Monday, July 19, 2010

Haute Mom Dilemma #3 ~ 5 oz. to Freedom


As I am flying into my 10th week of motherhood I am finding some difficulty going back to some of the normal things that I was able to do in my pre-mommy life. I am talking about working out, having dinner with friends, going to the movies, having cocktails, and all those other haute activities. One of the main barriers has been the fact that I have chosen to breastfeed (see dilemma #1) which can easily be overcome by introducing the bottle. This leads me right here to this post. I introduced a bottle at 5 weeks. After all the reading I did, I had my husband give Stella her first bottle of expressed breastmilk. With much protest in the sounds of screaming and wailing, she finally began to lap up the contents with me listening behind closed doors in another room. It was wonderful. I went to my first dinner with my girlfriend in 6 weeks. My husband and I were able to soak up a baseball game while Grandma had her first babysitting night. Even better, I had some time to catch up on other favorite haute activities like internet shopping and catching up on my DVR - you gotta love those Housewives! I began dreaming about the limitless possibilites - going shopping. excercising, catching a movie, going out for coffee...The dream fairy came and burst my dream cloud when around 8 weeks Stella began to refuse the bottle. This past weekend I spent my 34th birthday breastfeeding at my own birthday party. I had to watch what I drank and hide inside to nurse while listening to the sounds of my friends and family partying outside. Now, again, I love my daughter more than anything but I would like to be able to let loose and have someone else feed her once in a while. My third wedding anniversary is approaching this week and I am not sure if my husband and I can leave Stella with a sitter so that we can go out for a nice dinner. What am I missing about this bottle thing? I have tried different bottles, leaving the room, different times of day, you name it. We are left with a screaming, red, sweaty baby that is starving and as mad as a hornet. As many moms do, I fix the situation after 30 or so minutes by swiftly taking her and allowing her to latch on. Has she learned that if she holds out long enough mommy will come to the rescue? Is there something that all my research has failed to show me? What needs to be done to get the little one to take a bottle? All I am asking for is one bottle a day! Am I the only one that has had this problem? Is my husband doing something wrong? Is there a magic bottle out there that I didn't get the memo on? I would like a haute night out once in a great while without having to bust out the hooter hider at the table (like I did last night at a rather fancy restaurant leading to a birthday picture with a candle and my baby nursing). Please post away your tips and recommendations to help this Haute Mom get a haute break into her day!

Here are some pics from my birthday...note who is attached to mommy.













4 comments:

  1. I'm no doctor or nipple nurse for that matter, but what I will say is this: After having three children of my own, I have come to know that these precious little newborns are smart. I did not have a problem transitioning my kids from nursing to bottle, but I did witness a friend of mine try everything under the sun to get her sweet babe eating from a bottle. She even bought a bottle topper that was synthetically designed to mirror a real breast. I thought that was silly, but let's face it, when you're a new mommy, one who is sleep deprived and taking a ride in an emotional tornado, desperation will drive you to do anything...even buy a fake boob. Now, back to the intelligence factor. And again, I preface everything I say with the fact that clinical expertise is not what I am using when I state an opinion. Instead, I'm riding on my own experiences(I might want to add that I am the youngest in my immediate family and my stubborn personality will also reflect my opinions). If the babe knows that your going to rescue her if she keeps screaming, she's going to keep screaming and not eating from the bottle. This is going to require that you maintain a lot of patience...and that's hard. Two suggestions: Feed her the bottle when she first wakes up in the morning. She'll probably be most hungry in the morning and more likely to take the bottle. This will not give you immediate independent satisfaction considering the only outting you will be able to participate in is breakfast with a friend(not dinner and not cocktails). Secondly, have hubby feed the baby in a spot that you rarely feed her in. If you feed her on the couch or in your own bed, have him take her on the porch or on your patio. A different environment might distract her. Just remember that she will eat when she's hungry whether she's eating from mommy or from a bottle. Of course, it's easier said than done, since the incessant cry of a newborn is sad, scary, and can urge you to buy yourself a straight jacket, but remember, that sweet intelligent little being is already figuring you out as a parent. Will you rescue her or require that she fit in to your expectations. To close, I just want to remind you that as a mommy, you must, and I repeat, you must make time for yourself, no matter how hard it is on the little ones or the hubby. If you do not make time for yourself, you will lose your sense of self, and if that happens, you won't be good to anyone around you. I told you that I was the typical youngest, somewhat selfish, stubborn child. Good luck!

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  2. She has your ticket my friend. When she cries, she knows you'll come running. And believe me, I am incredibly guilty of doing the same thing! It's interesting what lack of sleep will do to a woman's mind.

    Remember this: if she's that hungry, she'll eat. She won't like it and will make it clear to all, but she'll eat.

    Really important to teach Stella this little lesson with someone who won't mind her screaming. :) Preferably someone who is not sleep deprived!!

    Wish I was there to help!

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  3. Been there done that!

    I had the same problem with Zavier. I had to leave the hours for a couple of hours while he was having one of his "bottle boycotts." I couldn't stand to hear him cry and Daylon was determined to get him to drink from a bottle.

    As all the moms have said she WILL eat when she gets hungry. And she will wait for that breast if she knows you will give it to her, (Zavier would go through an entire day w/o a bottle because he was waiting for me to get home from work so he could nurse from the breast).

    In the long run I stopped nursing him on the breast during the day,(he only got the breast in the middle of the night or if we were out).

    It did take time but he got the hang of it.

    Good Luck

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  4. As many have said, she has your number! Babies are little manipulators in adorably cute packages. Stella is holding out because she knows that if she does so long enough, you will feed her. Remember this when you try sleep training! I could tell you stories about that! Also remember this when you are weaning her from breastmilk. I am having this dilemma now with Damon who absolutely refuses to drink milk and will hold out until his next turn at the breast. He shakes his head "no no no" when he sees that sippy cup of milk. Eventually he will be weaned all together and hunger will trump his stubborn willpower.

    My advice for you--and this is just from experience and not anything else--is to give Stella a bottle at the same time every day. Choose one feeding a day to wean her from so that she gets used to that feeding coming from a bottle rather than from you. It may take a little time but eventually she will come to expect that bottle. Perhaps it should be the dinnertime feeding so that you have the best chance of being able to go out with friends or do whatever you want. Or another time of day when you know you'll regularly want some freedom and will have someone to help you. I chose to give Damon a bottle in the late afternoon so that I could pick up my daughter from school and not be caught with a wailing, hungry child needing to nurse in the preschool hallway in front of a bunch of curious 3 year olds. Plus, those Hooter Hiders don't work after about 8 or 9 months; the last thing the baby wants to do is hide under a cover when there's so much to see in this interesting world of ours. Also, life gets even better once the baby can hold its own bottle and self-feed while traveling peacefully in the stroller!

    Good luck!!

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