M.D. asks from Broomfield, CO on June 11, 2008
Baby Refuses the Bottle
I have a 3 month old daughter who I have been solely breastfeeding. I will be returning to work full time in about 6 weeks and my daughter refuses to take the bottle. We have tried several different types of bottles/nipples, Dr Browns, Avent, Adiri, First Years', none have made any difference. We have tried fresh breast milk as well as formula. We've had several different folks try to give her the bottle with me completely out of the room. I have tried giving it to her as well. We've tried giving it to her in different positions, when she is very hungry, but nothing has worked. She took the bottle in the first few weeks with no problem, but then we stopped and now she will not take it. She cries frantically when the bottle is put to her lips and will continue to cry for as long as you try to feed her with it. I am really desperate and worried about returning to work. Any moms out there have any other solutions? Thanks for your help!
F.S. answers from Salt Lake City on June 16, 2008
I went through the exact same thing with my daughter. I tried it all too. The thing that finally worked was the Playtex bottles with the flat nipples, not the ones that come with the bottles. I started feeding her cereal,with a spoon, right before 4 months and gave her bottles in between bites. For a couple of weeks that was the only time she would take a bottle. She is almost a year old and is still very picky with what nipples she will take. I know another mom who breastfeed too and her baby is a year old and still won't take anything but mom. She had to quit her job after maternity leave. Good luck!!!!
C.A. answers from Salt Lake City on June 14, 2008
I am currently employed as a teacher at a daycare. We have situations much like yours every day. Though the decision to leave your child in daycare is a hard one, please don't forget to consult the most important participant in that decision: your child. EVERY infant is high-maintenance. They are made that way. The only one that can truly love and care for her in the way it is needed is you. Though I care for each of the children I work with, it is much easier to get frustrated and irritated by someone else's children than a family member. Though this may not be the advice you want, don't forget to listen to your daughter's cues. She needs you more than she needs to be "tricked" by a stranger. Don't allow someone to be a parent to your child for a paycheck. I don't envy your position. Good luck on your choice!
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C.S. answers from Colorado Springs on June 12, 2008
M., I totally understand your dilemma! I went through the same thing with my son when I went back to work. I felt horrible thinking he wouldn't be able to eat, and the first day or two was pretty hard. We had tried all sorts of bottles and nipples as you have and then after a day or two at daycare, they actually suggested the Playtex nursing (I can't remember the exact name, but they're the drop-in line with the natural type nipple) system and it worked like a charm. Either my son realized that was the way he was going to eat at daycare or the bottles worked, but either way - he became a champ at it and had no issues. Your baby will take the bottle when she realizes that's her food source. I know it's hard, but try not to worry and trust that the daycare will make sure she gets what she needs while you're working. And I have to comment about the other comment telling you that you need to stay home for the first year. What works for your family is your business; just because that worked for her family doesn't mean it's what every mother should do. I always feel it necessary to say something when I see those comments because so often, mothers forget that we're all in the same boat and have the same worries and when comments and judgements like that are made it just adds to the already very worrisome and stressful job of being a mommy. You're doing a great job and I'm sure your little one will catch on with the bottle soon!
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S.H. answers from Denver on June 12, 2008
Hi, M.! It sounds like you've gotten some great advice on bottle feeding, so I want to respond to a different issue. As moms, we all want to be able to stay home with our children. It broke my heart both times I had to leave my babies at daycare for the first time (first with my daughter, then with my son); I sobbed the whole day. But, even though we would like to be able to stay home, in reality, we can't. My husband is self-employed, and though he makes good money when he is working, his income isn't always reliable. I have a realiable, good-paying job that carries our benefits and a stable paycheck. Sometimes it isn't a matter of giving up dinners out, etc. so that you can be a stay-at-home mom; sometimes it's a matter of giving up stable pay and health insurance. So, I guess I really just want to say that I know some people say that you should stay home even if it seems impossible; I say that it is VERY POSSIBLE to be a great mom and work, too. I have a lot of respect for stay-at-home moms, and I wish I could give my children that, too; but whether we work or stay home, we all do our best in the ways that we are able to give our kids EVERYTHING WE CAN! And, most importantly, I know that we all give our kids just as much love no matter what we do with our days.
So if you are having to go back to work, know that there are others who know what you are going through when you drop your child off at daycare, and we support you and know that you are a good mom. And just think, your child is meeting new people, making friends, learning about social interaction and values, growing intellectually, and boosting their immune system while at daycare! And once your little one starts talking, hearing about their day at daycare makes for great dinner conversation. We always ask each other at dinner, "What was your favorite thing today?" and it is fun to hear about my daughter's day that way. Good luck going back to work. I'll be thinking of you!
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A.R. answers from Salt Lake City on June 12, 2008
when I went back to work, my day care provider suggested my husband and I sleep with a blanket or birp cloth, something along those lines. When she put that blanket up against her, the baby could smell us and would take the bottle. My husband also tried to do that several times with clothes that I had worn. The baby refused a bottle from me becuase she knew I could nurse her, but with the smell of me, she would take the bottle from someone else. Good luck
M.H. answers from Denver on June 12, 2008
I have no good advice, only sympathy. My daughter did the same thing, and so we were "attached" for the first 6-9 months. I tried everything. I stayed home with her, so it wasn't as big of a deal. I have heard of people who have their parents or relatives do child care, and they bring the child to work several times a day to nurse. Other people I know adjust their work schedule to a 6 hour day, and then find a way to nurse once (on their lunch hour) during the day if the child care is close to work. Then they can nurse right before leaving the child, at lunch--3 ish hours later, and again right after work--again,3ish hours later. I have also heard of people just making their kid be hungry for a few days. I don't know what to tell you, but I sympathize. My daughter was really stubborn, and I don't know that anything would have worked. Good luck with this tough situation. And I do agree with the previous advice that if you can, you should figure out a way to stay home with this one--at least part time. They are only tiny for just a little bit!
E.B. answers from Provo on June 12, 2008
My little one refused a bottle for a long time. I didn't have to go to work, but I felt very trapped at home, or with the baby. My husband and I couldn't go anywhere for more than a few hours, movies were out of the question. Anyway. This is what finally happened. She (my baby) took a pacifier without any problems and I realized that I had been trying to use a bottle nipple that "looked and felt" more like the breast. She took a NUK pacifier so I looked for a NUK nipple and she almost immediately took it. She also had problems with the formula at first cause it just doesn't taste or smell like mothers milk. So we started her out with all pumped breast milk and then changed it slowly by mixing more and more formula into the bottle and slowly but surely she took it also. I would just keep trying. There are SO many options for bottles and nipples out there. Good luck, I hope you find your solution!
M.W. answers from Boise on June 11, 2008
This kind of thing makes me so sad for your baby and for you. If you can, please try to figure out how to stay home with your baby, at least for the first year. It can be done in most cases, even when it seems "impossible." There are a lot of things you could probably do without, but your baby should not have to do without her mother. She was in your body for nine months, and she needs YOU more than anything else for at least the first nine months after she is out of your body. I know this may not be the kind of advice you are looking for, but I feel it is important to remind you of these things. Please give it some serious consideration. You will never regret being with your baby when she needed you most.
K.B. answers from Salt Lake City on June 12, 2008
I went through the exact situation with my second. He was 3 mos old to the day, and prior to my return to work no efforts to bottle feed were successful. Yes, we tried every brand, situation, formula, breast milk, etc. It sure seemed like a crisis at the time . . . I was prepared to call the pediatrician to ask what the minimum intake would be required to avoid dehydration . . . Well, after a very frustrating two days, where both the baby and our sweet nanny (thankfully, it wasn't her first week on the job) were in tears, baby "GOT IT." I'm sure yours will too. Sorry I don't have any specific advice, but to say it will work out OK. Keep nursing after work, I pumped for five months on the job so baby had a freezer full of healthy milk. Later we nursed at night and son finally weaned at 17 mos. YES, you can both do this.