Please help my SAH-DH feed our baby!!! — The Bump
Attachment Parenting

Please help my SAH-DH feed our baby!!!

I am back to work x2 weeks and DS won't take a bottle at. all. I mean, screaming and gagging and vomiting if any nipple even touches his skin. We've tried a million bottles, holds, every tip in kellymom, and I am a nervous wreck. Talk about attachment fail! My child is hungry and screaming and I'm not even home. DH has bursts of motivation, but it's hard for him to care for our two year old and spend 45 minutes three times a day trying to give a bottle to a screaming baby with zero signs of success. Eventually he will wrap him and he falls asleep hungry. I have been able to come home at lunch but can't forever. DH is depressed and discouraged and I feel like the responsibility is on me to "fix it" because he is kind of paralyzed by it and feeling like "what's the point, nothing will work." I have called lactation consultants who only say keep trying. They recommended different bottles too which we've tried and failed. It's awful, and I don't know what to do!!! I feel like we have tried so hard to set up a situation for our family that has worked well and I'm proud of with DH at home, me working hard to keep up BFing and pumping, etc. yet somehow, I feel like I am failing my child and family. I'm really discouraged. :(
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Re: Please help my SAH-DH feed our baby!!!

  • The same thing happened to us. 

    I went back part time, 2 days full days a week and one half day.

    First of all, LO survived. And so did DH. (we didn't have a 2 year old though)

    LO refused the bottle. She would sometimes drink from an open, regular cup. It was messy. When she was older - like 4-5 months - she would sometimes drink from a bottle if she got to hold it. We tried regular avent nipples and dr. browns. She preferred the Dr. Browns. BUT, honestly, she never got more than a few ounces. Once she go to be about 6 months, DH started giving her water to keep her better hydrated. 

    She ended up just reverse cycling, and eating all night long instead of the days I was at work. I figured the 7-8 hours I was at work was similar to a baby not eating when they STTN.

    I do credit my DH for being calm and not getting super stressed about it. She would cry, but he would take her for walks, rides in the car, walk the house with her, and offer, but not force BM on her every 30 minutes or so. There was a lot of spilled milk, and I built up a huge stash that I eventually donated, because, like I said, she only drank a few ounces while I was gone.

    I would say - see if you can get your DH to not stress out so much. LO is not going to starve. She might be unhappy, but he can try to soothe her in other ways, and offer BM often but not force it. Try a regular cup, or syringe. That might help - I hope so! It's hard.

    Also, it's totally not your fault. I had huge issues breast-feeding at the beginning, so LO was drinking out of a syringe, spoon and bottle all before actually latching. She was also offered a bottle numerous times during the first few weeks because we had latch problems and I was in so much pain I had to take pumping breaks to let my nipples heal. She refused bottles from the start.   

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  • We had good luck for occasional emergency daddy feedings with one of those medicine spoons or a syringe at that age. You could also try a sippy cup especially a really cheap one that you can take the valve out of so it pours out but doesn't spill so easily.  Maybe the older child could 'help' so it's funny and not such an anxious situation.
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  • I would try the new playtex straw cup. It says 4 months plus, but by this point it might be worth it. I started giving it at about 4 and a half months LO would never take a bottle but she took to the straw in just a few days.
  • Good Luck




  • My friend had this exact thing happen to her, and oddly, what did it was trying the LATEX (not standard silicon) Playtex nipples on the drop-in nurser.  I think something about the natural rubber felt better to her baby.  She literally would not take anything else.
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  • this happened to us too.  Try tasting your pumped milk at different time points for excess lipase.  My daughter would scream and not eat until I figured out this was the problem and started scalding the pumped milk.  Sorry for the late reply.  Good luck to you!
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  • This situation stinks. When I returned to work LO refused a bottle too. My sister had luck spoon feeding him a few ounces the first day. By the end of the second day he must've been starving and just gave up and took the bottle. I wasn't able to come home at lunch to feed him. He did end up reverse cycling and eating lots more at night and less during the day.

    He still is weird about being bottle fed - he has to be sitting upright, and prefers to not be held (strange as that sounds) but facing the person feeding him. When LO was really little, H could only get him to eat if he was in the RnP. 

    Your LO may give in and take a bottle if you can't come at lunch. Maybe try spoon feeding, or open cup, I think the latex nipple is a good suggestion too. But remember, you aren't failing your LO, this is very common - Good luck! 

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