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Thread: Baby Refusing Bottle During Specific Feeding Only

  1. #1
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    Default Baby Refusing Bottle During Specific Feeding Only

    This is my fourth week back at work, and my 16 week daughter is at home with a nanny. I'm away from her from 7am - 4pm and on a "normal" day, she's drinking three bottles of EBM - two 3oz and one 4oz. Recently, we're having some issues with her taking the bottle, but it only seems to be happening during her middle of the day feeding (she takes the bottle with no issue in the morning and afternoon). Our nanny waits for hunger cues, but then when she offers the bottle, my daughter refuses and often becomes quite upset. Our nanny has been able to persuade her to eat eventually (by taking a break, calming her down, etc.), but I want to get to the bottom of the issue before it becomes more of a pattern. We can't figure out what would cause this refusal behavior only during this feeding - it's the same bottle/nipple, same temperature, same milk, same feeding location. She also definitely seems hungry. Does anyone have any ideas as to why she would consistently be upset during this feeding, but take the other two feedings well? Thanks!!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Baby Refusing Bottle During Specific Feeding Only

    Okay, this is likely not possible otherwise it probably would already have been happening, but just in case-- would nanny be able to bring her to you for her middle meal during your lunch break?

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Baby Refusing Bottle During Specific Feeding Only

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*erin.in.middletown View Post
    Okay, this is likely not possible otherwise it probably would already have been happening, but just in case-- would nanny be able to bring her to you for her middle meal during your lunch break?
    No, unfortunately we can't do a mid-day feed at work (although I would love to!).

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Baby Refusing Bottle During Specific Feeding Only

    If baby is truly being cue fed, she may want to eat twice some days and 5 times other days. I would suggest, discuss with nanny if she is using paced bottle feeding techniques. Also, cue feeding does not necessarily mean it is always best to 'wait for hunger cues." Depending on baby and time of day, that may mean too much time has gone by baby is now very hungry and upset. This can particularly happen if the feeding is right after nap or after a period of activity or distraction.

    Just as it is ok to offer the breast, it is ok to offer a bottle, assuming the bottle is given correctly, and only in the amount baby wants, including, no amount.

    Also, maybe at that particular time, baby wants something different than the other times. Nanny can try cold milk, different room, go outside, etc.

    paced bottle feeding: http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...astfedbaby.pdf and video: http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=...FD00534CAAC56E

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Baby Refusing Bottle During Specific Feeding Only

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*maddieb View Post
    If baby is truly being cue fed, she may want to eat twice some days and 5 times other days. I would suggest, discuss with nanny if she is using paced bottle feeding techniques. Also, cue feeding does not necessarily mean it is always best to 'wait for hunger cues." Depending on baby and time of day, that may mean too much time has gone by baby is now very hungry and upset. This can particularly happen if the feeding is right after nap or after a period of activity or distraction.

    Just as it is ok to offer the breast, it is ok to offer a bottle, assuming the bottle is given correctly, and only in the amount baby wants, including, no amount.

    Also, maybe at that particular time, baby wants something different than the other times. Nanny can try cold milk, different room, go outside, etc.

    paced bottle feeding: http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...astfedbaby.pdf and video: http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=...FD00534CAAC56E
    Thanks for your response! The nanny is using paced feeding - we shared that same video with her before she started, and my husband works from home so has worked with her to make sure it's being done properly. I'll suggest your ideas of cold bottle, location change, etc.

    Though baby is not on a schedule by any means, up until I went back to work (and on weekends now), she feeds every 2 hours during the day, almost like clockwork. She was also following this pattern with the nanny up until she started the midday bottle refusal. When you say that it's not really cue feeding if she's waiting for hunger cues - do you mean that the nanny could be missing early cues and feeding her too late (and therefore she should offer the bottle earlier)? When she does offer the bottle, if the baby fusses, should she stop and try again after some time has passed, rather than trying to calm her and encourage her to eat then? I worry about too much time passing and my daughter becoming frantically hungry.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Baby Refusing Bottle During Specific Feeding Only

    She was also following this pattern with the nanny up until she started the midday bottle refusal.
    In my experience babies typically change their nursing/feeding patterns. Even if it is the same for a long time, eventually it will change at least a few times. Every two hours or even more often is fine of course, but many babies do go longer at 4 months. Also, a baby might feed more frequently for a while, then less, than more again. Etc.
    do you mean that the nanny could be missing early cues and feeding her too late
    I suppose that is possible. What I was actually thinking was that maybe baby is not cueing in any clear way due to a heavy nap or being distracted with play etc.
    When she does offer the bottle, if the baby fusses, should she stop and try again after some time has passed, rather than trying to calm her and encourage her to eat then?
    I think either is fine.

    I guess I mostly think this is not a big deal. Since there are two people there to make sure your baby's needs are met, I doubt it is going to happen, but, What would happen if your baby became frantically hungry? It can happen, even when mom is home all day and cue feeding, that a baby may get super hungry here and there. This is not usually a big deal.

    I guess I think it is normal that sleep and eating patterns change. Many babies take less milk some days than others. Many take less while mom is gone and nurse more at night. And many other variations. This change could signal a new preference, or just be a little temporary blip. I guess I think it's just not something to worry too much over.

    What I am afraid of is that you will communicate to the nanny that it is a big deal if your baby does not get this bottle, and your nanny, wishing to please you, her employer, will insist, when baby is really just not interested. Being made to eat when not wishing to, or made to eat more than one wishes to, is what might cause eating problems.

    I think that video is great, but I think it is also important to communicate to the nanny that baby's eating preferences change and you understand that, and that if baby wants more or less milk or more or less frequent feedings one day over the other, that is probably normal and it is probably ok.

    Also I just realized your baby is 4 months old. Four months is a notorious time for "weird" changes in nursing behavior. I suppose the same would hold true for bottles.
    Last edited by @llli*maddieb; September 17th, 2014 at 08:34 PM.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Baby Refusing Bottle During Specific Feeding Only

    Thanks for your reassurance. As I'm sure you can imagine, the transition back to work has been tough, and it has always been reassuring to know that she's eating well and happy at home. When this suddenly started, it was worrying because if she doesn't eat a third bottle, she's only eating 6-7oz for the whole 9 hours I'm gone. I will try to relax about the whole thing and make sure the nanny knows not to insist on her eating.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Baby Refusing Bottle During Specific Feeding Only

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*ccb52914 View Post
    Thanks for your reassurance. As I'm sure you can imagine, the transition back to work has been tough, and it has always been reassuring to know that she's eating well and happy at home. When this suddenly started, it was worrying because if she doesn't eat a third bottle, she's only eating 6-7oz for the whole 9 hours I'm gone. I will try to relax about the whole thing and make sure the nanny knows not to insist on her eating.
    I just wanted to reassure you that 6-7 oz for 9 hrs of separation isn't unheard of. My baby has been doing that many times (he's 11 mos now): some days 6-7 oz in that time, and other times he'd take 9-10. He grew fine. Don't worry about it. You can't make a baby eat. He'll just nurse more later if he needs more food. My baby nursed well in the evening and through the night too, so I didn't find that concerning.
    Mom to Samuel J.
    born 7lb. 10 oz. and 22" tall
    on Saturday, October 19, 2013.

    My breastfeeding experiences: http://www.breastfeedinghacks.com/

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Baby Refusing Bottle During Specific Feeding Only

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*ruchiccio View Post
    I just wanted to reassure you that 6-7 oz for 9 hrs of separation isn't unheard of. My baby has been doing that many times (he's 11 mos now): some days 6-7 oz in that time, and other times he'd take 9-10. He grew fine. Don't worry about it. You can't make a baby eat. He'll just nurse more later if he needs more food. My baby nursed well in the evening and through the night too, so I didn't find that concerning.
    Thanks! She does nurse frequently once I'm home but is still doing a long stretch from 9 - 5:30 (I wake her up to eat before I go to work). But, I figure she'll let me know if she's hungry. We have her 4 month pedi appointment next week so hopefully that helps reassure me that she's growing well too!

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Baby Refusing Bottle During Specific Feeding Only

    I have to agree with the PP, if baby doesn't want a bottle, I don't see why it is a problem to wait and try again later. Maybe they are misreading the cues? My DD would start rooting and sucking on her fists when she wanted to nurse, but only when she wanted to nurse right to sleep. If you tried to give her a bottle at that time, she would have been mad. Because she was cueing for sleep, not food.

    Be really careful with thinking that baby 'should' be hungry and therefore 'should' want a bottle. My DD took the bottle great the first couple of times, so I left her withDH and went out for a couple hours. When I came back, DD and DH were both crying hysterically. DD wouldn't take the bottle, DH was sure she was hungry so kept trying to force it, DD started crying, DH decided she must have been over hungry because it took too long to heat it up, so he tries harder to get her to take the bottle, etc. It took us 4 weeks to get her to take another bottle, and another month to get her to take them easily.

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