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Can an 8-month old last a working day without milk?

(23 Posts)
Guitargirl Tue 14-Aug-07 15:08:14

I am returning to work in a month's time when DD will be 8 months. DD is at the moment still breastfed on demand and has solid food three times a day (pretty small amounts but gradually increasing). She drinks sips of water from a doidy cup.

I will be back at work 3 days a week, on working days she will prob have her last breastfeed in the morning at about 7:15 and will not have another bf until 5:30 - 6:00.

In preparation for returning to work today we tried her with formula in a bottle, she pushed it around her mouth a bit and drank probably half an ounce before starting to cry. I was totally unprepared though for MY reaction to the whole thing. I KNOW it's ridiculous but I found it very difficult to watch her being fed with a bottle and ended up in tears in another room. Silly, silly, silly, I know .

The reason we are trying her on a bottle and not a cup is for her to have a bit of comfort when I am not around to bf (she is breastfed to sleep usually at the mo). Anyway, it's still early days and we have a month to work on it but what I am asking is if she doesn't take to formula in either bottle or cup and she still has breastmilk morning, evening and night is a working day too long for her to go without milk?

BlueberryPancake Tue 14-Aug-07 15:17:56

switching to the bottle is difficult for many toddlers, DS1 included. For same reasons as you i.e. returning to work. You will have to be patient!! you can try differnet bottles, nipples etc. I tried three before he finally accepted the Tomee Tippee one with little lumps on the nipple (sounds funny but if you see them in the shops you will recognise them!).

You can also warm up the nipple in hot water as it makes it more supple and 'breast-like'.

Don't worry too much about the tears, same thing happen to me. In fact, I have had to stop BFing second baby because of drugs I have to take for thyroid problems. I was crying my eyes out yesterday!

Oh and another tip - it took me a solid three weeks of offering a bottle to DS1 before he finally took it. If all fails, you can go straight to a beaker, I know mamy mums who ended up having to do that.

Take care, BP

nangnangnang Tue 14-Aug-07 15:18:06


I started back three weeks ago and had exactly the same worries. DS was 8 months old, still mostly BF but taking in some solids (BLW) and determined not to take anything from a bottle.

So far so good. He seems to eat enough with his CM to get through the day and, while he still won't take milk, he's delighted to see me at 5 (for my boobs if not my personality). As long as he's taking in some food and water (from a cup) when I'm working I try not to worry. The other four days a week he's BF throughout the day on demand alongside his solids.

The one thing I'd warn about is the risk of mastitis. It happened to me in week 1 back at work and was awful. Do try to express at least once during the day to keep up your supply and ensure your ducts don't get blocker.

Good luck returning to work. It's really hard at first but you do get used to it.

FromGirders Tue 14-Aug-07 15:23:11

HI guitargirl. I'm a CM and the wee girl I look after came to me a 6 months not taking a bottle. She does finger foods, a little puree (not much she doesn't like spoons) and some water from a cup. She was absolutely fine. She's very pleased to see her mum when she arrives though!
For comfort, I carried her in a back-sling, like her own mum does, she slept there quite a bit too. (I'm a sling-ing mummy myself, so it wasn't a sudden shock to my system or anything.)
Anyway, I wouldn't worry about it too much,. but as was said earlier, do watch for engorgement or blocked ducts, you might need to express a bit at work, for your own comfort if not for keeping.
Hope it all goes well, and try not to worry yourself!

Guitargirl Tue 14-Aug-07 16:03:54

Thank you for the replies!

We will persevere over the next few weeks, even if she just takes a few ounces during the day I won't have to worry so much if I'm stuck in traffic on the way home from work or something.

Guitargirl Tue 14-Aug-07 16:05:58

BlueberryPancake - I read your other thread. Am sorry you had to stop feeding before you wanted .

Jackstini Tue 14-Aug-07 16:09:32

GG - have you tried EBM? Might be the taste of formula she doesn't like, rather than the bottle.
My dd went for a working day from about 10 months - b/f at 7.30, 5ish and bedtime.
At first I had to express once per day but then got less and less and now go through ok (dd now 16 mo)

CatIsSleepy Tue 14-Aug-07 16:25:56

not exactly same situation as you but..

I dropped dd's afternoon milk at around 8 months or so
(maybe even a little earlier), mainly because she always threw so much of it up...(she was always a very pukey baby). She kept her solids down fine but would start throwing up after her afternoon milk...first milk, then some of her lunch seemed crazy to keep giving her milk as she couldn't be getting much or any benefit from it, so I stopped!

Tbh she never seemed to miss it. She's always been a good eater and I made sure I gave her lots of food with dairy products in to make up for loss of calcium etc. I think I gave her little snacks to begin with too, to get her through the afternoon.

hope this helps...

Guitargirl Tue 14-Aug-07 17:34:33

Jackstini - expressed milk would be ideal but I have never been able to express. Had a bad experience with it when DD was born in the hospital and have tried a few times since but can't get even a drop.

She has formula mixed in with her porridge in the morning and seems to have taken to that ok. She eats quite a bit of yoghurt too and cheese.

Jackstini Tue 14-Aug-07 22:17:37

Understand GG - can I ask did you try different pumps? Only querying as I cried tears of frustration getting mere drips out of hospital/other electric pumps with mw supervision but had no probs at all with a cheapo avent hand pump. (You have prob tried this already but just in case).
I still couldn't manage enough for 3 x day feeds when dd first went to nursery so used formula for 1. She cried her eyes out on sma gold but had no probs with Hipp organic so you could try different brands for her.
Good luck

Jackstini Tue 14-Aug-07 22:18:48

Oops, just read the bit about yog/cheese/bfast so she will prob be fine anyway.
Just prepare for that hungry smile when you see her each day!

Guitargirl Wed 15-Aug-07 19:22:32

Thank you! We tried again today without success, going to try a cup soon.

Jackstini - I have read your posts on another thread. I am very sorry .

TheOldestCat Thu 16-Aug-07 10:11:00


I can't add much to the other posters. But wanted to reassure you that it can take a while for them to get used to a bottle or a cup. It took DD a good few weeks and although now (at 9 months) she still only has a couple of swigs from a doidy cup twice a day, she is doing well and gaining weight, not getting dehydrated etc.

She has her main morning BF at 6:30 then a quick top-up BF at 8ish before I take her to nursery. They mix some EBM in with her breakfast there. She eats solids and has a few sips of water with them. I pick her up at 5 and she has a good BF when we get home!

So DD will be ok. And please don't despair if she doesn't take to it immediately.

littlethings Thu 16-Aug-07 10:38:55

I'm going through the same thing - back to work in 2 1/2 weeks and DS1 just over 9 months old now - will be 10 months when I go back. Have been trying to get him to take a bottle of formula during the daytime and he's not having any of it. He used to take EBM bottles when he was little but at about 16 wks started refusing and now I wish I'd persevered because am finding it a little stressful. I was hoping just to give him first bf in the morning and last one at bedtime (I live in London and with the commute etc I can only pick him up at 6 pm). Does anyone know is "nipple confusion" still an issue at this age or is this just him being determined about only wanting to feed from mummy?

nangnangnang Thu 16-Aug-07 11:44:44

Littlethings - this is only anecdotal I'm afraid but I'm convinced DS (9 mths) is making an informed choice (sounds ridiculous to say this about a babe, I know) when he refuses to take milk from anything other than breast. We tried all sorts to get him to take EBM from a cup or bottle before I returned to work but failed. If it doesn't work, try not to worry too much (harder said than done, of course) - with a range of healthy solids and some water during the day, he'll be fine just having BM in the morning and evening.

TheOldestCat Thu 16-Aug-07 11:45:28

Little things - in our case, it was being determined and just wanting to feed from mummy, rather than nipple confusion I think.

For us, it was a case of DD getting used to nursery and not just associating feeding with me. When feeding her, the women at nursery held a muslin that smelled of me (nice!) and that seemed to help her associate her cup with drinking milk.

So, don't worry too much - it might just take him a little while to get used to it.

Also, is your DS eating solids? You can ask his carer to mix EBM/formula in with his breakfast, puddings etc.

Jackstini Thu 16-Aug-07 16:29:52

Thanks GG - let us know how you are getting on with the feeding

hobnob57 Thu 16-Aug-07 20:06:58

GG I feel for you in this. I dropped the afternoon feed a few weeks back with my 8mo dd in preparation for work and she won't take formula. She just chews the bottle, and spits out the milk from a cup. We've changed formulas (she's dairy intolerant) and she'll take 1oz morning and afternoon which is a huge improvement, but it's hard not to worry about her fluid intake, and to decide when it's better to give her water (she takes this much better than milk from her sippy cup).

Then it's hard not to worry about her milk intake too. With her dairy thing I can't fill her up with cheese and yoghurt! I won't be able to express during the day, and she isn't feeding for very long at all morning and night so I'm worried about my milk supply. If it dries up then we're really going to be stuck!

I guess we just have to learn not to worry and to go with it, or else we'd go mental. Those 20oz/day guidelines really don't help (who made them up, anyway?). Hard, I know, when you've got an offended baby who has decided that if she's not getting your milk, then she'll not have any milk at all! I just keep telling myself that they know what's good for them and will come good in the end....

Jackstini Fri 17-Aug-07 09:52:40

Hobnob - feel for you. Is there no way you can express at work? They should provide you a private area to do so and a fridge for storage.
Saying that, I was based on the road a lot and expressed in many a service station!

Guitargirl Sun 19-Aug-07 20:13:39

Thanks to everyone for their advice!

Just to let you know how things are going. We have given up on the bottle totally, DD gets hardly anything at all from it, just chews it and then cries. The last few days though she has taken small amounts of milk (about 1 oz) from a doidy cup. So that's what we'll be going with when I go back to work and hope for the best!

scienceteacher Sun 19-Aug-07 20:15:05

They don't necessarily need milk. They should be able to survive on solids.

Expect longer periods of breastfeeding at home and on the weekings - known as reverse-schedule nursing.

lyndyloo Sun 19-Aug-07 20:23:54

Same thing happened to me. I found that LO eventually fell in with the nursery routine and that involved all the babies having a bottle of milke (ebm/formula) at certain times. She still refused a bottle at home but was happy to have it at nursery after they tried it every day - she eventually got the message as I am sure your LO will!

madness Sun 19-Aug-07 20:29:00

just to add to what others said. DD2 just has solids and water at nursery. Initially tried EBM (as I did with ds) but she wasn't interested so quickly stopped bothering about it. Especially ds went into reversed scheduling thingy

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