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How did your boob-only baby cope with you going back to work?

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#1 Demera

Posted 02 September 2019 - 02:33 PM


Things are getting desperate.  I go back to work in two weeks (full time) and my baby won't take a bottle.  I've been trying for 2 months, and desperately trying for the last two weeks.  I don't know what else to do except go to work and hope it sorts itself out.

She's 7 months old, and so far not eating enough solids to sustain her for long periods. She refuses purees/spoon feeding, but is very keen to feed herself.  So that means she's gnawing on lots of things but not much is being swallowed and we only had the first nappy with real evidence of solids yesterday.

All she does is chew on the teat, eagerly mind you, but she won't suck or swallow. I've tried multiple teats, flow rates, degrees of hunger, breastmilk/formula, formula with yoghurt, formula with fruit puree, cold cow's milk, bonjela on the teat, different temperatures, husband trying, me trying, 2yo sister trying.  She still just chews on the teat and smiles. If she's hungry, she flat out refuses altogether, arching her back and twisting to avoid it. I'm at the point of giving up.

Babies sleep through the night for 8-10 hours, right?  So surely I can go to work and she'll survive while I'm away?  She still feeds multiple times through the night.  I'm so stressed out about this and I'm absolutely dreading going to work and leaving behind a desperately hungry baby and frustrated husband/MIL. I work 25km from home and up to 200km away some days, so popping home for a feed isn't feasible. He will have to bring her to me.  I can see that being a daily occurrence for a while.  

Has anyone else gone back to work with a boob-only baby and how did it go?

#2 fig_jam

Posted 02 September 2019 - 02:52 PM

My son was the same but took a bottle with no problem when I was out of the house. Can you go out for the day and see how your husband goes?

#3 FuzzyChocolateToes

Posted 02 September 2019 - 02:56 PM

My first born was the same, though was a little older so taking a bit more in the way of solids. He wouldn't drink anything other than what he BF. I was very anxious at first but he was fine. I'd feed him before I left and as soon as I got home. The babysitter would offer custard, fruit puree etc during the day. I was fortunate to be working part time. Will you be FT?

#4 Oh Peanuts!

Posted 02 September 2019 - 03:16 PM

We had this when I went back to work. DD was 6 months old and basically went on a hunger strike during the day. She ended up feeding constantly overnight to compensate (waking ever 45 mins to feed). It was exhausting, but after the first 2 weeks she started to take the purées and then slowly after about 4-5 weeks she started to take the bottle. The overnight feeding continued for a bit longer. It’s a hard stage to go through, but it doesn’t last forever.

#5 MooGuru

Posted 02 September 2019 - 03:57 PM

DS went on strike. He took a smidge of a bottle from my Mum and some solids but otherwise nothing then he glared angrily at me when I got home but otherwise refused to acknowledge my existence for about 2 hours before the booby need outweighed his stubbornness and he burst into tears and fed like he'd been starved for weeks.
He was back to his normal self after that first feed.

It was an experience. Hope you have better luck.
He turned out to have serious health issues so don't know how much that possibly impacted the situation.

#6 FeralRebelWClaws

Posted 02 September 2019 - 04:01 PM

Mine was a little bit older (almost 11 months). But he was huge boob monster. But he coped well and just fed before work, at pickup and when I got home. His solids intake increased, which you might find happens as well.

#7 Kiwi Bicycle

Posted 02 September 2019 - 04:02 PM

Have you tried a sippy cup at all? Not a soft one, but a hard spout with small holes so she cannot chew but the milk will just come out as soon as tipped into her mouth?

#8 SeaPrincess

Posted 02 September 2019 - 04:17 PM

DD was 6 months old when I went back to study. She was my third child and until then I was firmly of the belief that if she was hungry enough, she'd take the bottle, but she never did. I BF her until she self-weaned at 17 months.

I would feed DD just before we left home and send bottles to daycare with her, but often I'd feed her before we left in the afternoon. I remember once I forgot the bottle, and I just barely had time to grab one and go back, but the carers said not to bother because she never drank it anyway. She was a good eater though.

All 3 of my children refused to drink milk from a sippy cup or cup as well, so when the boys stopped having bottles, they pretty much gave up milk.

#9 boatiebabe

Posted 02 September 2019 - 04:18 PM

My boob fiend was 9 months when I went back to work three days a week.

I would feed her just before I left and daycare/dad/my aunt would feed her yoghurt, offer a sippy cup. She would literally attack me when I turned up to get her, and fed more overnight for a few weeks. She was eating solids and purees at that time, so nutrition wise she was doing okay.

Once she hit 12 months she started drinking cows milk during the day (didn't really have much though) and ate more foods with calcium during the day. She would still attack me for milk as soon as she saw me.

She breastfeed until she was two, so it didn't really affect our breastfeeding relationship.

She never did take a bottle - breastmilk or formula.

I think when you aren't there they will sort it out. Your little one might have a couple of rough days but won't starve I'm sure.

#10 rosie28

Posted 02 September 2019 - 05:09 PM

Have you tried a sippy cup? Mine would take a little water from a cup at 8months.

#11 Bereckii

Posted 02 September 2019 - 05:16 PM

Agree with others to try a sippy cup. Or a straw cup. Mine went to sippy or straw cups, no bottles.

Stressful. I feel for you!

#12 cvbn

Posted 02 September 2019 - 05:23 PM

Mine took water from a sippy cup but refused bottles. They just fed all night (well, it felt like it)

Good luck!

#13 WaitForMe

Posted 02 September 2019 - 05:32 PM

It was tough, made tougher by a childcare that just simply wasn't supportive of all kinds of things!

Sounds like you'll have one on one care from family. Hopefully they aren't anti breastfeeding and are realistic of the situation.

I don't know if bringing the baby to you is the best solution, it wont help him adapt. As he is old enough for solids, he has lots of options when he really needs it.

#14 22Fruitmincepies

Posted 02 September 2019 - 05:32 PM

My boob only babies both quite liked drinking from a normal cup, with assistance. Neither ever took a bottle. Luckily I could go and feed at lunchtime, as they weren’t keen on solids either. DS is almost 2 and the first thing he says when I pick him up from daycare is to ask for a feed.

#15 alchetta

Posted 02 September 2019 - 06:55 PM

Like PP my baby wouldn't take a bottle for love nor money. She managed a sippy cup with the holes in the spout but I had to take out the valve. Even then it was hit and miss but she did start eating more solids. Good luck, it's very stressful but it will work itself out one way or another with time.

#16 Islander

Posted 02 September 2019 - 07:14 PM

My girl was 6 months and refused EBM in a bottle and all solids for my 2 days a week back at work for the first month- and made up for it overnight and other days. Then her carer tried formula in a bottle and she woofed it down! She had formula (and increased solids) those two days, and was breastfed all the other days (and only weaned totally at age 2). I just pumped and dumped for supply at work.

#17 lucky 2

Posted 02 September 2019 - 07:32 PM

My dd wouldn't take breast, bottle or cup from just 8 months of age.
Thankfully she would take a spoon so all her food had my milk in it, the only way she survived!
Yes, about 1/3 of babies of that age don't feed at night and I've known babies to hang out until mum turned up again.
Any way you can start with a couple of morning only days?
Hopefully she will accept sloppy food on a spoon, or at least water from a spoon or perhaps an open cup.
Have you let her play with a cup when she has a bath, she might naturally bring it to her lips, you can mimic that type of play.
A bit of water and a bit of food might suffice in the early days as she learns new skills.

There is a pinned thread above that has lots of member stories about returning to work.
It's been quiet for a while, new stories welcome!

#18 Clementinerose

Posted 03 September 2019 - 12:24 PM

If I was desperate, I would sweeten the formula with quik, either banana or strawberry. Start off with 1 tsp and then reduce to 1/2 and then stop adding it once they were happy with the bottle. It’s not ideal but for some of my kids it’s the only way I could get them to drink the formula initially

#19 Demera

Posted 03 September 2019 - 03:33 PM

Ok, so last night my husband tried the hard tip sippy cup without the valve while I was out of the house, and he thinks she got a little bit, but her bib was saturated so probably not much.  

This morning I took my 2yo to town for 3 hours for an activity and left him to it.  He didn't give a lot of details, but admitted she fell asleep exhausted from crying :-( but she drank maybe 15-20ml from the Minbie teat.  She was asleep when I arrived home and woke up happy. After half an hour I fed her even though she wasn't asking for it (boobs hurt!) and she's had a couple of really big boob feeds since I've been home.

I do have one of those spoutless cups where they have to push down on the lid to get water, so we could try that next.  

I can have some short days for the first week or so, but I can only rack up so much negative TIL before it will get hard to make back up. They frown upon working from home, but I may have a strong case for a little while. Another girl got away with it (no kids/lives 5 mins from office!) for ages so I can try that to reduce the amount of negative TIL if it's a real issue.

#20 lucky 2

Posted 03 September 2019 - 06:02 PM

Sounds promising! :)

#21 WannabeMasterchef

Posted 03 September 2019 - 06:12 PM

My kids were older when I returned to work but they still wouldn't take bottles.

What about a sippy cup, straw cup or something similar with EBM? Sometimes its the bottle they don't like.

#22 Deep thought

Posted 03 September 2019 - 06:48 PM

At 7 months I wasn't back to work but my husband managed without me and my milk for up to 10 hrs by bulking up the solids- apple puree was the treat that replaced milk.

#23 Demera

Posted 18 September 2019 - 11:45 AM

So, it's day three.  I gave up on getting her to take a bottle and focussed more on solid food, which is going well but only if she feeds herself,  She'll make a little milk disappear from a sippy cup now (both hard and soft teats) but only about 20ml and there's a lot on the bib.  

Last night she had a tummy ache from the increase in food (and phew the nappies have turned bad!  Bye bye sweet breasfed baby poo smell). So we're having some rough nights with not much sleep and her on the boob for hours on end.

But she's surviving the day....  so far.

Edited by Demera, 18 September 2019 - 11:46 AM.

#24 AllyK81

Posted 18 September 2019 - 12:12 PM

Things do change quickly at that age.

I was back to work when dd was 9 days old and she was ebf. No trouble with her taking bottles thank goodness but by about 9 months she was mostly taking solids during the day and feeding to make up for it when I was at home.

I still pumped at 11am and 3pm every day. We froze the excess milk and put it on her weetbix until she was nearly 18 months old.

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