Smack down

For the past 5 months, the Milk of my Tits has been the sole source of nutrition for my daughter. (Well, until recently, when she started eating solids, but as far as milk goes? The tits are IT) I breastfeeding her, I do, it’s such a beautiful experience… HOWEVER, lately I feel as though she’s sucking the life out of me. Every 3 hours, I have to whip ’em out. No matter where I am. No matter what I’m doing, I have to STOP, whip out a tit and sit there. I can’t go anywhere for longer than 3 hours without having to rush back home.
I am tempted to say “I’m not complaining” but the truth is, I’m totally complaining. I need a break. And? I need a glass of wine. A night out with my husband or with friends would be nice too.
Problem is the girl REFUSES to take a bottle. I was telling my mother about this over the weekend. I fully expected her to scold me for complaining. She didn’t! She completely surprised me by saying “that’s not ok! That little girl needs to learn how to take a bottle so you can get a break!” I was SHOCKED! My own mother! The ultimate believer that mothers are to live ONLY to serve their children, their husbands and their Jesus. SHE TOLD ME I NEED A BREAK! She told me I need to teach her how to drink from a bottle and that I should do it NOW. I agreed and I decided to go buy some formula and have Tony give it a try.
Oh, how Tony tried. He tried and tried and tried. Operation It’s Not Going To Happen” was in full effect. As you can see, it’s not even that she doesn’t “know” how to drink from a bottle. It’s that she flat out refuses to drink from a bottle. It’s that she’s like “If it aint a big, soft, warm tit? Get it out of my face, bitches.” She’s SMACKING IT OUT OF HER FACE, PEOPLE. S-M-A-C-K-I-N-G it.
We both eventually gave up and I gave in and whipped it out because I felt bad for her. She doesn’t understand. Her entire life, the boob is all she’s known and out of the blue we’re all “Here! Suck on this rubber nipple filled with formula instead!” I guess I can see why she’d resist and fight it, but I can’t imagine doing this for another 7 months without a break. I just can’t.
(I should clarify, I do NOT want to quit breastfeeding. Mostly, I find it to be an incredibly beautiful experience. I just would like her to be able to drink a bottle so if I need a break, or if I want to go somewhere, I have that option.)

34 thoughts on “Smack down

  1. jenorama

    Okay. I have totally been you. And boy, does that suck.
    But I have some suggestions:
    1) buy a breast pump. You can get them at Walmart.
    2) You are trying to get her to do two things she doesn’t want to do: a) drink formula (ick) and b) use a bottle.
    3) Pump breast milk and try giving her milk out of a cup. Also, using a dropper and dropping milk into her mouth should work too.
    4) she can have water.
    5) since she is on solids how, she doesn’t need breastmilk as often. So, the every three hour thing is an emotional dependence kind of thing, and chances are, you are just going to have to hire a sympathetic sitter and leave. Period. And the kid is going to cry.
    6) if you are anywhere in the house when Tony is trying to give her something besides tit, she is NOT going to go for it. It is just not going to happen. And it will just confuse her and piss her off.
    7)if you are not there and there is no tit, if she is very very thirsty, she will take water or breastmilk from a cup or a dropper. And if she doeesn’t, she won’t die. And if she cries, eventually she will stop.
    This is such a heartbreaking situation. Fact is, she is going to cry and be mad, and you can either be there for it, or not, but you can’t give in to her if you aren’t there.

  2. judy

    oh my goodness, flash backs! people are appalled when i tell them i breastfed my son til he was 2 1/2 years old & my daughter went just shy of 2 years.
    i totally feel you. they refused a bottle.

  3. Michelle

    Do you have a breastpump? The only way that any of my boob babies would take milk from a bottle was if it was pumped breastmilk. You will have to pump but you can get a supply built up in the fridge to where you can get a pretty decent break each day from nursing. Be warned though- she still may not take it. My youngest- now 20 months- is a die hard titty baby. Absofuckinglutely refused the bottle no matter what I put in it or how hard I begged and sobbed for him to take just one little tiny suck from it. And he’s still freakin’ nursing. I can’t get him to wean for the life of me. Part of it is that I am soft and can’t listen to him cry out for his nursey nursey num nums in the middle the night..
    Ok, this is fast becoming all about me so I will stop. lol
    But seriously- try pumping some milk and try that in Gabby’s bottle. OH! And you can’t be anywhere in her line of vision when she is trying the bottle either. I swear these breast babies can SMELL our tits from a mile away so go to another room completely and then let Tony try it.

  4. y

    Yeah, I have a breastpump, but I’m tired of having my tits sucked! TIRED OF IT. But I will totally sit down and start pumping during her naps and see if she won’t take that from a bottle.
    Damn tittymilk.

  5. Amy

    I definitely second the suggestion that you try offering pumped breastmilk. And if Gabby still won’t take it from Tony, you try giving her the bottle. My daughter didn’t seem to care so much about the bottle (after refusing it from everyone else) as long as it came from Mommy and was filled with the milk she was used to. Once she got the hang of the bottle, then she was okay with it coming from her dad and the eventual switch to formula.
    Hope it helps… good luck!

  6. Tracy

    Since this is a TMI moment…I HAD to pump. I was a regular ol’ milk factory, and Kelsey couldn’t drink it all. But yeah – pump and get some stored up, because that stuff is WAY better than formula. Better for her clothes too, since formula stains.
    Anyway – the other thing you could try is changing the nipple on the bottle. They make lots of different “shapes” now. It could be that the one you have is too different from what she’s used to. Maybe if you tried getting one of the nipples that is a more “natural” shape? Just a thought…

  7. raven

    Oh my! This so reminds me of the prosthetic tit, that Robert DeNiro’s character in Meet the Fockers, invented. He would strap that bitch on himself and psuedo breastfeed his grandson, while the baby’s mommy was on vacation.
    Maybe they sell those somewhere. 😛

  8. Lucky

    Hey Y.
    I’ve been able to get Claire to take a bottle by using the “Avent” brand of bottle. They are from England, but you can get them at Babies R Us. They are reccomended for women who are doing both *as I am”. Claire seems to have no problem switching back and forth, and its a great help since I am having to go back to work.
    Pumping is not fun, but perhaps if you did the breast milk for a bit in a bottle that is suppose to “help”, then you could move her to forumla by mixing both in until its just straight forumula?
    I also find that babies seem to like Good Start as opposed to Enfamil or Simalac….
    Just some ideas, yo :)

  9. Hed

    You can also freeze breastmilk for up to 3 months. I used the Avent bottles, and the great thing about those, is that you can buy freezer caps for them, and just pop them in there, then when you are ready to use them, all you have to do is set the bottle into a bowl of boiling water, just until it thaws. It will look a little funky, because it’s not homogenized like milk, so it will look slightly curdled. That’s ok. It’s not spoiled. It just changes slightly, and shaking it should make it all go back together.
    I got into the habit of pumping in the mornings before my daughter woke up, and then maybe once sometime in late afternoon. You get a collection pretty fast that way, and you can save it for when you need a break.
    My husband had to feed her the milk, and I had to leave the house, but it worked. And she wouldn’t take the bottle either. Hell, she wouldn’t even take a sippy cup. Same thing. She would get really hysterically mad, and bat it out of the way. So, instead, He just gave it to her about an ounce at a time in an open cup.
    The good news is, she’s 2 years and three months, and still nursing, but she will also drink cow’s milk now from a regular cup, and she doesn’t spill at all.

  10. jenorama

    I almost forgot: don’t try to give her the bottle or the cup when she is already asking to nurse. Give it to her when she is happy, and not hungry and not screaming. Because then it will be more like a toy she can explore and just put in her mouth automatically.
    But yeah, just saw the video, and she ain’t gonna take a bottle with you right there looking at her ;).

  11. sarcastic journalist

    according to what to expect….you should try to give it to her:
    #1 when she’s really hungry
    #2 when she’s somewhat content or might be open to it more.
    #3 when she’s sleeping and she will get used to it.
    We had to try #2 to get my kid to TAKE the boob. We’d start on bottle and switch to boob. it worked.

  12. Michelle

    Ah, hell. I hesitate to give any semblance of a suggestion because I have experienced the polar opposite ends of torture when it comes to feeding babies.
    Henry wouldn’t nurse for me, but boy oh boy did he want da boobymilk. (Excuse me whilst I curse the authors of ALL books containing anything about breastfeeding…WOULD IT BE SO HARD FOR YOU KNOW-IT-ALLS TO PUT IN BIG BOLD PRINT THAT ONE CANNOT TELL IF ONE HAS FLAT OR INVERTED NIPPLES JUST BY LOOKING AT THEM? THAT ONE MUST, INDEED, *PINCH* SAID NIPPLE AND IF IT DOESN’T POP OUT LIKE A FREAKIN’ PLUG, THEN YOUR NIPPLES ARE FLAT AND IF IT ACTUALLY DIMPLES IN, THEN YOUR NIPPLES ARE INVERTED? IS THAT TOO MUCH TO ASK, HUH? Whew…sorry about that. Happens every time I even think about breastfeeding. It makes one extremely bitter to know that the nightmare that lasted months and could not be helped by umpteen different LCs could have been solved with a $10 pair of breast shells.)
    So I was left to pump and pump and pump and pump. Before my milk supply dried up approaching six months, I was pumping just under eight hours a day with a high-grade pump. If you had known me then, you might have recommended a mercy killing for me. I began referring to the breast pump as “The Machine”…with requisite ominous undertones. I *had* to switch Henry to formula, and I did it by mixing the last of boobymilk with formula in increasing amounts until he was getting 100% formula. Worked like a charm.
    As far as getting a baby to take a bottle, I have no suggestions there. Xanthe was just like Gabriella – utterly REFUSED to take a bottle. In Xanthe’s case, it didn’t matter which one I tried. She would just RAGE whenever someone waved a bottle under her nose. Maybe Gabby will be happier with a bottle of breastmilk, as others have suggested. Don’t waste your time with a lousy pump, is all I can say. Life is too damned short to use half-assed equipment that isn’t up to the task. Good luck getting that break – you deserve it! :)

  13. Aurorealis

    You are amazing!!! I would spend all day every day crying my brains out in udder (pun intended) frustration. The more I learn about motherhood, the more certain I am that I need to get my tubes tied.

  14. mrc

    I agree with Tracy. We tried a variety of different bottle nipples before Grace decided she liked one and we were able to feed her with a bottle. I never saw my wife jump in the air so high, screaming “I am free, I am free.”

  15. Sara

    So does Operation “It’s Not Going to Happen” mean that you watched the premiere of “Strange Love” last night? hahahahaa. FlavER FLAVE!

  16. y

    You guys are awesome… thank you for all of this advice! You’d think after 3 kids I’d know it all, huh? But this girl is so different from the boys…
    And Sara? Will my love for you EVER stop growing?!
    Dude, the best line of the entire show?
    She was straight up ‘Prego’
    (Although, “Take out your gold teeth when you’re talking to a lady” came in a close second.)

  17. Rachael & Eva

    I would pump off the opposite breast while Eva nursed. [you may need help with this. :p] Sometimes, babies won’t take bottles but will drink from a cup or use a sippy cup instead.
    When I started Eva on a sippy cup, I bought the playtex beginners one, with the long spout. She learned to use a straw so before she mastered the sippy, we’d help her drink from a cup with a straw.
    And I second the advice where you shouldn’t wait until she’s already hungry for the boob.
    Good luck!!

  18. Rachael & Eva

    I would pump off the opposite breast while Eva nursed. [you may need help with this. :p] Sometimes, babies won’t take bottles but will drink from a cup or use a sippy cup instead.
    When I started Eva on a sippy cup, I bought the playtex beginners one, with the long spout. She learned to use a straw so before she mastered the sippy, we’d help her drink from a cup with a straw.
    And I second the advice where you shouldn’t wait until she’s already hungry for the boob.
    Good luck!!

  19. Rachael & Eva

    I would pump off the opposite breast while Eva nursed. [you may need help with this. :p] Sometimes, babies won’t take bottles but will drink from a cup or use a sippy cup instead.
    When I started Eva on a sippy cup, I bought the playtex beginners one, with the long spout. She learned to use a straw so before she mastered the sippy, we’d help her drink from a cup with a straw.
    And I second the advice where you shouldn’t wait until she’s already hungry for the boob.
    Good luck!!

  20. Rachael & Eva

    I would pump off the opposite breast while Eva nursed. [you may need help with this. :p] Sometimes, babies won’t take bottles but will drink from a cup or use a sippy cup instead.
    When I started Eva on a sippy cup, I bought the playtex beginners one, with the long spout. She learned to use a straw so before she mastered the sippy, we’d help her drink from a cup with a straw.
    And I second the advice where you shouldn’t wait until she’s already hungry for the boob.
    Good luck!!

  21. Trisha

    My 3 yr old refused to drink from a bottle. I had this same problem. I found that the AVENT bottles do work the best in “breast/nipple” simulation. However, I had to attempt this bottle feeding several times before Liam would accept. It wasn’t an easy task. Then, once he figured out the Avent bottles- be careful, because it was like he “forgot” how to breastfeed.
    I think his whole problem was that he didn’t know how to switch himself to be able to drink from a bottle and then drink from a tit. Each method is very different. I would definately give the AVENT bottles a try though. (They are really nice and somewhat expensive, but they have their added bonus of being able to attatch to the AVENT breast pump and you not having to continually dump from one to another bottle.)

  22. robyn

    Another plug for AVENT bottles here… And another bonus of their system is that you can buy sippy spouts as they get older and still use the bottles as sippies — making ’em even more economical for the initial price.

  23. AyEnDeeAreEeAyAitch

    Maybe the prob is just that she don’t like the formula. I mean it is nasty and not nearly as sweet and yummy as Mommas milk.
    My daughter took a bottle easily but when I had to supplement a little with some formula when I had exhausted all my pumped supply she started refusing it. As soon as I put breast milk back in it she was all up in that bottle. She still likes breast best but she has to have bottle when I am work.

  24. Shanna

    When Madison was in the same concept as yours, the only way to change over for her was with a small, important part, small, double handled cup. she did do that ….and eventually Aventi bottles with sippers on it….It is a power play though when she still pushes for every 3 hours, 4 children later I totally realize that now….at the time, it seemed endless.

  25. Nicole

    Hi!~ Love your site~ I was totally there. I breastfed my daughter until she was 14 months old. She would scream bloody REDRUM murder @ the sight or mention of a bottle or formula. Like someone was seriously trying to murder her. She would drink expressed milk from an Avent bottle once and a while but not often. We introduced a sippy cup wicked early and she actually liked the sippy cup better than a bottle. We just held it for her like a bottle. After a while, she would drink from that if I was not home (or if I was hiding and my hubby was watching her downstairs) If I was there forget about it. She wanted nothing to do with the cup. But she was all about the “num nums” as she called it. Try the Avent sippy cups… Good luck~

  26. Julie

    Hi – I love your blog – first time commenting – I have a 6 1/2 month old daughter so I can relate to soooo many of the things that you write about. My cousin’s son WOULD NOT take a bottle. She bought every brand imaginable and nothing worked – UNTIL she tried the Playtex Premium Bottles with the Natural Latch Nipples. He took the bottle first try. The nipples come in slow and fast flow and also come in latex and silicone (if you have a preference). We have recommended this bottle to other mothers in the same situation and sure enough – success every time!!! Good Luck……

  27. lauren

    As a new mother who is now working I feel your dilemma. I learned that the nipple confusion is a controversy. However, I think the earlier you get them used to that nipple the better. What I did was wait until she was good and hungry – to the point of fussiness. I used breast milk at first but then started diluting it with formula to get her used to the taste. I started out with say 3 oz of breast milk and 1 oz of formula – and then a couple of days later i’d up it to 2 oz of formula 2 oz of breast milk and so on until it was complete formula. The cow milk formula (Enfamil w/Lipil) seemed to be better than the soy based. The soy was nasty and she flat out refused that (I thought it’d be better for gassiness). Tony may have to suffer through it if she can sense you around or smell your milk.
    Also, are you one side feeding or do you do both at a feeding? B/C that can help you buy some time on being out and about if you pump and bring a bottle with you … that is if you can get her to take the bottle.

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