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breast feeding to bottle feeding - Help please

(8 Posts)
newmum1973 Sun 19-Oct-08 12:24:17

I have a four month old daughter who has been exclusively breast fed but I will soon be returning back to work hence would like to start bottle feeding. She refuses to take bottle from me or my husband. We have tried expressed milk, Aptamil, SMA? Any suggestions based on practical experience highly appreciated.

LadyBee Sun 19-Oct-08 13:53:21

What happens when you try? Does she take the teat in her mouth but refuse to suck? Or does she scream at the sight of the bottle?

If it's the former, it might be just that she doesn't realise there's milk inside that can be got at. You could try making the hole of teat bigger with a heated needle so that milk nearly pours out, make sure the milk is toasty (breastmilk is quite warm), and try distracting your baby with a rattle or something before you put the bottle in her mouth - the aim being that she does the suck reflex and gets milk before she realises it's not a usual breastfeed. With a fast-flowing teat, sit your baby upright so that the milk doesn't choke and panic if it's too much for her.

Try a variety of bottles and teats - a really soft teat could work better, some babies just like a particular type. NUK often get recommended, I think. If you've got bottle-feeding friends ask to borrow some as it can get expensive buying them only to have them refused.

If your baby cries when teat is placed in her mouth, try keeping it in her mouth but standing up and walking around with your baby to calm her down. It gives her the chance to learn to suck on the bottle (as opposed to taking it out everytime she cries, so she never gets the opportunity to discover the milk!) A friend re-started breastfeeding by carrying her baby vertically in a sling with her breast in his mouth so it might work the other way around?

good luck!

LadyBee Sun 19-Oct-08 13:54:26

panic her, it's unlikely the milk will panic blush

LazySleepy Sun 19-Oct-08 14:49:26

hi, it took me 1 and 1/2 months to get my DD to take a bottle. Try the 6+ month teats, thats what worked for me. And persevere, baby will get there.

Lotster Sun 19-Oct-08 15:37:22

My friend just went through this, her LO eventually took a beaker around 8 months, but I honestly think throughout the whole time she was spending money on bottle after bottle that the problem lay with not laying the law down enough, rather than the right teat etc.

Having said that, my friends and I have all found the only bottle our LO's didn't reject at any point was the Tommee Tippee "Closer to nature" as they're very breast like.

Also, Aptamil is the most recommended formula, as it taste's the most like breastmilk, which I checked myself! It's sort of nutty and sweet unlike SMA which was bitter and horrid. It also has lots of Pre and Pro-biotics.

Maybe get the bottle I mentioned and then prepare to be tough.
Agree with LadyBee's point about whether or not she knows what's it in is useful before this, but assuming she does... and isn't underweight or anything, here's some of my ideas:

-I'd start with expressed milk maybe, then move to a mixture of expressed and Aptamil, so it's not too many changes at once.

-Get her dad to do it, and don't be in the room because they can smell you a mile off.

-If you're strong enough to make one big offer to nail it, you could try offering her nothing but a bottle for a whole day. Sooo hard to actually put in to practice when every hormone in you body and your heart are telling you to give in though!

-If not then perhaps choose one feed a day to try it at, and if she doesn't take it she just has to wait until her next boob feed. Only takes a few days IMO for them to respond to routine changes. She might then take it if she doesn't feel it's going to threaten all her feeds.

My friend found this the hardest thing which is why I don't think she succeeded, she'd give it 5 mins of her LO squirming away from bottle and then promptly get her boob out.

Sounds harsh but as my mum says, (amusingly about dogs OR children who won't eat their dinner) make it clear that's what they're getting and if they're hungry they'll eventually eat! grin

Again though, must stress that baby needs to be thriving/old enough before trying withholding feeds. Sure yours is though.

-If none of that works then last idea would be to give her boob, then offer a top-off bottle feed once she's had her comfort and doesn't feel it's threatening the boob, but an extra treat?

Wish you lots of luck

2manychips Sun 19-Oct-08 16:46:34

We went through exactly this when dd was 8mo old, she would just scream and scream when hungry-so distressing. Eventually we succeeded with expressed breast milk in a"special needs feeder" previously called "haberman" feeder which I found on a website.She drank from it immediately. (really sorry cant remember the website) When she got used to the feeder we moved on to SMA in it. Hope this helps.

newmum1973 Mon 20-Oct-08 23:25:14

LadyBee - She plays with the teat with her tongue for a while and then starts screaming. Does not suck at all. Will try with a big hole in the teat.

LadyBee Wed 22-Oct-08 08:34:20

Newmum1973, good luck with the big hole - I think that you can get the Haberman feeder online, you can adjust the flow with that so could start out with a fast flow and dial back (or vice versa if it seems to much for your baby). Hope something works for you smile

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