I never thought I’d see this day: the day my baby would refuse the bottle. Damn it.
The day my daughter was born she took to the breast like a seasoned champ. Not a problem. But then her health took a turn which meant it was feeding tubes and bottles until I was given the green light to breastfeed her again. My husband and I were ecstatic about the new situation: she took both the bottle and the breast without a fuss. That meant my husband could partake in feeding and bonding with her, and we could easily have her babysat early on if necessary. Pumping also meant I had a really good idea of my milk production and was able to keep a track of how many ounces she was drinking instead of measuring it by “one breast, two breasts, 20 minutes, I feel empty” – which is SO scientific.
Then ensued weeks of figuring out the best combination for us. At first, I was so used to pumping my milk that it just seemed natural to keep giving her bottles and once in a while breastfeed her – my freshly sore nipples appreciated the breaks. Then one day I just got fed up of pumping and all the washing of accessories and counting hours and ounces, so I bit down and increased the breastfeeding, letting the fresh pain of raw nipples take its course and toughen me up. My husband still enjoyed giving her a bottle and took care of the dream-feeds which were bottle exclusive.
Now she’s 12 weeks old and she’s almost exclusively breastfed due to how easy it is: no cleaning, carrying equipment around, and of course cuddling up to her while she feeds, snuggled up in my arms is an unbeatable feeling. Especially when she starts rubbing my belly with her little hand, so content and satisfied, while she chugs away.
But she’s now snubbing the bottle. Ugh…
So it begins, the retraining of drinking from a bottle once a day. It’s a struggle, especially when she’s hungry. She’s more dextrous now, too, so she grabs the bottle or my finger and pulls the bottle away, or tears at my tank top while screaming for milk. It requires patience, and sometimes reheating the bottle (until it spoils and then I get upset that those ounces are wasted) but I will succeed. (Though, to be honest, today she got to me and screamed a sad screech after I had put her down for a nap after an unsuccessful battle. I didn’t have time to run downstairs and reheat a new bottle – yup, the last one spoilt – so… I did what one should never do when training her child, and I gave her my breast.
It was like seeing a human discover that the desert mirage was real and drink like they had just survived the 40 year drought. 😦
UPDATE: After her first afternoon nap, she showed calm signs of hunger, so after a little bit of fussing for 5 minutes, she gulped down the bottle. 🙂
Ugh. Do you breastfeed, bottle feed, a mix of both? Did you have similar issues? Any tips or suggestions?