Need Help!

Cheryl - posted on 12/06/2010 ( 3 moms have responded )

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My four month old daughter is exclusively breastfed. I have been trying since she was 6 weeks old to get her to take a bottle (of either breastmilk or formula). but she want's nothing to do with either in a bottle. I was supposed to go back to work in September but haven't been able to. I haven't even been able to get a night out with my husband. She has been fed on demand since birth. I have talked to the doctor and talked to other mom's who have breastfed and I have also talked to the La Leche League in my area about ways to get her to take a bottle and I have tried all of the advise but she still don't want it. I have tried different kinds of bottles and nipples and also sippy cups but she doesn't want anything. She will latch with no problems to me. I'm looking for other ideas or something that might work. I really need to go back to work and I work about 30 mins from home so i can't come home on breaks to feed her. Also, we went to the Dr. today for her 4 month check up and she gave me the okay to start solids when I think she is ready. Do you think if I start her on solids that would help her so i could go back to work. And also I have a 4 year old and it's really difficult to spend time alone with him when the baby won't let someone else to feed her. I'm really desperate for help! Any advise is appreciated. And Thank you in advance!

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How many hours are you going to be gone for each day? I went back to work part-time when my baby was six months old and had the same problem. I'd be gone for about six hours and she just would refuse to take the milk from my partner, no matter what bottle/sippy cup we'd put it in. She also didn't really care for solids until she was about 10 months old. Incidentally that was the time when she finally took an interest into sippy cups, but more so when they were filled with water or fruit tea then with breastmilk. She only started going for that when I was ready to stop pumping! Anyway, I guess all I can tell you is that my daughter did not starve. Actually she has always been quite large and heavy for her age. She just nursed more when I was home and made up for it that way. Would you maybe consider co-sleeping for a few months to allow her to nurse more at night-time without wearing you out too much? Starting solids before the age of six months is not really recommended, though doctors often tend to ignore that. Don't put her on solids just because you are panicking over going back to work. Things might very well sort themselves out once you have a routine established. And if not, you can still start her on solids and nothing is lost. Also, once your baby is used to you going to work at a certain time of day, you could take your four-year old out within that time on a saturday or sunday and baby won't know any different. All I can say is, just go back to work and don't stress too much over your baby refusing the bottle. I was terribly stressed out at the time - over the bottle, over her not taking to solids, over her being away from me - and it all worked out just fine. You'll be ok.

Callie - posted on 12/06/2010

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My only advice is to have someone else give her the bottle if you haven't already tried that. I know that my daughter would not take one from me cause she knew I had the real thing hiding under my shirt. Although now she refuses a bottle and won't take breast milk in a sippy or regular cup either. Hope someone else has some more advice.

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Heather - posted on 12/09/2010

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My daughter took a bottle when it was from my husband or mom when she was young, but when I went back to work she refused to eat every day. My sister in law who was taking care of her, said there were a few kids at the daycare who would do the same thing. My mom found that unless the bottle was the perfect temperature, she would reject it. Luckily, I went home once a day and fed her, but even without that I'm sure she wouldn't have starved.
Try starting her on solids, mix breast milk in with her cereal so she gets used to tasting it even when it's not from the boob. Also, since no baby can resist fruit - if she really seems to not like food mix a little bit of banana or prunes in occasionally. (Just don't do it too much - my daughter went on strike against vegetables for a week when my husband fed her fruit to many times in a row. :) )
Also, just a thought. My daughter often won't take a bottle from me because she knows the good stuff is right there. When I am gone though, she will take a bottle from my husband. Have you tried having someone else feed her? Maybe take your 4 year old out with you, spend some time, and leave the baby with your husband. Make sure he keeps a bottle warmish, right around the temperature it would be if it was from you, and just keep offering it.

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