I've lurked this forum for a long time but this is my first post. My first daugher is 9 weeks old, and I strongly identify with AP/gentle/evolutionary parenting principles. Currently we exclusively breastfeed and I hope to continue for at least the first year. I am going back to work part-time in 3 weeks so we had wanted her to learn to take a bottle, but she has adamantly refused (refuses pacifiers too). I had my mom try last night and within a few minutes, she was really worked up crying so I had to step in and say that was enough. Of course my mom says "She'll never learn if you jump in to save her so quickly. She has to get to the point that she gives up, which will probably take some crying. You have to break her." I replied that "She's not a horse, I am not comfortable with the concept of 'breaking her,' to do anything, especially this young and when I could just as easily breastfeed her." (NOTE: My mom is not normally a big CIO type, so while our views on parenting are different in some areas, she doesn't really pressure me to do anything I don't want to do normally...this was just her response based on the assumption that it was very important that we get her on the bottle before I go back to work. I'm not really looking for advice on how to deal with my mom, because this wasn't a big deal or anything. The real point of this post is below, I'm just giving you some background here.)
So here's the kicker -- I work from home and we have family that will be coming to our home to watch her, so worst case scenario, I could just have them bring her to me in my office and she could breastfeed at my desk while I work. Also, my husband and I have pretty much decided that my return to work isn't permanent, that I'll return for a month or two and give proper 2 weeks' notice before leaving, rather than quitting while on leave. This fact makes me feel like it's really not THAT imperative that she take a bottle, but at the same time, it would be nice to be able to have her take one occasionally so her dad could feed her if I ever wanted to run out for a period of time. So my questions are:
1. Any tips on *gently* getting my baby to take a bottle of my breast milk? I've had both DH and my mom try, since I know it's not supposed to be the mom who does it. We've tried with me out of the room, out of the house, etc. We've warmed the nipple. We've tried her when she was pretty hungry, when she had just eaten, and when she was in between. We've had her in cradle position, more upright, and even in her bouncy seat (which she loves) so dad could give her more direct eye contact. Nothing has worked!
2. Anyone else NEVER give their baby a bottle? On one hand I love this idea because I love BFing, on the other hand I'd like to be able to run out every once in a great while without having to hurry home for her next feed. I also know that it's really only a couple more months before we can start teaching her to drink out of a straw cup, so that is another solution that could work to allow me some occasional free time. Honestly I don't mind waiting a few months, I know it's important to have "me time" but she's still so little that I'm perfectly okay with the 1-2x a week that I'm currently going to the gym for now.
Any help or advice you could give would be greatly appreciated!