99 bottles of breastmilk down the drain
January 6, 2007 8:37 AM   Subscribe

Tricks for getting a breast-fed baby to delight in the joys of a breastmilk filled bottle?

We've tried:
-mom not feeding, only dad and other relatives and friends giving the bottle
-every conceivable bottle/nipple combo known to humankind
-feeding in places where breastfeeding doesn't usuallyl happen (bouncy seat, crib, outdoors, etc.)
-warmer milk, colder milk
and pretty much every babycenter.com tip. It doesn't matter to our otherwise lovely 2.5 month old, who rejects it as noisily as Christopher Hitchens denounces Mother Teresa.

The super-confounding factor is that my breastmilk appears to have too much lipase, so that it develops a soapy-sour smell when thawed. So we've only been giving our Little Screamer only the freshest breastmilk.

This is going to make mom's return to work, and dad's staying home from it, very very stressful in a few weeks. Appreciate your help!
posted by DenOfSizer to Health & Fitness (17 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
It's a little early for you guys, but our baby would have nothing to do with a bottle, but took a cup as early as 6 months, maybe earlier. A bottle seemed to be too much a "fake breast", but a cup was something else entirely.
posted by monkeymadness at 8:48 AM on January 6, 2007

My brother and his wife had to go directly to the sippy-cup. Their son just never took to the bottle, but would drink from a spill-proof sippy cup (although he wasn't as happy about it, and Mom had to be out of the room). But even this progress didn't happen until baby was around 6months old (luckily my sister-on-law was able to take her son to the lab with her and nurse him until then).

(on preview, what monkeymadness said)
posted by twoporedomain at 8:52 AM on January 6, 2007

On the advice of our pediatrician, I gave my son a Nuk pacifier for 3 or 4 minutes at a time, 3 or 4 times a day, for a couple of days. Then we swapped that for Nuk nipples on regular bottles of breast milk, and tossed the pacifier. Worked like a charm. He was able to learn how to "work" the Nuk nipple without associating it with milk, so the milk was bonus when it was introduced.
posted by ersatzkat at 9:12 AM on January 6, 2007

I had high-lipase breastmilk too. You can scald it before you store it, which will stop the lipase breakdown so the flavor won't be affected (see the end of this article).
posted by padraigin at 9:48 AM on January 6, 2007

Mrs. Shallow Center and I faced the exact same issue about a month ago. Get Mom out of the house the next time you try. And make sure the Screamer is really hungry, and not tired -- I made that mistake a couple of times, getting frustrated trying to feed ours a bottle, only to have her fall asleep soon after.

It'll happen, DOS. I mean, s/he either eats from the bottle or goes hungry, right? Good luck!
posted by shallowcenter at 9:53 AM on January 6, 2007

I needed surgery when my son was 4 months old. He wouldn't take a bottle. Instead, I taught him to drink from a cup. Just a regular cup, not a sippy cup.

Incidentally, on the day I went into the hospital, my son took the bottle. He waited it out, then decided to take the bottle. However, after that, we kept giving him a cup when I wasn't home.
posted by acoutu at 9:57 AM on January 6, 2007

Good luck. The above strategies might work for your child. I never found anything that worked for my twins. I'm not trying to discourage you, but just to say that it if it's not 'working' it might not be your lack of ingenuity. For us eventually, we had to go cold turkey when I went out of town, and they had to deal with it, and they did. Best wishes.
posted by kch at 11:01 AM on January 6, 2007

Have you tried formula in the bottle instead of breastmilk? It could help break up the connection between needing a breast to get nourishment. I understand if you're worried about starting down a slippery slope to having to switch completely to formula, but it may be a good option for you, especially if you think the thawed breastmilk is always going to be troublesome.

And on the off-chance that you really haven't tried every bottle/nipple combo on the planet, how about Nuby bottles? My daughter didn't take well to weaning at 10 months (she'd never had supplemental feeding, but I had to stop bfing because of medication) That was the bottle that finally did it for her.
posted by saffry at 11:15 AM on January 6, 2007

These are the cups I suggested. I've found them at Wal-mart and lot's of discount stores lately.
posted by saffry at 11:20 AM on January 6, 2007

I returned to work recently, and we've been working on this exact problem for the last couple months. My daughter is 4 months. She has good bottle days and bad bottle days, but when I first started back, it was always bad. We'd also tried all the typical advice you noted. Actually, after a couple weeks of her taking the bottle quite reluctantly, I tried giving her a bottle myself, and she took it quite happily (I almost screamed when she actually GIGGLED while sucking the bottle.). Since then, she seems to be more willing to take the bottle from dad.

Also, she has to be truly hungry, but not freaking out hungry to take it. There seems to be a window, and you have to grab it before she gets too worked up.

So I guess what I'm saying is...when you're gone, she'll eat if she has to, though she might be very unpleasant about it. And maybe try the exact opposite of the typical advice. YMMV of course, since this is babies we're talking about.
posted by jessicak at 11:38 AM on January 6, 2007

Pardon me if you already tried this but was the hole in the bottle nipple big enough? I always had to enlarge the ones I used when I had to wean my middle daughter.

Also my daughter has a newborn and while waiting for her milk to come in they did supplement a couple of times using something that looked to me like an eyedropper (the lactation consultant recommended they use that if they had to so there wouldn't be nipple confusion-or in other words, the opposite problem from what you are having.)
posted by konolia at 11:44 AM on January 6, 2007

My wife attends La Leche League meetings, and is pretty familiar with their resources; she passes along this discussion.
posted by bendybendy at 12:10 PM on January 6, 2007

I also had (have) excess lipase and scalded my milk before freezing. It seemed to work. I believe there's some older dicussion of it on the Berkeley Parents' Network, too, though kellymom.com (as mentioned by padraigin) was my bible and you can trust what she says there.

One thing you didn't mention was getting mom's smell all over the shirt of whoever else will be feeding. I wore my boyfriend's shirt to bed a few nights in a row, and then he would wear it when feeding our son.

Other than that, the cold turkey suggestion is also where I would lean. Those little ones will eat when they have to. Good luck!
posted by cocoagirl at 12:47 PM on January 6, 2007

I have not read any of the above so ignore if already mentioned but make sure you wet the teat of the bottle with your milk so it not only taste of your but also smells of you.

You could also wear a bra overnight and use it to wrap around the bottle when giving it to the baby so again that it smells of you. The bra trick also works should you have to leave the baby with someone for while as it will comfort the baby should he or she get upset.
posted by mycapaciousbottega at 1:15 PM on January 6, 2007

I recall doint 3 things with my son.

1. Using a teaspoon to feed him.

2. Using a pipette (sterilised) to feed him

3. Him being hungry and eating more before and after work.

I also like the nuk pacifier + (I'd reommend an orthodontic silicone bottle).
posted by singingfish at 1:46 PM on January 6, 2007

I went back to work at 3 months post-partum, and my husband stays home with our baby. We luckily didn't have that problem (my son will take food from who/whatever offers it, apparently), but try not to stress it. Your baby may end up reverse cycling. Rest assured, your baby will be cranky but will not starve him(her?)self.

One thing I thought of - maybe try expressing some milk onto the artificial nipple before offering it to baby, so s/he can get a taste of it beforehand?
posted by cajo at 8:37 PM on January 6, 2007

Ah, another baby who knows what they want. We went through the same situation and were finally successful with an open cup. My daughter was a preemie, but at 4 months was able to drink from a cup - messily, but over time she became more adept. After several months we tried a bottle again and she accepted it. I also recommend trying a teaspoon to start.
posted by dan g. at 8:45 PM on January 6, 2007

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