Back to work next week- baby won't feed from bottle or cup(3 Posts)
DD is 6 months old and ebf. Unfortunately I have to go back to work next week (3 days per week). I'll be away from her from 7.30am until about 6pm and she will be with family. I've been trying for the past few months (not everyday) to get her to take a bottle of expressed milk. Have tried various family members feeding her, different temperatures, teats, bottles, doidy cup etc. she really doesn't seem to know how to latch on to a bottle and has never sucked it. She chews the teat of her Medela bottle and gets a bit of milk in her mouth that way but not enough. I've tried her when she's been really hungry and have also left her for 4.5 hours with a family member a few times, during which time she took about 0.5 oz from the bottle and some of that will have been dribbled onto her bib. With the doidy cup she has taken about 15mls but again, most of it is spilt and dribbled away. When I've left her for long periods of time like this she feeds constantly in the night (probably every 2 hours).
We've been doing baby led weaning and she's not really "eating" anything as such yet. I'm worried that with a combination of this and not drinking milk she's going to be very hungry and it's dangerous to leave her with no hydration or nutrition. Is it worth starting to spoon feed just to ensure she has something inside her?
I think it's unlikely a healthy baby of that age would refuse all fluids to the point of dehydration so I don't think it's dangerous. I think she will either make up for it overnight or take something eventually from your family member, or more likely a bit of both. She knows that milk comes out of the bottle and the cup so even if she takes 15mls now and again she'll be fine. But if spoonfeeding makes you feel a bit happier about leaving her then why not do that? I used to combine spoonfeeding and the ideas of BLW by putting food on the spoon and encouraging him to grab the spoon when he wanted more so he was actively involved in it.
Do you think whoever is looking after her will be able to stay calm about it or are they worried too? I think it will be counterproductive if they get stressed and are worrying that she's getting dehydrated and trying to force fluids into her - I think they just need to offer regularly and then take it away if she doesn't want it.
My breastfed baby wasn't keen on bottles either despite having had them when he was tiny, but I found in the end that he was better with a sippy cup in his bouncy chair, rather than being cuddled. I just used an ikea free flow sippy cup.
PS another way to look at it is that some babies at this age are sleeping for 12 hours so having a 12 hour gap without food or drink, which is similar to the time you are away.
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