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Infant feeding

Bottle refuser and night 'snacking'

6 replies

wapphighwood · 30/04/2018 08:58

My baby is 3.5 months old and ebf. They have had some bottles of expressed milk since birth but not regularly, with mixed success, sometimes taken sometimes refused. The past week or so there has been a lot of night wakings so we decided to try to get dh to give home the late evening feed so I could get more than a two hour stretch of sleep. I don't always have time to express as also have a 3 year old so on Friday we tried formula instead of breast milk, the baby drank this fine but the next evening refused bottle completely and again last night with expressed milk. I don't think trying another bottle will help because he doesn't even let it in his mouth he just screams when we try to sit him on our lap to feed. Any one been through this? Any suggestions? We are planning a special meal out on Friday for anniversary but at this rate will need to cancel, I can't leave him screaming with my mum for hours (last night he was up at 8.30, but recently 9.30, used to be 10.30!)

Also, in the night when he wakes I feed him lying down but feel he just has a small feed each time/ comforts and then goes back to sleep. Repeat every 1.5 to 2 hours. He refuses a dummy and we struggle to settle him any other way but now I think it is habit. He is teething and could be the 4 month sleep regression? But fear we've got into bad habits already. Attempts to settle in other ways have meant he has cried himself hoarse Sad

I'm just after a bit more sleep, dc1 was a terrible sleeper for two years and it made both me and dh depressed, unhappy and snappy.

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shirleyschmidt1 · 30/04/2018 19:52

Hi @wapphighwood, I don't have any advice unfortunately but can relate to all this! DS is 3 months, EBF except the odd bottle which he's generally taken (albeit only a couple oz at a time). I've recently decided to wean onto formula for similar reasons to you, cue DS refusing it completely! He's generally a VERY easy baby but since the increased bottles he's become unsettled which makes me feel very guilty as I CAN BF him, I've just had enough and want to phase it out (also have a toddler who is very jealous and missing mummy). I also have the same issue where he won't take a dummy and I suspect is comfort feeding. Really hope not as I've no idea how I'd break that habit. Breastfeeding didn't come naturally to me but I wanted to try and give DS the best start, and am now feeling unable to stop if I want to keep the same happy baby ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿ˜•
Hopefully someone will come along soon with some pearls of wisdom! Hope you find a solution for your night on Friday. Maybe someone other than mummy and daddy doing the feed will make your DS more likely to accept it!? X

arbrighton · 30/04/2018 20:35

There is NOTHING WRONG with comfort feeding!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It's part of what BF is supposed to be about

wapphighwood · 04/06/2018 12:54

Thanks for your responses. We did manage the anniversary meal, but didn't dawdle so could get back. The baby did stir before we got back but my dm managed to rock him back to sleep in the pram. The problem remains in that the baby will still almost always refuse a bottle. I had a couple of successes last week with a couple of ounces but no more than that. I really want to move to combi feeding now to finish breastfeeding in 6 weeks or so, I'm just too exhausted now, I've slept no more than 2.5 hours since ds was born nearly 5 months ago. Im so tired I'm nauseous and feel slightly faint all day. I'm feeling quite trapped and depressed in that I want to start ending bfing but I can't because ds is refusing a bottle. I don't think different bottles will help as he doesn't even let the one we have into his mouth, so I don't think it is what he is objecting to. I don't know what to do. He won't take it from my dh either

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RemainOptimistic · 04/06/2018 12:57

There was a thread like this recently. Top tip. You leave the house or stay in a different room. DH in charge of bottle and baby all day.

Dummy tip - hold it in to help baby get used to it. But only when you are certain baby has had a good full feed and is not due another yet.

shirleyschmidt · 04/06/2018 17:45

@wapphighwood hi again, just wanted to say we've since had success! For the past fortnight DS has been bottle fed in the day and just on the boob once at night.

Top tip for us was to time the bottle feeds to when DS is just waking from a nap, like a dream feed. So he's well rested, but still sleepy enough that he's not actively waking for milk.
So wait for your baby to be due to wake, and then If you can stir him by popping the bottle in he may just suck on autopilot. We did this and it worked immediately. He slept most of the feed!
A good bit of advice for us was that if you try to force a bottle when baby is already very hungry, he's more likely to reject it and then cry more for the boob, as much for the comfort as the milk.

Also don't feed in cradle hold as they associate this with breastfeeding. At first we left baby lying on his back or in his bouncer and would pop the bottle in, in that 'neutral' position. Get DH to do the first few. Either of us can feed in cradle hold now.

My last tip would be to ensure milk is lovely and warm. DS screamed the house down once and as soon as I gave it a blast in the microwave he guzzled it no problem. It surprised me how warm they like it!

A side effect of taking daytime formula is he is sleeping much better stretches at night ๐Ÿ™Œ The downside is my supply is finally drying up so future night feeds will probably involve getting out of bed for a bottle ๐Ÿ™„ A shame but there we go!
DS is still a happy little soul and I'm so glad I persisted. Really hope these tips help you, am sure you'll get there โ˜บ๏ธ

wapphighwood · 16/07/2018 14:34

Hi again, thanks for the tips, I tried most of the suggestions and although some of them worked once or twice ds would revert back to refusing. I also tried skipping bottle and going to a sippy cup, which again he had 2oz first time and refused since. I honestly don't know what else to try, I feel so trapped doing this now. I went to a wedding last week, he just waited 9 hours for me to come back, so even cold turkey didn't work! What will I do when he starts nursery?!

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