A baby that doesn’t like milk

As I scroll through my blog posts, I realise poor Baby G hasn’t had a lot of air time. Story of their lives, those second babies!

One of the biggest hurdles in raising our gorgeous little bundle, has been around feeding her up. You see, she has always been weeny. Not premature, not even officially ‘low birth weight’ but just very petite. 5lb 12oz at birth, and always following the 2nd centile. She has thrived, hit all her development milestones, made our hearts burst with love…but boy does she not like milk.

Her sister was the total opposite. Both girls were breast fed exclusively and successfully for around four months, until I felt ready to have my own body back and allow other people in on the feeding. I have so much respect for anyone that breastfeeds for any period of time, long, short, at all. It’s flipping hard work – nothing prepares you for that. It’s something I wanted to do, as a Biologist, for all the goodness reasons, but I certainly don’t have any issue with all the goodness of formula either. And in all honesty, I never really got over the anxiety of worrying about having to get my boobs out every 5 minutes. It made me feel a little house bound, or having toplan with military precision visits to the outside world between feeds.

So, both girls took to the bottle fine. Our eldest, with gusto. Her and I both seemed to enjoy the freedom of getting on the bottle (mine more of the sauvignon blanc variety!). The little one, was, in all honesty a little more reluctant, but never to the point I worried. I introduced one bottle every 2 weeks so it was very gradual and she was doing fine. I even breast fed her a month or so longer than I planned because I was so busy running around after 2 kids.

As I got to the point of bottles by day, boob by night (where I was happy to stay until the night feeds disappeared) we had to intervene because something changed and she wasn’t settling after any booby milk. Reluctantly, we felt she was getting used to the formula, or my milk was drying up, so we switched to bottles for night feeds too. The health visitor advised us that due to her weight we had to continue with night feeds until 6 months (unlike her sister who dropped the breast night feeds by 5 weeks! How lucky we were…).

Once exclusively on the bottle, things started to go a little pear shaped. She just slowly seemed to go off the milk. We tried changing the teats up up the next size, which worked for a few weeks, but again she just seemed to lose interest. I’m sure I’m not alone in saying that as a mum, there is little more stressful than a baby that won’t feed. She’d take a little here and there, but turn her head away leaving me feeling tearful and worried. Another 7oz down the sink. We used every minute of the 2 hour life of the bottle, trying to get a little more in every 20 minutes or so. It meant we were feeding her constantly, and each feed pretty much ran into the next.

The relief came a little when we tried her on a bit of baby rice around 5 months. She loved it, and we were greatful we could find another way of squeezing some nutrients into her. Weaning in general has been a success. She loves eating and has a stick of cheese starter with every meal, and a yogurt desert. The health visitors assure us that’s enough calcium. And of course, we make sure we give her plenty of water as she isn’t getting hydrated from her bottles. It still doesn’t make it less stressful that every feed continues to be a battle. We are still on 3 bottles a day, morning she’ll have maybe 1 or 2 oz. Some goes into her porridge. 10.30 she’ll do her best feed – maybe around half of a 7oz bottle. Bedtime is often a disaster, we are lucky if she has one drop.

We continue to make 7oz bottles, just in case shes having a hungry moment, but I dread to think of the money we’ve wasted on formula.

If you are what you eat, shes 60% cheese, 40% petit filous. We’re just pleased shes eating. She does love a varied diet of fruit, veg, meats, bread so she’ll be fine, but we can’t wait until the day those bottles go in the bin. There’ll be no ‘clinging on’ to the baby feeds in our house!

I wonder if you mums out there will be ready to attack me for having given up the breast feeding? I have of course felt bad about that myself, but I am not psychic and had no reason to think we’d end up here as my first weaning story was a success. I guess each child is different, and as parents we do what we think is right at the time.

I’m sharing this because I’m sure there are other parents in the same boat – it is a stressful situation, and one you don’t often here of out in the baby circles. I have so many friends who tell me their baby can’t get enough milk…so we’re here representing the other end of the spectrum.

Like so many parenting worries, I wish we had the text book that covered this one!



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9 thoughts on “A baby that doesn’t like milk

  1. Laura's Lovely Blog Reply

    I think every Mum has to do what is best for them – breast or bottle – I think you did either well. And my son went off milk for a while – about 9 months and by then he was weaned so like you I could get nutrients into him other ways. #picknmix

    1. mummuddlingthrough Reply

      Thanks Laura. Being a mum for me equals feeling guilty about every decision made, wondering whether it’s the right thing! So far they’re both doing fine, phew must be doing something right! thanks for the read and comment x MMT

  2. nipperandtyke Reply

    My daughter didn’t like milk either – turned out she was lactose intolerant for a while but she has fortunately grown out of that now.
    After a few months of bf’ing perfectly well she suddenly became completely reluctant to feed, it was incredibly stressful! I used to have to walk her around, patting her and bouncing up and down, holding a bottle of expressed milk in her mouth with my chin (!) to get her to drink it, or else feed her whilst she was asleep and didn’t realise what was going on. Even once we started her on the lactose free formula she took a good couple of months to really start drinking a quantity I was comfortable with. She also took a long time to take an interest in solids, probably because of the discomfort she had learnt to associate with feeding. But now at 15 months, there’s no stopping her and she shovels it down. I honestly never thought we would get to that point!
    Sorry, I appear to have written a blog post here! Guess you got me on a subject I am very interested in! But what I’m trying to say is – I hear ya! 🙂
    x Alice

    1. mummuddlingthrough Reply

      Thank you Alice. Replies like this make the blog worthwhile! It’s so stressful when you feel your baby’s not getting what they need. Glad to hear you’re out of it all
      Now. I think we are almost there too, luckily she’s such a good eater! X MMT

  3. Merlinda Little (@pixiedusk) Reply

    So true about what ever your style of feeding is okay! I have breastfed my son till he is 2 and looking back I wont change a thing. Its nice that you found something that you child loves to eat! Goodluck =) #picknmix

  4. acornishmum Reply

    I didn’t have this issue with either of mine who were complete piglets when small (not a lot has changed!), but I can imagine how stressful it’s been at times! So pleased she’s old enough to be having bits of food now to help, thanks for linking up to #PicknMix

    Stevie x

    1. mummuddlingthrough Reply

      Thanks Stevie. Her sister is the total opposite and leading the way in teaching her how to eat us out of house and home! X MMT

  5. wonderfulandaverage Reply

    It is soo stressful when they won’t eat. My little boy loved (and still does) his milk but never really took to eating in a big way, was barely eating at 9 months. He’s better now at 16 months, but still has bad days. Please don’t worry that people would judge you for stopping breastfeeding. It doesn’t matter whether the milk came from a boob or a bottle, you fed your baby, therefore you are a good mum.

  6. Squirmy Popple Reply

    I can relate! I also have a teeny baby on the 2nd centile who’s just not that into milk. I’ve kept up breastfeeding, but she’d much rather eat solid food than go on the boob. Nights are the only it e she’ll take milk calmly – too distracted during the day!

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