of babies and plastic teats

In two weeks, I am scheduled to go back to work. My twelve glorious weeks of maternity leave is coming to an end and I am here, frightened and frantic of what would happen to my baby and our usual routine. Breastfeeding routine, that is.

You see, I’ve been breastfeeding baby Ben exclusively since he was born. He has only taken formula milk on his first few days at the hospital when he was confined in the NICU and I was bedridden because of my surgery and can’t breastfeed him. He hates it – he hates the bottle, the plastic nipple and the fake milk. I can’t blame him, everything about formula feeding is unnatural and he knows he has a better option. Aren’t babies smart?

From when he was two days up to now, he has only taken breastmilk. No formula milk, no bottles. But now that I have to go back to work (I wish I could stay until he turns six months old), he needs to take the bottle! I am expressing my milk and practicing feeding it to him via a bottle.


He gets cross and give me ‘the look’:

We’ve tried so many ways and so many bottles and plastic teats. He refused them all. He doesn’t know how to suck and would just nibble and moan, groan, scream!

Then as the battle goes on, he gives me ‘the fist’:

My blog friend Robin of Around the Island who is a lactation consultant has helped me so much by giving me advices on how to do this bottle training right. For one, I made a terrible mistake of doing the bottle training myself. Babies are scarily smart that according to the popular baby and parenting site Baby Center, babies can sense the smell and presence of their mom from up to 20 feet away. And so they won’t give in to the bottle if mom is there!

What more if it’s the mom giving him the fake goods when he’s a few centimeters away from the real thing? Hello mom, who are you kidding!?

So, tomorrow’s another day for us. Robin has assured me we will just be fine. I want to believe her and hope we’ll get this sorted before the big day.

18 thoughts on “of babies and plastic teats

  1. You’ve got two weeks Grace, that’s LOTS of time. Spend this time enjoying Ben, not panicking over what will come. It will all work out – there are still loads of things to try, and like I said, the worst that can happen is he’ll end up filling in a more meals overnight instead of during the day for a while. You guys will be just fine once you both get used to the new routine.


    My photography is available for purchase – visit Around the Island Photography on etsy and Society6 and bring home something beautiful today!


  2. Oh my…for me it’s the other way round baby had problems latching on to my nipples and ended up both in tears. that was in the early stages but now it is ok but i think she is soon giving up on my milk though 😦 Try and try again is all you can do! Good luck Grace!


  3. My daughter refused to nurse at 8 1/2 months, would not take a bottle and had not started solid food. We had a rough 24hrs. as I figured out what to do. In the end, she would take my expressed milk from a medicine dropper. My doctor gave me one that would hold just over an ounce. It wan’t much different than giving a bottle and I could help her while she sucked by pushing on the dropper. It was pretty silly watching her eat that way but it worked for us. I pumped and feed her breast milk in a dropper until she was 11 1/2 months.


    • My other child used to take my expressed milk through a sippy cup as she refused the bottle as well. But she was already 6 months when I left home to work again. My baby boy now will only be three months and can’t take a sippy cup yet.

      I wish to see a solution to all of this soon 😦


  4. I love baby B giving you the cross look and the fist shaking-It’s like he’s saying, “You mama, I know you’re holdin’ out on me!” LOL

    I hope you and him find a good balance with the bottle feeding soon; preferably before you go back to work!


    • A few days after that post, we are still struggling with the bottle training. I am really getting so worried.

      I have my leave extended until the end of this month but I feel the days are getting nearer faster!


    • I still hope though that he will not take the bottle out of desperation. It breaks my heart to see him crying and looking for the real thing! 😦


  5. All the advices you were given were spot on but – if i may – i?d like to add one more: the problem could also come from the teat/bottle you use to feed him. I had to try loads of different ones before getting the right combination and both of my kids liked different ones………..which shows how much it can vary from one baby to the other.
    I currently use the large MAM teats with the AVENT bottles (easier to clean than the MAM bottles which have far too many bits and bobs). You can find them in Choithram and Spinneys, and they have different speed for different age group. My 5 months old is still on No 2 ?
    All the best, and bear in mind that he will eventually take a bottle…a baby never let himself starves.


    • Thanks for your word of encouragement. As my day to return to work comes nearer, I get more frantic. The baby is feeling it and gets really agitated when we bottle train him. Hope we can see the light at the end of the tunnel in all of this.

      Thanks for your advice!


  6. Wow I cant believe its been that long. He gets cuter every day. The fist and is that the stink eye too? I know it will all get worked out for you Grace. Hope you found your housekeeper babysitter. Too bad you dont have another relative to come as wonderful as your mom. I should say who could come. You probably have as wonderful. 🙂


    • We found a nanny and she is good with baby Ben and baby Ben likes her. I still miss my mom and her almost unlimited patience with everything, especially with the baby! 😦


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