Not pictured: Dr. Browns; purchased or borrowed but not used: MAM and Similac bottles.
These are all the bottles (and nipples of different flows) that we tried with Coraline, except for Dr. Brown’s which I gave to our neighbor who uses them after Coraline refused. It was quite an
adventure trial introducing bottle feeding to Coraline.
This was Coraline’s very first bottle, Tommee Tippee, around 3 weeks old, the very same time frame that we did for Jameson. She took it really well, and we all had warm fuzzies that she would have no issues with the bottle. Like Jameson, we opted to try her on the bottle once a week or so until we got closer to me going back to work, so a week went by before we tried her second bottle.
It was all a train wreck from there.
Little Miss Coraline refused her second bottle, screaming. We knew that she could take the bottle, which made it more frustrating than I think we would’ve been if she had refused from the beginning.
We tried a series of different bottles. We tried different positions, different people, and eventually different nipple types and flows. We had moderate success (read: 1/2 ounce after 45 minutes of trying) on the mOmma bottle (the funny looking round one) a few weeks later. However, feedings required extreme patience, complete awake-ness from Coraline (not tired at all), and no extreme hunger. Long term, we didn’t think that would work at daycare, so we continued trying.
The next bottle that seemed to work better for us was the Playtex Nurser, the drop in liners and a latex nipple. We first tried the silicon nipple, because I wanted latex to be a last resort. They don’t hold up as well, and I read how more exposure to latex can lead to an allergy. She actually didn’t seem to mind the nipple, but spent most of the time chomping on it and pushing it out of her mouth. However, any step away from the screaming was success, so I decided to buy more and try the latex nipples which texture seemed to be closer to natural.
Around this time was her 2 month doctor’s appointment, so we were starting to really feel the pressure to get her better with the bottle prior to me going back to work in 4 short weeks. The doctor gave us a sheet of tips and tricks to try with baby. Honestly, this sheet was helpful because all the ideas were in once place, but mostly they were a confirmation of what we had done, which is basically: some babies like this, others like the opposite, so… TRY EVERYTHING. Everything I read online was sound advice and all of it was on the sheet the doctor gave us.
The other reason the sheet was helpful was that I was able to pass it on to our daycare provider because she was not, in fact, ready to drink from bottles well by the time she had to.
The latex nipples were better, but she didn’t seem inclined to suck, so we tried another one of the recommendations on the sheet, which was try a faster flow nipple. She did even better with that (read: 1/2 ounce every time we offered the bottle instead of every once in a while, and down to 20-30 minutes instead of 45 to take it).
And that was where we left it when she had to start school. No more than a 1/2 ounce out of a bottle she didn’t scream at.
Needless to say, I wasn’t feeling very good about it. However, her first day that she already did better than she ever did at home. She did a whole 1 ounce! We got our hopes up that she would quickly figure this out and after a week would be eating like a champ.
However, we continued to have low milk intake day after day, and after a week at daycare, the baby who had been sleeping through the night began waking up (and continued through 4 months old). Our daycare provider decided to try a bottle they had there. She successfully took all the milk out of it! We were all excited until we found out it was a discontinued bottle (Tri-flow Bottles by Munchkin — I contacted them after searching online without success and discovered they had been discontinued for 5 years).
We took note though that she seemed to like the fast flow on it, and I opted to buy one more bottle which is similar, the Playtex VentAire with fast flow nipple.
We were thankful to have a daycare provider willing to clean out the one bottle after each feeding; after some more success that week on the VentAire, we decided to try the Tommee Tippee bottles that we already had so many of, this time in the fast flow nipple. We had success one day! But just one.
Alas, it wasn’t meant to last. Since then, we went back to the VentAire since it is the only one consistently getting reasonable milk intake. However, every Monday is like starting over. 6oz, 7oz, 10-12oz by Wednesday; every week. On the weekends we don’t do much attempts at bottle feeding since she has made it clear that she will not eat then. We had to skip a feeding one day because of her refusal and I had drank some alcohol. We were even at a different house and I was inside while she was out.
I have tried to supplement her with extra feedings in the evening and a “dream feed” before I went to bed, but that started to delay her eating until later in the day at school as well as at home on the weekend; wake ups are continuing even with a 10pm feeding.
Instead, we are planning on weaning her of the extra feeds based on our doctor’s recommendation and get back to our original schedule and eliminate overnight eating entirely. I know she can do it, since she was doing it pre-daycare days. I hope that she moves to eating more from the bottle during the day. I purchased more of the VentAire and we have decided that is the best we’re going to get. I can only hope that eventually she’ll get better at the bottle, or move more quickly to food.
It’s frustrating, knowing that she doesn’t like the bottle as much as she likes me. However, I am grateful that with Coraline eating less from the bottle, it has allowed me to build up a stash of milk that I don’t need to worry about supplying her with food each week.