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Please help - I go back to work in 1 week and DD (6 months) won't take expressed milk or formula from bottle or cup

(12 Posts)
fanjolina Wed 11-Nov-09 19:12:06

I am desperate! DD had been exclusively breastfed until a couple of weeks ago when I started to prepare her for being separated from me.

In the early days we tried her with expressed milk in a bottle which she wouldn't take. So I just left it, thinking I'll focus on her taking it when necessary.

Well that time has come and she has no interest. We have tried numerous different types of bottles and teats; sippy cups, open cups, you name it; expressed milk and every type of formula going.
AND SHE WON'T TAKE A THING!

We have been quietly persevering (Note - I get others to try to feed her so she won't smell my milk) but I start work next Weds and am now desperate.

The HV has said to withold all breastfeeds, that way she will be hungry enough that she will take anything. But it just seems so cruel.

DH and I have just had a huge fight about this because he wouldn't let me in the room to breastfeed her and he left her to cry for 30 mins as she continually spat out a bottle.

He thinks he is doing it for the best - is he? - but I can't handle my baby crying.

Please help. She & I will be distraught next week if we don't get her to take an alternative as I will be away from her from 8am-7pm.

cakeforbrains Wed 11-Nov-09 19:27:18

Who is caring for DD while you are at work? I could never get DS1 to drink from a bottle or cup when I was around, but he behaved totally differently at nursery and happily drank expressed milk. But I know it feels so awful ...

fanjolina Wed 11-Nov-09 19:36:23

She will be at nursery.

She has had a couple of 1-2 hour settling in sessions so far and not taken anything there either.

Ineedabreak Wed 11-Nov-09 20:03:14

I went through this with mine - she will do it eventually. She is unlikely to take a bottle when she is distressed - no point in upsetting her or you. Have you tried giving her some from a spoon or even a syringe?

fanjolina Wed 11-Nov-09 20:33:05

Haven't tried a spoon or syringe - thanks for those suggestions.

And I agree with you that she is even less likely to succumb to a bottle if she is distressed and crying. I think it will give her negative connotations and be worse in the long run.

thenameiwantedwastaken Wed 11-Nov-09 21:20:56

Just wanted to say I feel for you as my DD is the same, AND i had similar argument with my DP when he said she would 'have to struggle a bit to learn something new' but all I heard from where I was hiding my boobs next door was her wailing, which was torture!

I'm sorry I don't have any great advice because we haven't really managed to do it yet. But, the best success we have had is with one of those sippy cups with freshly expressed breastmilk (so right temp) when she's not too hungry. I have fed it to her but let her mostly control it, just helping to tip it up sometimes. She has some milk this way although also dribbles a lot and thinks it is all HILARIOUS!

Really good luck for the coming week. I am sure she will get it! I'll also watch thread with interest for further tips.

Elpis Thu 12-Nov-09 00:03:09

My DD was the same: we tried a bottle of expressed milk from seven weeks, but she always refused it and cried. A cup was little better and painfully slow. But the third time I left her with her nanny for a few hours, at 5 months and one week, she finally took some from a bottle - warmed to body temperature - and now accepts it very happily. So do persevere and don't worry too much. They catch on eventually... Good luck!

newkiwi Thu 12-Nov-09 06:56:13

I'm still trying to get DD to take formula from a bottle. She would take EM from a bottle in the early days but I haven't tried that in a while. I was trying every day but she was getting upset at the sight of the bottle and just screaming which is awful. So I left
it a few days and tried a cup. No major success but no screaming either. Now she grab the bottle and puts it in her mouth. She takes a tiny amount- about 20ml tonight but also does a bit of chewing too. But I usually do this when she isn't very hungry. I feel like we are making slow progress and at least she doesn't seem traumatised any more.

I think the break and her having the control has been best. Although we're still not there yet.....

A friend did also suggest that going out for the day would solve the problem. Not sure I'm up for that at this point.

Good luck.

fanjolina Thu 12-Nov-09 07:30:11

Thanks for your messages of support. I feel I have really messed this up

And to make things worse (or just to get back at me hmm) she has now decided her prime feeding time in midnight - 1.30am, so for the past 3 nights I have been up feeding her then - followed by hourly until 6m!

I suspect the cheeky monkey is filling up overnight so she can just turn her nose up when offered alternative feeding methods during the day.

newkiwi Thu 12-Nov-09 07:33:32

You haven't messed anything up- there is no set way of doing this or someone would have made a fortune selling us all the manual! (And the books out there don't count IMHO).

You must be shattered though. Hang in there.

oldspeckledtam Thu 12-Nov-09 10:22:13

Hey, my DD refused to take any expressed milk from a bottle or cup. People said she'd take it when she was hungry, but she never did. Like your baby, she preferred to get up in the night and stock up then! Eventually, about 2 months after starting nursery, I snapped (was getting up at 5 to express milk she wouldn't sodding drink) and sent a bottle of formula to nursery. Little sod drank it. It seems my child only wanted boob milk from boobs.

Now I have Ds and he will take expressed milk, but only from a beaker! He doesn't do bottles at all- only tommee tippee first cups. It took about 3 weeks to get to grips with trialling various bottles and cups. He did not starve during this time, though did wake more frequently at night.

The nursery you are using will have encountered this problem before. Are you offering food yet? I did puree with DD and used to send baby rice and weetabix made with EBM so I knew she was getting some. I'm doing fingerfoods (not true BLW, I know) with DS and he adores bitesize shreddies soaked in EBM. It made me feel better to think they were taking SOME EBM even if they weren't actually drinking it.

fanjolina Thu 12-Nov-09 10:54:13

Thanks for your replies newkiwi and oldspeckledtam.

I have just started her on food - bits of pepper, broccoli etc to chew on. I think I might increase the food weaning - even if it means going down the puree route - so that I am happy she is getting some food, and some EBM.

(Btw, am not anti-puree - it is just more hassle. Far easier to pass her some veg to gnaw on when making dinner <lazy mum emoticon>)

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