Battle of the Bottles

In a perfect world, I’ll never have to wean baby to the bottle. I’d nurse him directly until he’s two, or even longer if he wants to. But I have a job that we couldn’t do without as of the moment, so the journey to find the right bottle began.

He was 6 weeks before we seriously tried to introduce to him the bottle. Before then we only toyed with bottles when I was dead tired or we were feeling adventurous. Some days he took them and some days he didn’t. Always, he only drank 3oz at most, but we didn’t really mind; we were latching perfectly and I was enjoying our intimate bonding sessions.

However, when we made the bottle a regular occurence, the resistance began.

We started bottlefeeding him once a day at first, then increased the stretch of time when I would hole myself away from him. But the amount of milk he would take from the bottle didn’t change. Yes, we even tried having yaya give only the bottle from 8am to 5pm for several days, hoping that he’ll accept the bottle when he starves, but even then he would only drink the bare minimum to ease his hunger until the next time we breastfeed.

He looked so kawawa, crying fitfully all day until he exhausted his yaya, and then he’d smile so pitifully when I finally cuddle him and offer my breast. It was a tedious and exhausting process for hubby and his yaya, for me it was heart-breaking.

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Bottle #1 MEDELA Calma Breastmilk Bottle

I love Medela. My Freestlye breastpump is everything I could ever hope for, and I have a feeling we’ll last together until the end of my breastfeeding days. And I learned most of what I know about breastfeeding from the Medela House. So when I got the Medela Calma with my breastpump, naturally it was the first feeding bottle I tried.

A nipple that mimics natural feeding behavior, preventing nipple confusion so that switching back from bottle to breast is not a problem – ain’t that perfect? The problem was, my baby wouldn’t latch at all, except when he was really, really starving.

And even when he does feed, we noticed that the nipple was leaking – when my baby sucked, milk gushed out and he wasn’t able to swallow it all, so a lot gets really wasted. Other times I think baby only sucks half-heartedly because no milk comes out at all.

But since I really, really love Medela, I thought we’d tough it out until it grows on him. Afterall, at six weeks we were only using it once daily, since I was taking my sweet time weaning him.

But on my 2nd post-delivery check-up, I decided to leave him at home with his daddy. It was the first time I ever left him. I filled several bottles with breastmilk and went on my way.

When I came home, I saw the torn box of a new bottle set. And on the bedroom, hubby was feeding baby using the new bottle.

As per by hubby’s kwento, our baby cried so hard his lips turned dark purple, but he still wouldn’t latch, so he finally gave in and that was the end of the Calma.

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Bottle #2 Mom&Baby Bottles

These ones I got from a baby shower. This was the bottle hubby tried after the Calma. However, it was only that one time that it worked, nad maybe only because my baby was already so starved at that point. I think the nipple was too soft and it leaked even more than the Medela Calma. Maybe we can use it when he’s older?

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Bottle #3 Philips Avent Classic Bottles

This is the bottle where most of the struggle happened, because I really believed that if I couldn’t get Avent to work, nothing ever will. Also, we already spent the most on this one – P3,200 for the already discounted newborn set.

It was midway between the Calma and the Mom&Baby – not too hard but not too soft either, and it leaked relatively less. My baby accepted Avent well after his bath, but as the day progressed he’d drink less and less until he grew fussy and fitful at the end of the day. Eventually, after a week without improvement, I was desperate.

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Bottle #4 Pigeon Peristaltic Plus

I almost forgot I had this bottle. I got it for free at Rome Kanapi’s class during one of the talks, for filling out a form or something. I was looking for something when I found it at the back of my baby’s closet. I know Pigeon was a popular baby brand, but I only liked their wipes so far. All our other stuff (which were mostly gifts) were either Chicco, Medela or Avent.

Anyway, I sterilized it, filled the 5oz bottle halfway with breastmilk, and gave it to my baby. And he drank without pause, without spilling, until it was emptied.

And my first reaction was, WTF!!!

I couldn’t beleive my luck, so I refilled it again,and then again to baby. It worked like magic everytime. It didn’t leak, and it was shaped well so that my baby never had a hard time latching.

The day after, I bought 2 Pigeon starter kits – a 5oz #1 bottle (for 1-3months) and 8oz #3 bottle (for 3-6 months) plus bottle cleanser for P999 a set. Then the following week I replaced our #1 nipples with #3 nipples even though baby is just 2 months that time, because he fussed even less with them.

And so the bottle wars ended. For now.

I’m hoping we can still put the other bottles to good use, maybe when baby is older and less likely to freak out when they gush milk. Googling for photos of Avent bottles, I also saw the Philips Avent Natural bottle vs. the Classic one, so now I’m curious because it looks a bit lot like Pigeon.

There’s also the issue of nipple confusion – yes, my problem is now reversed, but I’ll talk about that later because it’s a touchy topic deserving its own post.

But for now, Pigeon wins.

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