Sunday, March 30, 2008

how to trick a baby

because I'm all about helping the masses.

I'm also assuming detailed notes of my life are being taken (ahem) so my other assumption is that you all know that Daniel was breastfed for seventeen months, and was exclusively so from the original source for the first six or so months of his life. Rough translation? Dude had never experienced the business end of a bottle being jammed in his nutritional receptacle. Then with work looming menacingly in my future, and with my mother (the judgmental wicked witch of the North who had transplanted herself almost permanently, god help me, South) getting all on me with the "he should be able to bottle feed" crap, I figured that maybe I'd better try him on something other than the Real Thing before I actually needed to be away from him for longer than three hour stretches.

So why not give the whole "here kid, have a fake boob" thing a go? Getting him to take the bottle AT ALL though, was a bit of a challenge, if "by a bit of a challenge" I mean "a total screamfest".

Apparently if you want your youngster to easily swap from one to the other, and you want to do it without wearing the contents of either all over yourself, your baby and your living room walls, you'd best get cracking with the bottle insertion before your personal little Sir (or madam) Shitfit hits three months old. Before twelve weeks? They'll take anything any old how, but after twelve weeks, they're all about "you want to put what WHERE??!".

Fortunately, it wasn't me with the Must Take A Bottle issues, so it also wasn't me inflicting The Fake into his discerning little mouth that very first time, but I was the one who was thrown the almost full bottle and one pissed off baby seconds after I walked back in the door.

By this point, one would imagine that NO ONE could get him to take the bottle, not with all the defiant screaming refusals he'd been getting on before I got there, and especially not with my giant, albeit clothed, ACTUAL REAL bazookas looming inches from his head, but what eventually worked for us was this: I got him started on the breast, and after a few minutes and when he was in that single minded blissed out and feeding state, I slipped the bottle's teat into his mouth alongside my own nipple (in much the same way you might slip your finger into your baby's mouth if you need to adjust the latch or whatnot)(also, internet pervies, yes, I said "NIPPLE") , and then, after making sure he was still spaced out and focussed on the process, not the weirdassed thing stuck in his suckhole, I slowly and gently eased my fine self out.......aaaaand, Voila!

Bottle feeding baby.

*bows to the standing ovation*

I'd say the key tips here are "slowly" and "gently", because had I'd jammed the rubber/plastic/latex/whateverinhelltheyare teat in too fast, or had I abruptly whipped my own hooter out of there, he would have snapped to attention and noticed the attempted ruse.

I get too, that maybe we were just plain lucky that it was such a simple and quick learning experience for both of us, but that was the only time I needed to be there to pull the old breast-to-bottle switcheroo on him. He wasn't often given a bottle after that anyway as my work schedule initially meant I could fill him to brim from the natural source immediately before dumping him in childcare, and then pick him up again straight after servicing (AHEM) my client so the whole exercise was mainly so his grandma, my nemesis, had something to crow about ("I fed the baby!" etc) but I guess some babies might need a little more practice to understand that bottles can give 'em all the breastmilk they need too. ;)

It's not a trick I ever read about in any parenting literature, so I'm not sure how universally spectacularly effective it might be, but it WAS spectacularly effective for us.

The end.

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