Redmond and The Big Bad Bottle
Ironically, when Redmond was born, he was all up in his bottle. He was ten pounds at birth, but had dropped to just over nine pounds by the time we left the hospital. Granted, they weigh babies the second they are born, all loaded up with liquids and the black-tar poo. He wasn’t that interested in eating his first day in the world, and he slept through the night without waking to nurse. So the pediatrician scared me TO DEATH when he told me we had to start giving him a (pumped) bottle to make sure he was getting enough food. I was all filled up with those postpartum emotions and I was absolutely sobbing, feeling as if I was already failing as a mom, and terrified that i was somehow starving my STILL NINE POUND baby.So, obediently, we did. Redmond eagerly drank it down and continued to do so through my mastitis battles, my ER visits, and while he was being watched by my husband and mother in law when I was sick that first difficult month.
But, naturally, right about when I had to Return to Real Life and leave him three days a week, he decided he wasn’t a fan. At around 9 weeks, my nipples were heeling slowly and I tried to occasionally pump and give him a bottle to help the healing process. But he didn’t go for it, so I gave up.
It eventually got to the point where he fought the bottle with everyone–one day I was gone for 8 hours and in that time he only took about 6 oz. That really scared me, and I decided to try changing bottles to see if he’d be more interested. He loves glass mason jars, so we tried using Dr. Browns glass bottles and he was much more receptive. So, with the glass bottles in hand, this is what we did.
1. Nick and my sister started waiting until he was really hungry to get him his bottle. If he was just interested in nursing because he was sleepy or wanted a snack, he’d get all up in arms about being given a bottle but if he was really hungry he’d take it.
2. They layed him almost flat to feed him which looks bizarre but somehow works.
3. They didn’t give up. The thing I had to remind myself is a baby won’t let himself starve. If he’s hungry enough, he’ll eat. He may cry and flail and get mad but he’ll eat. Now, he’s finally been taking his bottle without complaint when I’m gone and sucking it right down. It is SUCH A RELIEF to me and I’m glad we stuck with it.
4. One more thing. I never give him a bottle. I think this has been helpful because he can make the correlation that the bottle is what we do when mom is not around. And I think that consistency is helpful for him.
Twistshake bottles sent me this one to try out with Red. He’s still a little young for it but we will use it more when he’s bigger. They are designed for formula, which we don’t use, but obviously they work just fine with breast milk too. They also come with this great little snack case that connects to the bottle so you can just bring one thing in your diaper bag. So, once he’s drinking regular milk and eating finger food, I’ll be bringing this with us everywhere. For now, he likes pretending it’s his own water bottle since his life long dream seems to be owning one of mine haha.
Hope this is helpful to some of you mama’s out there! There is nothing worse than wondering if your baby is eating enough when you’re not around. Let me know what tricks you used that worked!