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Bottle Feeding Fever

By Naomi Odes |

Baby BottleI fed my baby a bottle last night. I’m very proud of myself. I know that sounds nuts, but, it was actually no small feat. One of the most difficult adjustments for me as a new parent was having to try new things all the time: things I was afraid of trying, like…everything. Sometimes it was just easier to do what I was doing, even if trying something new could actually make my life better. Pumping and bottle feeding, along with sleep training, night weaning, complete weaning, moving kid from bassinet to crib, from our room to his own room, going from swaddle to sleep sack, you catch my drift. Every single one of these things evoked such panic in me that I probably put them off for way way longer than I should have. In the case of the bottle with my first born, I was so exhausted that I couldn’t imagine finding the time to pump, so I could have more time to myself. Vicious Cycle.

What I learned after the first kid is that sometimes you have to bite the bullet and just do it, because nine times outta ten you’ll be happy you did. Shnook wouldn’t take a bottle. The reason he wouldn’t is that both my husband and I were too tired and afraid to rock the already tumultuous boat of having a sleepless boob-lover of an infant. Actually, I did try. A handful of times, I would pump and leave Daddy with a bottle for several hours. When I returned, the Shnook had miraculously slept the whole time without drinking a sip. So, down the drain went the fruits of my labor.

With Fuzz, I wanted to make sure he took a bottle as soon as it wouldn’t cause any nipple confusion. We gave him one or two, but then lapsed. Finally, I decided to take matters into my own hands. I defrosted a small amount of milk and sat down to feed him. I probably should’ve waited until he wasn’t screaming. No go. Later that evening, I tried again. After giving me a very confused expression, and gagging on the nipple a little, he finally started sucking like a champ. Victory! Or, maybe not…

Last night Fuzz had the worst night since we came home from the hospital. He was up every 20-40 minutes with what seemed like really significant pain in his belly. The only thing I can pinpoint it to was the bottle I was so proud of giving him. Was something wrong with the milk? Maybe I left it out for too long? Maybe I didn’t burp him well enough? Whatever it was, it caused him great distress. Then, this morning he had a fever over 100.4. I had to cancel my plans today to take him to the doctor. He seems alright now. His temperature is normal and he slept for a great big chunk today, and thankfully, I got a nap too. I’ll never know what really caused his distress, but now that I’ve had some sleep, I’m pretty sure it had nothing to do with the bottle. But just in case, I’m not giving another one for a good few days. Please tell me I’m not alone in my frantic irrational behavior. Post yours below!

Photo credit: Nerissa’s ring/Flickr

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About Naomi Odes

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Naomi Odes

Naomi Odes Aytur is a blogger who's contributed on the parenting channel of Babble. She chronicles her experiences of being a new mom on her personal website, I Am Still Awake. Read bio and latest posts → Read Naomi's latest posts →

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8 thoughts on “Bottle Feeding Fever

  1. Danielle says:

    I too am scared of everything about infants, since they can’t talk and tell us what’s wrong, it’s like this big guessing game. I’m stuck in some bad patterns with my 9 week old, but am going to try to bite the bullet and start some gentle sleep training soon. I love how the experts say it’s criminal to leave your baby to cry it out alone, but it’s perfectly OK to have baby crying in the crib if you’re there trying to console her. Luckily, my daughter is taking a bottle. I think you just need to keep at it consistently. Please don’t shoot me daggers for using that word! (I read your post about how much you hate the sleep training books and their mantra of consistency).

    1. Naomi says:

      Hi Danielle! Did I say I hate consistency?? It’s only because I suck at it, LOL. I think it’s just so hard to be consistent at anything when you have a new baby, considering they change so much so quickly. Every mom has to do whatever it takes to make it through the day, right? (barring some things that are not safe and could get her arrested, ;-) )

  2. Jennifer H. says:

    My son is 4 months old. EVERY time he has a bottle, we have a godawful night. It doesn’t matter if it’s freshly pumped, defrosted, or from the fridge… give him a bottle and I can assure you, Mommy will be up all night with a screaming infant with terrible gas pains. He breastfeeds like champ, no problems there. He just is not a good bottle feeder, regardless of the type we try (we have tried a half dozen before I gave up on it). It is not important enough to me to try to force him to learn to take a bottle… I just feed him right before we go out (or I go out, if I’m leaving him home) and, while I do leave a bottle for him, I make every effort to be back before he needs it. Babies didn’t evolve to take milk out of fake boobs, so I forgive him for not really being good at it ;) After all, just over a week ago he decided that it was OK to sleep for more than 2 hours a stretch at night, so I’m a happy camper :)

  3. Naomi says:

    Jennifer: Wow, so it really could’ve been the bottle! Interesting and glad to know that again, I’m not crazy! I’m glad to hear your little guy is sleeping more than 2 hours at a time. Been there, it’s brutal!!

  4. Kristie says:

    Sometimes, I think the bottle comes out too quickly, so an efficient nurser is literally chugging milk, instead of drinking it, as he or she would normally? Perhaps that leads to the tummy ache? Don’t know about the fever, though! Maybe it was coincidental? Good luck!

  5. Nia says:

    There are numerous problems with bottle feeding: different temperature, different consistency, different flow, sterilization concerns, sucking in too much air, lack of closeness and familiarity, over or under feeding, whether the nipple feels comfortable in baby’s mouth or not, freshness… The list goes on and on. My son was exclusively bottlefed after a couple months of failed attempts at breastfeeding. He was often fussy, gassy, spitting up, sleeping poorly. I had similar problems with my daughter for the first few months until medication helped increase my milk supply enough that I could exclusively breastfeed her. I’m very lucky that I have been able to do it long enough that she now drinks from a cup, though she’s not weaned and definitely prefers her milk straight from the tap. Who can blame her? Nature designed the perfect delivery system.

  6. Kathryn says:

    Why did you pour out the milk that your baby wouldn’t drink, Naomi? If it had been kept in the fridge, you could have frozen it for another day, or kept it for the next day if you wanted to go out then.
    I wonder if Fuzz swallowed a bunch of air along with the milk in the bottle? some babies can have the milk spoonfed to them when they don’t like the bottle, or a little bit of milk at a time squirted into their mouths with a medicine syringe, or even poured in a bit at a time from a soft plastic cup.
    you gotta do what you gotta do……

  7. Jennifer R says:

    All the things you name are things we are told are good for our babies (or ourselves), but in fact are not. Why bother with the bottle? Our breasts were designed to feed babies, bottles are just a lousy imitation. There are major differences. Sleep training is bad for babies as well, as it causes brain damage. Don’t let people convince you to do any of these harmful things.

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