Tuesday, November 16, 2010
"Help, my baby won't take the bottle!"
I was talking to a new mom this weekend who is also using her Chichi Power and breastfeeding her 3 month old baby girl exclusively. But her problem right now, is that her baby won't take the bottle—bottled breast milk that is. As in pumping, storing and then feeding your baby (or having someone else feed them) your breast milk with a baby bottle. I know of one other mama who was also having that problem recently. It does happen, there are some babies who are just really finicky and love your chichis too much to settle for that plastic bottle. If you try everything and she/he will still not take the bottle, I'm thinking maybe that's just how the baby is, and it will have to be like this for a while. I know it's tough when you have to work, if you're going to have to breastfeed your baby all day and night, and may even be impossible for you. I know one mama out there who's daughter never took the bottle and yet, she breastfed her exclusively for 22 months! Wow...she is my hero right now. Next to her is another mama I know, who has been breastfeeding her baby (bottle and breast) for 16 months. You go ladies!!
But don't fret, I believe that it is possible to get past the bottle hump. I know I did, so I can at least give you some pointers on how I managed to get my bambina to take the bottle. Although I did feel that my baby was like, "I don't care how you feed me, just feed me!" :-D But basically, I just followed all the things they say to do, by the book, and it worked. She goes back and forth between bottle and breast like nothing. Here are some tips:
• I waited until my baby was at least four weeks old before introducing the bottle. She was actually a month and a half old, and I began pumping and storing when she was two weeks old.
• I waited until the breastfeeding was well established. This is why I gave her the bottle until she was a month and a half old, because I was struggling so much in the beginning with proper latching. But once it felt good and smooth, and I didn't have any problems breastfeeding her, then I felt comfortable giving her a bottle.
• I had someone else feed her that first bottle. My husband actually gave her her first bottle, and I left the room while he was feeding her. I was soooo curious and wanted to see her eating from the bottle hee hee! I actually took a little peek once I heard that she had stopped crying and was probably eating. Now, from what I've researched, babies can smell the mom's milk within a 20 feet radius. So if you have a finicky baby, it may help for you to make sure your baby is really hungry, then prepare her bottled breast milk, give it to your husband or partner or who ever can help you give your baby that first bottle, and then leave the house for thirty minutes to an hour, depending on how long it will take the baby to finally take the bottle and finish eating. It also helps to have someone feed her/him, particularly when they are really hungry, because if you're trying to feed them with a bottle, with your breasts so close to them, they'll be like, uummm I don't want this. Why can't I feed off your chichis?? :-(
If at first you don't succeed, try try again. And if it's still not working, I would recommend you try one of those nipples and bottles out there, that resemble an actual breast. They are super wide and flat like mommie's chichis. I was talking to another breastfeeding mom a few weeks ago, and she swore by this Mimijumi nipple and bottle. It's a wide nipple that's a soft brown color and is made from only the safest medical and food grade silicone. She had the "Very Hungry" bottle and said it cost her about $18 bucks...and that it was well worth it. Mimijumi's website says that "With natural colors, textures and forms, the mimijumi baby bottle closely mimics the breastfeeding experience, providing the perfect complement to breastfeeding and the best possible transition to bottle feeding." Based out of Nashville, TN, this innovative company has been around since 2008.
There are other bottles you can look into to, like the Adiri one, or the Tommee Tippee one. I can only say that the Mimijumi one worked for one mother I know first-hand. So I can't vouch for the other two bottles. But please, share with me your experience you've had with any of these, so we can pass the info along to other struggling mamas out there. I hope this is of help and I wish you all the best of luck with introducing the bottle. It can be done, and with a little patience, you'll be pumping and bottle feeding in no time. And you'll be able to, like Mimijumi says, let bottles "help you give baby more of the good stuff longer."