Some babies will take whatever you put in their mouths, some babies are picky. This is our story of how our breastfed baby rejected every bottle we gave her until we tried this one…
Our story begins:
You may or may not know that 2017 has been a crazy (exciting) year for us! First off, we had our baby girl, Evy in the Spring. A couple months later, we finally (after 7 years) said that we were moving to the Pacific Northwest to be closer to my husband’s family. That’s something we ALWAYS said we would do, but the timing was never right until now. So leading up to our planned departure date of August 7th, we were selling our stuff, dropping our stuff off at Goodwill, or just giving it away to friends. We packed everything we owned into a Honda Pilot with 275,000 miles on it and a little box trailer. This one, to be exact.
Anyway, we were NOT about to go on a 40+ hour drive with a 2-year-old and 4 month old. So, back at the beginning of the summer, our wonderful families volunteered to help pack us up and then fly to WA with the kids so Josh and I could make it to WA with our sanity still intact.
I love road trips, so I was so excited to be able to spend time alone with the hubs, if only for the reason that we could have an entire conversation without being asked if we had snacks. There was just one problem.
Evy, being only 4 months, was still exclusively breastfeeding. I exclusively breastfed David and really wanted to do the same for Ev girl. Luckily (ha!) I was super engorged when she was a newborn and I pumped SO MUCH MILK in order to try to get some relief which gave me more than enough of a supply to keep her fed for the 4-5 days we planned to be away from the kiddos. Talk about a blessing in disguise.
“So what was the problem?” you’re asking? Evy never took a bottle. I had tried. And failed miserably. I used the bottles that her brother had loved when he was an infant (I went back to work full time when he was just 8 weeks) but she would just spit them out and cry. Even when she was super hungry.
So I figured I’d just grab some bottled that were advertised for newborns.
Waste of money, she hated them.
Then I bought a variety pack of various nipples for young babies.
Tried every single one. She hated them. And probably hated me a little at this point.
I was starting to freak out a little, wondering if I should just buy myself a plane ticket to fly out with the rest of my family so Ev could be fed. Our moms were starting to get nervous about it as well as the date was getting closer and closer.
The thing is, when I looked at the bottle nipples I had been using, I knew exactly what the problem was. The nipples I had been trying to use were not at all shaped like the ones Evy was used to (ahem, mine). I could tell that my own breast would flatten out in her mouth as she ate, but the rubber used on the bottle nipples I had been trying was too… strong? And it wouldn’t flatten out in her mouth. Hence why she would gag and spit the bottles out of her mouth.
I started a new search. There HAD to be a bottle out there that was more “breast-like.” And I mean, really breast-like. Not just with those words printed on the outside of a box. So I searched harder and longer until I somehow came to a review on Amazon. The reviewer mentioned several types of baby bottles but said that only one worked for her very picky baby. I clicked the link and lo and behold, there it was.
This bottle was exactly what I was imagining in my head a bottle nipple should look like. Triangular and would flatten some in a baby’s mouth without collapsing.
Check out that nipple:
It was perfect. Just the right size for a single feeding as to not waste thawed milk. From what I could tell just by looking at the picture online, it looked like Ev wouldn’t gag on it because of the way the base of the nipple flared out (so breast- like. CRAZY).
Anyway. I bought a box. When they came, I pumped some milk and put it in the bottle. Ev drank it no problem. Like there was never any struggle or pickiness to begin with. She ate the entire bottle and fell asleep.
I texted our moms and they were overjoyed and relieved. The rest is history. The plane ride went great and Ev didn’t starve while we enjoyed our road trip.
If you’re wondering how our moms handled the breast milk/bottle feeding on the plane, here’s the rundown on that:
We had your basic, small to medium-sized Coleman cooler. We packed all the milk (it was 3 gallon-size bags filled with smaller breast milk bags) and several ice packs. They took out a few of the breast milk bags for the flight itself and kept them frozen in an insulated lunch bag like this adorable one and checked the cooler at the gate. Once on the plane, they asked a flight attendant to heat up the milk for them one bag at a time as they needed it. (Side note, don’t microwave breastmilk. Still not 100% sure why it’s bad but that’s what everyone says so I’m repeating it). The best way to heat the milk evenly is in hot water, so the flight attendant put hot water in a *clean* barf bag and they dipped the frozen milk in that until it was thawed. There might have been a better way to do that but that’s the story I got after they landed and what worked for them. The rest of the milk stayed frozen solid in the cooler until they arrived home from the airport (6 hour flight, waited 1 hour on the tarmac, 2 hour layover, 1 hour drive home from the airport- give or take). #ftw!
Seriously, though, The Lansinoh mOmma Breastmilk Feeding Bottle with NaturalWave Nipple was worth every penny (FYI, a 3-pack is only $16). We still use them when I need to run out of the house and my MIL watches the baby. I would recommend these to every mom ever.
So mamas, what are your favorite bottles for breastfed babies? Have you ever had to go the distance (literally) with breastmilk? Share your story below and help a mama who might need it someday!