September 29, 2008,
A.C. asks from Mound, MN on September 28, 2008
Weaning Baby Won't Take a Bottle Anymore!
I started to wean my 8 month old down to morning and evening feedings, giving her a bottle during the day. My mom and daycare have been giving her bottles for months, but just recently (and she was sick a week ago) she won't take more than 3 oz. (she'll typically eat 0 to 2oz.) at any bottle feeding. I clear her nose, hold her upright, and have even tried skipping the mid-morning bottle and going to 3 feedings a day other than baby/finger foods. Suggestions? She is waking up at night to nurse and my feeling is she is doing this because she isn't getting the liquids during the day. She had been sleeping through the night for the past 2 months or more prior to this.
More info: My baby gets 3-4 feedings of breastmilk and/or formula a day. She just seems to prefer nursing, so instead of draining a 6-8 oz bottle during the day while I am at work (or with her) she instead wakes up at 3am to nurse. I am looking for suggestions on how to get her to take her bottle during the day, so she can go back to sleeping at night. Hope this helps?!? Thanks!
So What Happened?™
From the various feedback, I am thinking she is just off schedule from being sick and I am suffering from a little sleep deprivation myself! After a couple of nights with better sleep, I am less worried about this. I'm just going to keep offering her pumped milk and formula and water throughout the day to keep her hydrated - I am confident that she'll get what she needs. Thank you for your help!!
E.I. answers from Duluth on September 29, 2008
follow your instincts. the only advice that works.
babies typically wake up at night to nurse. makes me wonder how you have dealt with this until now....
my son woke at night to nurse until he was 15 months old or so... and that was FINE with me. we parents should be more flexible. of course, as a result we did a lot of cosleeping so he could nurse and we both could go right back to sleep. he self weaned at 19 months.
its quite possible that your baby smells you and expects the real thing, and wont take the bottle from you for that reason. thats why others can give her a bottle but you cant. it might take a lot of getting used to. be flexible to her needs. remember, it is recommended that people nurse for up to a year... theres nothing saying you have to stop abruptly then. its actually better for your child if you continue nursing, but its a pretty personal thing.
also, discard the assumption that all babies sleep through the night. again, makes me wonder what you have been doing, but maybe you have just been lucky. any teeth yet? she could be waking because of teething pains and nursing is a comfort to her for that. the stuff in breastmilk actually relieves pain from teething, God made it that way. you wont get that effect from the bottle or formula.
anyway, i encourage you to listen to your instincts. ONLY YOU know whats best for your child and youre the only one (and dad?) who knows your child this well. ignore any and all outside advice that makes your stomach turn and your heart break. it may possibly be a little late for this, because im sure by this point you have followed some advice that made you feel aweful at the time, but now is habit.
www.askdrsears.com is a great resource. check with them for info on getting onto a bottle. dont worry so much about the amount of food your child is getting. remember this; if they are hungry, they will eat. also, their tummies are small small small, dont expect them to fill it up and keep it full all night. thats a little unrealistic, especially if there is a growth spurt happening!
just have patience, no one will tell you parenting is easy, nor will they tell you that it will turn out the way you plan it. you have to fly by the seat of your pants, and again, ALWAYS FOLLOW YOUR INSTINCTS!!!
A.L. answers from Green Bay on September 28, 2008
Your baby sounds like she is wanting more time with you and more to drink as well. Maybe it is a combination of both? I think small amounts of a bottle is ok, maybe just do it a few times more per day at first as you guys are getting on a better schedule of things. I always gave the baby a bottle or nursed before feeding them baby food, as I knew if was important to get the nutrients of breast milk/formula as well as the benefits of baby food. Give that a try, I wouldn't skip a bottle during the day. I always nursed before bed and that was a great way to settle them and fill their tummy before bed in hopes of getting them to sleep longer too. But it also added the closeness I craved at the end of a long day, too. Good luck!
B.H. answers from Madison on September 29, 2008
Have you tried any sippy cups? My 10 month old nurses in the morning and at night, and is at daycare during the day. When she started to cut back on amounts of expressed milk in a bottle during the day, we tried giving it to her in sippy cups. She drinks like a champ now, and is completely off the bottle.
D.H. answers from Janesville-Beloit on September 29, 2008
The baby is telling you that she wants your attention. Many nursing babies that have moms that work do this. Just take baby to bed and nurse and you both will have a good night sleep
N.S. answers from Minneapolis on September 28, 2008
I'm not certain I'm fully understanding your question, but it sounds like you're saying you have suggested to your daycare provider to only feed your daughter one bottle in the morning, one around lunch, and then you feed her one in the evening sometime. Without knowing exactly how much and what she's getting for solids, and knowing that she's getting about 2 to 3 bottles a day, to me, it seems like she may not be getting enough for her age.
If you also consider she's been sick, she's probably also severely dehydrated as even with non-intestinal related illnesses, dehydration can be a big problem...so to answer your question, she is probably not getting enough liquids during the day, and may very well not be getting enough to eat either and is over compensating at night. One big issue to be concerned about is that sometimes if a child goes too long without being fed, they'll begin to refuse food because their stomach will shrink and be unable to handle large amounts of food. Don't quote me on this, but I believe doctors call this "starvation mode." It something that happens when children/people don't get enough to eat over a long period of time. It's very common in undernourished children in third world countries where food is scarce, but it isn't unfamiliar here in unusual circumstances such as undiagnosed illness etc.
I'd take her to her pediatrician or at least call and let them know you suspect she might be having problems with dehydration and want her to get checked out. Explain what you've detailed here and get a professional opinion on what to do. Stress to them that she's not eating as you think she should and even note whether she's losing significant amounts of weight, or even beginning to act unusual such as listless or extra fussy.
In the interim, I'd recommend being less regimented in when, what, and how many times you are feeding her and have your daycare provider/mother feed her on demand versus on a schedule. Short of her having some sort of health issue, this is the best way to ensure she won't get dehydrated or undernourished as she's now in the months where she'll really take off in growth and development. She needs all the nutrients she can get to keep her immune system strong and aid those soon to be expected growth spurts. And with flu season looming, liquids will be more important than ever.