When last we left the Boob to Bottle adventure Hattie was not having anything to do with a bottle. We had sat, tried to feed, but Hattie politely (politely for a baby) said “No thank you” and carried on asking (again politely) for the boob. It can be very disheartening to hold your child, see them fuss and squirm and realize that you are not able to give them the consoling they want. It’s hard.
But to the persistent goes the victory (as temporary as it may be). Since the last post Hattie and I have had a number of “flop” feedings, one “eh” feeding, and two “great” feedings. Like I said previously, we have been experimenting with different nipples and bottles to see what might work the best. Luckily for us we have a secret weapon in the form of Katie’s mom. Maida is an OT who works with children who have eating difficulties, so she sent use some of the options that worked best for her. This proved to be the breakthrough.
The successful nipple Maida sent us turned out to be the Playtex Nurser Breastlike Slow Flow Nipple. The first victorious time I gave Hattie the bottle was a shocker — WHAM! — she just went to town on it! I was surprised…and so so happy. Katie was in the shower so as soon as she got out she asked how Hattie did. I told her Hattie was eating like a champ and we threw a air high-fives at each other. I felt relief and a sense of empowerment to hold and feed Hattie. Like some great monumental task had been achieved — I wanted to tell everyone (which I did at work; that has been the new points of discussion when I arrive: What is Hattie up to today?).
Oh course that high didn’t last, and the next feeding was a flop — which was followed by an “eh” feeding, a failure, and finally another success…followed by a flop. She is definitely trying to get the hang of things, learning the different flows and suck patterns that are necessary to get the milk, and the different arrangements that come with bottle rather than boob.
For those other parents (dads I’m talking at you) who are trying to transition from boob to bottle my advice is to try the transition early and be willing to experiment. It isn’t recommended that you start the transition from boob to bottle before six weeks of age, but once you reach that point you should try a little everyday to get your little one use to the new experience. Some kids do fine getting thrown to the bottle with no warning, but I can imagine that that experience will likely be traumatic for both the kid and the parents. Give it time and try to find the right nipple and bottle combo for your kid.
However, don’t rush it; use a nipple/bottle for a few days to a week to see if your baby takes to it. If not, then its on to the next one. I know, I know — it sucks to have buy more stuff. You are already broke. But parenthood is all about accepting a new life, a new existence; part of that means finding out what is going to work for your kid and that can mean having to buy more stuff.
This bottle-feeding is damn tough work — just like all of parenthood — and one success will seem to be outweighed by two failures. But learning comes from failure so try to enjoy your one enormous, ongoing learning session!