*I interrupt our regularly scheduled sleep post for one on bottles. Don’t worry. We will return to the Sleep Saga tomorrow. 🙂
Something I have not written about has been our bottle battle. When Sabine was born I was determined to breast feed. I am blessed to have had few problems with breast feeding. We had some early latch challenges due to Sabine’s tiny mouth, a serious case of mastitis and some really sore nipples, but after about 5 weeks or so things were going along smoothly.
My doula, lactation consultant, doctor and all my breast feeding friends all warned about early-on nipple confusion. I was instructed not to introduce a bottle until at least 4 weeks of age to make sure my supply was well established and to avoid nipple confusion. I followed these instructions, terrified that I would ruin our breast feeding relationship. After she turned 4 weeks I worried every time I gave Sabine a bottle and, because of this, ended up giving her very few.
At no point during my early breast feeding days did anyone warn me that I could end up with the opposite problem. No one said, “Hey Belle, if you don’t introduce enough bottles your baby will never take one.” NO ONE TOLD ME THIS. Around 12 weeks of age I ventured out for a few hours and left the Professor with Sabine. “Bottle is in the fridge,” I told him and off I went.
I came home to a screaming child and a very upset husband. She would not take the bottle. This has been the case ever since. We have tried everything. We have tons of different bottles, silicone and latex nipples, sippy cups galore, straw cups and a fancy “my first cup” cup. We tried spoon feeding, regular cup feeding and everything short of syringe feeding. Nothing worked. Today Sabine still only takes breast milk straight from “the milk maker.” She still will not take water and I am not introducing juice until she is older. Because of this I can’t be away from my baby for more than a few hours at a time. On Saturday I’m in class from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. I feed Sabine twice before I leave and then the Professor schleps all the way into Manhattan from the Bronx at lunch time so I can nurse her during our break. I spend all of Saturday evening nursing her. It is not an ideal situation but it works.
Lately the Professor has noticed that Sabine will drink tub water from one of our plastic cups when he bathes her. Gross, I know, but at least she is getting a little liquid the nights that I’m in school. Tonight Sabine had a delicious dinner of egg yolks, quinoa, carrots and peas. As always, we offered her milk from a bottle and as always it was rejected. Rather than toss the milk (I waste so much milk. It kills me) I brought it into the bath with us and instructed the Professor to let her try drinking it from their bath cup.
AND SHE DRANK IT. EAGERLY!!! Granted, quite a bit spilled into the tub, but quite a bit also went into her mouth, and then down the hatch. This is such an amazingly big step for us! From now on we will offer her milk at bath time from her bath cup. It’s a good place for her to practice messy drinking. I hope that in a few weeks she will perfect cup drinking and be a much tidier drinker so MAYBE she can go all Saturday without having to come all the way to Manhattan!