Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Hitting the Bottle
One bottle, two bottles, three bottles, four.
Five bottles, six bottles, seven bottles...more!
The past few weeks have been pretty stressful in the baby feeding department. We were really lucky and thankful when baby girl took to nursing as quickly as she did. We had no problems from day one.
That is all catching up to us now.
As we approach 7 weeks old she will NOT take a bottle.
In a quest to find the right baby/bottle combination we have amassed an enviable collection of pretty much every bottle on the market.
We have tried Tommee Tippee, Playtex Vent Air, Playtex drop-ins, traditional latex nipples, Simalac, Medela Calma, Dr. Browns, and mOmma.
I am going a bit crazy. Not only have I been looking forward to being able to have the husband give a meal or two so that I can either sleep a bit more or just be able to leave the house for a quick baby free errand...but now I am also concerned about going back to work in a few weeks.
We have tried dozens of tips and tricks suggested by friends. Scoured the Internet for sure-fire bottle techniques.
Baby girl is stubborn.
What we know at this point is that she does not care for any bottle that has a nipple that drips milk into her mouth before she is ready. Unfortunately even the slowest flow nipples seem to be too quick for her. She does like to pause a bunch during feedings so this was not a huge surprise.
We have had very limited (VERY LIMITED) success with the Medela Calma and the mOmma bottles.
All of this bottle work has left mom, dad, and baby tired and frustrated. Feeding time is pretty much all of the time now as we start with trying the bottle for about a half hour. We then rest for 15 minutes (to calm down and not associate the refusal of the bottle with getting to nurse) before nursing.
So by the time we are done with one feeding it is almost time for the next feeding.
To complicate things one of the repeated recommendations is that mom should not give the bottle. This makes things really hard as the husband works during the day. Baby girl usually is pretty sleepy in the morning before he goes to work so we only have one shot at the end of the day right when he gets in the door. Not ideal.
I have started to try giving her a bottle during the day. We need more practice so we are just going to have to jump right in.
You really can make yourself crazy trying to figure out if there is something about the bottle, milk temperature, feeding position, etc. that is causing her to reject.
I was not anticipating this struggle and wish someone had given me a "heads-up." I sat in a lengthy breastfeeding class where they did a great job of putting the fear of God in me about introducing a bottle too early.
Don't introduce before 4 weeks they said or else you are likely to get nipple confusion.
What they failed to state is that babies that have not taken to a bottle before 6 weeks are very likely to struggle with bottle acceptance. If I had known that little fact we would have been more aggressive about the bottle training beginning at 4 weeks. We wasted some time not introducing the bottle right at 4 weeks and then when we did we only worked on the bottle every once in a while. We should have been working with her everyday.
I have no doubt that baby girl will eventually figure this whole bottle thing out. We will continue to search for the right bottle/feeding combination.
I am less sure how much of our sanity will be intact when that glorious day happens.
Wish us luck!