Unsugar Coated Motherhood

A Tale of Bottle Feeding Woe

I was one of those mums to be that always knew I wanted to breastfeed, but I also wanted to be able to give my baby expressed milk from a bottle. I was told by various friends how much of a sanity saver it had been for them, and also how lovely it was for their partners to be able to help with feeding. These same friends advised to start her on the bottle early, because she would be more likely to take it from the off.

When P was two weeks old I got my trusty electric expressing machine out of its box for the first time, and filled up a little bottle with mummy’s milk. Hubby gave it to her, and she drank every single drop without fuss. We were expecting it to be a lot trickier than it was, and were pretty pleased with ourselves afterwards.

“Wow that was easy wasn’t it, no issues at all! Isn’t it great knowing we can get her to drink from the bottle if we want.”

The one and only bottle Polly ever took
The one and only bottle Polly ever took

Oh how we ate our words!

A few days after this I saw my lovely health visitor, who told me that I’d end up giving P nipple/teat confusion by giving her a bottle. That she might develop feeding problems if I continued giving her expressed milk. Her advice was to wait until she was about three months old before introducing it.

To be honest this woman ended up having a lot to answer for.  I would regularly be reduced to tears after seeing her, because she would fill my head with with all kinds of nonsense, but being a first time mum I didn’t know any better. This is the same woman who told me in one visit that P did not have eczema, only to diagnose it herself a little while later. By that time it had gotten so out of control that the only thing to shift it was steroids. She also told me point blank that I was being paranoid about allergies, and look how that turned out!

Anyway, I digress.

Our original plan was to get P drinking expressed milk in preparation of going to a wedding, when she was ten weeks old. While I was still pregnant hubby and I had discussed leaving her with his parents for the weekend, so we could have some time off. As soon as she was here though we realised that wouldn’t be happening because we couldn’t bear the thought of parting with her. This meant there was no big rush on getting her bottle feeding, so I diligently listened to the health visitor and decided to introduce it at three or four months.

By that point P did not want to know. She was adamant that mummy’s milk would not be drunk from a bottle only the boob.

I bought every bottle known to mummy-kind, but she would not drink from any of them. 

I let her go well past her feed until she was screaming with hunger, but she stood her ground and would not budge.

I fruitlessly tried various bottles and methods, about a dozen times in all, over the course of a month.

Nothing worked. I literally ended up with a freezer full of breast milk going wanting (true story, ask my NCT gals). 

The memories were so harrowing that I didn’t even bother trying second or third time around!

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Full time wife and mummy to three, home educator, blogger, wannabee chef and published author. Follow me on my journey through life...

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  1. […] to posting my tale of bottle feeding woe, the lovely folks at Munchkin have asked me to host a giveaway for them. I’m delighted […]

  2. That’s really interesting Denise, makes lots of sense that your daughter used to call milk that.

    Really wish I’d have known about this bottle a year ago and could have tested it out on my little man!

  3. I was lazy about the idea of having to sterilise bottles, my first never drank from a bottle, not even water when older. The younger one wasn’t so bad – I think you are right, it is a totally different sucking action, and they find it frustrating not to get the liquid out as quickly. A different teat is a great idea.
    My daughter used to call breast milk “gllrr” which I think mimics the shape a baby’s mouth makes when doing the suckling action.

  4. Ha! I have a few friends that absolutely swear by her, and their kids all sleep so there must be something in it! Best of luck with Wriggly, really hoping you have a bottle breakthrough with LATCH xxx

  5. Yikes you are completely correct of course!!!! Shall let them know so they can rectify asap, thanks for pointing that out…

  6. Harriet says:

    Munchkin needs to proof read more carefully – babies have a soft palate, not a soft pallet. Pallets are used to stack things in industrial transport and storage!

  7. Oh honey, I can’t stand those people who fill your head with things you should/shouldn’t do. It always makes me think of my nemesis: Gina Ford (never mention that name in my presence without expecting a very heated conversation!).

    I always thought breastfeeding would be hard. Little did I expect moving on to a bottle would be! I thought that would be the easy part. How wrong could I have been… I am still failing miserably with Wriggly, and she is 16 months old. 16 months old!!! I can’t wait to try Latch. I hope the bottles make our transition to bottles a little bit easier.


  8. Oh my word hon, you have no idea how much this woman upset me! Even thinking about it now is awful, because it often felt like she was telling me to go against my natural instincts. Seriously, how fu**ed up is that? Fortunately I’m a strong minded person, and figured out pretty quickly that I didn’t have to go to see her and stopped a lot earlier on than most of my friends did. I feel so sad for the first time mums who aren’t as strong 🙁

    The bottle sounds amazing doesn’t it! But like you I’m done having babies now… tempting though 😉

  9. Urgh, your health visitor story riles me. I’ve had two babies who were mixed-fed and coped fine. They were both breastfed and bottle-fed with breast and formula milk.

    They never got confused.

    I love the idea of the flexibile concertina-style teat which moves and flexes with baby. What an ingenious idea – it makes perfect sense! I’m not having anymore babies to try it out, though!

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