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Thread: Baby now refusing bottle...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
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    Georgia, USA
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    3

    Question Baby now refusing bottle...

    I have a 13 week old little girl. I've for the most part been exclusively breastfeeding. I say for the most part because early on I thought that I may not be making enough milk. I had this problem with baby #3 and had to supplement. Anyway, I did supplement here and there and also two other times when my nipples became cracked and bruised. I say all of this to say that in 13 weeks, my daughter has taken bottles on average, once or twice a day for 10 of those weeks. Sometimes it was formula and sometimes it was breast milk. Well, I had to go back to work today and for the last week she has refused a bottle all together. This obviously doesn't work well with me being at work. My husband is off this week and was able to bring her to me today for me to nurse her twice. He won't be able to do that next week. I work 12 hour shifts three days a week, but I am off again until Friday of this week. So I have three days to get her to take the bottle again. I need her to take it so I can work but I don't want to quit nursing either.
    We've tried different bottles, different nipples, different people feeding her, me being present, me being gone, formula, breast milk, different sitting/reclining positions. We are at a loss.
    I've always had trouble nursing my children and this has been such a great experience and I don't want to give it up, but I still have to work. Never would I of thought that she'd refuse the bottle after all this time. You're always told not to give a bottle because babies get lazy and realize that the bottle is easier and then refuse the breast. Well, that definitely didn't happen and I am glad she desires to nurse. I am so torn. It's hard enough to think about leaving her. This just makes it worse.
    Any advice? And please don't tell me if she's hungry enough, she'll eat. I've got a coworker who's son did the same thing and went 14 hours without eating once. I'm not going to listen to my daughter cry for that long if she refuses that long. It breaks my heart. Please help. I can't lose my job. I don't know what to do.
    Sorry for all of the rambling... I have a million thoughts running through my head all at once. (Oh and I've already asked my co-worker and she had no advice. Her son had to be brought to her at work for a few weeks. I don't have that option.)
    Thanks in advance for your help!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,371

    Default Re: Baby now refusing bottle...

    Oh, I am so sorry you're going through this struggle! It's true that most babies will eat if they get hungry enough, but that doesn't mean that your individual baby will. The only advice I can give is to keep offering, keep trying different bottles, nipples, milk temperatures, caregivers, feeding positions, etc. If you're storing your milk, pull a few bags now and then to make sure that the milk isn't developing issues with lipase, which can make the milk taste yucky.

    How does the baby act while separated from you? If she fussy and miserable all day long, or is she content to wait? Some babies manage to get a lot of their needs, maybe even all their needs, met by nursing all night long. That can be really hard on a working mom, of course!
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    6,562

    Default Re: Baby now refusing bottle...

    My daughter refused bottles too, it was very stressful. Hearing that if she gets hungry enough, she will eat was not helpful for me, nor was it really true. Did your baby react the same way to formula bottles as she did to breast milk? I had excess lipase, which made my milk taste like vomit - it was digesting itself - and I didn't realize it until Lilah was a year old.

    However, one thing that did help was time. She went from refusing all together to grudgingly drinking enough to get by. She was sort of content at the beginning to watch the big kids at the babysitter's house and would just cry if she saw the bottle. My DCP cup fed her for a few days. She would offer the bottle and if Lilah started crying, she would just stop offering immediately. I wish I had figured out that it was a lipase issue much earlier, I think things may have gone differently. She nursed all night long and I figured that some babies sleep through the night - even up to 12 hours - from a very early age and so if she didn't drink any milk while I was away from her, that it would be similar to that. Another thing we did was used the fast flow nipple. Clearly I didn't have to worry about breast refusal and this way she didn't have to do any work to get the milk into her mouth. It basically dripped in.

    With my second daughter, we used the playtex drop-ins for a long time and my babysitter would actually squeeze the bag while Trixie was drinking so that the milk would come faster for her. We used newborn flow nipples with her the whole time, but it seemed like she needed to know that milk would actually come out of the bottle.

    I'm sorry mama. It's so hard and upsetting when you have a baby that refuses to eat while they are away from you. I hope you get to a place where she will drink enough to be happy while away from you soon.
    Tracie

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

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Georgia, USA
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    3

    Default Re: Baby now refusing bottle...

    Thanks to you both. She is okay being away from me, it's just when you go to offer the bottle. We did try formula and she didn't want that either. My husband was able to get her to take a bottle this morning. She kept me up nursing all night last night, maybe making up for yesterday. Not sure. I was exhausted this morning and told my husband that he was going to have to take her and let me sleep. I think I slept about four hours and during that time he managed to get her to take it. It was formula that time. The crazy part is that she'd been nursing and taking a single formula bottle a day this whole time. So she knows how to take a bottle and she hadn't been refusing formula or breast milk. It's just got me going crazy and worrying.
    @mommy2lilah, how do you know if you have extra lipase? Does it look different or do you have to taste it? I do see "white" something that forms if it's in the fridge and not frozen but I had read that it will kind of separate and to just mix it before you give it. Is that true or was I told wrong? I hope I'm not feeding her something that tastes bad.
    I pumped this morning after I woke up because she was napping. I went on a froze it. We have about 3 oz in the fridge right now, so I thought I'd try to get her to take that before I nursed her the next time.
    This whole thing is so worrisome. I don't want to quit nursing but not sure how I can pump for her to learn to take a bottle and still be nursing her. Any thoughts on that?
    Thanks again!!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    Default Re: Baby now refusing bottle...

    YOu have to taste it... I would put an ounce or so in the fridge, and then taste it every 12 hours or so. Taste it right after you pump it too, just so you know what it should taste like.

    You are only away from her three days a week? You might just want to pump right before bed every night - tell dad that he's on deck and then let him give her a bottle every night. Then you can get some unbroken sleep and she gets a bottle a day.

    I only worked three days a week until Lilah was 6 months old and so I would pump and give her a bottle first thing in the morning on the days I was off. I only gave her an ounce or so - but I wanted her to have the bottle every day so that she would not have four days at home with me and then bam right into needing a bottle first thing on Tuesday morning. I guess I probably stopped doing that after she was routinely taking 8 ounces a day for the 11 hours I was away from her.

    It's fine if the milk separates - that's not an issue.
    Tracie

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

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    6,562

    Default Re: Baby now refusing bottle...

    Oh - and if it turns out you have excess lipase, which you probably don't - you just have to scald any milk that you're going to freeze. We can help you with how to do that if need be.
    Tracie

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

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Georgia, USA
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Baby now refusing bottle...

    Great. I will do that. Thanks so much for the help!!

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