

Vielendank Sat 05-Jan-13 19:02:26

thank you all for the thoughtful responses!

zuleika -unfortunately the dept i work in may not allow me to stay off night/late evening shifts as it may be perceived as being unfair to other colleagues....i met with my manager initially to ask about fixed days off with nursery etc and the response was not positive....the uncertainty of my going back to work has been a huge factor in my stress levels going up over the past few weeks as i will be working some weekends too.

cassell, kristina, molehill she has been drinking from a sippy cup - mainly water, but have been trying to get some milk in there. this morning tried to trick her by sticking some strawberry yogurt in. she also drinks from an egg cup (i let her hold the sides).

i do find that most of the time she's just grinding her teeth aganst the glass/plastic/rubber trying to get relief from teething and the fact that any fluid gets gulped down is a bonus.

jenimoo, somersaults will try the straw idea!

one interesting thing is since cutting down on milk feeds during the day she is eating more of her meals (used to pick at stuff) and has two 'better (relatively!) nights sleep as a result. we shall see if this lasts!

elphaba - thanks for the info about the sleep training, we are trying some of the stuff out but find that when she's teething she often just screams ad screams if we try to put her down. she;s also started to climb up and look over the cot sides (even though we've lowered them) and sometimes bangs her head on the sides, with more crying ensuing!

zaz i guess it just is going to take time....

once again thank you for the ideas

zaz123456 Sat 05-Jan-13 23:30:00

Pleasure, good luck with going back to work!!

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