Breezing through life and loving every moment…

Bottle-feeding: SUCCESS!

on September 5, 2010

After two weeks of trying so very hard not to burst with excitement, I can now finally announce that Maddy can now quite contentedly drink from a bottle! Not just milk, but water too.

So, after making her cry her lungs out the last time I firmly tried to introduce bottle-feeding to her, I decided to stop for a while. It took about a week before she got her voice back (yes, she cried to hard till she lost her voice). I talked about it to a friend of mine and she told me this “Be patient, spoon-feed her first”. At that time, I didn’t have a clue what she was telling…spoon-feed? Patient? How are those related???

Anyway, so I started spoon-feeding her milk. It was painstakingly slow and she would think it was a game and tried to blow bubbles with milk pooled inside her mouth. Yes….imagine the mess. And she could just finish about half an ounce before she got bored. Then, I got creative…since spoon-feeding meant gently pouring milk into her mouth via a device, why not use a sippy cup to do the same thing! That way she wouldn’t spill milk all over herself if she swiped at my hand or the spoon. So I got her a sippy cup with the smallest spout I could find. The Dr Brown Training Cup with soft spout worked wonders! I would tip the cup once and because the spout is so small, just the right amount of milk would flow into her mouth. I tried this every day, twice a day, until eventually she could finish about one ounce of milk with the sippy cup. SUPER! At least there existed an alternative to feed her when I get back to work. Of course, one ounce wasn’t much but at least she would drink SOME amount of milk within the 4 hours that I would have to be away at work from morning till lunchtime, afterwhich I plan to return home to breastfeed her. Then sippy cup milk again from lunchtime to late afternoon and breastfeed again. Sounds like a plan! Whoopee!! But with the cup, it was still somesort of a ‘forced feeding’ because I was tipping milk into her mouth. And sometimes it did get messy and she would dribble milk all over herself too. Hmm…better than nothing…better than spoon! Meanwhile, I was still occasionally trying to give her milk from a bottle…secretly hoping maybe she might miraculously start to accept the idea that there was such a thing as an artificial nipple a.k.a. the bottle teat. While she stopped fussing and yelling, she just played with the teat and didn’t do anything else.

Then one day I noticed she was starting to be eager, bring her two hands onto the cup and move the spout towards her mouth then started to suck on the spout. Because the sippy cup is meant for an older infant or toddler, however small the hole size, it would still allow liquid to flow in a steady stream, not drip. So our little missy here with her greedy sucks resulted in more milk than she could handle streaming into her mouth and made a total mess. So for a few weeks I had to tip the cup to allow just a small amount of milk into her mouth and then quickly pull it away before she started to suck. Geez…what a lot of tricks for her nanny to learn later.

With all the sucking action going on, it made me think…maybe I could try giving her milk from a bottle fitted with a NUK teat again? I tried the NUK teat waaayy earlier and she yelled her head off so I stopped and proceeded to other brands (Avent, Tommee Tippee, Dr Brown… no success there either). But maybe…..JUST MAYBE…one more try…after all, the NUK teat is shaped such that it sort of resembles and flattened nipple…flat much like her sippy cup spout. If she liked to suck from her cup, would she suck from NUK?


Two weeks ago, after months of failed trials and tears and heartache (mine, from seeing her cry and sob), Madelyn FINALLY found her right artificial nipple! She has been drinking like a champ ever since, no dribbling and finishing up to two ounces per feed. I kinda realized she isn’t a big drinker…even when she’s latched on, she would drink only within the time enough for her to get about two or maximum three ounces from the breast (based on how much I can pump within that time…estimated). GREAT!! Now I can truly relax when she is with her nanny, she won’t starve!

I am happy that I followed my instincts and stopped forcing her to accept the bottle. Books say that one can ‘train’ a baby to do things the baby is supposed to do. But I think at this age, by gently coaxing her and then letting her decide her right time…I end up with a much happier baby, doing all the right things – no fuss, no tears. Just happy wide grins as she willingly drinks her milk from a bottle 😀


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