breastfeeding to bottle

mamagrahamMarch 15, 2007

I am currently breastfeeding my nine month old, but I am fixing to go back to work, so I am trying to transition her to the bottle. I have begun pumping, but can only get about 4 ounces a day. She eats a variety of table foods and will drink some watered down apple juice from a bottle and a cup, but she's having a hard time taking to the bottle. She spits out formula every time I give it to her. I am worried I won't be able to pump enough breastmilk and/or get her to take it while I am at work. Any suggestions?

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This is about the age my son stopped breast feeding. Would not take bottle, so I had to switch to sippy cup. He survived well, he is 16 now. As it was long time ago, I believe we switched to regular milk after that.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2007 at 3:41PM
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My mother and I were just discussing this today. As a parent, you do what you have to do sometimes even if it sounds crazy. I breastfed all three of my kids. The first two were in daycare and I didn't always get enough milk pumped so we sometimes ended up supplementing with formula. One child took the formula just fine. The other decided he would wait for mama to show up. I pumped until it was time to start solids. We ended up sending what milk we could and then letting ds#2 have his cereals and other solids at daycare. The daycare was close to work so I was showed up at lunchtime anyway to feed him.

At nine months, I'm not sure I would start the bottle if you can get your baby to drink from a sippy. (It's a habit you get to break later.) I'd send the milk in the sippy and let her eat her solids for the day at daycare and you can still nurse her at home. Send some formula to mix up as necessary.

We used tricks like mixing formula into cereal or other foods to get the baby used to the taste. It took a few days before we had full acceptance with DS#1. I quit my job to become a SAHM when ds#2 was six months old so he didn't have to drink the formula.

Babies learn that they can depend on mama for what they want. With you are not around all the time, your dd will learn that she isn't going to get the milk. She'll either drink the formula or find a substitute. Another caregiver may have an easier time introducing formula since your dd isn't used to getting her milk from there.

Good luck! Your dd will be fine and so will you when see how it all fits into place.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2007 at 6:32PM
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My DD took it on herself to stop breastfeeding at 10months. I was in a bit of a panic, as I didnt want to start the bottle production. So I just started her on cow's milk, in a cup. She was pretty much on three small meals a day, and fruit or something healthy as snacks, and just small cups of milk with her meals.

I know they say not to give babies cow's milk as that age, or maybe they don't now..this was 19 years ago!!, but she survived and was happy and healthy.

I would not be inclined to start your baby on formula, its a hassle to mix up. Have you tried her with cow's milk ?

Trust your instincts, you will know the best thing to do. Remain calm and don't stress about it. It is a transition phase, and it can be a a bit confusing.

All the best.


    Bookmark   March 15, 2007 at 8:50PM
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Thank you so much for the advice! I have given her cow's milk, and she seems to really like it. However, I read that it is really hard on the kidneys and can even cause internal bleeding?? so I was worried about when it's okay to start it. I'll only be working part-time though, so I don't think one cup a day will hurt. It's very reassuring to know that other moms have gone through the same thing. Thanks again!

    Bookmark   March 15, 2007 at 9:22PM
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I also had a similar experience. I wasn't able to pump enough to completely replace the nursing when my kids were about that age. I just nursed when I was with them, and their caregivers gave solids and/or formula when I wasn't. I had fairly flexible work hours so was never away for more than 7 hours or so. It worked fine, and neither child weaned as a result. My DS nursed until he was about 17 months and decided he liked cow's milk much better. My DD, who never really ate solids (wouldn't eat baby food) until she was over 2, nursed until she was almost 3, didn't like cows milk and won't drink it at all now, unless it is chocolate milk (che's almost 4 now).

It sounds like you are doing great!

    Bookmark   March 15, 2007 at 11:38PM
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When I used the word 'milk' in my comments, I was referring to breastmilk. I believe the current recommendation from pediatricians is to switch to cow's milk at twelve months to help prevent children from developing allergies.

Im not trying to lay on a guilt trip. I just wanted to comment on why we are currently told to wait. We all have to do what we have to do. As a mom, we sometimes ignore doctor's advice and do what we think is best. I waited until twelve months to switch to milk, but have talked to plenty of other mothers who didn't. I started cereal at three months on the advice of a doctor when other doctors have said to wait until six months. It seems like the advice changes every few years. I understand the struggle. Do what you think is best.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2007 at 11:16AM
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DD started using a sippy cup at 4-6 months. She was completely bottle free by 9 mos. She was able to have whole milk at 7 mos. She's now 16 and no kidney or other problems from not staying on breastmilk for one year. I think if you want to go back into the workforce now would be a great time to wean your daughter from the breast and use a cup.

Best of luck in the juggle game!

    Bookmark   March 17, 2007 at 1:42PM
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My daughter refused the breast and the bottle at 5 mos. She went on a cup then. She never had a bottle and I figured she'd probably grow up to be a smoker or alcoholic! She did fine and is now 29y o and preg. w/ twins!

    Bookmark   March 21, 2007 at 1:11PM
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Is she refusing the bottle or the formula? My DD was also 9 mos when I weaned her. She had never taken a bottle well. I kind of forced the bottle issue on her (even if she'd only take 2-3 oz at a time. She never did actually hold the bottle herself even though she was capable of it.

I would caution against a sippy cup at this age for only one reason. In my experience babies take in much less milk with a sippy then a cup. When my first bottle fed baby went off the bottle at age 1, her milk consuption fell probably by half -- not nearly what she was supposed to drink per day.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2007 at 9:10PM
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I'am also another product of a cow milk fed child who lived to tell the tale.
I too started giving it to my daughter at 10 months.Once she tasted it she wouldnt go back to formula.

I have never in my life heard of cow's milk causing internal bleeding though!Where on earth did you hear that mamagraham?
Sounds like a bunch of old wives tales or something. At best I think it just gives them a little gas.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2007 at 3:21AM
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I believe peds today feel cows milk has too much sodium for children under 1 year. I believe my mother said I started it at 6 months old. Then again, I slept on my tummy as a newborn, had a bottle until I was 3, etc...

    Bookmark   April 19, 2007 at 8:37AM
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