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Bottle just not happening- feeling stressed!

(24 Posts)
mogwai2011 Wed 19-Mar-14 19:06:05

DS is 14 weeks and EBF up until about 4 weeks ago. Since then we've been trying to introduce a bottle by giving him a small feed once/twice a day. We thought the issue was teats at first so switched to Nuk latex teats on advice of health visitor and Mumsnet posts! However, we're still not having much luck and not making any progress with it, in that he'll lick the teat a bit and play with it or give it a quick squeeze, but has yet to latch on and suck properly. He gets frustrated after a few mins and starts to cry so we end up stopping. I've tried giving him the bottle when he's not too hungry and it doesn't make any difference. He isn't rejecting it outright but he's not actually drinking either.
I know it's a big learning curve for him and very different to the breast and we're trying to be patient, but I'm getting to the point now where I just need a few hours out by myself at some point too (have an energetic 3yo too).
Adding to the issue is the fact that we don't have any family nearby and friends are all busy on weekdays, so it falls to me during the day and my husband in the evening to try him with a bottle. By this time, both are usually tired and getting grumpy so it's probably not helping matters...and naturally he's more reluctant to accept a bottle from me and just wants the breast!
I started off expressing but moved to formula last week and there doesn't appear to be any difference in how he's reacted to the bottle and is no more or less enthusiastic.
Any hints or tips from those that have been in similar situations would really be appreciated please!!! A few people have suggested leaving him for a few hours when he's due a feed and hoping he'll take the bottle if he's hungry, but we can only do this at weekends and not consistently each day- is this enough.

Revdog82 Wed 19-Mar-14 19:42:22

Hello, I had to check I hadn't written this myself as I am having exactly same issues, I have tried 5 different bottle brands on my 14 week old baby boy but no joy, have just got nuk latex teats today and have everything crossed they will work tommorow, so unfortunately can't offer solution but can give you ideas that people have me.

. Do feeds if possible in morning when there most relaxed
. While breastfeeding sneak bottle in
. Leave the baby with your dh so baby can't smell your milk
. Temperature are you doing it at room temp, cold warmer than your breastmilk. A friend of mine succeeded by having the milk a little bit warmer than usual.
. Feed him in a different environment so he's distracted - I went for lunch with a friend and tried the bottle and he took 4 oz the only time he took it.
.Feed him in his bouncer or car seat- again different environment
. Try mam bottle - people swear by them, not me though didn't work
. Stay calm when attempting- my dh would get so stressed my lo would just cry and link the bottle to that situation.
. From 4 months you can try a sippy cup.
None of the above worked for me excluding sippy cup but it's worked for others so may work for you.

Good luck I hope you find something that works.

mogwai2011 Wed 19-Mar-14 20:02:35

Hi Revdog, thanks for those suggestions and sorry to hear you're having problems as well...nice to know we're in the same boat though at least so maybe we can find a solution together?!
I've tried all of the above (apart from sippy cup), though none consistently tbh and agree that a stressed husband doesn't help the situation....really wish I had my mum nearby at times like this!
Sippy cup scares me at mo as fwel like he might just gag or choke, but at least it's an optuon if all else fails by next month.
Think until I leave the house for a few hours though, he'll just expect to be breastfed if he cries enough as I'm sure they work it out by this age!
Good luck with the Nuk teats, let me know how you get on.

momb Wed 19-Mar-14 20:12:51

Unmumsnetty hugs to you both.
It does sounds as if between the two of you everything you can reasonably try is covered. All I can add is: don't worry. This stage will pass, though it may take a while and it may be that your boys never really like the bottle. Three good BFs a day and bottles in between may be the way to go. Don't worry if they seem distressed; it's as new for them as it is for you.
Years ago I had to go back to work when my eldest was 14 weeks and wouldn't take a bottle except when absolutely starving: I would drop her at nursery with 8 1oz bottles, as she'd take a bottle when really hungry but spit it out as soon as that initial hunger was assuaged. It was such a stressful time but didn't even cause a blip on her weight chart. Just keep plugging away and the bottle will become less alien eventually.

Mim78 Wed 19-Mar-14 21:41:39

I used playtex system when dd was terrible bottle refuser - worked a dream! She literally wouldn't take anything else and needed prescription formula urgently.

I've just seen you can order them from now - 5 years ago we had to order from with enormous shipping costs!

Now using for ds with no problems. - this time just so I get the odd break as he is healthy.

TerrifiedMothertobe Wed 19-Mar-14 21:46:22

Mogwai2011- I feel your pain. I have a 15 week old and a 2.5 year old. Baby is feeding every two hours day and night and has been for a few weeks (did have a period of 2/3 feeds per night but that's blown up). I too am desperate to get him to take a bottle. My mother is terminally ill and he screams the hospital down when I go in there so I can't take him, but as he refuses a bottle, I can't leave him, even for a couple of hours. I am desperate to spend some time with my mothered desperate for some sleep/ time away from baby. My son also has an op after Easter and will need a fair bit of after csre, so I would like to be able to hive baby to a friend for a few hours a day, just so I can lavish some attention on him.

Have you had any more joy? Baby has on the very odd occasion taken 20/30ml of formula from my husband, but only in the mornings. Afternoons he cluster feeds from 3-7 hospital visiting hours) and flatly refuses bottle and screams uncontrollably until he is just so distressed.

What are these mam bottles? We have always had advent, I thought about something with a softer teet may work...

I too am super desperate.

Chocolateteabag Thu 20-Mar-14 02:14:42

Mine refused an Avent bottle point blank when introduced at 8 weeks, tried a Tommy Tippee closer to nature and he took it (and still is each night and is now 13 weeks)

dS1 had Tommy Tippee CTN bottles, not sure why I got the Avent ones (probably on offer)

I've seen other threads on here where people have found the TT ones are more readily accepted.

Chocolateteabag Thu 20-Mar-14 02:21:13

But I also have a sippy cup and a Doidy cup (slanted cup) in reserve in case DS2 does change his mind.
You have my sympathies as it freaked me out when the first bottle was completely a non starter.

Also to add, I got a TT CTN bottle which had a sippy cup attachment as well as a stage 1 teat (from Asda) which means if the teat is refused, you at least have the sippy cup (which they will use when bigger). You can then buy the bigger bottles and teats if they are liked
Trying all different options gets expensive!

mogwai2011 Thu 20-Mar-14 08:01:28

Thanks for all the replies, and I'm so sorry to hear about your Mum TerrifiedMothertobe. It must be a very stressful time for you and makes me my situation seem very trivial by comparison, I have nothing to complain about really other than some tiredness and frustration

So to update, my husband tried the bottle again after work yesterday and my son did his usual thing of playing with teat and then gave up after a few mins. Then within a few mins I was BF in order to save everyone's sanity at that time of the evening when my husband was knackered after a very tough day at work etc. So of course not ideal as I'm sure he's old enough now to work out rejecting botyle = BF. We plan to try the bottle over the weekend more while I'm out of the house and when he's due a feed so fingers crossed eh?!

Our sleep situation is identical to yours too bizarrely- we were going great with 2 feeds a night and now it's all gone pear shaped with feeds every 1.5 hours and lots of tossing and turning in between (whichbthen kerps me awake). So while he sleeps soundly now after a bad night, I'm up with my 3yo reading story books!!!

Still, I have to laugh because otherwise I'd just get fed up and when all is said and done, we're all healthy so that's all that matters really and we'll persevere with the bottle.

Not sure whether to try TT bottles, had said I wouldn't keep buying more bottles as on third set as it is...let me know if ye end up trying them....

mogwai2011 Thu 20-Mar-14 08:07:40

Meant to add Desperate Mothertobe, that as distressing as it is leaving your baby upset while you visit your Mum, perhaps once he realises that the bottle is the only option then he'll start to take it? You could try it consistently every day so he learns what's happening, though admittedly it'll be distressing for whoever is looking after him...think that's the bit my husband is dreading at the weekend too but it has to be done. Especially for you with your sons op coming up as well, you're more under pressure to find a solution.

TerrifiedMothertobe Thu 20-Mar-14 11:51:11

Thanks- it's a pretty shitty time. Just back from seeing he, and after a grilling as to why I would want to give a bottle, she suggested the following:

Out baby in an unfamiliar feeding position- ie bouncy chair
These feeding frenzies, aren't for nutrition but comfort (big growth spurt between 14-19 weeks, check out wonder weeks if you aren't familiar)
Best bottles are the old fashioned long teet silicone type with a fast flow.
Warm milk, more than you would normally give as our milk is at body temp (39)

So I have picked up boots cheapest bottle and got some fast flowing teets

So, the sterilizer is on, I'm going to give my husband the job this afternoon and I have bought some silicone dummies (he won't are a dummy) to use when he wants a booby cuddle and I'm not about.

I will let you know how I get on.

Oh, and sleep is one of the best reasons plausible for going a baby a bottle now and again. Grumpy tired mum is no joy for anyone.

Here goes......

gingercat2 Thu 20-Mar-14 12:02:42

Having exactly the same problems with my 14 week old! I want to start part time work soon. I will try the suggestion of making bottle a bit warmer, have tried almost everything else except various brands (have Avent) as I don't want to waste money.

Revdog82 Thu 20-Mar-14 14:40:01

Just an update - I tried the nuk latex teats this morning only tried 2 oz just to see and he took the whole lot, only down side was teat seemed a little fast so had to hold him very upright otherwise he choked a little. I'm not counting my chickens yet though because this has happened before. So I will express tomorrow and then get partner to give tomorrow evening.

It's funny cause what terrifiedmothertobe about her mum saying about old fashioned bottle with long teats is the same as what my mum said, she couldn't believe the different bottles and teats which are on sale now. Maybe we need to go back to the old skool bottles.

mogwai2011 Thu 20-Mar-14 15:12:36

That's fab Revdog, glad you had some success- must be a relief! Fingers crossed you're on a roll now eh?!...

TerrifiedMothertobe Thu 20-Mar-14 16:14:12

I feel like I may have just won the lottery.

Husband is busy, my suspense meant I could wait no more.

Baby fussing, calmed him, put in bouncy chair, administered formula in boots cheap bottles (look like the sort of thing you would feed a lamb with) and at arms length waggled it in his mouth. Fast teet on so milk dripped in his mouth, he was a bit unsure but..... Just took 3 1/2 Ozs! I cannot believe it!

He didn't look at me at all, just this wonderful new object.... Ooh a milk dispenser!

I will try again tomorrow and see if he takes it again. Total cost for 3 bottles and a couple of additional teets around £5.

For once, I feel like I have had some genuinely good advice from a health visitor, I know that sounds harsh, but they can be so pressuring at times.

Good luck ladies, I hope my luck is changing. He's smiling at me so he's happy! Let me know how you get on and I will check in tomorrow.

Spotsondots Thu 20-Mar-14 19:57:55

Watching with interest in a similar situation.

6.5 mo DS is EBF but isn't gaining enough weight. Also feeds super frequently (2 hrly day and night). I am exhausted and want the option of a break plus he needs more calories.

Enter the bottle. We had one successful feed this afternoon using a TT CTN bottle and variflow teat. He point blank refused before bed but guess I was being a bit optimistic there as he was very tired and tends to feed to sleep (another can of worms for another thread!)

If it helps my one successful feed today (and there have been many more unsuccessful ones before it!) was when DS was not too hungry (he had just had lunch) and was distracted by other people in the house.

Am going to try again tomorrow mid morning and see what happens... Unfortunately DH works such long hours he is never here in the week to help with this...

mogwai2011 Fri 21-Mar-14 06:40:15

Great stuff TerrifiedMothertobe, soooo pleased for you! Your post made me laughout liad when you said about feeding lambs! :-) Needless to say, I'm off to Boots this morning as I can justify another fiver! Looked online and there are quite a few bottles and teats- can you let me know which one exactly please? And it's a silicon teat yeah? Thanks! Good luck with the feeds today as well.

TerrifiedMothertobe Fri 21-Mar-14 08:28:00

My husband jus got another 90ml into him!

They are boots basic bottles, come shrink wrapped in a pack of three, about £2.99 for those (incl teets) then I got two fast flowing teets for 1.49.

Good luck!

Revdog82 Fri 21-Mar-14 10:54:20

Well that was a short lived experience- today he rejected the bottle with latex teat.

Sales in boots bottles have just tripled, I think I'll try them too.

TerrifiedMothertobe Fri 21-Mar-14 17:53:58

Husband just had another success. Baby still desperate for booby comfort when I got home, but he did just take another 100ml feed whilst I was out. I hope I am not alone in this, good luck ladies. Xxx

TerrifiedMothertobe Fri 21-Mar-14 17:55:10

Oh and we feed him at arms length (literally) so not like a normal bottle feed. I don't think he then associates it with boob, just primal food need...

TerrifiedMothertobe Fri 21-Mar-14 18:28:32

Spotsondots Fri 21-Mar-14 19:12:57

I managed to get 4oz down DS this morning (I distracted him with the TV... ��)

TerrifiedMothertobe Fri 21-Mar-14 21:20:58

Bloody brilliant. Well done spotsondots. I am beginning to dream about bubbie giving a night feed..... I may be pushing it, but you all know what months and months of no. Sleep does to a woman...."

Righto, bedtime before The Giant wakes demanding a feed.

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