Tuesday, August 7, 2007

'Cause They Gotta Have a Bottle Sometimes, Right?.... right?

In my nurse-in-public paralysis, a pumped bottle of breastmilk might have come in handy. Since I was already trying to pump once a day for a "daddy's bottle," though, that was enough for me.

Uh, let me clarify: by "daddy's bottle", I mean a bottle that Tom could feed to Peter. It was to serve three purposes. Well, it was supposed to, anyway. Here's how it worked out:

1) Bonding. No way I was going to be a selfish mother hoarding all of our son's feeding to myself! Didn't my husband deserve the opportunity to gaze into the eyes of his suckling son? If they didn't have this opportunity to bond, surely we'd be sowing the seeds of an emotionally distant family.

So to prevent that whole Cat's in the Cradle thing, I'd hand Tom the baby, burp cloth and bottle when he got home from work. Father and son would fumble along on the couch, Tom awkwardly holding Peter as he sputtered and fussed and spit up more than his usual share. It was painful to watch, really, but I reminded myself that they were bonding.

Until one day I passed the bottle to Tom, who sighed and asked, "Do I have to?"

Next go round, I think we'll reserve daddy-bonding time to baths, tummy raspberries, and a little bit of babywearing.

2) A Break. The books said that having daddy give a bottle would be a nice little break for me. So each day, in anticipation of this break, I would find twenty minutes to pump. Then I would rinse and sometimes boil the pump parts. When Tom got home, I'd warm the bottle then coach him through the feeding session. Finally, I'd clean the bottle.

Gotta love those breaks.

3) Babysitters. If my infant couldn't take a bottle, I couldn't leave him with a sitter, right? It was imperative, I decided, that my son take bottles several times a week so that he wouldn't forget how. The first time we left Peter, he was five months old. I was helping to host a party, which meant I was gone for five solid hours. That's a long time. Thank goodness my son could take a bottle (well, sort of), right?

Soon after I left, the sitter offered the bottle. Peter took less than an ounce, then slept peacefully for the remainder of the time we were gone...


Susie said...

Oh, lucky you that he slept peacefully! Or are you being ironic?

We struggled with the bottle for A, and it was a nightmare trying to get her to take it. Her daddy tried, oh how he tried, and she wouldn't have it, and he still remembers it vividly as absolute torture. She needed to take a bottle so I could go to work. Fortunately, the nanny was more successful than her daddy was, and she didn't have formula until she was 10 months old and my OB told me I needed to start weaning because I was (briefly) pregnant. (Actually, it was the OB's nurse who gave me that misinformation.)

R never had a bottle. And I have never pumped this time. Funny how things are so different the second time around.

Martha's World said...

He really DID sleep peacefully. I guess he figured that as long as mama was gone, may as well get some sleep. That kid!

That's interesting that R never had a bottle. I think that's what I'll probably do next go round. As long as I'm staying home, it's just not worth the trouble...