9.19.2007

If Only My Boobs Were A Little Less Awesome

Here's where I reach out to the blog world. Here's where I confess that I'm drowning in a sea of incompetence and insecurity and exhaustion, the likes of which I haven't seen since...okay, for about two years.

This newborn thing is kicking my ass. The newborn with the toddler with the work with the everything else in my life that needs attention and is suffering thing. So I try to ease up my load by leaving Sage with our nanny/sitter. (Sanny? Nitter?) Which was good idea until Sage decided that nope, not eating from a bottle any more. Used to, but no more. No thanks. Not doing it. No bottles for me and I'll just be holding out for the direct mammary contact, for as long as it takes thankyouverymuch.

I'm trying to see the bright side: My boobs are irresistible.

She's a strong-willed one, this little Taurus. She went 17 hours without eating last week. So what's 8 hours to her while I'm working? What's three hours while mommy goes to a meeting? She could do that with her eyes closed. (Closed and crying as she wails her heartbreaking mommy is neglecting me wail...but you get my drift.)

So once again I'm attached to Sage more often than I believe I am mentally capable of doing. When I'm not stuck to her, I'm horribly guilt-ridden knowing that she's not eating until I get home. When I get home I'm resentful that she will now recommence eating every two hours for the rest of the night and into the morning. (Snotty-ass note to Nate: Sorry, but no, you are not as tired as I am these days.)

I need her on the bottle. I must have her on that bottle.

My sanity is at stake here. So please, please oh brilliant, been there/fed that readers: Give me better solutions for bottle transitions than the scary stuff I've been reading on babycenter, about babies who would only take bottles in the bathtub, or only in the park five miles away, or only from wacky Aunt LouLou with the wandering eye, or who NEVER TOOK BOTTLES EVER UNTIL THE MOTHER WENT BATSHIT CRAZY AND KILLED SOMEONE.

I'm getting to the point where I don't even care what the bottles are made of. If she's not sucking on some damn silicone soon so I can get an occasional break I'm going to lose it.

[help?]


90 Comments:

Blogger slouching mom said...

Oh, sh*t. I'm so sorry. No advice, just empathy, because I've been there, done that. Neither one of my boys would ever take a bottle. Sigh.

Stubborn creatures, these newborns, aren't they?

(BTW, I like 'nitter.' It's a keeper.)

9/19/07, 10:55 PM  
Anonymous A Whole Lot of Nothing said...

My 2nd refused to take the bottle so much that my mom (babysitting her at the time) cried for 2 days. We tried EVERY bottle available, and after everything, she finally took the cheapo Gerber. (Thank God it wasn't the expensive Dr. B. with 15 friggin parts.)

Honestly, she finally took it after EXTREME calmness. Calmness on my part, calmness on my mom's part. I definitely recommend using breast milk in the bottle for familiarity.

Good luck!!!!

9/19/07, 11:00 PM  
Blogger Phoenix said...

I'm so glad you said Taurus, cause now it all makes perfect sense. I'm a Taurus....my mother still tells stories about me when I was that age. It's only been 27 years.

Maybe she'd like a sippy cup? She's a bit tiny, but one with the inside dealy set where only a tiny bit comes out may work. Some kids just won't do bottles. But a sippy cup is different. Good Luck Liz. I really hope she figures it out.

9/19/07, 11:14 PM  
Anonymous Kvetch said...

Oh Geez, I am so far removed from this. A kid? Attached? I wish. I know it's hard and that you are the one and only (I can relate) and I know this doesn't help but one day she is going to slam the door in your face.

My only suggestion is to be open to everything and anything -- and if you're gut is telling you something would work, and your brain is saying no, go with your gut.

It was a dozen years ago but we tried my daughter on every imaginable formula to find one that didn't make her puke? The solution - some store brand we found.

Oh I'm hopeless as a newborn helper, but I just wanted to send some love.

9/19/07, 11:20 PM  
Blogger Mayberry said...

Do try every different kind of bottle on the market. You never know. My son, naturally, would only take a certain kind of no-longer-sold-anywhere nipples (and I'm not talking about my own, har har). I was surfing eBay looking for those damn things. Finally one of his day care teachers found me a secret stash.

Anyway. You've probably already done this. But I'm throwing it out there anyway, with a healthy dose of sympathy too.

9/19/07, 11:31 PM  
Blogger Veronica Mitchell said...

My second daughter would not take a bottle at all ever (we tried every kind we could find), but we were finally able to wean her to a sippy cup, but she was ten-months-old at the time.

She and her sister both accepted those plastic semi-disposable sippy cups when they would not accept anything else. My first daughter accepted the sippy cup when she was six-months-old and always preferred it to the bottle.

I hope she takes to something soon.

9/19/07, 11:33 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

I had one who wouldn't take a bottle and one who weaned himself and wouldn't take the breast.

I wish I had some advice. As a fellow mom, I can at least offer empathy.

Hang tough.

9/19/07, 11:34 PM  
Blogger Amanda said...

Okay this is a bit graphic, but if it helps, it helps. I'm a squirter. Once my milk lets down, I can hit a bullseye six feet away. Because I always had a stronger milk flow, my kids both HATED bottles, particularly infant bottles, which are designed to restrict the milk flow to barely a trickle.

The only thing that worked for me was to take a sterile needle and poke several additional holes into the tip of the silicone nipple. Increasing the milk flow made ALL the difference. And I second the Gerber bottle thing. I started off with the swanky expensive bottles, but my mom eventually replaced them all with the cheaper, easier plastic insert bottles.

Good luck! I hope you find a solution quick!

9/19/07, 11:39 PM  
Blogger Girl con Queso said...

Hm. Perhaps Sage would like this?
http://tinyurl.com/2fnvb6

Or you could introduce her to Rolling Rock. http://tinyurl.com/3688pc Maybe that would work out?

I'm so sorry my friend. But I've got nothing. Literally. I had the opposite problem. At least people like your boobs. So there's that.

9/19/07, 11:57 PM  
Anonymous andi said...

I'm so sorry. My baby is now 3 months and I've been dreading trying to put him on the bottle so that I can (shocking!) go out for a few hours without him. I'm just so happy I have a year of mat leave so that I don't have to do this - I don't think I would have the strength.

His older sister NEVER took the bottle as a baby. I left her once for 3 days! with her grandma thinking that if she were thirsty enough she would drink. She was already over 9 months and on solids, so my mom managed to get a bit of liquid into her that way, but she refused the bottle the entire time. So stubborn! And wow, did I feel guilty. Eventually at almost 11 months I weaned her directly onto a sippy cup.

I admire your dedication to breastfeeding - most people would have given up by now. I really hope you find the magic bullet soon (if you do - let us all know!)

9/20/07, 12:01 AM  
Anonymous mrs. Q. said...

Ah honey-- that blows. Having two this close together is soooo hard.

It's hard to imagine this scenario because Sage seemed like the BEST BABY EVER. Women.

I thought L was a boob man, but P is soooo much more into the boob than I can stand sometimes. She refuuuuused to take a bottle or pacifier for her first 3 months. Now I'm not working, so that's OK.. until I realized that I may need to get a haircut, get cavities drilled or do something else that may require me to detach the baby someday.

She now takes a bottle from time to time (still cannot figure out the paci-- it's like I put poo in her mouth??!) and here's what I did...

- Try every different kind of nipple. My children both HATED the expensive Avent bottles. H-A-T-E-D them. L ended up liking gerber Nuks. P likes the small cheapo playtex ones.

- Start off by YOU giving her a bottle. I know, it sucks, because the boob is right there and you'll have to pump anyway. But I found that if I held P in nursing mode and put the bottle in her mouth and SMILED at her, she would tolerate it. At first she got used to the bottle from me, then she moved on to others. It's almost like she needed to trust that I was still feeding her?

- As impossible as it is to not fret, make sure that there are always happy faces looking down at Sage when she's getting a bottle. Something about that power of positive thinking, ya ya, but I guess I wouldn't want to take food from someone who was riddled with of fear.

- Someone told me that they dig your stink when they eat. Sleep in one of Nate's T-shirts, get some breast milk and baby yak on it, and have him put it on when he feeds her. (I'm sure he'd love that.)

Here's wishing the little lady happy feedings and you more sleep. Soon.

9/20/07, 12:03 AM  
Anonymous mrs. Q. said...

Oh, forgot to ask: Are you trying to bottle feed her breastmilk or formula? If formula, I hear mixing them can help the transition. And adding brandy (well that's what my mom was told by our famil doc when I was a colicky infant. Niiiice.)

And yes, your boobs are irresistible. When I'm nursing mine elevate to just "eh".

9/20/07, 12:14 AM  
Blogger Kyla said...

Mine only takes a certain type of bottle that is no longer carried in our area. I've had friends ship them to me. LOL.

Anyhoo, try different things. My first loved the wide nipples, like Avent. My second was a skinny nipple girl...she never took to the tons of Avent crap we bought before her birth. And she also prefers the pinhole to the slit nipples. Some kids are picky and I hope Sage finds something she'll accept.

9/20/07, 12:33 AM  
Blogger VDog said...

Little Man was more into the BreastFlow bottle (First Years) and the Adiri BreastBottle.

Big investments in plastic, I know, but hopefully it will pay off??

You could also try a finger feeder if she'll suck on a finger.

Good luck! I'm pulling for ya.

9/20/07, 1:13 AM  
Blogger Cathy said...

Oh, lord. We went through this with our first. She HATED the bottle.

Our pediatrician told us not to worry, that she would make up for not eating during the day...

...by nursing all night.

(This came from a male pedi, who had no comprehension of my exhaustion. Work all day. Nurse all night. And hello?! All that pumped milk going to waste? Gah!)

Thankfully, a group of wonderful, patient women at the daycare worked daily to convince my daughter that the bottle was not evil.

The trick, they said, was holding her tightly to the chest in the same position she assumed during nursing. It's a bit awkward and takes some practice, but this tactic worked for my husband as well.

A few years later, my seatmate on a plane struck up a conversation about breastfeeding (I was nursing my second during the flight)and told me how she had helped a friend with a boobs-only baby. And guess what -- she offered the same tip: Hold the baby close, like a nursing mom.

I hope you find something that works for you. Believe me, I know what you're going through. I thought I would lose my mind.

9/20/07, 1:26 AM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

I have no idea. I never gave my baby a bottle because he was the first and, well, I could do the nursing thing around the clock. This is mainly why I am on 492 different kinds of birth control now. I have no idea how I'd feed number 2 and keep my job.

Good luck. May the force be with you.

9/20/07, 4:05 AM  
Blogger Motherhood Uncensored said...

Oh man. Amanda's idea is interesting.... Soothie makes bottle nipples now -- so maybe if she'll take their paci, you could try that.

And I'd just try every kind of bottle nipple out there. There's even that new one that literally looks like a boob.

And I've heard try feeding them when they're hungry but not out of control. And have someone else do it -- but that never worked for me.

Also, you could try sippy cups -- the avent sippy things (the name escapes me) or even a nuby cup...

I'm so sorry. I understand your frustration and I know it's hard.

9/20/07, 6:34 AM  
Blogger BK said...

Liz,
I keep reading your blog and love its universal truths. I can't offer any advice, but it's so great that you have created this great blogging community. Love this new way of sharing!
PS. It was great to see your mom last night. HOpe we can get together in person soon.
Bonnie

9/20/07, 6:42 AM  
Blogger Fairly Odd Mother said...

Hey Liz,

I'm so sorry that you've hit this rough patch with Sage (it had to happen, right?). I think the extra holes in the nipples, the 'try every nipple on the market', the feeding her yourself with a bottle, smiling, etc.----all these ideas are great ones. I've also heard that perhaps a few drops of milk dropped into her mouth with a medicine dropper will make her realize that 'mamas milk' is near and she may be willing to suck on a bottle. Does she latch on, suck and then scream? It may be the size of the hole. Does she scream when the nipple gets close? It may be the nipple shape or taste. Also experiment with how she is held when she gets a bottle. Jilly liked to be facing me, in a bouncy chair or something, vs. being cradled in my arms.

With Jilly, I had the opposite problem. Once she had a bottle, she refused to nurse. It was really, really depressing to want to breastfeed and to have a baby who didn't want to. See? These kids screw with us every which way they can.

9/20/07, 7:34 AM  
Anonymous madge said...

I tried EVERY bottle with The Bird. Ultimately she took the good ol' drugstore Gerber with Latex NUK nipples. (Looked and felt more like a boob? Who knew.)

From 8-13 months, though, she refused anything resembling milk from 9-5 everyday. Luckily she was eating solids. I'd get home from work and she'd practically rip my shirt off. But, we worked it out so she got four feedings a day.

Unforts, I think Sage is still too young for an arrangement like this. So, no good advice. Just a little commiseration...

9/20/07, 8:11 AM  
Blogger Becoming Mommy said...

Sasha sometimes won't take a bottle. It's always the nipple that's the culprit. He's changed his mind about what he likes about 5 times.
First he liked the Medela/Nuk type. Then nope. He didn't want that. He liked the type that came on the Target/Circo brand. Then nope. He didn't want that. He wanted what was on the Evenflo. Then Back to the Nuk. Then he liked the Nuby, but that only lasted a couple of feedings. Then Gerber rubber ones. Now he's back to the Medela.
So my advice is just try a different nipple. Maybe Sage has decided she doesn't like silicone? Also, maybe it's the bottle temperature. Sasha moves between liking it really warm, cold, and kind of in between. He won't eat until his bottle is made to order.
Finally, has Sage started teething yet?
I know when my son's gums are killing him he only wants Mommy. The sucking is irritating to his gums and makes them hurt and at least the boobie has a comforting quality (not to mention he doesn't have to suck much).

9/20/07, 8:14 AM  
Anonymous Mir said...

Oh, sweetie. I'm so sorry. :( I have been where you are -- my Monkey was a boob man through and through, and if there had been DO NOT WANT! lolcats around for his infancy, I would've pasted one to every damn bottle.

Here's what worked for us, and I haven't read all the comments (or your mind, for that matter), so apologies if it's a repeat or you've already tried it: What he objected to was NOT the nipple, but the feeding hold by someone other than Mama.

We got him to take a bottle by putting him in the bouncy seat and holding the bottle for him FROM BEHIND. He had to have NO human contact and not be able to SEE anyone. Then he would take it. Anything else evinced shrieks of indignation.

Here's hoping you get some relief soon; that sleepless thing can really kick one's butt. Sending some hugs your way.

9/20/07, 8:20 AM  
Blogger bubandpie said...

Have you tried the breast bottle? It's actually shaped like a breast, and sometimes it works when other bottles don't. And somehow grandmothers sometimes succeed where parents fail for that magical first bottle. (This from someone whose son learned to suck through a straw at nine months old and never took a bottle, sigh.)

9/20/07, 8:21 AM  
Blogger Becoming Mommy said...

Oh...also if our boy gets too worked up he won't take a bottle. Or stop screaming. You need to take him to a dark, quiet room and hold him snugly and stroke his head. After a few minutes it makes him calm down.

Then he'll take a bottle.

9/20/07, 8:31 AM  
Blogger Jozet said...

All of the above.

The you-scented shirt is a good idea, and I've known this to work. I've also known other babies who couldn't have any scent or sight of mom around as, I suppose, the memory of the boob was just too overpoweringly dear to them.

Very young babies can take a sippy cup or even drink from a cup. my la leche friends have had success with this.

http://www.breastfeeding.org/articles/cup.html

how-to directions at end

also you could try different droppers or syringes

also, my fave, putting sugar on the nipple. i can't vouch for what this will do to teeth, but it got my youngest to take the nipple into his mouth.

sorrry no caps...screaming, velcro baby

9/20/07, 8:42 AM  
Anonymous Nancy said...

I'm sorry. No real help to provide. Just support and offers to do more for CMP if need be. :-)

9/20/07, 8:44 AM  
Blogger kgirl said...

This is why you US mamas need and deserve a waaaaaaaay better maternity leave policy.

9/20/07, 8:58 AM  
Anonymous Christie said...

I didn't read all the comments, so I apologize if this is advice is already there.

My daughter who started taking a bottle at three weeks from Dad and Grandma decided that she would no longer do such a thing when she was 12 weeks and I went back to work and she went to "school."

What worked? First I drove to "school" everytime she needed nurse. Fortunately I worked near her, but, still, not good. Then, the teachers put her in a bouncy seat, covered their arms and hands in blankets, and sat behind her to feed her. I have no idea where my duaghter thought that bottle was coming from, but it worked. Eventually they took off the blankets...then sat in front of her...then after about three weeks she allowed them to hold her while being fed.

Good luck.

9/20/07, 8:58 AM  
Anonymous Jessica said...

The only bottle I could get either of my kids to take were the Playtex Nursers..the nipples have a flex ring thingy around them that seemed to remind my boys of mommy's nipples. I've recommended them to others and they've worked for them as well, so maybe it's a bottle thing? Also, with my youngest, I had to leave my child for 72 hours with my mother. By the time I got back he was very into the bottle, and could go back and forth from nursing to bottle no problem. There's something about grandmas, baby's tend to give in to them.

As for the nanny/sitter delimna...as a former nanny, I HATED being referred to as "the sitter". I was a sitter when I was 16 and watching kids for 6 bucks an hour on a Sat. night. I was a nanny after years of experience and even some education. Go with "nanny".

9/20/07, 9:06 AM  
Blogger heathersway said...

I got my daughter to take a bottle by starting out with the breast, a bottle (of breastmilk) at the ready, and then once she was into a steady rythem - switcheroo.

I hope you find a solution that works for you guys.

9/20/07, 9:07 AM  
Blogger Lawyer Mama said...

I had the same problem with Holden. Exactly. The kid refused to eat while I was at work and then spent the remaining hours attached to my boob. I was getting NO sleep. It was horrible. HORRIBLE!

Here's what worked for us & it seems counterintuitive, but it worked. We tried EVERYTHING & this is the only thing that worked.

We added 1 ounce of formula to every 3 ounces of breastmilk in a bottle. We discovered this accidentally when our sitter dropped a bottle of breastmilk (that, let's face it, the kid wasn't eating anyway), so she gave him formula in a bottle. He drank it right down. WTF?

Apparently he associated breast milk with mommy and he wasn't taking it any other way but directly from the boob. Formula from a bottle was OK. Go figure. So, we started mixing a little formula in with every bottle. Apparently it made the milk taste just different enough that he didn't associate it with mommy milk and would drink it.

I don't know anyone else who's tried this and I have friends whose babies wouldn't take formula at all because the taste was different, but it's worth a try.

9/20/07, 9:19 AM  
Blogger Kate said...

The only thing that worked with my kids was those old, flat nippled disposable playtex nurser bottles. Good luck!

9/20/07, 9:23 AM  
Anonymous chris said...

I haven't read all the comments, but all my kids have been like this. My advice, for what it is worth, is to make sure you have a very fast flowing bottle and to have the person, presumably nate, not hold her when he feeds her but to put her in a baby seat.

9/20/07, 9:47 AM  
Anonymous Amy said...

I didn't read all the previous comments so I may be repeating the words of others but here goes:

There are bottles from the company One Step Ahead that look like breasts and apparently some babies who won't take regular bottles will use these (one friend of mine had luck with these ridiculous looking things).

Try a faster flow nipple so Sage doesn't have to work hard to get the milk.

Timing of the feeding can make a difference. I know your nanny is trying it at all times but the best chance for success is when she is just a bit hungry but not ravenously so. When the nanny watches her, makes sure she tries the bottle before Sage's regular eating time. If she eats every three hours on a normal day, have the nanny offer the bottle after two hours. Once babies are super hungry, they're not real flexible and accommodating.

Try feeding her a bottle when she's asleep, the so-called "dream feeding" technique. For some reason, feeding children when they're semi-conscious seems to help them become accustomed the bottle so that they're more accepting of it when they're awake too.

Have the person who is feeding Sage hold her in the same way that you hold her while nursing (well, as close as possible).

Try feeding her the bottle yourself a few times. This sometimes works and sometimes really doesn't because she knows it's you and those boobs are right there and she thinks "why the hell are you giving me this crappy bottle you could just lift up your damn shirt"

If you're using breastmilk, check your breastmilk that you're providing in the bottles. Some women's breast milk goes bad or changes flavor very quickly. In those cases, it's not the bottle but the milk itself that is causing the problem. This isn't that likely a scenario but it's worth checking out.

All that said, some babies are very determined about this issue and it may take a fair amount of perseverance to resolve it. In the interest of your sanity, though, it's worth stickign with it.

9/20/07, 10:34 AM  
Blogger Treadmillista said...

My youngest (also a Taurus) was a boob girl too. I went back to work when she was 4.5 months old and she held out for me for a solid two weeks. Eventually she started accepting bottles at daycare, though 1-2 oz per bottle was certainly less than she needed to thrive (she made up for it by literally being attached to me all night long).

We ended up settling on the Playtex drop-in nurser bottles with a rubber (not silicone) nipple, for some reason she liked those better. Our DCP fed her in her own way...did not try to mimic nursing. Eventually Miss Strong Willed gave in.

It was a good 3 or 4 months more before she would take a bottle at home if she sensed I was present though.

Hopefully Sage decides that being fed is preferrable to being completely starved all day long very soon. Hang in there.

9/20/07, 10:34 AM  
Anonymous mothergoosemouse said...

Don't know if someone else already said it, but maybe a sippie? One of those with handles and a thin spout, easier for her to deal with than a real toddler sippie.

It seems like impersonating the mammaries isn't working, so maybe an early (way early, I know) transition would work better.

Hugs and much sympathy sent in lieu of a real solution.

9/20/07, 10:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I feel your pain. I noticed everyone keeps suggesting gerber and everyone is using the silicone nipple. My little boy is extremely stubborn and only took the playtex drop in bottle with a latex natural latch nipple. It took A LOT of trying, a LOT of screaming and a LOT of fighting with him. What helped us was using breast milk, making it warm, and then having my hubby do it. He held my son in his arm, held my sons arms down so he couldn't push and just squirted it into his mouth and kept the nipple in until he started suckling. Unfortunately you can't give her your boob until she takes the bottle...best of luck

9/20/07, 11:29 AM  
Anonymous Redneck Mommy said...

No advice here Liz.

I just wanted to chime in that I think your boobs are pretty irresistible too.

9/20/07, 12:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This may have been suggested, but I'm at work & don't have time to read all comments.

I'm sure this is NOT what you want as far as advise, but since you have a Nitter, could she drive the baby to you at work at least once during the day to nurse? Yeah, not fun, but a possible solution?

My little one FINALLY caved after a couple days of screaming bloody murder for her daddy and took a bottle. We also went through buying every bottle/nipple on the market. Even the ones made like her pacifier (the "hospital" one... I'm blanking on the name right now - OH!! Soothie), but she hated those. She would take the Playtex Ventaire, but NOT the "natural shape" ones.

Best of luck & keep us posted!

9/20/07, 12:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh yeah... one more thing! My girl wouldn't take breastmilk if it were too cold. My husband & sitter eventually learned just how hot to make the milk (we joked that it was 98.6 degrees).

9/20/07, 12:08 PM  
Blogger Misty said...

My son wouldn't take a bottle either, he would just scream until I got home.
Then my mom found the flat head nipples from the playtex drop ins system.
He takes them. Now, he still doesn't like them, and he is still more than pleased to tell me how horribly trying the 1.5 hours I managed to leave him was on his soul. He will still cry while I am gone and fight the bottle, but in the end, he will take it.
At the very least I hope it helps to know that you won't be alone in going bat-shit crazy and killing someone.

9/20/07, 12:23 PM  
Blogger Lady M said...

Wishing you strength in not going batshit crazy, because I certainly would. I hope some of the advice above helps out!

9/20/07, 12:24 PM  
Anonymous marian said...

I had the same problem -- my son refused to take a bottle until he was over 9 months old, if you can imagine. It was finally the good old fashioned same-for-50-years Gerber rubber nipples that he consented to. And the poisonous plastic bottles, but he's almost grown up now and the damage is at least not visible -- yet.

9/20/07, 12:34 PM  
Anonymous Blog Antagonist said...

My oldest child was the same way. I didn't work, so it wasn't quite as stressful, but I understand feeling chained to your infant. There were times I desperately needed to get away, but of course, my freedom was doled out in two hour increments. Not very satisfying.

When I was a doula, I ran across this product from One Step Ahead. Some of my clients had success with it, where other bottles failed.

Don't tell the breastfeeding nazis I advocated using a bottle. :?)

9/20/07, 1:29 PM  
Blogger Kelly said...

Wondering if I should even comment here, since I have nothing of value to ad. My secondborn did this to me. So I feel you, totally. It is so incredibly difficult to not have another option.

The only thing that saved me (a little) was starting solids, and that only allowed me a little bit of free time where I wasn't totally freaking out that my baby wasn't eating. Someone else could at least give her some oatmeal.

I'm so sorry. I remember waking as often as every 90 minutes at night, a good 6 times, and wondering how the fuck I was going to survive daylight.

9/20/07, 2:17 PM  
Blogger ImpostorMom said...

Sounds like you are going through the same thing we are. I broke down yesterday and bought another poisonous Dr. Brown's bottle just to try it and see if that is the issue with Boogie. He took 4 of the 6 oz. he wouldn't drink at daycare in the Dr. Brown's yesterday evening. (The other two were fed to him in Barley by the sitter.)

I sent the poison bottle to daycare today, we'll see if that fixes it. I really didn't see that big a difference between the Dr. Brown's nipples and the new bottles but maybe that was it or maybe he just likes his chemicals, who knows.

9/20/07, 2:23 PM  
Blogger Crunchy Domestic Goddess said...

hugs, mama. that has to be so frustrating. neither of my kids took bottles so i have no real advice, only empathy.
i've heard good things about the breastbottle nurser. http://todaysbabies.com/breastbottle_nurser.html

i just wanted to wish you good luck. i hope you can find something that will work for both of your sakes.

amy

9/20/07, 3:25 PM  
Blogger Mrs. Chicken said...

My kid wouldn't touch Avent bottles. I agree with Amanda. Gerber all the way, with a larger nipple hole or additional pinprick holes.

9/20/07, 3:48 PM  
Blogger Mrs. Chicky said...

When Chicky went on a bottle strike I tried every damn bottle on the market and still no luck. She refused the bottle for at least two months (and yet surprisingly I didn't kill anyone that I know of). What finally worked? I put formula in the bottle instead of breast milk. I'm not saying that works for everyone or it's something you should try, I'm just saying that's what worked for us.

9/20/07, 4:04 PM  
Anonymous dorothy said...

Ah! See, this is interesting, because I was a bad mommy who started weaning the little angel from my boobies when she was a wee seven weeks old. I hated breastfeeding and couldn't do it.

That doesn't help you at all.

I think, as with many things with babies, repetition might be key. However, sounds like you have a strong-willed one there. Send her on over so the little angel can teach her how to refuse to wear anything but pink sparkly clothing even if she's going to muck out horse stalls. But you and your boobs need your sanity back, so take the steps you need to take to do that. I'm thinking of you.

9/20/07, 5:26 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

so sorry, um, not sure how old your baby is. I did have one who refused a bottle, but did manage to drink from a cup at three months. It was not a sippy, but a person could get 3 or 4 ounces of breastmilk (or whatever!) into him - also, is your small person old enough to survive on some rice cereal while you are out? I was big into supplementing with solids when my little one was bottle averse...my last child never took a bottle either but also never cried for milk if I was gone (what God knew my third boy had to be)...if your baby could get even spoonfuls from a spoon, or a straw (seriously more like breastfeeding than any cup or bottle, it's true) than it might tide you over until the bottle strike is over - it's probably just a strike and will pass. hang in there!

9/20/07, 7:45 PM  
Anonymous TB said...

Right there with you. But I'm fortunate in that I'm only gone at work for four, five hours tops.
Myles stays with his grandmother who tells me on the rare times she is able to get him to take an ounce or two from the bottle that the trick is to hold him upright, in a totally different position than breastfeeding, and just keep offering it to him every few minutes. Or wait until he's half asleep.

9/20/07, 8:05 PM  
Blogger anniemom said...

Ok, have you seen this bottle?

http://www.adiri.com/about/company.asp

Might be worth a shot. There are other boob-bottles out there, have fun googling that one, heh. Just like with Thalia, there will come a time when you're sleeping again and you KNOW that it was really, really, really rough once, but it will be a distant memory. When you're going through hell, just keep going? Sending love...

9/20/07, 8:22 PM  
Anonymous J.Lisa said...

Having 2 kids is just so fucking hard sometimes. It gets easier, I promise.

The only way my kids got used to the bottle (now known as their toxic waste meal) was by my mom giving it to them. She had complete confidence in her ability and was not going to take no for an answer. Eventually Jeff could use the bottles too. And she did make the holes bigger in the nuk silicone nipple, and not close the top too tight onto the bottle. I'll be in Brooklyn next weekend for a conference if you want me to give it a try!

Lots of empathy, sympathy and love,
J.Lisa

9/20/07, 9:19 PM  
Blogger zellmer said...

Don't know if somebody already said this, but I hear if the baby is turned away from you, as if she's sitting on your lap rather than lying facing you in your arms, she's more likely to take the bottle.

9/20/07, 11:16 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

I can ship you my entire collection of every bottle ever made. None have worked for Mira, who prefers nothing artificial. And starting tomorrow I'll be gone every Friday in classes. I hope she'll eventually crack.

Now I must read everyone's advice so that I can try to find a solution, too! Good luck!

9/21/07, 12:20 AM  
Blogger Shannon said...

Don't be so hard on yourself. It is so stressful trying to get them to eat sometimes, especially when they are young and you feel like something might go terribly wrong if they don't. That stress combined with the sleep deprivation can be overwhelming. Be kind to yourself.

You might try pumping while she's in the room, then giving it to her in a bottle. The younger of my twins would go bananas over the smell of fresh milk and would wake up every time I tried to pump while they slept. It's a long shot, but it might be worth a try to transition.

9/21/07, 2:18 AM  
Blogger carrie said...

I'm so sorry, I wish I had some awesome advice to give, but no -- only understanding.

My 3rd was like this, all the way until just after her 1st birthday. She had the willpower of a mule. On the bright side though, she never had to "give up" a bottle she would never take, and she transitioned easily and effortlessly to a cup much sooner than her brothers had.

Hang in there, I know it's hard.

9/21/07, 2:22 AM  
Anonymous SusieJ said...

No advice here either -- just sympathy. But, I've been there. And, when I finally surrendered to it - -that I would have a baby attached to my breast for the rest of my life -- things got better. It's almost as if they know what you're thinking -- and once they have you right there -- they move on to something eolse.

9/21/07, 9:33 AM  
Anonymous Bekah said...

There is something about grandmas... that did the trick for us.
I also know of other babies who need to be swaddled to take a bottle when they are away from mom-- even those who are beyond typical swaddling age. Maybe they get so overwhelmed they need that to soothe them.

9/21/07, 10:04 AM  
Blogger Kevin Charnas said...

Try gluing hair around the nipple of the bottle. That's what I did to transition our dogs off my nips and it worked.

This might be a little different, though.

9/21/07, 11:47 AM  
Blogger Shannon said...

I cannot help, sadly, but I have called in the Mom Cavalry. Hopefully someone can help!

9/21/07, 12:12 PM  
Blogger Mary Jo Graves said...

My second daughter initially refused to take a bottle when she was a baby. I was only doing free-lance editing at home, so it wasn't a terrible problem. We belonged to a babysitting co-op. The first time we tried leaving Elizabeth with my friend Terry, Terry felt desperate because Elizabeth kept crying but refusing the bottle. Finally n Terry let Elizabeth suck at her breast. Elizabeth was happy to try,but quickly caught on that there was nothing there. From then on, she took a bottle.

9/21/07, 12:30 PM  
Anonymous L.A. Daddy said...

No help here. But I so shouldn't have read this.

I'm fearing our second one (due in 6 weeks) will bring our lives to a crashing halt.

Okay, it's time to start drinking.

9/21/07, 12:37 PM  
Blogger Jaelithe said...

Oh, sorry. Can't help, can only empathize. My son took bottles rather poorly for a little while, and then stopped taking them pretty much entirely. And then, as you know, he didn't take to solids too well, either. So I wound up nursing him on 20 minute breaks under a blanket in the corner of a dirty stock room while he screamed and bit me because he hated nursing under blankets, before I quit the job I'd gone back to part-time to just work (and nurse) from home.

And I also wound up being the 24 milk shop for waaaaaaay longer than I had initially planned . . .

Why, oh why, can't daddies lactate? Seriously, now.

On the upside, my son is a GENIUS-- he asked me to explain what a galaxy was to him yesterday-- and maybe I can credit all that fresh breastmilk?

9/21/07, 1:04 PM  
Blogger Damselfly said...

Wow, she's a real hanger-on, huh? My boy went through that stage but only for about 10 minutes. Then he would take a bottle, but only from someone else (not me). Do you think it would be worth a try to change bottles/nipples (if you haven't already tried that?)

9/21/07, 1:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow. This is not going to be helpful, but thought I'd comment that reading this has curbed my baby fever for now. One is enough for now!! :)

9/21/07, 2:37 PM  
Blogger BOSSY said...

Bossy favors the Tough Love approach. And some earplugs. And a rubber room.

9/21/07, 3:17 PM  
Blogger Binkytown said...

I'm the bad mommy that's going to suggest you do the CIO approach. I'm not a ped but I do know that babies will not starve themselves. When she gets hungry and you give her enough options she just might pick one of them.

I physically was incapable of breastfeeding so I admit I don't know all the ins and outs of this and that is not a easy fix, but if you woke up tomorow and the milk was gone, you would find a way. Just keep that in mind..

9/21/07, 4:33 PM  
Blogger Her Bad Mother said...

I have nothing to offer, I wish that I did. WB went on and off the breast until she decided that she'd had enough, and on and off the bottle until she discovered cups. I was never able to impose my preferences. I stressed about her nutritional intake until, well... I haven't actually gotten over it. She still goes hot and cold on any food other than ice cream.

Feeling ya. xoxo

9/21/07, 5:28 PM  
Blogger PeetsMom said...

My daughter pulled that same shit on me when she was 4 months old! Refused to take a bottle. Of ANY kind.

And so, my friend, I caved.

Therefore I do not have any advice for you. I just caved - here is my boob. Love it. Enjoy it. The choice to cave easy for me though because I was not working.

So not a helpful post, I know, but I do hope you find JUST THE RIGHT BOTTLE! Hang in there!

9/21/07, 5:59 PM  
Blogger mo-wo said...

I think she's going on five months... What about pablum? My doc pointed out to me when I gave up the bottle argument -- they get quite a lot on a spoon. Sage might be a kid well suited to try a cup and/or a spoon when Mommy is away.

It depends on the kid but I find that wait solids to 6 mos. a bit of laugh.

or at least when all else fails, eh.

9/22/07, 12:55 AM  
Blogger Alex Elliot said...

Sorry that I have no advice. I've had a couple friends start their babies on sippy cups early. I've talk to several organic chemist friends and I'm not worried about the fact that I used plastic bottles with my boys.

9/22/07, 1:06 AM  
Blogger mamatulip said...

I'm sorry. I have no advice.

Just a shitload of hugs.

xxxxxxxxx (the x's are hugs, right? o's are kisses...or are o's hugs? crap. have some o's, too.) ooooooooooooooo

9/22/07, 3:09 PM  
Blogger RookieMom Whitney said...

Been there. Our solution began at 5 months with extremely milky baby cereal spoonfed slowly as a substitute meal. Patient caregiver required. Martyr mommy did not leave baby for more than 7 hours until he was about 9 months old.

The kid never did take the bottle although the nanny tried every day until he was 8 months old.

9/22/07, 6:38 PM  
Blogger Bobita~ said...

You have some really great advice by those who have come before me. My daughter had the same issue, and in the hopes of helping, I will toss my two cents into the mix...

Yes, try every bottle on the market...Gerber ended up being the bottle of choice for us, too.

You might try giving your nanny/sitter one of your shirts (recently worn...not washed) and have her put it across her chest while feeding Sage. That, plus a hot water bottle (filled with perfectly warm water and acting as a pseudo breast!) pressed against her cheek, convinced my daughter to take an occasional bottle.

I soooo feel ya on this one, Liz. I know this is tough, but let the advice and comfort offered here buoy you through it.

Big wet kisses...

9/22/07, 7:14 PM  
Blogger Dee said...

(Delurking here.) You might try this bottle http://tinyurl.com/2up3ek. My baby boy, who is all about the boob(as most boys seem to be) had fits with gerber, playtex, etc. Then we tried this one and voila! Now daddy can help out with meal time, and I can go out and about without worrying about baby starving. It's all good.
They're not THAT expensive, and you don't have to worry about the plastics of death-yay!

9/22/07, 7:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My little guy stopped taking a bottle after having taken it without much trouble, and that's when I started doing some research. I found that it wasn't the bottle he was rejecting, it was the milk. Excessive lipase in my milk was to blame, and I found a pretty easy solution. Thought it might be worth mentioning.

9/22/07, 8:33 PM  
Blogger Laural Dawn said...

delurking to say this ...
we went through this with my son. It was brutal.
We tried every bottle we could. If someone recommended something we would try it.
We finally figured that even though he was little he was good with a faster flow nipple on the playtex bottles (you know the liner kinds). We also tried lots of different formula, but our doctor finally suggested whole milk. (at 6 months).
We did what we had to so he'd eat during the day.
I'm pregnant again and seriously debating next time just going automatically to formula.

9/23/07, 9:36 AM  
Blogger Evie_Edlund said...

With us, the problem was the milk. My breastmilk apparently spoils within 20 minutes (and by spoil I mean goes RANCID), regardless of scalding, refrigeration, freezing, etc. No medical cause. As long as it was "on tap" she was fine. But I spent 6 weeks pumping and trying to do what I thought was best only to find out I was trying to feed my daughter something that tasted rancid. I had never thought to taste it :-(

When we discovered this, we tried forumla, and while the only one she would take was Alimentum (the most freaking expensive kind there is), she was at least back to eating.

9/23/07, 5:06 PM  
Blogger Suburban Turmoil said...

Hopefully, you've gotten some good advice. Let me just say this post made me feel so much better. Bruiser's getting up 3-4 times a night to eat (after sleeping through the night for a month- that all ended with BlogHer, who knows why?) and it makes me feel better knowing I'm not the only one dealing with this... Obviously, I feel for you!

Hang in there! This will pass, as you know!

9/23/07, 6:22 PM  
Blogger dawn224 said...

Eyedropper? Foley cup? Solids?

9/23/07, 7:06 PM  
Blogger O said...

Delurking too. My first almost wouldn't breastfeed at all...6 weeks of nipple shields and my iron will later, he did. He also took bottles beautifully. So I got cocky. Second one? Took a bottle exactly once, in the hospital, before my milk came in. Once the milk was in, nothing else worked. EXCEPT:
1) He was drinking from a sippy by 4 months. We used the disposable ones. (which of course we washed between but since they had no stoppers they were easy)
2) A lactation consultant near us gave us these nifty syringy type things with long "tails" where the needle normally would be; we slipped the tail in his mouth and depressed the plunger and voila, milk in his mouth. Boy, did he look surprised but once it was there already, he drank it.
3) Another vote for droppers too. We just used what we had around or found in the drugstore.
4) A friend who couldn't breastfeed at all (breast cancer while pregnant--who knew?!?!) said her son would only take Dr. Brown's.
Good luck. I'm exhausted with you just thinking about it. Congrats on the new baby and all, and I will pray for you to get some sleep. Really.

9/23/07, 10:58 PM  
Anonymous Sydney said...

Try rubbing some apple butter on the nipple of the bottle. Not much, just a bit. It is how I got my son to transition from the bottle to the breast so I imagine it would work both ways.

9/24/07, 3:04 AM  
Anonymous Pinks & Blues said...

Okay... this may be in left field... I tried to see if anyone commented on this - BUT, aren't there fake boobs out there that a dad/nanny/sitter could where and the milk goes through? Or is this some sick thing I have invented up while I'm listening to my 5 month old scream in the other room to be held, but I want to finish reading this post and comment!? :) Ahh... wish I could help more. Boys never took to the boob... someday they will be boobing it and it won't be to be fed! :) God I hope not.
Okay.... off to get baby.
Hilarious post!
- Audrey

9/24/07, 7:32 AM  
Anonymous ella said...

I feel for you. All mine were the same and I remember feeling so desperate for sleep.

Sorry I haven't any good advice - I never found a solution - but I have lots of empathy and am hoping you find a speedy solution!

9/24/07, 8:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The only advice I can offer is that my daughter -- we realized after a freak-out moment like yours -- would only take a bottle really, really warm. Say - like body temperature. Turned out it wasn't the need to be near me, as much as it was that it better be the temperature as it would be coming out of me. And mucho thanks to my friend Amy who gave me a nifty "never-thought-I-would-ever-need" 30 second bottle warmer by First Years.

9/24/07, 1:14 PM  
Blogger Feeder of the hungry beans said...

I have a lot of advice and absolutely no assurance that any of it will work. My daughter never EVER took a bottle. To the point where I nearly throttled the 100th person who doubted her will and said, "When she gets hungry enough, she'll eat."

Here's what we tried:
1. Mom offering the bottle. Dad offering the bottle. Everyone we knew offering the bottle. (Any lucky winner would have gotten a very lucrative nannying position.)

2. Dad offering the bottle while Mom is in the room. Dad offering the bottle while Mom is out of the house.

3. Every single nipple manufactured since 1942.

4. Warm, lukewarm, cold breastmilk.

5. Breastmilk. Formula. Every possible combination of the two.

6. Offering the bottle facing inward. Offering the bottle facing outward. Offering the bottle while walking around.

7. Offering right after a little breastfeeding. Offering before she got really hungry. Offering when she was so hungry she should have been dehydrated and malnourished.

8. Offering first thing in the morning. Offering in the middle of the night. Offering at every possible hour of the day.

9. Skipping the bottle and offering from a small cup. This last one, even around three months, had the greatest -- though still very minor -- success.

What finally worked? She hit 7.5 months and discovered solid food.

Good luck!

9/24/07, 2:14 PM  
Blogger CK Holder said...

So many comments! So many caring moms! Wow.

I was struck by how many women commented on how they solved their own problems but judged themselves on whether it would be deemed "right" in anyone elses eyes.

My oldest daughter never took a bottle (for 18-months) and my youngest only took one when I weaned her at 16-months. (Which is how I weaned her.) I didn't work, so I had that luxury, but it can get old and tiring being the sole comfort for a little one.

The only thing that we can do as parents is the best we can. What that means is up to us to figure out. Best of luck.
~Carol

9/26/07, 12:06 AM  
Anonymous Bitsy Parker said...

I'm so sorry because it sounds like your husband must have said something about being tired. WHY, OH WHY, do fathers EVER try to utter those words? THEY AREN'T - couldn't possibly be - as tired as nursing mothers.

I hear ya' sister. Not to brag, but I no longer have a nursing child, and it's not sad at all. Love my walking, drinking out of glasses children.

9/30/07, 8:43 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home