Questions about breastfed baby

  1. I need some advice about helping my breastfed 4 month old taking a bottle. (Hi to everyone, haven't posted in a while, my little girl was born the day after Christmas, and I've been on the run with child #4 ever since!!)
    Long story short, my baby won't take a bottle. I didn't have this problem with my other kids, they would always switch from breast to bottle without any difficulty. Miss Kate here thinks that she only can take the breast, and my concern is that I will be starting a new job in about 4 weeks. I will have 3 full days of classroom orientation, and then be working 12 hours shifts 3 out of 4 weekends a month. We have tried introducing the bottle (with formula or breastmilk) many times and she just gets hysterical. She's not as bad now as she was earlier, she at least gnaws on the nipple now rather than right out rejecting it, but my concern is that she'll dehydrate if I go back to work because she won't take enough milk. Also, she seems to only be comforted by me.....doesn't seem to like her daddy too much :chuckle. ( I think I'm just having new mom jitters about leaving her).
    Everyone tells me that when she gets hungry enough, she will take the bottle and not to worry about it....that she won't let herself starve. Is this true? Any advice on how I can get her to accept the bottle? I've tried every type of bottle and nipple.....and I need to go back to work for monetary reasons, I cannot afford to take any more time off. I guess I just need reassurance that she won't dehydrate or anything like that, and if anyone has some advice I'd appreciate it so much!

    Thanks everyone!

    Jennifer
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  2. 18 Comments

  3. by   BETSRN
    Quote from jkaee
    I need some advice about helping my breastfed 4 month old taking a bottle. (Hi to everyone, haven't posted in a while, my little girl was born the day after Christmas, and I've been on the run with child #4 ever since!!)
    Long story short, my baby won't take a bottle. I didn't have this problem with my other kids, they would always switch from breast to bottle without any difficulty. Miss Kate here thinks that she only can take the breast, and my concern is that I will be starting a new job in about 4 weeks. I will have 3 full days of classroom orientation, and then be working 12 hours shifts 3 out of 4 weekends a month. We have tried introducing the bottle (with formula or breastmilk) many times and she just gets hysterical. She's not as bad now as she was earlier, she at least gnaws on the nipple now rather than right out rejecting it, but my concern is that she'll dehydrate if I go back to work because she won't take enough milk. Also, she seems to only be comforted by me.....doesn't seem to like her daddy too much :chuckle. ( I think I'm just having new mom jitters about leaving her).
    Everyone tells me that when she gets hungry enough, she will take the bottle and not to worry about it....that she won't let herself starve. Is this true? Any advice on how I can get her to accept the bottle? I've tried every type of bottle and nipple.....and I need to go back to work for monetary reasons, I cannot afford to take any more time off. I guess I just need reassurance that she won't dehydrate or anything like that, and if anyone has some advice I'd appreciate it so much!

    Thanks everyone!

    Jennifer
    How about cup feeding her? We even do that with newborns on occasion. It's a bit messy but the milk gets in. Try spoon feeding her as well.

    As far as the bottle goes, I kow you say you have tried every nipple. Have you actually tried the Avent and the Evenflo Elite? There is a new Playtex one and I can't remember the name. Soak the nipples in breaskmils as well.

    I wonder (just for yuks) if she would take juice in a bottle? Then maybe you could transition her.

    Have whoever is going to be caring for her in your absence try the bottle with her. Chances are you just haven't gotten the right combination of bottles and/or people. You need to NOT be there when someone is trying to feed ger. Go to the mall or something!

    Also, don't try when she is very hungry or it is a fussy time for her. get her in a good mood to facilitate matters.

    Isn't it funny how different kids are?? Best of luck.
  4. by   ChristinaNcRN
    I had the same problem with my son. He would not drink out of a bottle.
    After all I imported Platex bottles and nippels you cant get them in germany any more then I put the bottle in my armpit with out a shirt that worked after that I left a shirt on and it worked again he also did not want to be fed by his father or someone else so we tricked him we layed a woren Tshirt from me on the chest of the person that would feed him.
    good luck
  5. by   jkaee
    Quote from BETSRN
    How about cup feeding her? We even do that with newborns on occasion. It's a bit messy but the milk gets in. Try spoon feeding her as well.

    As far as the bottle goes, I kow you say you have tried every nipple. Have you actually tried the Avent and the Evenflo Elite? There is a new Playtex one and I can't remember the name. Soak the nipples in breaskmils as well.

    I wonder (just for yuks) if she would take juice in a bottle? Then maybe you could transition her.

    Have whoever is going to be caring for her in your absence try the bottle with her. Chances are you just haven't gotten the right combination of bottles and/or people. You need to NOT be there when someone is trying to feed ger. Go to the mall or something!

    Also, don't try when she is very hungry or it is a fussy time for her. get her in a good mood to facilitate matters.

    Isn't it funny how different kids are?? Best of luck.

    Thanks for the idea of soaking the nipples in breastmilk....I hadn't thought of that.
    Regarding the nipples, if they've made it, we've tried it....I think the problem is that she gags so easily, and artificial nipples make her gag more.
    I told my husband to cup/spoon/syringe feed her if she just won't take a bottle, but I'd like to have that as a last resort.
    She's my last baby......she's not supposed to give me a hard time!!! :chuckle
  6. by   jkaee
    Quote from germanmoni
    I had the same problem with my son. He would not drink out of a bottle.
    After all I imported Platex bottles and nippels you cant get them in germany any more then I put the bottle in my armpit with out a shirt that worked after that I left a shirt on and it worked again he also did not want to be fed by his father or someone else so we tricked him we layed a woren Tshirt from me on the chest of the person that would feed him.
    good luck



    I'll try the t-shirt idea too.....thanks!
  7. by   babyktchr
    Everyone has suggested what I do...but I will certainly run this by our lactation goddess and see is she has any bits of wisdom.

    Does you hubby has difficulty feeding her with a bottle too??
  8. by   lucky4timesover
    Hi there. I had this same problem with our 3rd little boy. He is now 8 months old. I started nursing school when he was 4 months and he would not take a bottle, period. We tried nipples, bottles, spoons you name it. We finally did have to resort to a syringe to get the milk in him. What amazed me was that we were only trying to give him breastmilk. We tried formula once a couple of months ago and it was a disaster. If he so much as smells that stuff in the bottle he goes ballistic. He finally takes a bottle now, but it has definitely been an uphilll battle. Good luck with your baby, I am sure it will work out.
  9. by   Jolie
    I've been there twice, andwish you the best of luck!

    Determined not to have this problem with my babies, I gave them each 1 supplemental bottle a day from birth. At about 2 months of age, they each "revolted" and started to refuse their bottles. With my oldest, I was having surgery, was very ill, and de-hydrated, and not able (temporarily), to produce sufficient milk, so she needed to be bottle-fed every other feeding for a short period of time. She absolutely refused the bottle. We finally were able to get her to take drops of formula by removing the nipple from the bottle, placing the nipple directly into her mouth, and dripping formula with an eyedropper into the open nipple. Each feeding took over an hour, but she did get enough formula to hold her until the next feeding when I could nurse her. (My hubby and mom did the formula feedings.) After a few weeks, her "bottle strike" suddenly and inexplicably ended, and she was equally willing to nurse or take a bottle. That was right about the time that I was recovered from my illness, so I have always wondered if she "knew" that something was up, and was responding to the stress we were experiencing. She continued to nurse until about 9 months of age, then lost interest andself-weaned.

    My youngest was a healthy 36 week preemie who came out with a huge appetite and a great suck. She nursed well from the start, and got her daily bottle as well. At about the same age (2 months), she also refused the bottle. No identifible reason, as we were all healthy. We tried many of the "tricks" that have already been described in this thread, as we desperately wanted to be able to give her an occasional bottle if needed, but were never successful. I was unable to return to work because she simply would not feed otherwise. She once went 16 hours without feeding, because I had to be away for the day. She was healthy, but somewhat underweight, and I was so worried about her growth that I continued to nurse longer than I had planned, because breastmilk was the ONLY food that I could be certain she would take. She was very fussy and refused most baby food as well, when we introduced it at about 6 months. Our only choice with her was to go to cup feeding early on, but her intake that way was very limited. At age 7, she continues to be a very poor eater.

    So, you are asking for help on an issue that I was never able to resolve with my own kids. I wish you luck! And if you find "the" answer, please write a book. You'll be rich and never have to work again!
  10. by   Spidey's mom
    Jkaee - congratulations on your dear Kate.

    Well, I have no real advice for you - the same thing happened to me. I went back to work part-time (kicking and screaming and I still resent it . .. .when my son was 4 months old. We tried everything to get him to take a bottle with breastmilk. I even left the house and left my husband with breastmilk and bottles - no luck. Every nipple on earth was tried. Nope. Nada. Nothing.

    What we ended up doing is my in-laws (who watched him for us) would bring him to work and I would nurse him at work. Or my husband would bring him in on weekends that I worked.

    I wouldn't give a 4 month old juice yet . .. the only juice that is even nutritious for kids is orange juice and that is too acidic for a 4 month old. Apple juice is just pure sugar and verrrry bad for teeth.

    With my other 3 kids I didn't work so there was no problem - I just breastfed them. With number 4 it was tough. He is almost 4 now - I just stopped breastfeeding about 3 months ago.

    Good luck my dear - a good friend and I keep wishing we could win the lottery and then be stay at home moms . .. . .yeah, I know . .pie in the sky.

    steph
  11. by   AlaskaKat
    When I went back to work with my last one she also refused a bottle. It took many long days for my husband to finally convice her. He would bring her to me to nurse when she would refuse (and also just so I could see her). What finally worked was after she was exhausted from crying so much and just about asleep her would lay her down and lay down with her and give her the bottle with his head turned away. Poor guy, he felt so bad, but it worked. Good luck...It is SO HARD!

    Katrina
  12. by   fourbirds4me
    How about trying finger feeding. Get a 5fr feeding tube and attach to a syringe... tape feeding tube to finger. Worth a try... but what I have done and most of my friends do ... have someone bring the baby to you to feed.
  13. by   jkaee
    Thanks everyone for their stories and advice.....I will be keeping a syringe in the house just in case she won't take the bottle for my husband. My neighbor and I are close and she will be helping my husband with my kids....she got Kate to take an ounce of breastmilk once when I was out food shopping. As for my husband brining her in to work....my new job will be about 30-40 minutes away, so he can do that maybe sometimes, but I cant see him dragging 4 kids into work....but then again he may have to. So far he has not been able to get her to take a bottle at all.

    I'm right there with you Steph.....I hate the fact that I have to work (so does my husband) and I've put it off as long as I could, but there are bills to pay. I'll be bawling when I leave her (all of them really, but esp my baby). I know, I'm a wimp and I just need to toughen up a bit, but if she would just take a bottle it would calm my fears down a lot!

    I'm going to try giving her a bottle again tomorrow, and I'll let you guys know how it goes. thanks again.....I'm off to pick out some lottery numbers!
  14. by   Spidey's mom
    Quote from jkaee
    Thanks everyone for their stories and advice.....I will be keeping a syringe in the house just in case she won't take the bottle for my husband. My neighbor and I are close and she will be helping my husband with my kids....she got Kate to take an ounce of breastmilk once when I was out food shopping. As for my husband brining her in to work....my new job will be about 30-40 minutes away, so he can do that maybe sometimes, but I cant see him dragging 4 kids into work....but then again he may have to. So far he has not been able to get her to take a bottle at all.

    I'm right there with you Steph.....I hate the fact that I have to work (so does my husband) and I've put it off as long as I could, but there are bills to pay. I'll be bawling when I leave her (all of them really, but esp my baby). I know, I'm a wimp and I just need to toughen up a bit, but if she would just take a bottle it would calm my fears down a lot!

    I'm going to try giving her a bottle again tomorrow, and I'll let you guys know how it goes. thanks again.....I'm off to pick out some lottery numbers!
    You are NOT a wimp, you are a mom.

    A big hug sent your way - I remember exactly how you are feeling.

    steph

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