The Use of Force
I have some good news, guys!
If you read ChiddyBear's Birth Story, you would know that I got pregnant few months to the completion of my Master's degree and had to defer because of how sick I was. The good news is that I will be returning in 2 weeks time to complete it. Pray for me!
Since ChiddyBear is exclusively breastfed, I have been trying to teach him to take a bottle of expressed Breastmilk. It has been quite difficult. He used to take the bottle when he was a few weeks old but I have not bottle-fed him in a while so naturally he finds it strange. At this point I am ready to give up and try other options since I do not have a lot of time left. One option suggested by the Health Visitor and some other mamas is to try different teats until we find one that he likes but honestly, I am not sure we can afford to go buy loads of different ones and go through a trial and error process. Another option I read about and one my mother actually used, is to feed him with a sippy cup or a regular cup. I think it is time to try these other options.
Anyway, what this post is really about is some people's advice to use force to get Chiddy to take the bottle. As I am all for gentle parenting, I cannot wrap my head around the use of force to teach. I don't appreciate the advice to wean my 4 month old, neither can I understand why anyone would say to me, "oh when he's hungry enough he will definitely take the bottle." WRONG! I know that force will not make him take the bottle. Other caregivers who are less patient than I am have tried that and it did not work. I also know that he is capable of starving himself until he is reunited with his precious boobies. Besides, why would I want him to go hungry and cry? That is just seems cruel!
Quick story. For our anniversary, we decided to go out to dinner. I expressed some milk and left him with my sister-in-law. We were out for about 3 hours and in that time, he did not have more than a few sips of the milk (that she had to squeeze into his mouth because he would not take the bottle no matter what she tried). I was so sad when I returned to find him hungry but we made up for it throughout the night.
I do not agree with the use of force or any kind of punitive measure to teach anyone at any age. I definitely will not be forcing my baby to take the bottle. I am going to try the sippy cup and if that too does not work, then I will make plans to take him with me to tutorials. Thank God I have only two months left on the course and I have a pretty chilled out course leader who happens to be a father of two, pro-breastfeeding and also has experience with a bottle-refusing baby. We have got to make it work somehow.
Hey, nobody said breastfeeding was easy! It is a real commitment. Definitely not for the faint-hearted. I am glad that I am doing it and loving every minute of nourishing my baby and bonding with him.
SAY NO TO THE USE OF FORCE!