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Struggling to get 7 week old to take bottle

(16 Posts)
MujosMama Thu 03-Aug-17 21:51:39

My 7 week old son is really fighting taking a bottle. He is breastfed but from the time he was 3 days old we have been giving him expressed milk from a bottle when we are out and about, and he's taken it with no issues. We also started giving him a formula feed at night about 3 weeks ago in an effort to a) get him used to the taste as I am planning on slowly stopping breastfeeding and expressing before I go back to work in October and b) try and get him to sleep a little longer at night (he only sleeps for about 2 hours between feeds). He gulped it down with no complaints the first 2-3 times then started to resist, even when I know he's hungry, he just cries and mouths around the teat, he'll take a little bit, maybe 30-40 MLS over half an hour but it's a fight the whole time, especially when his dad tries (he'll take it a bit more easily from me). I have tried changing to medium flow teats (my milk lets down extremely fast so he is used to gulping a lot down quickly and I thought maybe he was frustrated with the slow flow) and changing to a different brand of bottle (he has always taken the Tommee Tippee closer to nature without an issue until now, I've also tried the Nuby natural touch) with no joy. My health visitor just said to keep trying every day and eventually he'll get used to it but it gets to the point where he's so upset and so hungry that I feel I have to breastfeed him just to calm him down. I went out tonight for the first time without him, just for a couple of hours, and his dad had to call me to come home as he just would not take any food at all and was inconsolable. I got home, breastfed him and he fed ravenously and then fell straight asleep but I really need to be able to leave him when I need to, as I have KIT days coming up where I'll be in the office for about 4 hours at a time.

I am just wondering whether anyone has any other advice? If we hadn't introduced the bottle earlier I would feel better just powering through it but I can't see what might have triggered the switch to him refusing it sad

Thanks in advance!!

OP’s posts: |
EveryoneTalkAboutPopMusic Sun 06-Aug-17 17:07:42

It's completely normal for them to make a choice and he's chosen Bfing smile

I can't really help as both of mine were bottle refusers but if you search the MN archive you'll find lots of threads on bottle refusal.

MujosMama Sun 06-Aug-17 17:47:37

Thank you! I know there's other threads on bottle refusal from the start but I was hoping there might be some magic cure for an awkward little poo who has suddenly decided he doesn't like it sad I am going to persist with giving him 1 feed a day out of the bottle even if he fights it and just hope it gets easier confused

OP’s posts: |
kiwiblue Sun 06-Aug-17 18:39:14

I'm in a very similar situation to you OP. First introduced at 7 weeks, he was fine, then took against it a few weeks later. Similar behaviour to your baby and I was also called home from dinner by my DH (it was the first and only time I've gone out to dinner!) I have persisted in giving it, initially in morning when he's more chilled, then afternoon and then evening. He mostly takes it now but it can still be a fight and I haven't tried going out again, also as he eats a lot so I'm not sure I can express enough. Apparently it isn't unusual for them to take against it as they get older after taking it fine initially. Just persevere I would say, I do know people who have succeeded! Good luck.

MujosMama Sun 06-Aug-17 19:27:58

Aargh thanks @kiwiblue good to know I'm not alone! Trying at different times of day is a great idea, mine is also much more placid in the daytime so I'll try that first thank you smile I suppose we just have to keep repeating it's not forever!!

OP’s posts: |
Appraiser Sun 06-Aug-17 19:41:18

You can keep trying but from experience try to accept that it is what it is currently.

I spent hours attempting to get Dd to take a bottle after previously taking one, then refusing, then eventuallt taking one when i went into hospital, then refusing there after from 14 weeks old. Tricks which may or not work:

Fast flowing teat
Warmer than normal milk (dd took it when it was quite hot)
Try different positions eg lying on the floor
Feed him with breast but only half a feed and then switch to bottle
Someone else feed with a bottle after an hour before his next breastfeeding. Keep yourself in a completely different room or go to the hairdressers!

I wish we hadn't persevered as much as we did. It stressed me, dh and dd out and there was no need. Winding down bf in October is still over 10 weeks away. Try to enjoy that time feeding and not stressing over stopping feeding.

reallyanotherone Sun 06-Aug-17 19:48:20

Agree with appraiser.

Some just change their mind. 7 weeks is about the right time for it, when they become more about human interaction than just food.

My first refused bottles. I stressed. In the end we went cold turkey. Once she got the hang of bottles she then refused the breast.

My second also refused. I gave up and just breastfed. It is possible to work and continue breastfeeding, it is common in the uS to "reverse cycle" so feed babies in the evening and night rather than the day as they go back to work so soon. Mine was 6m, so i fed her morning, evening, before bed, and once in the night, and was able to have rice cakes or yoghurt if she got hungry in between. Worked fine.

kiwiblue Sun 06-Aug-17 20:18:50

Exactly OP it's not forever. Good advice from the other posters too. It really upset me at first as I felt so tied to him (and still do) but I've now accepted it and feel I might have to just hang in there until we start introducing food. I'm wondering if I can introduce a formula feed and if he'll take that, so I can leave him occasionally- but no idea if that will happen!

MujosMama Sun 06-Aug-17 21:10:44

Thank you again all! Maybe you're right and I am stressing over nothing and I just need to chill out for a bit smile I know he won't starve if I leave him for 4 hours at a time. It's more my DP that I'm worried about, he is much more prone than me to worrying when the baby cries that something is seriously wrong instead of just trying different things, he just panics and calls me. I am going to try and ease him into looking after him more when he has days off so I'm in the house if he needs me but he gets more used to settling him. We did have some success today with a bottle in the daytime and yes @Appraiser having it very warm did seem to help smile

OP’s posts: |
Appraiser Sun 06-Aug-17 21:30:42

@mujosMama my MIL literally gave it dd as hot as she could and then she had it. Even now I don't "cool" her food, never needed to, she must just like hot food 😂 Glad something I've said helped. Easy to say as I'm one to worry, and you're in the thick of it but try to relax about it. Keep trying daily but don't make it harder for yourself or husband; nor force it. The floor feeding DH did was after weeks of refusal and he was half heartedly trying and she just toolbox it, lying on her side in front of the tv 😳 DH didn't move in case she stopped and he was in an awkward position!

Appraiser Sun 06-Aug-17 21:31:25

*took not toolbox 😘

MujosMama Sun 06-Aug-17 21:37:59

Brilliant! Got a great image in my head of baby on the floor just casually drinking and not even looking while dad is contorted like he's playing twister 😂😂

OP’s posts: |
GoodLuckTime Sun 06-Aug-17 21:57:14

Carry on offering the bottle regularly but do it with expressed milk. It's less of a change, milks the same, so it's just the bottle.

My dd would rearrange her feeds to avoid the bottle (of expressed) so we swapped a round when it was offered to her.

As I knew she would have it sometimes it made me less worried if I needed to go out.

How old will your baby be when you go back to work?

You don't have to stop BFing because you're going back. DD was seven months when I went back to q full on job. I fed her:

6am ish
8am just before I left
She was offered 2x expressed milk during the day
5.30/6pm when I got home
7.30ish her bedtime
10.30ish my bedtime
As needed through the night, usually once or twice.

I expressed at work and she had that milk the following day, then froze Friday's for Monday.

As she got older we dropped tp one day expressed feed, and then I stopped expressing daily and she went the working day without around 1yr.

I fed her until she was 2.5 years (but then just a little at bedtime) and it was honestly the best thing I've ever done and was a lovely was to stay bonded through the transition back to work and as she grew up.

Also the best thing ever when they are ill / upset etc.

DD is four and still talks about it / to my boobs!

MujosMama Sun 06-Aug-17 22:07:32

@GoodLuckTime I'm going back part time for half days this month, so he'll be 2 months, then I'm building up to going back 2 days a week in October when he's 4 months and full time in January. He'll be with a childminder 3 days a week and with his dad the other 2 when I'm back, so he needs to be comfortable taking food from different people. I guess he'll also be starting to wean but who knows how that will be going at that point!

I don't really want to express at work, I know that they are supposed to make allowances if I do but with the job I do (lots of meetings, full on days, open plan office) I don't particularly want to. I am happy to work down to just feeding him at night and express in the morning if I need to, I am also building up a stock of milk in the freezer as I am expressing about every other day at the moment. So he is getting a combination of expressed milk, occasional formula and mostly boob. So hopefully we can work something out that works for all of us before then smile

OP’s posts: |
MujosMama Sat 12-Aug-17 20:16:17

Omg we have success!! Just wanted to report back in case anyone else is having a similar issue. Firstly thank you again for the suggestion to try different times of day and try it very warm - both of those seemed to massively help. I also had the idea of trying MAM bottles as they're the only brand of dummy he'll take and they have a very different teat shape (small and flat) and he takes them!! He'll only take about an oz and a half at a time but it's enough to satisfy him and tonight he took a bottle feed from someone other than me (DP) for the first time. He also took a small feed from my mum from the Tommee Tippee bottle so I am crossing all my fingers and toes that this means that he is getting over the aversion slowly. Having a glass of fizz to celebrate 😂

OP’s posts: |
Appraiser Sat 12-Aug-17 23:15:43

Great news. Enjoy the fizz

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