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8 month doesn’t like breastfeeding but I do!(10 Posts)
Pretty much as per the title!
My 8 month old has always seemed ambivalent about breastfeeding and has always been happy to take a bottle. Note: she has only had breastmilk in a bottle not formula, so it’s not a taste thing.
She was never a massive cluster feeder as a little baby but did have a tongue tie rectified at 6 weeks so that may have affected feeding behaviours. It was then re-rectified at 6 months as the tie healed over; I think because she’s always had SUCH short feeds (5 minutes) it wasn’t kept moving enough.
We always seem to get into a cycle of me pumping more and more until she’s on mainly bottles of ebm and I’m killing myself to keep up. I will then decide enough is enough and no bottles for a bit until she’s totally bf again. Then she gets fussy and seems hungry and I give her a bottle and the cycle starts again.
Sorry, the background is all so scrambled in my brain!
I got my first post partum period this week and she just doesn’t want to feed. She WILL feed overnight but cries if I try in the day though will happily drain a bottle. My period returning has caused a massive drop in supply which is just compounding everything. I can’t pump enough to keep up, she doesn’t want to feed, I feel like my supply is dwindling. The freezer supply is going to run out.
The obvious choice seems to move onto formula but I REALLY don’t want to. When she is feeding well I love the bonding / cuddles / oxytocin and in the current climate I want her to have the antibodies.
The combination of period hormones and the breastfeeding issues (likely lockdown too!) is really affecting me. I can’t stop crying, I’m taking the ‘rejection’ from her really personally and the feeling of having ‘struggled’ for the last 8 months has really come to the fore. I feel like I’ve worked so hard and she ‘doesn’t care’ which I appreciate is illogical as she’s a baby!
Can anyone offer any help or have I made no sense at all?!
(I will also say she has taken exceptionally well to solids and eats two large meals a day. She will take milk from a bottle ravenously after rejecting the breast though so I don’t think she’s just dropping feeds.)
I can understand why this would be upsetting for you, but from what you said I think you do realise deep down that you need to just take your cue from her. It sounds like you’ve done an amazing job so far with expressing, you should be really proud of that. (I combination fed, breast , formula and expressing and I was never able to get my supply up enough after we had difficulties with latching at the start - tongue tie clipping helped massively but didn’t solve it in time). Keep expressing while you can if you’re keen for her to have the breastmilk, but there is nothing wrong at all with using formula eventually if she needs it. Sorry I have no real practical advice but I hope with time passing this gets easier for you
Hello OP, I just wanted to say I totally understand where you are coming from. I have four children, and I breastfed them all. However my third baby was incredibly fussy at the breast from birth. She had no tongue tie or other physical issues to stop her breastfeeding, yet she was always very unhappy at the breast. I gave her a bottle at around 10 weeks of age, and she drained it. Ever since then she would refuse the breast,and favoured the bottle. If I tried to breastfeed her she would cry until she was blue in the face! I wanted to persevere with breastfeeding, but she started losing weight, and she dropped down a couple of centiles. At this point I just switched her to formula, and she started thriving again. I felt really down, and like I had failed her. For some reason I think some babies really just prefer a bottle! If someone had tried to tell me that before I had my third I wouldn't have believed them. You could still give your baby bottles of breast milk if you switch to formula. Just try not to beat yourself up, no matter what you choose to do
I can sympathise, I had to stop at 8 months too because DS didn't want to continue, he too is eating loads of solids.
I tried all sorts of things but had to accept that it was the right time for him to stop. I still feel sad because I really enjoyed breastfeeding but I'm really glad that I managed to get to at least 8 months.
Babies can prefer a bottle because the flow of milk is faster and it takes less effort (less facial/mouth muscles) with a bottle than breast. Did you ever look at paced bottle feeding?
Can't you mix feed? It doesn't have to be one or the other. If she BFs well at night why not continue doing that, and then she can BF as and when she wants during the day, or just have bottles.
My first was always a bit ambivalent, she only BFed twice a day from 8 months and I stopped at 13 months because she just didn't seem to care! My second is still going at 2.5 yo. They are all different!
I'm going to go against the grain here and suggest you persevere. It's normal for supply to drop when your period returns and can take a few days to pick up. Remember that breast feeding is supply and demand so what the baby takes your body makes. If you want to continue to feed from the breast, remove the bottle, let baby continue to sleep with you at night to encourage feeding and during the day offer the boob. You could do skin to skin? Offer boob first too before food. 8 months is a typical age for babies to get distracted at the breast mine did it and I fed both for 2 years
This is you being really hard on yourself. You feel the baby thinks you 'are not good enough'. You are wrong about that you know. You are a good mother already doing your best.
The baby justs likes the bottle.
It doesn't mean you are loved any less. Moving from breastfeeding is SO emotional no matter when it happens.
This is a phase, it'll pass and both you and the baby will move on together to slightly different phases in your lives. And that might well discover that brings positive things, not negative things.
Thanks so much everyone, I thought I’d be told to get a grip
I could absolutely give mixed feeding a go and that is how I’d start if I tried formula but I think with the combination of bottles and solids my supply would drop off pretty quickly. I think (embarrassingly) I’m also being a bit of a puritan because she’s never had formula. We’d got so far that I really thought we’d get to one and she wouldn’t need it. I think it’s become a goal and I’m being stubborn as I genuinely don’t believe formula is the devil in powdered form. When I was pregnant I wanted to breastfeed but was absolutely accepting of the fact that it might not work out. We had some in the house but never needed it. Sorry, I’m rambling.
I totally agree that I seem to be intrinsically linking it to my worth as a parent and if it was one of my friends I’d be able to tell them to give their head a wobble.
I had a big cry to my husband last night which helped as he knew I was struggling but it was good to get it all out. She BF at 10pm, 1am, 5am and just now (9am) but I’ll have trouble now for the rest of the day.
I do wonder if (at least part of) the issue is distraction. She’s been difficult to feed in public from very little as she would latch, I would start to letdown and she would unlatch to look at something and I would spray the general public. I think with a bottle she can look around. I think I’ll try feeding her somewhere really boring for the rest of the day and see how that goes...
I know it's hard OP but my son done the exact same at 9 months and it was hard but trying to force him was also upsetting me and I eventually just gave him bottles during the day and breastfed at night and that seemed to be a compromise that we was both happy with. X
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