So I have waited a while to blog about this in the hopes that it would be a short term problem and I wouldn’t need to write about it. However, it has turned into a 4-6 week battle and I need to remember it for future reference.
My little baby boy has been having a terrible time drinking his bottles for the last several weeks. Before, when he was drinking five 4 ounce bottles, he did great drinking every last drop every three hours. However, we started moving him up to 5 ounces because we noticed he wasn’t quite making it through naptime and he was extremely hungry in the morning after his full night of sleep. So we started feeding him four 5 ounce bottles throughout the day at 11:30, 2:30, 5:30, and 8:30. And his first morning feeding at 8:30 was 6 ounces because he was ravenous.
I remember he did well with the 5 ounces at first, but it started to go downhill fast! He has never had any problem drinking his morning bottle (6 ounces) at 8:30. But for the rest of his feedings, he will only take 2-3 ounces and then he absolutely refuses to take more. I have a hard time believing that is all he needs for a feeding because a.) he left the hospital taking 2 ounces for each feeding, b.) he wakes up after 30-45 minutes during naptime when he usually sleeps 1.5 hours, and c.) at three months, doctors say they need between 24-28 ounces a day. It is so easy for Babywise to say, “Make sure your baby takes full feedings every time.” Well we have discovered that there is no possible way to force our child to eat! When my baby is screaming, turning beet red, violently kicking his feet, throwing his head back and forth to avoid the nipple, and using his hands to push the bottle and my hands out of the way, I don’t see how I can force him to eat. There is no way!
We have tried many things to rectify the situation, but to no avail. We have tried feeding him in a variety of positions. We have tried bouncing, rocking, standing, walking around, and just sitting while feeding him. I have had Ryan talk to him while I feed him in order to distract him from fighting it. This probably works more than any other option. In fact, it makes me think that he just wants to get his belly full and then he is done and bored with the feeding. So when Ryan distracts or entertains him, he tends to drink more without putting up a fight. We have tried breaking the feeding up into two chunks with a diaper change and lying on the couch in between to rest his belly. We have tried just letting him have the 2 or 3 ounces, but that always ruins and shortens naptime. We have tried bigger nipples, but those just drowned him with liquid and they were too large to fit nicely in his mouth. We have tried fighting right back and forcing it in his mouth, but most of the milk ends up on his chin.
So as you can tell, we have been battling it out for a while. It is stressful on all of us, and I wish we could figure out what is going on.
Today, I decided that since he was doing great with all of his 4 ounce bottles (before we upped his intake), I eliminated the 6 ounce morning bottle and went back to only giving him 4-5 ounces at a time. Obviously it has only been half a day, but this morning he took a full 5 ounces at 8:30 and another full 5 ounces at 11:30 with NO BATTLE!!! I’m hoping that he will at least take 4 ounces during each feeding. I know it might not necessarily meet the doctor’s guidelines for a 3month olds intake, but I’m a firm believer that my child will eat when he is hungry. And obviously he is not very hungry for more milk if he is kicking and screaming in the middle of every feeding! It will make for a much more pleasant feeding/bonding time between mama and baby if I stick to giving him 4-5 ounces rather than the 5-6 ounces.
I just hope it continues to go as well as the last two feedings have gone!