Re: 7.5 month biting at beginning of session
Yay!! Keep trying!!
When you are there, no bottles. You can't be associated with bottles. See...I know this because DH gave bottles. Before, when we night weaned, I had DH take over night time parenting because they didn't expect to eat from him. Well, Gavin does. And now we are having a heck of a time night weaning him. If he won't nurse, feed any other way. And switch to a bottle that is much harder to get milk from. Like try a Breastflow. An Adiri. Something.
Gavin had to use special feeders. Cleft babies are not like regular babies. When we even stopped the feeders, it was for an even more specialized feeder the hospital gave us for post-op use. Then when he was able, we started using Breastflow bottles, to teach him to suck, but the damage was done. He had lost his ability to nurse :( and it traumatized him. He never would nurse. I offer now, and he either turns away or cries.:( When he was a tiny baby, I had "nursed" him with an SNS, but it took so long, I had to top him up, and I was pumping, and the doctors were riding me about his weight, that I quit; it didn't help that I started to have lipase again, and I filled the SNS with some lipase milk one day and he refused to drink it. And I regret it. I should have also finished at the breast, even if he couldn't nurse.
You need a bigger syringe. Ask your vet for a 20 cc syringe.
And yes, you could do pancakes, although he still needs breastmilk or formula as his primary source of nutrition at this age. So I would not do bottles of water. I would leave them bottles of milk, but see above. And depending on how solds go for him and how long you are away, you might be able to wean early from pumping. My third would not take bottles well at all, I worked 2x a week, and when he was 9-10 months, I quit leaving bottles for him. Heate solids while I was away and nursed on demand when with me. Nursed that kid well into my next pregnancy;)
I have always nightweaned after 12 months. Or let them do it on their own.
Re: 7.5 month biting at beginning of session
Thanks! The encouragement really helps. We had a rough go at it when I got home from work this morning but stuck it out. He bit more today. DH & MIL swear they don't let him bite the bottle but at 3am I'm sure DH isn't monitoring so close as Aidan grabs the bottle & feeds himself. Wonder if I should nanny cam them. :p Because of all the pumping the biting didn't hurt as much as it did to begin with. I'm still kicking myself for letting myself give him a bottle that one day. But, the boy had blood on his shirt & I was in pain. He even refused it at first. Should have stuck with the syringe. Otherwise, he's never gotten a bottle from me. He doesn't even get a pacifier from me.
We've tried nearly every bottle. At first it was to find an anti-colic/gas bottle but now realize it wasn't gas from the bottle, it was from OS. Then the search expanded with the first strike. We've tried Dr Brown's, MAAM which Aidan REALLY liked but led to another strike, NUK, Tommy Tippee, Breastflow, Calma, standard Medela, I'm sure there are others, he just loves the bottles. Tried sippy cups with breast to cup spouts, hard spouts, regular spouts. Last thing to try would be maybe a straw cup but that seems even easier than a bottle! At the moment we are using the standard medela low flow wide base nipple. I work in a lab and thought about rigging up a titration pipette :lol but figured that wouldn't be very convenient for overnights. Just can't seem to find anything with a slow enough flow. The breastflow works well so long as it's not tipped straight down & the milk pools, then it's the same as any other bottle. I've tried correcting caregivers with their form but you can only say some words so many times :eye... And there's the non monitoring during the overnight feedings. Haven't heard of Adiri. I'll stop by the vet in the morning. Little concerned about the quality of plastic in the vet's syringe, though. Especially if we're going to be using it in place of bottles. Given the chemicals I work around, as precautionary as we are, I'd rather not expose him to any more hormone disruptors than necessary. I cringed at every ultrasound just waiting for the tech to say "hmmm, that's interesting, he's got an extra nose and 6 more fingers". I really was surprised he came out standard.
Given my work schedule, he expects food from either of us. I'm home 6 days straight then work overnights 8 days straight. Instead of splitting nights like some parents do, we split weeks. He's started to sleep more at night, 2 nights this week he only woke once but last night he woke 3 times to eat. I don't mind Adam giving him a bottle at night so we'll try some others. Thank goodness for Amazon Prime with their no hassle/any excuse return policy as some of those bottles can get pricey (<cough> calma <cough>). If we could find a foolproof caregiver bottle, I'd be willing to bypass the syringe, too. I've even tried taping the cutouts on the inside nipple of the breastflow so the milk wouldn't pool - that was a mess.
I was thinking instead of using water in recipes to use breastmilk (oatmeal, pancakes) or some bread soaked in milk for him to have in place of him getting milk bottles with grandparents & if he was thirsty, a bottle with water so he didn't associate bottles with milk but with water & the desire for them might be alleviated. That way he still gets the milk as his primary nutrition, just in a different conveyance. He's nearly old enough that he could get table food while with grandparents instead of bottles.
That's a whole 'nother battle with them over the types of food - I don't think any of them have read an ingredients list and my MIL is having a hard time grasping the concept of not shoveling food into his mouth for him :gg, just used to a different way of caring for kids. I'm considered a very modern, new-age eccentric around here given my aversions to formula, packaged foods and cloth diapers :confused:. Thankfully he refuses food to be put into his mouth, has to do it for himself. That's why the spoon feeding of milk never worked, he grabs the spoon or the milk. I did see some odd invention of a squeeze spoon but think it'd be the same mess. Same as the medela cup feeder. We have fruits and vegetables prepared in little containers just for him and have given the OK for him to be given these things but they get overlooked or he somehow gets lucky charms mashed with cows milk or maple flavored syrup laden oatmeal or pancakes, or, more recently, yoplait yogurt (which is worse than formula in my mind) :angrypin. I know every once in a while isn't going to hurt but this was an every day in my absence sort of thing. Basically, whatever grandma was eating he eats. I'll have to be more adamant about what food I'm ok with him getting. That way it cuts out his dependence on her for milk. She watches him for 3.5 hrs in the mornings and then 9 hours once every other week. So the 9 hour day would be rough to manage only food. I love the idea of pump weaning early but because I'm actually gone 12-14 hrs/day 8 days straight I don't see that happening.
That's awful about Gavin being traumatized. I have zero experience with babies aside from Aidan & can't begin to imagine what pain you go through with him. Yours is truly an inspirational story. I am thankful for the advice and support you are able to give me and the other mommas on the site.