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Thread: 9 week old that seems to have separation anxiety

  1. #1

    Default 9 week old that seems to have separation anxiety

    We started introducing one bottle every couple days to my BFed daughter when she was 4weeks old and had success, no matter who was feeding her. She had no issues when held or cared for by family or friends. Now at 8 weeks she has started to want only me, for everything. She will cry inconsolably when her dad or anyone other then myself holds her or attempts to give her the bottle. I feel horrible coming home to a distraught baby and as soon as she's in my arms she calms down, even more so when we can nurse. We have tried all the suggestions: skin it skin with dad, him wearing an article of my clothing while giving a bottle, me being gone so she can't "smell" me. I know it's great they we have such a strong bond which has obviously developed due to the BFing but I feel like its now the source of this problem. I will be returning to work in 3 weeks and dad will be taking care of her the majority of the time while I'm at work. I'm really stressing about this and will feel horrible leaving them both. Anyone else relate to this, what should we do and how long might this last?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    1,293

    Default Re: 9 week old that seems to have separation anxiety

    hi there. breastfeeding is a source of comfort and reassurance for your lo, not the source of stress. my son had a tough time going to daycare at 12 weeks and the nursing really helped him have peace and connect to me after a long day. it also helped me feel better about having to be away from him.

    it can be so tough when your lo is upset. she just misses you. she s you. she will adjust and your nursing relationship will be a great support to her while she needs to go through that transition.

    stay with it mama.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,289

    Default Re: 9 week old that seems to have separation anxiety

    This is entirely normal infant behavior. Of course she needs and wants to be with you and gets upset when she is not. That is just how babies and mothers are. Biology made us this way for the purpose of species survival, because before the modern world and formula or bottles or pumping, babies separated from thier mothers died. So we have a compelling instinctual need to be with each other. The economic realities of the modern world does not matter to these basic, primal intincts. And this occurs with many babies no matter how they are fed.

    The first couple of days may be hard. You may get a frantic phone call or two. But she will adjust and dad will adjust and you will adjust to the new reality once you are back to work. I promise. How long it will take I don't know-but I thnk it is rare if anything really bad, like absolute bottle refusal-has lasted longer than a week. I have talked to moms with these concerns probably 100 times in the last 5 years and not a single one had to quit her job because her baby just could not deal with her leaving or never ate.

    If there is tons of stress around trying to make baby take the bottle or "practicing" separations, I would suggest, stop doing that. Why have stress and concerns prior to your going to work? Relax and enjoy this time with your baby.

    There are many many ways to approach bottles for back to work. Here are a few I have heard from moms personally-

    The baby need not have milk in the bottle to get familiar with it. Maybe let baby hold, gum, chew on etc. an empty bottle-in other words, play with it.
    You and dad learn paced bottle feeding and cue bottle feeding. Allows the bottle feeding to be a little more like breastfeeding. Has other benefits to.
    Maybe your baby would prefer a cup of milk instead. You and dad could learn open cup infant feeding
    Will dad wear baby in a sling? Babies love to be on the move and love changes in scenary. A sling really helps with getting baby moving and distracted.
    Make your return to work as gradual as you can. At first you could try-Shorter days? going Every other day? Starting on a Friday?
    Maybe in the adjustment period, your work will be able to accomodate baby coming to you at lunch time, or you leaving for a few hours if there was a real issue.

    There are several articles on here (www.llli.org) with tips on getting baby to take a bottle. Just go to the search engine and input bottle or bottle refusal or baby won't take bottle whatever. For some reason it won't let me link the articles here.

    These has nice suggestions for comfort measures other caregivers besides you can use. http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...ybabyideas.pdf and http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...t_partners.pdf

    Paced/cue bottle feeding http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...astfedbaby.pdf

    Hope this helps!
    Last edited by @llli*lllmeg; January 21st, 2013 at 11:09 AM.

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