Saturday, June 28, 2008

High noon at home

The confrontations can flare up once the bottle hoves into view.

On one side, there is the almost 10-week old baby, packing a fearsome array of howls and a determination to accept milk only from his mother's breast.

On the other side are his parents, who know that Sonny must get used to bottle-feeding, especially since he enters daytime infant care soon. They return fire with firm admonitions and a denial of all further food until the bottle of expressed breast milk is gulped down.

For now, the rule is one bottle feeding a day, usually in the afternoon. And the parents have won these skirmishes, though not before spectacular screams-versus-warnings showdowns that can last for hours. Ironically, Sonny once had no problem drinking from both the breast and the bottle: We always tried to mix it up, precisely to prevent rejection. But then we went perhaps a week or so without any bottle feedings, which are more cumbersome since they first require pumping out the milk, then sterilising a feeding bottle.

By the time we re-introduced the bottle a few days ago, Sonny's attitude had hardened. After a few desultory suckles, he will start pushing the teat away using his tongue. If we persist, he begins to wildly shake his head. Then the crying starts, with all the trimmings. We let him bawl his heart out for a bit, then see if he's ready to capitulate. Sometimes, he's so defiant he commences his protests upon merely glimpsing the bottle.

Eventually, however, he gets tuckered out, or becomes simply too hungry. The bottle is accepted, even greedily so, and he wants more after draining it. His reward is a return to the breast, the storm clouds vanish and another day's milk shootout ends. But the next day brings more confrontations. We're now thinking of increasing the bottle feeds to twice a day - and so steeling ourselves for even more trips to our very own OK Corral.

Sometimes, a parent's gotta do what a parent's gotta do.


Unknown said...

Sometimes they are ok when others feed them with bottle but NOT when it's mommy. They know mom has something better.

Cloudsters said...

Yes, the thing is sometimes the little fella seems willing to co-operate. Then, at the snap of his fingers (well, figuratively), he's fighting like a little lion. Frustrating.