If you recall my last post about bottles, we were torturing our toddler. Taking the bottle away from Leo was one of the hardest things that we had to do as parents… or so we thought. Little did I know that having a baby that wouldn’t take a bottle would be a thousand times harder.
I never really thought about “if” Lucy would take a bottle. I just assumed that it was a given. Leo loved his bottle right from the start. We started him when he was a month old on breast milk and added in formula when he was almost 8 months. We gave Lucy a bottle about three times a week starting when she exactly one month old, she took it. Great! Then something happened and she just stopped.
The face that Lucy makes when you put a plastic nipple (or maybe it’s silicone?) near her face is one of a baby that is so deeply offended and emotionally hurt by the very idea of it. Anyone who tries to bottle feed her gives up almost instantly. I have spent countless hours asking others for advice, doing google searches and trying just about every thing possible to get Lucy to take a bottle. We have literally every kind of bottle. I have nipple shields as a type of transition from breast to bottle. Every grandparent and caregiver has tried. But nothing is working.
About a month ago, when my cought just wasn’t getting any better and we still hadn’t figured out that I had pertussis, my doctor ordered a CT scan. Thinking nothing of it, I showed up for the scan only to learn that I would’t be able to nurse for for 24 hours after having the scan because they were going to inject me with contrast solution (iodine). 24 hours seemed like a crazy amount of time to not feed my baby. After delaying the test, discussing it with my husband, my doctor and with Lucy’s pediatrician, I decided to go ahead and do the scan. “She’ll take a bottle if she gets hungry enough,” was what everyone said.
Oh my, were they wrong. My little girl did not eat a thing. We went through so many emotions during those 24-hours, but mostly I felt sad and helpless. Lucy was was crying so much and was so desperately hungry that she sucked so vigorously on my arms that I had large red hickeys. She was very hungry. She did not take a bottle. She did suck a small amount of sugar water and diluted formula off a washcloth out of desperation. It was terrible and I don’t ever want to have to do it again.
That being said, it’s really hard when your baby won’t take a bottle. After having a certain amount of personal freedom back when Leo started pre-school, it feels like it’s been taken away. Hello manicures! Shopping alone! Showering without a toddler watching! I miss real date nights (now date nights are 2 hours max and that includes driving time), going for hikes and going out with my girlfriends. I know that it will probably just be a few more months and I will probably miss nursing her when she finally weans but right now is hard.
Next week Lucy will be five months and we are going to try some food. Wish us luck and hope that she likes the spoon more than the bottle!