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Introducing a bottle - help a newbie with her PFB

(14 Posts)
Boobz Tue 09-Jun-09 21:20:43

I'm hoping for some sage advice on how to introduce a bottle to my exclusively breast fed daughter who is coming up to 12 weeks now.

I was told by friends with babies and someone on this forum that I should introduce a bottle at 6 weeks or before, to avoid problems in the future with getting DD to take a bottle every now and then. So I bought some Dr. Brown bottles and DH gave her one (EBM) at week 6, which she begrudgingly took at her evening feed after half an hour of crying and then fell asleep. She's since had about a bottle a week (to keep our hand in) and each time it's taken between 10 - 30 mins crying before she will accept it. Last night however, she wasn't having it at all, and WAILED for over an hour, to the point where I couldn't take it any more and asked DH to give her to me as she was tearing my heart out with her crying (she is an alien baby and NEVER cries - I know I am blessed - so the bottle-only crying it hard to take when I know it will stop instantly with my boob).

We are going away overnight in a month's time, and DD can't come with us, so I have asked a friend to take her overnight and we will pick her up in the morning. DD will need about 4 feeds during this time and obviously they will all be from the bottle (EBM). I am petrified that this is going to be a disaster, and am hoping you can answer some questions to help me figure out how to handle this:

1) How often should I be giving her a bottle to try and get her better at taking it? Once a week doesn't seem to be working at the moment...

2) What bottle / teat is the best for getting her to accept it? I know it's not one size fits all, but what have people had the most success with?

3) If, like last night, she is refusing to take it when my friend babysits, will she eventually take it because she is starving (I know she CAN do it, she has done it 6 times previously) or will she just cry and cry and cry until I come and pick her up at 11am the next morning? (We are going away out of town so I can't just get in a taxi and come to her).

Any other advice on what I need to do would be great. The breast feeding is going brilliantly, and it was very important for me to crack breast feeding, but now I feel I have gone too far one way and now made a rod for my own back, so-to-speak, as she hates the bottle and it's making me feel like I can't ever leave her with anyone else in case she wails like she did last night.

Advice? Thanks. xxx

Jennylee Tue 09-Jun-09 21:33:54

once a day, as you only have 4 weeks to prepare

daftbat Tue 09-Jun-09 21:42:36

Its horrid when they do that, isn't it? DD1 was no problem; she'd bottle feed as and when I needed her to - largely EBM, but formula wasn't a problem either for the odd occassion.

DD2 was a different matter! I started bottle feeding her once a day when she was around 5 wks and she took it no problem. But she had low weight gain, generally, and the HVs in their wisdom thought it was nipple confusion and asked me to stop. So I did.

A month before I was due to go back to work I tried to reintroduce a bottle without success. We tried me doing it, DH doing it. and every type of bottle imaginable (yup, even the one shaped like a boob! grin ) We spent a small fortune. Sadly we got right up to me going back to work with no joy.

Nursery tried without success for 2 days and then on day 3 BINGO! No problem.

The bottle we finally had success with was a Tommee Tippee one with a big teat (Closer to nature?).

I know this is not an inspirational story, with an instant win solution, but I wanted you to know that even stubborn little toads give in eventually wink !. And I would try daily and keep to 1 bottle each day, if possible.

Good luck.

llareggub Tue 09-Jun-09 21:45:06

Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature worked well for us.

Emmy84 Tue 09-Jun-09 21:51:01

I work in a nursery and we have helped several mums and babies to go from exclusive breat feeding to bottle. First thing is to stay calm, your baby will not let herself go hungry. The crying is distressing for you but will diminish with time. Tommee tippee closer to nature or Dr Browns seem to work well Also def at least one bottle a day as the other girls have suggested.
Hope things work

Boobz Tue 09-Jun-09 22:05:35

Thanks everyone. It's good to know she will not let herself go hungry. I'll buy the closer to nature bottles tomorrow and give them a go.

Daftbat -- when you say "Nursery tried without success for 2 days"... did she just not have any milk on those days until you picked her up and fed her at home? Did she cry the whole time as she was hungry? I'm just trying to work out what might play out with my friend babysitting...

Which feed should we be doing as the bottle feed? She is BF-ing on demand, and tends to feed a lot from the early evening until she goes to bed (so from 4:30 - 4:50; 5:30 - 6:00 and then again at 7:15 after her bath). DH is usually home in time for the 7:15 feed - should I always get him to do this one?

Sorry for more questions...

BlackLetterDay Tue 09-Jun-09 22:06:48

Can you not have a bit of a dry run with your friend to test it out, maybe for an evening and see how she gets on? Might be a bit of reassurance.

Boobz Tue 09-Jun-09 22:10:02

Good idea blackletterday - I will see if she can do an evening next week. She has a 6 month old herself so is very practiced, but I'm not sure I want to impose my wailing daughter on her when she has her own baby to attend to. In all other respects, DD is a doll, so it's just this bottle thing I need to crack. Will ask her - cheers.

mears Tue 09-Jun-09 22:11:53

Your baby will not starve. I would say give it a break for a few days so that you are not distressing her.

When I returned to work I tried a bottle a couple of days before starting (at 10 weeks). I started a breast feed and once DS was sucking and the milk had let down, I slipped the breast out and a teat in. He carried on regardless. None of my babies had a bottle on a daily basis. They had one when I was not there working shifts. I used Maws resolve teats which they could regulate the flow themselves with. Not even sure if theyare available any more.

mears Tue 09-Jun-09 22:14:48

OMG - I gave this advice back in 2002

daftbat Tue 09-Jun-09 22:38:11

Like yours, my DD was generally placid. Don't fret, she wasn't distressed for long at nursery, but she was not interested in feeds. I left her from 8 - 2 for the first few days and she cried a bit for a feed, some more when they tried the bottle and stopped when they took it away! I then BF her around 2.30.But, like I say, Day 3 she took the bottle when offered.

I'm sure that all will be sorted by then, but it sounds like it's only for 1 night, so not the end of the world. Try to enjoy yourself - we get little enough time to be anything other than a mummy so you must learn to enjoy it when you can!

I bottlefed around 7 and it kept her going until 11pm no probs. Others may suggest different times but that worked best for me: otherwise she was often wanting to feed repeatedly in the evening.

Good luck

Boobz Wed 10-Jun-09 12:07:42

Thanks Mears, everyone... will persist and see how it goes! xxx

Boobz Wed 10-Jun-09 21:02:56

Another rubbish night with the bottle. Howled for the first half hour, and then we tried the boob / slip teat in trick, which didn't work at all and made her more mad! Then we brought her downstairs to give her (and us!) a break and she watched a bit of rugby with her dad. Then we tried again and she was a different little girl - all smiles and funny girgles. She wasn't turning her head any more, and then started to try really hard to get the milk out, but every time she pushed her mouth together, the teat slipped out the side and dribbled milk down her chin. So I reckon it's the teat that is the main problem, rather than the bottle per se, as she looked like she was really trying, bless her.

Am borrowing a closer to nature bottle off my mate tomorrow so hopefully that will help.

Poor mite. She must wonder what she's done to deserve this... night-times had always been peaceful and lovely until this week!

GirlWithTheMouseyHair Thu 11-Jun-09 15:28:31

ask me boobz - tis fine, we'll cope, keep practising, I reckon once a day or every other day, am happy to do dry run before July! (just checking up you, you see!)

If she refuses at first wen I have her, I'll use distraction and get her calm anyway before trying again....and feel free to borrow my other bottles too (just leave me one for E!)

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