Friday, April 8, 2011

Denver vs. The Bottle

Denver hates bottles.

It's true. And in the great battle of Denver vs. The Bottle 2011... Denver is victorious.

Don't get me wrong... I am incredibly grateful that I've had the opportunity to breastfeed my son. I believe wholeheartedly that it is the best source of nutrition for him, and it also creates a nurturing relationship between us that he doesn't share with anyone else. It fascinates me that God created my body to not only grow a child, but then to feed that child once he is born.

For those of you who haven't been around babies much, they get hungry A LOT. In Denver's first weeks of life, he nursed "on demand," which pretty much means all the time. Then he started nursing every two hours during the day, and a couple times each night. Now we are into a routine in which he nurses five times each day.

Because he refuses to take a bottle, I have to be with him for every feeding. This means that if I want to spend an evening out of the house, I must be back home by 8:00pm for his last feeding, or I can leave after 8:30. But I can't go to dinner and a movie with my husband from 6:00 til 10:00 like we used to, because my poor child would starve.

I can hear you now... have you tried (fill in the blank) technique to get a baby to take a bottle?! Yes, I assure you I have. I decided in early March that by the end of the month, The Bottle would be victorious in the epic battle. Here is what I attempted....

  • different bottle types...Dr. Brown's, Breastflow, and Adiri
  • different people feeding him...myself, Austin, a friend, Austin's mom... all without success
  • different times of day... morning, noon, and night
  • sometimes when he was reeeally hungry, sometimes moderately hungry, sometimes right after he nursed. always uninterested... sometimes downright angry
  • I tried "tricking" him. He would be nursing, and then I'd gently maneuver the bottle into his mouth instead, and he was not happy about it
  • we tried outside, inside, sitting, standing, walking, rocking....
I tried to give Denver one bottle of pumped breastmilk each day for the entire month of March. I officially feel that I've missed my "window" on bottle-feeding Denver. There will be no four-hour date nights for Austin and me until Denver is weaned. And I feel like I'm finally at peace with that.

As I nursed Denver this morning, I was looking at him, and the way he looks up at me, and the way he smiles at me when he sees me, and the way he waves his arms in the air when I walk into a room like he just won the lottery... and I know that's because I'm his mommy. I'm the one who snuggles with him in the middle of the night when he's crying. I feed him when he's hungry. I have the privilege of being Denver's mother, and right now that means nursing him. Later in life there will be countless other battles. But this little guy is worth it, wouldn't you agree?

So bring on the battles Denver Amerigo Vespucci Hines! (newest nickname for my little crawling explorer)


  1. aw, caitlin that's gotta be so tough. i feel for you, but i'm glad you're at peace with it now. i'm sure over the next several months until he's weaned that you'll have times again where you just wish he would take a bottle and i hope you don't feel guilty about it. i think everyone understands what a sacrifice it is for you to be the only one who can feed him, and its not something that just anyone would be willing to do. you're being a great mama to denver (amerigo vespucci) ;)

  2. Happy 7 month birthday big guy!

  3. I agree, D is so worth it. Soon this will pass and you will be able to go out of town with your hubby!!! Another well written blog!

  4. Great post! Jackson only really took a bottle about three times in his life - other than that he was just breastfed until he was like 21 months. Sometimes it's inconvenient for sure but I wouldn't trade it for the world either! And as he gets older it'll be less often and you'll be able to have your four-hour dates :)

  5. Enjoy this time. I was only able to breastfeed for two week and it broke my heart when I had to stop...and just think the next time you and Austin go out for more than two hours how great it will be. Brian and I went out for the first time without Kade this past had been 20 months since we had been on a date. It was worth the wait. :)

  6. I enjoyed this SO much! At first I was like this is funny how many ways you've tried to get him to take a bottle. Reminded me of the Dr. Suess book Green Eggs & Ham. But it really touched my heart when you explained just how lucky you are to be Denver's mommy and why. :)