Looking for some advice on my 5 month old who is now rejecting the breast 90% of the time in favor of a bottle.
Some (a lot of) background:
DS was born 3 weeks early, and a combination of his size, a tongue tie, and flat nipples caused me to have to use a nipple shield and for us to top off with a bottle, and supplement when necessary. Eventually, I was EBF during the day, and DH would bottle feed during a period every evening so I could sleep. At around 3 months DH switched from a size 1 nipple to a flow size 2 because he said DS was getting frustrated (I didn't want this to happen, but it did). We never addressed the tongue tie (per advice from our pediatrician) because he was able to nurse fine and was gaining weight well. At our 4 month checkup, however, he was underweight. This was very surprising to us because of how frequently he was nursing (at least every hour for long periods of time). Our pediatrician sent us to OT for an infant feeding clinic where they said he was not able to transfer milk efficiently because of his tongue tie. So we ended up having it clipped three weeks ago. The first couple of days after we're rough, but he was still nursing. Then the nursing strike started. He has nursed off and on since then, but everyday it's less and less. Yesterday he only nursed once. I went to see Lactation a week ago and she said that his tongue is healed, his motor/sucking skills are good, his latch is good, and my supply seems to be good. So it seems like he's developed a preference to the bottle. We did end up switching the bottle nipples back to flow 1. He is 5 months old today, and I should also add he is extremely alert these days and seems to just want to look around and explore his surroundings, so he's easily distracted. I think the revision took place in the middle of a sleep regression as well. His sleep schedule has been way off. I was hoping to be able to EBF around the clock after the revision, and now the opposite has happened. I desperately want to get him back breastfeeding but I don't know what to do. I have tried feeding him in a dark, quiet room, rocking, walking around, with the shield, without it. I try offering him the breast before a bottle but he just gets frustrated. I've done some skin to skin and tried laid back position, but honestly he's just so curious right now that he's just not interested in being snuggled up like that (though he always wants to be held). He was at least nursing when he was sleepy, but over the last few days even that has declined.
I feel like we're almost at the point of no return, and I am deeply saddened at the thought of our breastfeeding journey coming to an end. Has anyone else experienced this and come back from it? Any advice?