My nightmares are made of bottles and tears

Dramatic title, no? Also, aren't you shocked that I have a new post on this blog that isn't just a weekly update on my daughter? I mean, it's not like this is a 'real' post because it's still 100% about my daughter and holds true to my theme around here of only posting semi-boring stuff about my kids. But whatevs---pretty sure my blog has been of this theme for a few years now anyway.

So let's discuss how much I HATE bottle feeding, shall we? I am literally so frustrated, and so stressed out about this that I have no other option but to blog about it in hopes that it will make me feel better and less on the verge of a major mental breakdown.

Observe these losers, the failures in my life that are seriously staring at me in my nightmares these days. They say, 'Your child will never drink from us and you are destined for many-a-sob-fests in your future.' :


I've been whining about how Cecelia won't take a bottle for 4 weeks now and now this topic deserves it's own blog post because bottle refusals are literally taking over my mind, my life, and my freaking maternity leave. Which is SO not okay in my book.

I've already gotten a ton of amazing suggestions from my blog readers and I'm not discounting them in the slightest. It's just that I've tried them all (I think) and nothing is working. Basically I just want someone to offer me the magic fix that works right away and we can move on from this phase. Better yet, I want someone to come over here and give my girl a big fat bottle that involves no crying ever again, and then she just takes a bottle from that point on without a hitch. Anyone? Magic fix??

Let me explain what has been going on lately. Cecelia has been refusing every last DROP from a bottle up in here since we started offering them at 3 weeks. She did actually take one ounce from my mom over the July 4th week, but nothing since. Then Lori, our daycare provider, offered to try her turn at the madness since she is going to be the one giving CC all of the bottles at daycare when I return to work. Which, in case you were wondering, is only a month away now. Lori has 31 years of experience with babies, running her in-home daycare for as long as I've been alive. I figured it was worth a shot and then proceeded to become a ball of nerves as last Friday approached.

Truman and I took Cecelia to Lori's that morning around 8:30. I came armed with all five of the small bottles we own, one filled with 3 ounces of my breast milk, and about 6 types of pacifiers on the side just for fun, in case CC actually decided to suck on one of those babies, too. Tru and I ran errands near Lori's house and then got the call from her around 10:00. As I picked up her call I was holding my breath and straining my ears for tiny baby wails in the background---but, alas, it was silent except for Lori saying, 'Well, I got some of it down her but she gave me one heck of a fight.'

I was elated and could breathe again, thinking that this must be a great sign! She took 1.5 ounces out of the 3 in the bottle which is a total success in my book. But Lori really stressed that it was a *struggle* to get that down and she was worried that unless Cecelia starts to take bottles at home, she might become a baby that downright refuses them all together. Gulp.

So today, on Sunday, Nate and I knew we had to try again even though we've been trying almost daily for weeks now. We had taken the kids for a run in the double BOB and then went to the playground where Truman was having a blast, and where Cecelia woke up from her BOB nap a little hungry. Nate suggested that he run home with her and I could stay with Truman while he tried a bottle with our girl. I immediately started to sweat but knew he had to try again. Would you like to guess how it turned out?

After one full hour of Nate offering the bottle while I was completely out of our house, Cecelia only took 0.5 ounces. Which is basically the amount that probably dripped out of her mouth in the process of screaming her freaking head off for a full hour. She never even latched on, as per Nate, and would just push the nipple out with her tongue. He tried giving it to her sitting, standing, in the swing, on the floor, talking to her, being quiet, etc etc etc. And it didn't work. By the time Truman and I got home, she wasn't actually crying but apparently that was a fluke and she started back up within a few minutes. Epic failure, yet again. And the worst part? When I went to her, she was so stressed out from this horrendous bottle episode that her little eyes were red and puffy and I immediately started to cry upon seeing her raised eyebrows lifted as if to say, 'Why are you doing this to me?' And then CC wanted to nurse literally all afternoon and didn't want me to put her down. And I admit, I sort of didn't want to, either. We were both a little stressed.

I just can't help it. I'm a softy. I mean, I'm a mom and I know we ALL have maternal instincts that make the sound of our babies' crying equal to a million fingernails down chalkboards. When Cecelia cries for even just one minute, my heart starts thumping and my upper lip sweats and all I can think is, 'What can I do to fix this?' Obviously, as her mom, hearing her cry gives me a physiological response that I can't ignore. I makes me feel ill to see her upset and I have often wondered how mother's with colicky babies survive. I know I would require heavy medication and an exorbitant amount of wine.

Nate can handle her crying a whole lot better than me, since he is a dad and doesn't have that same mom gene that makes me totally lose my stuff if I can't soothe my children within 5 minutes max. But you know what? It really freaking sucks that he has to be the one to offer the bottles at home. It's already harder for him to bond with CC in this tough newborn stage, when there just isn't a ton that he can do for her when all she wants to do is nurse. I really do worry that he won't love her that much until she becomes a little more fun, and I worry that Nate thinks CC hates him at this point, too. Of course, he tells me I'm ridiculous and he loves our daughter dearly but I know it has to be hard for him, too.

So what have we tried so far?

Well, I bought a nipple shield after a friend suggested trying to nurse while wearing one, in hopes that it would get Cecelia to suck from a silicone nipple that is directly over the top of my own real one. Nope. She won't nurse from it at all, so that was $10 wasted.

I bought the Nuk brand bottle with an orthodontic nipple, which is actually the one Lori used on Friday. But today's hour long scream-fest was because she wouldn't take the Nuk brand anymore.

(boo. hiss)

I bought the Playtex drop-in bottle with a latex nipple after commenters suggested it. No luck with that baby, either.

We also have Dr. Browns, Tommee Tippee, and Avent bottles. All failed.

(sort of pretty but SO annoying to look at right now!)

And honestly, you guys? I don't even think it's a bottle issue. Although I really WANT to believe that if we just find the right bottle everything will be okay, in my heart I know it's not about a specific brand being our savior. Lady has to actually latch onto a bottle first, you know?

People have suggested the Breastflow bottles, Born Free bottles, the Medela bottles, Similac bottles, Mimijumi bottles, and I'm sure about 10 more brands that I just don't have the heart to buy right now. I promised Nate I wouldn't spend a fortune on this because we both think she just doesn't want a bottle period. But of course, if any of my lovely readers want to send me their gently used 'life saver' bottles to try with my little diva, I'd totally try them out with gusto! :)

We've tried feeding her when she should be really hungry, but I will admit we haven't pushed it past the 3 hour mark just because if she IS that hungry, she totally loses her mind and won't even play with the bottle before refusing it. We've tried in the morning, in the afternoon, and at night. I've been home and I've been away. Multiple people have tried, both simulating the actual breastfeeding experience and also trying to be really different from nursing for positioning and location. What are we missing, people?

So many of you have given your support and encouragement, stating that your children also refused a bottle until RIGHT before your maternity leave ended. Or a lot of you have said that your babies refused bottles all together at home but once daycare started they just 'figured it out'. I really hope that is what happens for Cecelia, but of course right now it feels like she will be the first baby to ever starve herself in defiance.

(wasting so much pumped milk with failed attempts---have to keep track of when it will go bad in the fridge. Sort of sad to think I need to constantly dump out spoiled breast milk)

One person in my life (who shall remain unnamed because I think this might be an idea that most people hate) suggested something that I just cannot do. She wants me to pump and ONLY offer bottles without any nursing at all so that Cecelia 'learns' to take a bottle. Um, seriously? I would rather gouge my eyes out with spoons. Sister screamed for Nate for one hour today and I honestly believe she would cry for me even longer than that. And for what? A half of an ounce of milk? I'm just not tough enough to do this technique and I refuse to make my maternity leave a miserable concoction of my tears and her tears and the stress hormone. I can't do it, sorry.

Also? My baby is only 8 weeks old. Why would I voluntarily make her cry when she is still so little and helpless? I realize that parenting has a lot of hard parts that require you to do things you just don't want to do. For instance, I really hate disciplining Truman. It sucks to be the bad guy and to make him cry at times. But discipline is just too important and it's one of those things you HAVE to do for the better of your child. If I didn't put my foot down with him he'd become a spoiled brat who has no friends as a big fat misbehaved bully.  (Although if you know my son, that idea is pretty much laughable because he's actually REALLY well-behaved. And I can't even take credit for that because it's just his personality). But breaking the will of my 8 week old daughter, 'teaching' her who is boss around her by forcing a bottle? No thanks. Life is too short and my maternity leave is too precious. And we have a great nursing relationship that I don't care to toss aside because I have many months ahead of me to pump.

I just hope my decision to ignore this suggestion doesn't come back to bite me in the butt when I return to work. I know Cecelia is going to cry because of the bottle then but I'm just not sold on the idea that if I make her cry now it will save tears later.

In the back of my head I know that my job is flexible enough, that I could potentially schedule my patients with gaps in the day to allow for trips back to Lori's to nurse. But I really don't want to open up that can of worms, either. Truman would probably be really confused to see me coming and going a few times during the day, and it would make my work day a whole lot more stressful, too.

If I had to predict what will happen, it would be one of two things: 1. With four more weeks of maturity and practice, she magically 'gets it' right before I return to work. I mean, babies change all the time and maybe she just needs to grow up a bit. Or 2. She puts up a huge fight and gives Lori a run for her money at first, but she does take just a few ounces from her each day. Which will of course lead to me nursing Cecelia all evening, all night, and most likely non-stop on my days off to compensate for those daycare days. I'm really lucky to work just three days per week, since I'll still have four days at home with my girl. But man, I don't really want to spend every minute we are together as a human pacifier, either.

Okay, and here's the paragraph when I say that I know things could be FAR worse. This is a total first-world problem and I realize I'm blessed to have such a great nursing relationship with Cecelia. It's so great, in fact, that chica only wants the tats and no fakeys will do. :) I know this will all work out at some point and she won't actually die of starvation. But it still sucks right now.

Bottom line is this: my daughter is turning out to be incredibly different than her laid back big brother. I should have known we'd be in for it with this little spitfire when she immediately caused drama during the beginning weeks of my pregnancy. Sigh. I love her so much but why won't she listen to me?!?! I'm sure I will repeat this question about a million more times in my life, huh?

Any magical fixes out there? Reassurance? Does anyone know of a baby that starved herself to death at daycare?

So ends this post full of bottle ramblings and I really do feel a whole lot better now. Must remember to blog about things in the future. :)


  1. frustrating mama. I don't blame you for being a bit on edge. On the other hand, as an outsider, I don't think it's gonna end in all doom and gloom. I think by the time you go back to work, something *has* to give. I can't imagine the little missy being so stubborn that she eventually starves herself.

    And I'm with you on the exclusively pumping suggestion. Just doesn't seem right to me...ESPECIALLY since you guys have a stellar nursing relationship.

    I know you just had to type this out to vent but I really think somehow this will all turn out.

  2. Oh man, I don't have any magical solutions for you (sorry) but I wish you all the luck in the world. I'm so sorry that your maternity leave is filled with so much stress.

    From what I can tell from the babies I know, girls are so much tougher when it comes to eating, sleeping, temperament, everything! Maybe that's because you can just put them in a cute romper and a bow on their head and then all is right with the world.

  3. I don't have any advice, I just wanted to offer some encouragement.

    First, don't blow it off as a first world problem. Yes, of course things could be worse, but seriously, this is so frustrating so don't discount your feelings on that, mama. <3

    Second, about Nate...easier said than done, I know, but try to put that part of the worry out of your head. I think it's totally normal for it to take longer for a dad to bond than a mom and I don't think this issue is somehow delaying that process. Obvi, Chad has always loved Isaac, but I saw their bond grow exponentially as Isaac got to a more interactive stage where Chad could really play with him. I would guess the same will go for Nate, regardless of the bottle situation.

    Third - while we didn't have the bottle problem with Isaac, I did really stress about him sleeping at daycare when I first went back to work. He would not sleep anywhere but my arms or the wrap for me, even at 12 weeks, so I was so worried that he would be a crying mess the whole time I was at work, wanting to sleep but not being able to. But then, he magically DID sleep at daycare in a pack n play, all on his own. Funny enough, it took FOREVER before he'd do that for me, but it was never an issue for the month he was in daycare.

    Also? No way in hell would I exclusively pump. Never mind the fact that I hate the pump...I agree with your sentiments exactly of it not being fair to CeCe. I understand the sentiment behind the suggestion, but no way could I do it.

    Even if this doesn't fix itself until the very last moment, I really hope you can soak up these last few weeks of maternity leave and not let this hang over your head.

  4. I had a similar situation with my son during my maternity leave. I don't remember being too stressed about it (although it's very possible I was but blocked it out) but once he started daycare he got the hang of it. It took a couple days but he was completely fine.

    I definitely don't think you should pump exclusively! I say just relax and enjoy this next month at home nursing and she will learn to eat from the bottle when you return to work.

  5. My daughter was exactly the same way. We tried at least five different types of bottles to no avail. I went back to work convinced she would starve because she would never take a bottle. Her teachers struggled with it at first, but they eventually found success by basically rocking her to sleep, then sticking the bottle in. Sounds crazy, and I still don't quite know how it worked, but she got used to it. Babies learn pretty quickly once they aren't itty bitty newborns. Good luck! I know how stressful it is. My daughter just took her first bottle from me, and she is four months old. Cece - and you - can do it!

  6. Have you thought about using a nipple to a bottle as a paci when she's not hungry to try to get her to learn to latch? You'll have to plug the hole, but it might help. Just a thoughtn. Good luck! I'm dealing with a strong willed almost 2 attitude at the moment. :)

  7. Oh Julia! I wish I had an answer, we used the born free glass bottles and Henry liked them. Have you tried nursin for half a feeding then offering a bottle? Maybe if she isn't starving she will be more willing to try?

    What about a syringe feeding? Maybe of you can shoot enough milk in her mouth she'll be like oh it's just milk? It's sounds questionable to me but I thought I would throw it out there anyways!

    Sorry for the errors in this post, my phone won't let me go back and fix them.

  8. Oh, the frustration is so evident! I did a little googling and came up with cup feeding from Dr Sears ( which seems a little strange--but who knows! I also saw this Q&A which was interesting:

    Hope it gets better!

  9. I went through the EXACT same thing with my daughter. I went back to work when she was 9 weeks, and tried to bottle feed her that entire time. She would NOT take a bottle (or a pacifier) for anything in the world. I'm pretty sure I cried more than she did. When I dropped her off at daycare my first morning back at work, my stomach was in my toes. I just KNEW it was going to be horrible. They called me at around 9AM, and my hands were trembling. You know what they said? "Can you send more milk tomorrow, your daughter drank two bottle already." Ummm... WHAT THE WHAT???? I don't know what magic powers they possessed, but she took a bottle with no problem from them, and never looked back. I kept pumping and nursing her until she was 6 months old. I say, enjoy your maternity leave and give the bottles a break. Worry about that when you have to go back to work. I sure wish I had waited to stress about it, it took some of the joy away from being home with my baby. Now pregnant with baby #2, I know what to do!

  10. Oh Julia. I wish I had some awesome advice that will lead to a solution. But I don't. I still wanted to say though that I hope this problem ends soon. As a mama who has to go back to work after she has her kiddos I know that this must be so heartbreaking and frustrating to worry about.

  11. Okay, I know this isn't funny, but I LOLed at "I love her so much, but why won't she listen to me???" :) :) :) I think you know we went through a version of this with Annie - we only tried every few days, and I don't really know what changed, but she just figured it out - was never great with bottles at home and still refused them at home fairly regularly after maternity leave was over, but she was fine.

    My friend's daughter refused bottles for her first 2(!!!!) full days of daycare - and then on the 3rd day drank them all with no issue. That's basically what the nurse line told me when I called to ask about Annie - that eventually after many hours they will figure it out. But it is a case of tough love, and while "the person in your life" is probably right that you just offering bottles all day WOULD work, why do that to yourself? Might as well make someone you pay good money deal with that for you :)

    Good luck - I know how frustrating this can be!!

  12. Long time lurker here... Good luck - I'm sure she'll figure it out. Probably when you least expect it, too. That's how babies are, right? You think you have things figured out and then they change on you. Do you think it could be a nipple flow issue rather than nipple shape/bottles in general? Maybe a premie nipple would be more her speed.

  13. Long time lurker here too:) I just wanted to say try not to stress about it (haha right?). WORST case scenario, somehow she never learns to take a bottle. Lots of babies sleep through the night at three months without eating (so I've heard, none of mine have) so if Cecelia spends the daycare days not nursing, she'll just make up for it while she's with you. I'm sure the transition will be a little rough but I bet her and Lori will work it out. Spend the rest of your maternity leave enjoying your baby and maybe give up on the bottles for a week or so and maybe she'll "forget" she hates them:)

  14. I have no advice but I can definitely understand your worry and frustrations. My motto on my maternity leave was so enjoy every second and I can't imagine going the 'pump exclusively and offer only bottles" route. Life is hard enough. Also when my kid is crying nothing else matters but getting her to calm down. My husband makes fun of me bc he says that I can only stand about 30 seconds of crying. So true. You mentioned that your job is flexible which at least should be some comfort knowing that you'll have some control of the situation and that she won't starve. Even if it's only a temporary situation to stop by and nurse her. Avery is still not an awesome bottle taker and eats about half what she would if she was nursing. The days that I'm away from her she makes up for missed feelings at night. Good luck mama!

  15. This sounds exactly like my experience 5 weeks ago. Makes me teary eyed just reading it. I was within a few days of going back to my nursing job and little girl refused every bottle we tried. I was an emotional stressed out mess. Told my husband I was quitting my job. We worked our budget every which way and couldn’t’ make it work. I called my boss asked to extend my maternity leave and had a meeting scheduled to discuss taking a 6 month leave of absence.
    We decided on one last ditch effort of trying a “standoff”. Here is a link to the article I read that we tried to imitate. For about 5 days before we did this “standoff” I offered the bottle at every daytime feeding. BUT, I just tried to get her to hold it in her mouth without screaming for a few moments. If she got upset I took it away, calmed her and offered again with lots of distractions (walking and bouncing outside, talking to her lots) a couple moments later. She never tried to latch these days, but it helped her not associate the bottle with a traumatic experience. After 20-30min I would nurse her.
    On the big day my husband took one day off work. I left with my son and planned to be gone for the amount of time I would be gone on a work day. Insert lots of tears here (mine). But I knew she would not starve to death or be permanently scarred by one day. I only agreed to this stating if it didn’t work I was not go back to work and would NEVER force a bottle on her again.
    She refused the bottle repeatedly. When she became upset they went for walks outside or did any of the things that normally calm her. She would go to sleep and as soon as she woke he offered it again. 5 ½ hours from her last nursing she latched on and sucked down 3oz(all that was in the bottle) super fast and went to sleep. She took every bottle offered the rest of the time I was gone for a total of 12 oz. As soon as I came home I nursed her. Then next feeding we offered her the bottle again. I was sure the battle would start again since I was home. My husband had to walk her around outside, but she took it.
    It wasn’t a complete miracle cure. She still refuses her first bottle of the day frequently, but will nap a little and take plenty when she wakes up. She has only had one or two screaming episodes over the bottle since then (I have been back to work 4 weeks)
    Another big thing on standoff day, my husband made sure he didn’t force it on her. He just offered if she got mad he took it away until she was calm again. Sounds crazy, I was sure she would scream non- stop all day, but she didn’t. I know this is a horrible time, feels like maternity leave is being ruined. I can’t make any promises exactly how this will turn out for you, but I am praying for positive results and hope you can rest assured you will make it through!

  16. I'm sorry you're going through this Julia! So hard!

    I don't really have a magical solution for you, although I will say this--Lizzy wouldn't take a bottle either, despite several attempts at my leaving the house for hours at a time. I was super nervous going to shoot my first wedding post-Lizzy because I knew I'd be gone ALL DAY.

    So. Apparently, girlfriend refused to take a bottle until about 7pm that night. Then she took one, and we never had a problem again. Still, I'm SO GLAD I wasn't there on that particular day, because I would have lost my shit.

    Knowing what I know now about her personality, I think that she wasn't taking a bottle because she knew I'd come back within a couple hours and give her what she really wanted. It wasn't until I was literally gone ALL DAY and she really got hungry enough that she gave in.

    All that said, I think CeCe is still really young to do an all-day test run now (not to mention that sounds miserable for you, her, and Nate!), but I just wanted to give some encouragement that she may well take a bottle at daycare even if she won't take one from you guys, and even if the first day is rough. Hang in there mama!

  17. Oooh I would try Carrie S. strategy that seems worth trying to me! You poor baby! I know I keep saying that but my heart is hurting for yours! Praying for ya! I know you are gonna be on the other side of this soon! <3

  18. Ok I am going to start with the bad first. I have an Ex-co-worker whose daughter never took a bottle, which is why she is an Ex..... She had all the same problems as you, tried the bottles, the screaming, all of it. But she just would never take the bottle. She is now 15 months and has had 2 bottles her entire life. Sorry to have to share, but wanted you to know there might be no magic fix.

    Now for trying something new. Have you tried giving her the milk from something other than a bottle or boob. Like the syringe thingy that some moms use to supplement. Or have you talked to a lactation consultant to see if they have any ideas. She may have an issue in her mouth that sucking on a bottle doesn't work with and that's why she is refusing. Or a crazy thought, try giving her milk in an eye dropper. She doesn't have to suck, but can see she can get milk from something other than mom.

    Good luck Julia! I hope it all works out and try not to stress and use up all your fun maternity leave with this beautiful gift worrying about the future!!!

  19. I have a co-worker who's daughter would never take a bottle - she just nursed the hell out of her before/after daycare and she was fine. Love Carrie's ideas though...I'd try that if I were in this situation!

  20. Hi Julia :) I read and never comment but I just wanted to throw an idea out there. I had the same problem with my daughter (now 7.5 months) until my mommy friend tried feeding her and said it seemed like she was overwhelmed by the bottle...and suggested using a "preemie" nipple with an even slower flow than level 1 nipples. Dr. Brown's makes one you can get from babies r us. My other suggestion is to try a "dream feed" with the bottle, essentially picking her up when she's in a deep sleep and offering her the nipple in her sleep. My daughter was super picky and took it in her sleep, and eventually we worked up to her taking it awake also. Hope you find something that works! :)

  21. I'm sorry you are going through this! Glad you were able to vent it out!

    Like many have said, I have seen babies who had this exact same issue, and they were so worried and came up with back up plans, and by the time maternity leave ended, the baby was eating just fine for the daycare provider or nanny. It took a day or 2 for them to get used to it, but no back up plan needed. Luckily your daycare lady sounds like she is a pro, and I bet it will all flow perfectly come a few weeks from now! Maybe take a few days off from the bottle and revisit when you are both refreshed and renewed. That way you will both be less stressed and you can enjoy the rest of your leave!

    Good luck!

  22. We are def in a different strange boat w A being a preemie and only really doing bottle at first, but once we got the boob down we rarely do the bottle. Then some time around 6 wks she wouldn't take it. I gave her one 2-3 wks ago and she took it and another yesterday and she did it no problem (13wks). I hope CC just needs a bit more time. No advice really just well wishes!!

  23. I went through the SAME thing with my daughter last year and it was horrible. I know every baby is different but I second what "Cathy and Marshall" mentioned. I was lucky that my mother came to stay with me for a couple months and she was only able to give my daughter a bottle by rocking and shushing her till she was basically asleep and then popping the bottle in. If she woke up and saw there was a bottle and not my nipple in her mouth, it was the end of the world all over again. So, grandma would have to repeat the process of getting her half-asleep and then trying it again. Only after a few months of this sleepy bottle feeding did she actually start accepting the bottle awake, but that wasn’t until she was about five or six months old. :(

    As for the bottle, my daughter would ONLY drink from the Breastflow bottles and they are the closest thing to a breast that I could find. To this day at 13 months she is still refuses ALL other bottles (I probably wasted $100+ trying out every bottle on the market, not including all of the pacifiers that she never used for more than .5 seconds). Good luck!

    Your blog has helped me through a LOT of difficult times during the past year… So, thank you for that.

  24. Hi there,

    I had almost the exact same issue. The level of my anxiety leading up to the end of maternity leave was ridiculous. To say that I spent a small fortune on various bottles and nipples would be an understatement. We tried just about every "trick in the book" as people suggested and barely had any success.

    The first day I went back to work, I armed our sitter with Ziploc bags of all the different bottles. And what do you know? The only bottle my daughter ended up taking was one of the ones I did NOT buy (but one that my sitter had on hand). It was a Playtex VentAir - the wide-based nipple ONLY. I'm still not sure if it was just me being away for 8+ hours and my daughter figuring out that in order to be fed, she had to drink from a bottle...or if it was something about that particular bottle + nipple that agreed with her, but I didn't care. It worked, and even after a few days, she was pretty darn good. Still preferred the boob and cried like a maniac as soon as I stepped foot in the door, but we made progress.

    I completely feel for you and there is absolutely nothing that any of us can say to make you feel better at this moment - it is SO frustrating! Just hang in there and know that something (although you might not know what it is right now) will work and your baby girl will be just fine!

  25. I know that this will sound crazy, but one of my friends went through the same thing. And it wasn't the bottle, her little girl was so stubborn that she wouldn't even attempt it. So, her baby didn't eat at the babysitter. I know, I know. But she nursed her at the babysitters, so that she ate at that very last moment, then when she walked into the door to pick her up she ate again. And the only time the baby was ever upset was if someone tried to put something in her mouth that wasnt boob. The baby was literally so stubborn that she willed herself through the 6-7 hours her mom was gone. I don't tell you this as a suggestion, but just to say, it will be okay. When I was giving my son bottles for the first time, I had to let him nuzzle against me and right as he started to nurse I would put the bottle nipple in his mouth instead and he would take it. When other people tried to feed him he just got mad.
    I don't know what will work, but I do know that everything will be okay. I always tell moms, any decision you make out of love is the right decision. Only you know what is best for your baby. And it is going to be okay, she will drink from something, someday, that is not you. Don't stress sometimes the answer comes from the baby...

  26. I am so sorry. We went through the same thing with my daughter. Take a break for a couple of days. Then maybe try a bottle with a different texture. The only bottle that we had success was the adiri bottle. The only place that carries it is Good luck! I know that it's hard but it'll all work out.

  27. I am not much help since Charlotte always refused a bottle and I haven't even attempted with Idella. However, it was suggested to me to try offering it to her out of a small cup. I did find instructions for it online, but didn't ever try it.

    I hope all turns out well!

  28. I'm going through the same thing, right now, with my 11 week old. I start back to work August 1 and I can totally relate to your stress. And tears! Mine. I have all the same bottles you have, and more. I've had the same feelings about not wanting to ruin the rest of my maternity leave. I swear, the only time she cries with me is when I offer the bottle. Oh, and I absolutely hate having to discard and throw away the precious milk. My husband keeps saying it isn't wasted if we're trying and she eventually gets it, so I have to keep reminding myself this is part of it - it isn't wasting milk if we're attempting the bottle. I've given up on attempts, only to try again the next day. My little one will let me put the nipple in her mouth, but won't latch on. I've never seen her suck. She'll push it around with her tongue and sometimes gum/chew on it...but no sucking. I would take comfort in the fact that she at least took a little from Lori once. It proves she can! Try not to stress too much. I guess patience and time will tell. I feel like I've made a little progress the last few days with Mam bottles and the playtex/latex drop ins. I've had to make sure to taste my milk at each attempt also. A few times I think I left it out at room temp too long and it tasted awful. I think this resulted in huge steps back on our progress and attempts. Why would any baby want to drink from a bottle, especially if the milk is sour or rancid? So I keep tasting it. I know I've had more out of the bottle than her. But, I just keep trying, and hopefully once she is left at daycare she'll drink. It breaks my heart to imagine someone else watching her, and then her feeling hungry too. I think she's just stubborn, and will hopefully realize its the only way to eat without mom. Good luck to you. I guess I didn't have any great tip - but you are not alone!!!

    Oh, so I feel like I've read and tried everything under the sun. But, one tip I recently saw, that hasn't been on as many posts was to take some of the separated, thick cream from the milk in the fridge and rub it on the nipple before offering. My little one did seem to like that, but hasn't been fooled yet. I did the nipple shield thing, too - and she FREAKED out. My husband was upset about the ten dollars on those, with one failed attempt and they were too big anyway. The packaging had almost no information on sizing. But, again, it wasn't wasted since we have to keep trying. I'm almost to the standoff point, but I kind of agree with the other comments - why make my husband the bad guy when we will be paying the daycare workers - and they are experienced bottle feeders. We shall see. Good luck to you!!! If you find the magic tip, do share.

  29. Thank you guys SO much for all of the positive support.

    I'm really into Carrie S.'s blog post about a stand off. Now I just have to do it.

    And Katie--I feel for you, sister! I'll keep the blog updated with any progress and you let me know if you have any luck, too.

    Does anyone else find it interesting that 98% of those who said they've gone through this have GIRLS? :)

  30. I know this is kind of late but I just went back to work and my little guy refused his bottle at daycare the first day. I was sooo worried. He had taken the bottle ok from family members, etc. before dayare a few times so I figured it was no big deal. Well the little stinker was protesting that first day. The second day he did a little better, and the third day he did great. I think it was just the whole transition thing and realizing that he has to take the bottle if he wants to eat. Then at home he can have mom, but during the day it's got to be bottles.

    So hopefully Cecilia will be the same. Like you said, I don't think I've ever heard of a baby starving themselves at daycare :)

    Good luck! I hope it gets better!

  31. Ok! I think I just had a break through, and have to share. I started work on Wednesday and left baby girl all three days. She didn't drink a drop! It killed me. Friday was the longest I left her, she ate breakfast at 7:15 and picked her up around 2 (left work early) and she was so fussy and tired at day care. The ladies said she was only happy in a little swing, that when they held her she would get upset and want to eat - but still refused the bottle.


    I tried formula, instead of milk. Yuk! She didn't want that either, but it proved it wasn't just my bm she was rejecting. So, talking to my parents they suggested juice or something really yummy that she couldn't resist. I didn't have juice at home. So I've been trying sugar water. Just filtered water with a spoonful of white sugar. I warm it up, and lo and behold! she opens her mouth and wants me to put it in. It's really helping me! Yesterday on the first attempts, I was able to put about three or four different bottles in to see which she did best with. She was having trouble latching on to suck - but was trying. This is Huge! Just now, I did the same, at the end of a nap, and she took water! actual sucking! I'm so proud! I feel like she won't starve. I've heard others suggest milk shakes, and I did add some extra sugar to breast milk last night which helped too. A willing participant helps so much with figuring out which nipple/bottle combo might work! I was off to buy juice this morning, too. I just need to see her suck and for her to learn how!

    Another tip, if you try poking extra holes. I had done this sooner. My dad said make sure the needle is hot. I thought it was just for sterilization, and hadn't done it when I tried a few weeks ago. Well, it has to be hot to actually make a hole, otherwise it just sort of closes back up. So if you try extra holes (controversial) - get your needle nice and hot first. Didn't work for me, but it may for you. Good luck! Keep us updated with any progress.


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