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Help! Back to work in 18 days and baby won't take a bottle

(9 Posts)
MadameJosephine Mon 22-Apr-13 14:54:05

I've got to go back to work one day a week from 10 may and DP will be looking after DD from 8-5. DD is 23 weeks old and EBF. We had a practice today to see how they got on without me and DP had to call me home because she was hysterical and wouldn't take the bottle of EBM I left for her sad. She used to take a bottle no problem when she was younger but hasn't had one for a while.

What do we do?

I've bought a sippy cup to see if that helps but if she won't take milk from that what do I do? Should we try syringe feeding a 6 month old?

I was planning to get to 6 months and do blw but maybe I should start weaning a bit early so at least she will eat something while I'm gone?


JiltedJohnsJulie Mon 22-Apr-13 21:27:29

Have you read alternative feeding methods and how to bottle feed the bf baby.

If you search the Mn archives there will be lots of old threads on bottle refusing.

Think DH will have to preserver on this one though.

herewegoloopyloo Mon 22-Apr-13 21:40:30

Hmmm. I have posted on this before but I had similar issue. Took bottle EBM when younger then absolutely refused from around 5-6 months. And I do mean absolutely refused. We tried warm/cold/cup/different teats/me out of the house/my mum/DH/formula/different formula/first thing in AM/last thing PM/mid day..... no joy.
She was already being weaned although still limited food intake so on HV advice (who was excellent as I was v stressed) we basically accelerated this and gave her as much calcium rich/dense nutrition as we could. We moved straight to a cup (tommee tippee, the basic free flow one) and I also had to accept that she would drink far, far less than would expect to give through a bottle (initially was sips - literally - but increased). Gave lots of yoghurts, milk with porridge/cereal/desserts (initially were all made with EBM then formula), cheese etc.
I remember it all being very stressful but 1) I dont know anyone else who had this many issues (although have since found others who chose to wean straight to a cup and given our success we then chose to do this for DD2 but in a less panicked way!) so you may find a way through - and 2) she will be fine. If you can delay work date then this may help your sanity but it will be ok. I feel for you though!

JiltedJohnsJulie Mon 22-Apr-13 21:51:31

Just to add, once Lo reaches 6 months its fine to use full fat cows milk in cooking, with cereals etc.

If you are thinking of weaning, does she meet the criteria set out by the NHS here?

FirstUpBestDressed Mon 22-Apr-13 22:28:34

You have my sympathy.
Our ds wouldn't/couldn't take a bottle [he has a tongue tie].
After trying many things we resorted to getting him brought to my work for a feed and /or getting cuddles from his dad until I got home.
We are talking 8 to 10 hours from 6 months old.We gave him [watery] solids and he fed when I got home.
He is 18 now and is a fussy eater!
Good luck!

FirstUpBestDressed Mon 22-Apr-13 22:29:28

p.s he breastfed until he was two and a half and never took a bottle...

FirstUpBestDressed Mon 22-Apr-13 22:30:43

p.s he breastfed until he was two and a half and never took a bottle...

kalidasa Tue 23-Apr-13 14:25:15

We have had this problem repeatedly. (DS is 21 weeks now and I've been back at work for a few weeks.) Two or three times now we've cracked it and then he's been unwell for a few days so gone back to only breastfeeding and gone on bottle strike afterwards all over again! In fact we are in the process of trying to break strike no. 3 at the moment.

If you've only had one day of practice though you should persist a bit. It has taken about a week each time to go from hysterical refusal to taking a bottle from DH/chlidminder with little or no fuss. I know it is really stressful but missing one feed is not a disaster.

Things that helped us were: not trying with the first or last feed of the day; waiting until the feed was overdue so DS was really hungry; but not allowing him to get into a wailing state first (so e.g. spin him out with a long walk and a nap in the pram so that he woke up hungry); making sure I was completely out of sight if not out of the flat; avoiding a situation where I'd only just disappeared - it's better if you've been gone for a while. Sometimes a childminder/babysitter/grandparent is a better bet as they may find it easier to stay calm.

We also found the 'breastflow' bottles seemed to work best for him (we tried loads of different ones).

MadameJosephine Tue 23-Apr-13 19:02:07

Thanks for your advice everybody. I bought an avent cup with one of those soft spouts while I was in Sainsburys today and put 30ml of EBM in for her after a bf and she had a bit of a play with it , chewed it a bit nd drank a little bit so that may help, tried the same cup but with a teat too and she chewed it a bit and dribbled the milk all down her face but it's an improvement on hysteria so planning to offer that at least once a day when shes relaxed so it becomes familiar. Don't really want to wean her yet as I dont think she's ready but we'll be starting in a few weeks and I'm only working one day a week for the first 3 months so by the time my hours increase she should be eating too so we can work on getting milk into her in her diet too.

If all else fails he'll just have to put her in the car and bring her to work so I can bf in my lunch hour. I work in maternity so couldn't be a more breastfeeding friendly work environment!

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