Looking after my niece, who won't drink.

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Looking after my niece, who won't drink.

Postby courts&munchkins » Tue Aug 25, 2015 1:33 pm

Hi everyone,

I am looking after my 5 month old niece for 2 days a week. I have her for 7 hours. She will not drink for me at all. Apparently she will take a bottle for her mother but I am finding for me, as soon as that teat touches her mouth she starts screaming hysterically. For me, it feels like that's the moment she realises her mum isn't here and she wants her. She gets incredibly upset. If I am lucky I can get about 20ml into her a day from a spoon but mostly she just spits it. I am worried with summer approaching that she is going to get very dehydrated if this continues (we are already having 30 deg days). But not only that she is also very unhappy nearly the whole day I have her. I have 4 children of my own ( 2 at school, 1 at kindy, and a 2.5yo) and they are suffering because all my attention is on my niece (trying to get her to eat, trying to get her to settle).

I need to know some tips on making this work. I don't want to have to tell my sil, that she may have to consider daycare.

Please help!!
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Re: Looking after my niece, who won't drink.

Postby Parla. » Tue Aug 25, 2015 2:11 pm

Hi there, that sounds like a frustrating situation for everyone. I can understand your concerns about your niece getting enough milk in the days she is with you, and the effect on everyone of having an unhappy baby. It sounds like you've tried a few different ways of feeding. Is your niece otherwise breastfed? There is some information here about bottlefeeding breastfed babies - https://www.breastfeeding.asn.au/bf-inf ... stfed-baby.

Other things you could try if you haven't already is wearing something that smells like mum, like one of your SIL's shirts draped over your arm, to make the bottle feed seem more familiar. Or some babies like to go the other way, and are happier to feed when it's different or there are distractions. That might mean bottle feeding facing away from you, or outside looking at the trees, or while being carried and rocked if she likes movement. Some babies like the milk better cold. Sometimes it helps to dip the teat in the milk, or squeezing it a bit, so they can taste the milk rather than the teat right away.

Another alternative is skipping the bottle and trying an open cup or sippy cup.

Have you been able to speak to your SIL about anything she tried to get bottle feeding working for her? Or what she would like you to do if her bub is unhappy with you? Hopefully you can work out something that suits all of you.
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Re: Looking after my niece, who won't drink.

Postby JMc » Tue Aug 25, 2015 2:12 pm

Can you try some other cups? Silly cups or straws or something? My littlest has been stealing my big kids' drink bottles from the time he could crawl (6m) and loves drinking from straw drink bottles.

Does she like being worn?
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Re: Looking after my niece, who won't drink.

Postby courts&munchkins » Tue Aug 25, 2015 2:53 pm

I've tried about everything I can to get her to take a bottle. I've tried sil shirt. I've tried holding her away from me, holding her close, walking whilst trying to feed, trying the bottle with her sitting in the bouncer. We've done all sorts of temperatures. She won't/can't drink from a sippy cup yet. According to her mother she will take a bottle no issues from her at home, she is otherwise fully breastfed though and the milk I'm offering her is ebm. But for me, I'm yet to get her to take a single suck. I've had her for 4 weeks now and it's not getting any better. I have a bad back and will wear her when running errands but there is no way I can carry her all day long. I think for me, I am finding this particularly stressful as feeding issues where such a huge trigger for my post natal depression with my own kids. And I feel like I'm completely ignoring my own baby (she's 2.5 but to me she's my baby)
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Re: Looking after my niece, who won't drink.

Postby Parla. » Tue Aug 25, 2015 6:14 pm

courts&munchkins wrote:I've tried about everything I can to get her to take a bottle. I've tried sil shirt. I've tried holding her away from me, holding her close, walking whilst trying to feed, trying the bottle with her sitting in the bouncer. We've done all sorts of temperatures. She won't/can't drink from a sippy cup yet. According to her mother she will take a bottle no issues from her at home, she is otherwise fully breastfed though and the milk I'm offering her is ebm. But for me, I'm yet to get her to take a single suck. I've had her for 4 weeks now and it's not getting any better. I have a bad back and will wear her when running errands but there is no way I can carry her all day long.


It sounds like you've thought of and tried just about anything I can suggest. I'm sorry I don't have more suggestions. I wonder what's going on for this bub - you hear more often about babies not taking bottles when mum is around. Does SIL have any insight here into what she does?

courts&munchkins wrote:I think for me, I am finding this particularly stressful as feeding issues where such a huge trigger for my post natal depression with my own kids. And I feel like I'm completely ignoring my own baby (she's 2.5 but to me she's my baby)


My 2.5 year old is my baby too ;)

Obviously the best outcome is that your niece drinks settles down and drinks a bottle, but what are the alternatives if that doesn't happen? You do have an obligation to yourself and your children as much as to your SIL and her baby. It may have already occurred to your SIL that she will have to work out different care if this isn't working out, so she may already be thinking about it.
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Re: Looking after my niece, who won't drink.

Postby strolltotheshops » Tue Aug 25, 2015 7:32 pm

If you're lactating for your baby could you feed your niece yourself?
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Re: Looking after my niece, who won't drink.

Postby courts&munchkins » Tue Aug 25, 2015 8:36 pm

Ultimately I'd prefer my niece to be with me. She's still so little, I would prefer her to be with me than in daycare. . And I know it's strange. When my sil said she would take the bottle for her I thought it would be easy. But poor Bub gets so upset every time I try. She is usually the most placid baby so I feel bad this is upsetting her so much. She seems to have 2 modes, happy and complete meltdown lol.

My sil just thinks she's being stubborn, that she doesn't want the bottle from me so is refusing to take it. I am not sure I really believe that considering her age. But she certainly is persistent in the refusal. If I am lucky I can get her to chew on the teat and she gets a little milk from me that way but it completely confuses me that she will drink from the bottle with her mum when I can't even get her to take a single suck. She'll chew on the test occasionally but no sucking at all.

And unfortunately I'm not breastfeeding anymore. My youngest weaned herself quite some time ago now. So it's not a matter of her smelling me and wanting the boob as I'm completely dry these days.
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Re: Looking after my niece, who won't drink.

Postby Parla. » Wed Aug 26, 2015 10:56 pm

I'm sorry I don't have more suggestions for you. I am really interested to hear how you go with this courts&munchkins. If anyone can work it out I think it will be you.
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Re: Looking after my niece, who won't drink.

Postby Nicwwjd » Wed Sep 09, 2015 11:00 pm

Hi!
How are things going now? You sound like an awesome Aunty!
I was just reading along and wondered if the EBM tastes different for your niece? Has the milk been frozen? I don't know much about expressing or the intricacies of freezing, defrosting and the changes that can come with it... But im sure one of the others would. I'm sure I read somewhere about EBM changing taste sometimes and something about scalding the milk? Just a thought that popped into my head.
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Re: Looking after my niece, who won't drink.

Postby Jzerba90 » Wed Jan 27, 2016 1:33 am

Parla. wrote:Hi there, that sounds like a frustrating situation for everyone. I can understand your concerns about your niece getting enough milk in the days she is with you, and the effect on everyone of having an unhappy baby. It sounds like you've tried a few different ways of feeding. Is your niece otherwise breastfed? There is some information here about bottlefeeding breastfed babies - https://www.breastfeeding.asn.au/bf-inf ... stfed-babyparis shuttle

Other things you could try if you haven't already is wearing something that smells like mum, like one of your SIL's shirts draped over your arm, to make the bottle feed seem more familiar. Or some babies like to go the other way, and are happier to feed when it's different or there are distractions. That might mean bottle feeding facing away from you, or outside looking at the trees, or while being carried and rocked if she likes movement. Some babies like the milk better cold. Sometimes it helps to dip the teat in the milk, or squeezing it a bit, so they can taste the milk rather than the teat right away.

Another alternative is skipping the bottle and trying an open cup or sippy cup.

Have you been able to speak to your SIL about anything she tried to get bottle feeding working for her? Or what she would like you to do if her bub is unhappy with you? Hopefully you can work out something that suits all of you.

thank's for sharing infos, I have a 2 year old daughter and all this will help me
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