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Thread: Absolutely refuses to take a bottle!!

  1. #1
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    Oct 2012
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    Default Absolutely refuses to take a bottle!!

    My LO is 15 weeks old. I will be heading back to work in 4 short weeks. I've been trying for a week to get her to take a bottle and she refuses. I've tried everything...DH giving it, my mom giving it, different nipples, different temperatures, when she's hungry, when she not hungry, when she's tired, when she's rested, outside with distractions, in a quiet room....I'm at my wits end. She will play a little but never sucks. She refuses a pacifier too. I need help. I don't think that daycare is going to be able to do any alternative feeding method (e.g. Cup or syringe). I really need her to do the bottle thing. Any suggestions??
    mom to four energetic kids ages 6,7,8 and our newest arrival born 8/14/2012

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Absolutely refuses to take a bottle!!

    Can I ask a couple clarifying questions? How long have you been trying with the bottle, from when it was first introduced, until now? And when you try a new variation (like a different bottle type, temp, timing, etc) how many attempts do you make with that technique -- just once and done when she rejects it, it multiple tries? Also, what will your baby's daycare look like -- how many days per week and how many hours per day?

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Absolutely refuses to take a bottle!!

    We've been trying for about 10 days. We are trying various things at each different feeding. Everything has multiple trials but not necessarily several of one thing in a row. For Jan and Feb, she will be in our home with a nanny four days a week. Two of those days I will work from home and will take her for feelings-so Ill obviously nurse her. Two days a week I will be much too far away to get to her from 8 until 5. Starting in March, daycare will be traditional daycare but close to work and I should be able to get to her once a day.
    I would love to let the nanny work it out but she's older and English isn't her first language ( and I don't speak Spanish : ( so I'm worried about communicating already and starting with this challenge seems like too much to expect from her... Not sure that makes sense...
    mom to four energetic kids ages 6,7,8 and our newest arrival born 8/14/2012

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Absolutely refuses to take a bottle!!

    I know it's stressful and you want to solve this before you go back to work. I had this issue with my first daughter and I was around the bend. She took bottles as a tiny infant and then absolutely refused somewhere around 5 weeks and did not want anything to do with it when I went back to work when she was 4 months old. What I should have done - and did do with my second daughter - was just let it go. There probably is no "perfect" bottle and she's probably registering your stressed-outedness while you all are trying to get her to take the bottle.

    Can you ask the nanny to come over and try? Or just wait until you go back to work, and let the nanny work it out with your baby?

    Have you checked your milk for lipase? Basically, tasted it to make sure it doesn't taste funny/gross after a day or so?
    Tracie

    Mommy to
    Lilah 10/08 nursed 25 months
    Beatrix 01/11 nursed 30 months

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Absolutely refuses to take a bottle!!

    Assuming you rule out the lipase thing, then my biggest recommendation is to give it more time and more tries. Patience and persistence go a far way with this issue. Ten days isn't really that long. You've got four weeks before you start daycare -- with a few tries at the bottle per day until then -- so that's a lot of time to work on this! And if she's playing with the bottle, try to see that as a GOOD thing... because that's a big step up from crying/rejecting it outright. So really, you're off to a good start!

    All the variations you're trying are good, and there might even be more things you can throw into the mix (have you tried movement, like walking with baby while feeding? instant rewards, dipping the nipple in milk? different holds, like cradle hold vs out in front in an infant chair or baby reclining against the feeder's thighs? techniques that mimic mom, like the feeder putting the bottle under the armpit, or wearing a piece of your clothing with your scent?). Maybe try a given technique more than one attempt in a row, so that baby isn't just reacting to the "newness" but has a few successive opportunities to adjust to it. And once you go through all the variations, start over again and try them again -- something that didn't work before might work in the future (for us, we went back to a bottle that hadn't worked before, and suddenly it was a totally different experience!). You can also try syringe feeding, as an alternative. I can understand how hard it might be to ask the nanny to help you work through the bottle experiment, especially if there's a language barrier, but syringe feeding should be easy enough for her to manage, and then you could continue to work on the bottle thing until center based care begins. Just stay positive and don't give up (And I agree with the PP about not getting too stressed about it in the meantime.)

    FWIW, our baby rejected the bottle for almost three months. When we introduced the bottle at 6 wks, he would have a total meltdown every time - it took us 6 wks just to get him to reluctantly take half an ounce! For the first month of daycare, he would only eat 2 or 3 ounces all day and then reverse cycled at night. It was really stressful for me, but my daycare director assured me that "no baby will purposely starve himself" and that he would get it together. She was right. Slowly his intake went up, until one day, it was like he finally decided to accept the status quo, and from that point forward he did the bottle thing just fine. I only share that experience to let you know how great you are doing already! Babies are smart and they know what they like - your baby wants her favorite meal from her favorite restaurant, and why shouldn't she ;-) But she's also smart enough to figure out that this is the deal if she doesn't want to be hungry, and eventually she will decide to go with it. I'm confident your LO will figure it out sooner - but even if she doesn't, and the start to daycare is a little rough, it will be OK. Especially since you can work from home a few times a week to ease the transition, and then once in a center you can nurse at lunch. So even if baby is still holding out for you, or you have a little reverse cycling, you will get through it. And even in the unlikely event that she never accepts the bottle, babies can start on sippy cups as young as six months, so it will still be OK!
    Last edited by @llli*mercystreet; December 3rd, 2012 at 05:42 PM.

  6. #6
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    Oct 2012
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    Default Re: Absolutely refuses to take a bottle!!

    I can't tell you both how much I appreciate the advice and support!

    I have checked for lipase...seems ok although I haven't tasted after freezing. I will next time I have to thaw. For now I'm pumping in the morning and using small amounts of fresh milk to do the bottle thing. I'll keep trying and try to relax!

    Any suggestions on how to not waste so much milk? Even tossing 1/2 oz pains me. Can I put the bottle back in the fridge after warming and trying to get her to take it? How many times? Thanks again!
    mom to four energetic kids ages 6,7,8 and our newest arrival born 8/14/2012

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Absolutely refuses to take a bottle!!

    Experts on milk storage err on the side of caution (too far, IMO) regarding re-using and re-warming bottles -- I think it's CYA on their part that they'll never tell you to reuse a bottle, but I think that most moms do (it hurts to see that precious milk go down the drain!). I tend to be a bit more forgiving about it, especially if it's freshly pumped, it's got live cells that will keep it fresher longer. Technically bacteria from baby's mouth could get in the milk ... but I was never really too worried about it. I used to put about 0.5 oz in the bottle, and put it back in the fridge at least once and try again within a few hours, so we got two attempts out of each half ounce, and then I would start fresh the next day with a new half-ounce. If reusing the bottle, I would always make sure it passed the smell test, and you can always dip a finger in and taste to be sure.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Absolutely refuses to take a bottle!!

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*mercystreet View Post
    FWIW, our baby rejected the bottle for almost three months. When we introduced the bottle at 6 wks, he would have a total meltdown every time - it took us 6 wks just to get him to reluctantly take half an ounce! For the first month of daycare, he would only eat 2 or 3 ounces all day and then reverse cycled at night. It was really stressful for me, but my daycare director assured me that "no baby will purposely starve himself" and that he would get it together. She was right. Slowly his intake went up, until one day, it was like he finally decided to accept the status quo, and from that point forward he did the bottle thing just fine. I only share that experience to let you know how great you are doing already! Babies are smart and they know what they like - your baby wants her favorite meal from her favorite restaurant, and why shouldn't she ;-) But she's also smart enough to figure out that this is the deal if she doesn't want to be hungry, and eventually she will decide to go with it. I'm confident your LO will figure it out sooner - but even if she doesn't, and the start to daycare is a little rough, it will be OK. Especially since you can work from home a few times a week to ease the transition, and then once in a center you can nurse at lunch. So even if baby is still holding out for you, or you have a little reverse cycling, you will get through it. And even in the unlikely event that she never accepts the bottle, babies can start on sippy cups as young as six months, so it will still be OK!
    My experience was similar, although Lilah was never happy about the bottle. I would tell myself that some babies (not mine!) slept 12 hours in a row without nursing, so if Lilah went 10.5 hours with only a few ounces of milk, that it would be ok. My babysitter also poured milk into her mouth with a tiny open mouth cup sometimes, early on, when she would scream every time she saw the bottle.
    Tracie

    Mommy to
    Lilah 10/08 nursed 25 months
    Beatrix 01/11 nursed 30 months

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Absolutely refuses to take a bottle!!

    My husband used to leave bottles out and if the kids wanted to eat again within 3-4 hours he'd give them what was left in the bottle. It's supposed to be good at room temperature for 8 hours, though we never kept it that long after it had been eaten out of. At any rate, we never had any problems.
    “We are not put on earth for ourselves, but are placed here for each other. If you are there always for others, then in time of need, someone will be there for you.”
    --Anonymous

  10. #10

    Default Re: Absolutely refuses to take a bottle!!

    Ahh yay!

    I posted a new thread, but I think that this one solved my problems. I will just have to tell my husband that it will get better and there is no magic trick. Its the cost of a working mom. He is so frustrated that he keeps putting it on me to solve, but this is a common problem with one solution: KEEP AT IT. The babe won't starve (although I feel 6 hours is too long for her to go without eating) and she is just being stubborn, like her parents. Maybe I will try a bottle right now, just for fun

    THanks for the support working, pumping, bottle and breastfeeding moms. I needed it.

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