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How do I get her to eat and drink without me there?

(5 Posts)
hrod Tue 23-Oct-12 14:46:25

Hello all,
Please bear with me – first post on mumsnet! I have a challenge over the next three weeks: I need to get my EBF 6.5month old to feed and drink sufficiently for me to be away from her for 14 hours a day for 6 days. I’ve started an MBA and have my first course in three weeks. I’ll be away from her from 7am till 9pm. When I decided to start studying, I thought she’d be fine with a bottle and some solids, but it’s now looking like a very different picture!

Here’s where I’m up to: I’ve been trying to wean her onto solids for the past 6 weeks, and have also tried to get her to drink milk and water from a bottle and/or free-flow beaker for 8 weeks. She refuses the bottle outright, sips fennel tea and breast milk from the beaker but gets bored quickly and starts to cry when I persist. She’s a BM lover and is feeding from the breast 5-6 times a day still.

I’ve tried to establish a regular routine with her which looks like this:

5:30am: BF
8am: puree and fennel tea from beaker
9am: BF
12pm: puree and tea
2pm: BF
4pm: BF
6pm: puree and tea
8pm: BF and bed.

We've tried BLW with no success; also different types of puree but she’s fussy and only likes the sweet stuff! She takes more when she’s lying back on a pillow and I give it to her on my finger but it’s only 1 spoonful or so each time. Spoons= playtime for her. She usually won’t eat from one so am starting with the finger to get her used to eating before bringing spoon back on-stage.

All in all a challenge! Am calm and relaxed with her, but after 6 weeks or more am inwardly beginning to panic. Have I just wasted university fees and will I end up having to stay at home? Any advice on:
1.Getting her food intake up and
2.Getting her to drink sufficient amounts of BM from a beaker or cup ESPECIALLY before bed and at 8am when I’ve already left would be massively appreciated! Thanks!

FredFredGeorge Tue 23-Oct-12 16:31:05

Have you tried not feeding her yourself? But the person who'll be feeding her while you're out doing it? She's used to feeding in a certain way from you, but with other people she may well be more ready to accept the food?

There's no way DD would accept ebm from DP, but she always took it no problem from me.

JiltedJohnsJulie Tue 23-Oct-12 21:58:09

I would give one of the bfing helplines a call in the morning and talk it through with them. You need to think about whether you wish to continue after the 6 days and if so, how to keep up your supply. You will also need to discuss ways of stopping yourself getting mastitis and of stopping dd becoming dehydrated.

hrod Wed 24-Oct-12 09:16:56

We have tried other people feeding her, and it doesn't seem to matter who is wielding the spoon. Good news is she is accepting food more now- probably a couple of teaspoons at each feed. And she's also accepting the spoon more readily.

JiltedJohnsJulie - this is a really good suggestion, thank you. I've bought a little cool bag that I can take with me and was going to pump 3-4 times when at lectures (they have really good facilities), and then get her on the breast when I get home. I was thinking that that should stop any mastitis, but I don't ever get as much milk out by pumping so still worth getting some advice. I had terrible pain BF for 8 weeks when DD was first born and stuck with it, so am quite keen to continue until it comes to a natural end if possible.

As you mention, the really key thing is to make sure DD gets enough milk and fluids during the day. She does sip from a beaker but not enough, so am thinking about introducing a bottle again for drinking BM from (also less wastage that way). I'm just not sure whether there's too much being slung at her and she's going to get very confused! Certainly, we haven't yet had any luck at all with bottles (tried Avent and closer to nature teats).

Oinkypig Wed 24-Oct-12 20:17:21

I had to leave DS at about the same age from 6am until
11pm and I was so worried as he wasn't eating much and didn't take a bottle. I left him some milk thinking when he got hungry he would have it but he didn't. He just ate a bit of food and some water from a sippy cup and was fine. It might actually give your dd a chance to establish solids a bit better if she can't have milk. I didn't feel the need to express until late evening. I'm back at work now from 8 till 5:30 and DS (9mo) has no milk at nursery and feeds overnight. I wouldn't worry too much if you can help it!

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