How to get a breastfed baby ready for nursery?! Naps and bottles are a nightmare!(8 Posts)
Hi everyone - total newbie here! Couldn't find a thread that covers this...
My lo is 8 months and is going to be starting nursery in a month. She's breastfed and I'd like to continue with it in the evenings and night around my work. So during the day she would have expressed milk from a bottle/cup (trying to avoid formula yet if I can).
My health visitor has told me that she's unlikely to take a bottle from me when she knows she can have the real thing - but there's no one else around to try it for me. She's a chunky baby and HV said that she won't starve, so long as she doesn't dehydrate and has wet nappies she'll be OK.
I've tried bottles and sippy cups, water and expressed milk, sat in highchair, on my lap, lying in bed and she hardly takes anything.
Normally, she's only breastfed before a nap where she nurses to sleep, and sometimes again straight after. I'm struggling to find an alternative way to get her to sleep without nursing and when/how to give her expressed milk. She gets so frustrated!
She eats solids but hardly any of it actually makes it inside so her main nutrition and food is still milk. So worried that she'll just hold out and go hungry and only sleep through sheer exhaustion.
Any tips/experiences very very welcome!!
Thank you xxx
You probably won't like this answer, but the thing is, your little one will simply adapt. In my experience, you won't be able to get her to take EBM from you via any other means than the old-fashioned way!
But that doesn't mean she isn't capable of telling you apart from other people. She will understand that others don't BF her, and she will take milk from them eventually.
I had the very same issue and my DC never took a bottle from me (and I really really tried). She did take formula at nursery for a bit, but never really liked it, I think she had water instead really. And then at 1 it was onto cow's milk.
Have a chat to the nursery... I think your situation is very common. It's disheartening when you are trying everything to get your baby to take EBM from a cup bottle etc - but she probably never will, not from you anyway. When you're removed from the situation, the situation changes.
Babies behave differently for other people in my experience. How long will you be away from her? My boy wouldn't take any milk from other containers, so he didn't have any milk when I wasn't there, and I didn't pump etc at work either. He only drank water (wasn't offered formula or cow's milk).
I was only away for 4 hours at a time till he was a year, then 9 hours.
(We continued breastfeeding until he was 2.5, so my absences during the working week were not issue.)
Try not to worry! She might take EBM at nursery, she might not but so long as she has plenty of boob access evening, night and first thing then she won't lose out. She may reverse cycle though and want to nurse all night, so be prepared for that!
Both my kids have kept on nursing long term (the 2 1/2 year old is doing so currently) having been at nursery since 10 months old. My eldest never touched expressed milk and got by on water and food - not that he ate masses until nearer 15 months (but he nursed all night). My daughter is a gannet and happily guzzles EBM for as long as I could be bothered to pump as well as food.
Try and enjoy your last month of maternity leave. Babies are really adaptable and you will find a way that works for you both.
Exactly same situation with both my DC - although they were 6 months old when I went back to work. Both refused bottle or cup. First few days at nursery they wouldn't drink but had a couple of spoons of veg or fruit purée. Then realised there was no other option and within 3-4 weeks were drinking a reasonable amount. I carried on BF morning, evenings (and nights with DS) and on the four days I wasn't working. I had built up expressed milk in freezer before I went back to work (though most got thrown away in first month as wouldn't drink it) and expressed at work in lunch hour - for about six weeks for DD and 3 months for DS. They did get occasional bottles of formula from 7-12 months but still 90%+ BF and I kept BF to 14 months for both.
Definitely did no harm in short or long term other than stressing me and them getting a bit hungry - which did mean a lot of evening feeding!
Same as others have said - don't worry!
My DD started nursery at 9 months when she was a bottle refusing, feed to sleep, awkward (but lovely) little thing. When she was at nursery (8-5, 9 hours) she just took water from a cup (diody cups were best) and then we continued to BF morning and night for about a year.
Lots of yoghurts and milky foods to keep nutrients up, and then in a few months she will get better at drinking and then you can give cows milk as a drink during the day when you're not there (my DD started taking this at about 10months).
Also I've no idea how they worked it out with naps, but she slept at nursery fine, albeit not for as long as at home, but it worked. I guess they do it for a job so they know the tricks!
They adapt amazingly well.
Thank you so much all of you for your advice! So comforting and I think that's what I needed most!
Think I'll keep offering her ebm before feeds so cups are familiar to her when she's away from me but try not to worry when she refuses it! Will send her into nursery with yogurts and porridge so she's getting some nutrition still.
As for naps... who knows! I might have a go at soothing her back to sleep instead of nursing when she wakes during the day, but we'll see.
I work irregular shifts, so could be full days of 9-6 or half days so no chance of routine even that way. Not sure what my boobs will make of this!!
Fingers crossed I guess!
I speak as the mum of 3 DC who have all been solely BF and two of whom were hard work to get to sleep without nursing. I can honestly say they all just adjusted and found their way at nursery. My one who was hardest to get to sleep at home literally lay on a bed of her own accord there and dozed off for 2 hours whilst I was grateful for 40 mins after nursing and shushing her to sleep! It's been both amazing, reassuring and infuriating at times!
I was stressed massively each time it came to settling them in accorded each time it was far easier than I anticipated. I'm sure your DC will be fine.
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