I posted this in the Breastfeeding forum as well, but this forum has more activity and faster responses, and I need help and advice fast. :-(
I am at a loss as to why my son (10½ weeks old) has suddenly decided he will not have anything whatsoever to do with bottles anymore. I'm a working mom and I pump while at work, then deliver the milk to my grandmother-in-law during the day, as she's only a few minutes away from my workplace. On my lunch hour, I drop by her house and breastfeed him. At home, he is exclusively breastfed.
I've been back at work for at least six or seven weeks now, and since my GIL has been watching him during the day, he has had no issues with swapping from the bottle to the breast. The only "problem" we've had from the beginning is that he won't take a bottle from me...just anyone else. He gets pretty upset with me if I try to give him a bottle, but takes one with no hesitation from anyone else; so it's not like it's actually a real problem, just an interesting observation.
Anyway, as of yesterday afternoon, he's decided bottles are the most horrible things that could ever touch his lips. In the last six weeks, we've successfully used Avent, Medela, Gerber NUK, and The First Years Breastflow bottles. My GIL tried all the different types because she said he was choking and coughing with the Avent and Medela (even with slow-flow nipples), and he was fussy with the NUK bottle, but he has been using the Breastflow bottle for about three weeks now like it's been the best thing ever. But yesterday afternoon, he didn't want any of the bottles. It was only a couple hours before I picked him up and went home, so we figured maybe he was just having a bad day and it didn't have anything to do with the bottle.
Well, this morning he breastfed from 5-5:30 am, and I dropped him off at my GIL's at about 8:30 this morning. From 8:30-10, he was acting hungry (rooting, fussing, smacking his lips) but absolutely REFUSED to take the bottle during that time. I was called at work to come by if I could so I could either feed him or do something to calm him down (which was not taken well as far as getting permission to leave work). I got there and tried to bottle feed him, which of course didn't work, as he won't take a bottle from me. But I also did not breastfeed him because I don't want to encourage this bottle rejection, either.
The only thing he's taken today has been his NUK paci, and he's sucked on it so hard he's given himself a nice red "clown face." His eyes look exhausted since he'd been crying all morning. So on my lunch hour, I went by BabiesRUs and got him some NUK bottle nipples that are shaped more like his paci, as the nipple on the Gerber bottle was more of a breast shape and a small nipple. The regular NUK nipple is more elongated and flatter, shaped more like the paci than the breast.
I went back to test drive that bottle nipple with him, and sure enough, he took right to it--even from me! Well, he sucked and he sucked, and I swear I sat there and held that bottle for him for nearly half an hour and it looked like the milk just wasn't going anywhere. After some time went by, he started squirming and fussing and really sucking hard on the nipple. When I took it out, he had only gotten a half ounce of milk out of the 5 ounces in that bottle! The poor little guy! And that nipple was supposed to be the medium flow!
So we tried poking a needle sized hole just above the regular hole. You can hardly see it, so I didn't think that it would increase the flow significantly, only enough for him to get more down without so much effort. Of course, then he tried it and not only did he not want it anymore, but the few ***** he did attempt, he choked! So I resorted to breastfeeding him for a few minutes, just to get something in his tummy and because I felt so sorry for him.
I don't know what to do about this! I've got the whole weekend to figure this out, but I'm stumped. So far, the only nipple he's even willing to just consider is the NUK nipple. But I don't know how much longer that will last. And as much as I'd love to, I can't exclusively breastfeed him because I work full time.
At some point, will he just get hungry enough to take a bottle, no matter what the nipple looks or feels like? I hate to see him go through this and it's making me feel horrible that I can't breastfeed him, especially this weekend when we're all at home, because I don't want him to develop such a strong aversion to the bottle that we have to endure this every single week. I'll exclusively pump for however long it takes to get him through this phase.
But is that the right thing to do--take away the breast completely until he gets hungry enough to accept a bottle?
I'm so heartbroken over this. Please help!