I hate to say it but there’s a lot to be said for bottle feeding… apparently babies sleep through the night much earlier (6 weeks seems to be the norm from a sweep stake among my friends), dad can get involved a bit more for night feeds (at least at the weekend, Mike!), and the biggie…if he does sleep through I wouldn’t be kept awake by my overenthusiastic boobs.
Last week Reuben slept from 6:30pm until 4:30am! That’s a whopping 10 hours straight. While I was delighted by his progress, I was not delighted by my boobs. I woke up at 2am feeling very uncomfortable due to milk overflow. Rather than express I decided to wait it out as a) he was bound to wake up soon and b) if I express and he then wakes up, I’ll have even more milk tomorrow night. So I suffered on (not in silence, I might add, Mike knew all about it), waking every half hour with more and more painful boobs until finally I heard a stir and I stuck Reuben straight on. He might have gone even longer but I couldn’t wait anymore.
And, the discomfort didn’t stop there, I was miserable for the full next day because, despite expressing in the morning, Reuben never seemed to catch up on feeds. I was out all day and at one point I went to see my pal at her house where Reuben was finally hungry. Hurray. Unfortunately, the milk was coming out so fast he had to pull off to stop himself from drowning, resulting in a hosepipe effect all over my friend’s coffee table (did you want extra milk in that tea?) followed by me and Reubster also getting covered in milk, while I tried to stuff it back in his mouth and my pal ran around (I believe even her arms were flapping) trying to find some sort of absorbent material. Not my finest moment. Thank God we weren’t in a cafe.
All this and then that night, in preparation for my first night out next week (!), Mike was scheduled to put Reuben to bed with a bottle, something that had worked 2 weeks previously. The little so ‘n’ so refused the bottle. The very same one he’s been having since he was a week old. In fact, he didn’t just refuse it, he threw the most almighty tantrum. After half an hour, I couldn’t take anymore and I had to go in. The minute he saw me, all tears stopped. The boobs had arrived. He knew he had won.
This is the first bottle we tried on Reuben at 1 week old with no bother…Nuby Silicone Nurser (specifically designed for mix feeding Newborns)
Now I’m worried I have a ‘Harry situation’ on my hands. Harry is my cousin’s gorgeous 8 month old baby, with a fabulous peroxide Mohican and a penchant for boobs. In fact, he won’t drink out of a bottle or sippy cup, so Jo has no choice but to continue breastfeeding him and keep trying to talk him into feeding from something other than her boobs. She’s desperate to ween him but he’s being so stubborn that they are really stuggling and the only advice the health visitor can give is to go cold turkey on him. You may think the same, but you have to see this baby’s smile and then see if you could be so cruel!
Seriously, you try really hard to get them on the boob and just when it all settles down, you start worrying about how to get them back off the boob! I have literally just managed to get Reuben off the nipple shields, which feels wonderfully liberating – no more endless washing and sterilising nipples shields! But I can’t help thinking there is an odd coincidence between the coming off of nipple shields and refusing the bottle – at the end of October he went a full week drinking only from the bottle for goodness sake (apart from at night, of course, my boobs insisted!).
My Nuby steriliser, my best mate, used up to 3 or 4 times a day for nipple shields
To add insult to injury, my right boob (Reuben’s favourite) is now visibly larger than the other. So although this is extremely selfish, and I really want the best for Reuben, all this has made me decide that I definitely want him to have a full feed from the bottle once a day so that I’m not worried about him refusing to feed when I’m away. To relieve the time pressure of expressing and to help slow down my milk flow, I want this feed to be formula…I figure he is still getting nearly all his nourishment from me but this buys a little bit of flexibility, saves my sanity and prevents Reuben from getting distressed when I’m not around. Plus, formula is pretty amazing stuff. I have loads of friends who had to use formula, for various reasons, from early on and they all have gorgeous, healthy, intelligent children!
Post bottle feeding and looking pretty pleased with himself (not as pleased as mum!)