The Standoff

After seven weeks of breastfeeding, we finally tried to give Alexandra her first bottle. For those of you who don’t have kids, doctors advise that Daddy take on this task. Babies will rarely take a bottle from mom, because they know “the tap” is only a few layers of clothes away. In fact, they recommend that mom shouldn’t be anywhere close when you attempt the first bottle-feeding. That meant that I was all by myself. But that shouldn’t be a problem, because all I had to do was put the bottle in her mouth and she’d drink it, right? WRONG.

On three separate days, I tried to give her a bottle, and each time she lost her freaking mind. Was I doing something wrong?

Was I doing something wrong?

Nope. As it turns out, most babies who have been breastfeeding don’t take their bottle on the first attempt. The only way to solve this problem is to have a standoff, which is exactly what it sounds like. You sit with a starving, screaming baby until she realizes she has no other choice but to take the bottle.

On Saturday, December 3, I decided to give the standoff a try. Below is my live journal.

3:10 – I tried to give Alexandra a bottle for the first time today. She refused and started to flip out. The standoff has begun.

Bottle Attempts: 1

3:30 – She’s still going strong. The shrieking hasn’t subsided, and she’s kicking her legs furiously. She’s clearly hungry, so I wish she’d just take the bottle.

3:40 – Alexandra calmed down for a minute so I tried again. She refused to take it, but I realized that the milk wasn’t warm. Maybe that’s the problem.

Bottle Attempts: 2

3:50 – Nope, the milk temperature wasn’t the problem. Back to screaming. It’s so difficult to do this, knowing that I can just call Dawn and end my poor girl’s angst.

Bottle Attempts: 3

3:56 – Alexandra finally got exhausted from crying and fell asleep. She looked like a perfect little angel. It’s difficult to think that she was screaming her head off just five minutes earlier.

4:02 – Alexandra woke up and started smacking her lips together like she was hungry. I tried to give her the bottle, but once again failed. After a couple of fussy minutes, she went back to sleep.

Bottle Attempts: 4

4:23 – There must be a glitch in the matrix, because I just had déjà vu. Alexandra woke up, tried the bottle, and started to yell.

Bottle Attempts: 5

4:34 – She woke up again, and this time, thought about taking the bottle. Once again, she refused it. It’s a fail. This is becoming increasingly difficult and frustrating. I’m considering giving up.

Bottle Attempts: 6

4:57 – FAIL! F-A-I-L!!!!! If you can’t tell, this is extremely frustrating.

Bottle Attempts: 7

5:04 – Alexandra started screaming. She wouldn’t calm down, and started to try and eat my arm. In a bold move, I attempted to slip the bottle in between my arm and her mouth…


Alexandra just smiled at me and drank the whole bottle.

Alexandra's first bottle

As frustrating as the first couple of hours were, watching her drink the bottle made it all worth it. It felt great to finally feed my daughter. Hopefully it gets easier from here on out!

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  • Anne

    And this!

  • Debrajrich

    Good on you for your perseverance and patience. You will need them for the “I’m up in the middle of the night so you have to be as well” months, followed by the “I’d rather sleep in your bed months”!

  • Two Months | Steve Kaczynski – Ohio Daddy

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  • Lisamarquez1004

    Hiya, I’m a breastfeeding mom & we’ve been trying for a month with no success. I go back to work in 4 days. We’ve tried a 4 hr standoff then caved in but need to try it again. Did you still have success after this? I’m freaking out here. Worried about my little man.

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