Baby Hunger Strike

We’re learning new things with Baby #2 . Sometimes you just expect because it was so easy, or it happened with your first sprog, if you mimic their upbringing, Baby #2 will act just the same way. But it definitely doesn’t work like that. For starters, how do you mimic their upbringing, when their environment is already completely different. They have an older sibling to interact with, something your first kid didn’t have.

Baby #2 might sleep in the same bassinet you used before, in hand-me-down pyjamas, with the same woollen blanket. Doesn’t mean she’s going to sleep the same. Just because your first kid ate and drank anything within reach, doesn’t mean Baby #2 will.

In fact, our Maia has been an utter mission to get to take a bottle! It’s been 5 months of breastfeeding on demand, which honestly is not a problem at all, but with my return to work date inching closer, it’s become a bit of a stressy need to get sorted. Otherwise little Maia will be heading off to the new daycare on a hunger strike.

A few months ago I naively bought the same bottle we used when Amelia was born, defrosted the milk from the freezer and left the kids with my parents for the evening while we went out for dinner and a movie. Got home to vomit everywhere (turns out Amelia had a tummy bug that night) and a little baby who had cried herself to sleep and refused the bottle all night. Fast-forward three months and we were still having the same issue. We bought different bottles, tried formula, different temperatures, different people trying to feed her. We poured a lot of unused defrosted milk down the drain – to the point where I was nearly crying over spilt milk. It was pretty sad.

It actually seems like stress starts to intensify when you know you’re on a time limit, and you have no clue what will make it work. People have their ten cents of advice that they’re only too willing to give, but when you’ve exhausted all their suggestions, and all you’re left with is “just keep trying” it becomes a bit of an “aaaargh” moment.

So daily, we kept trying. Persevering, because really there was nothing else to do. Then finally, last week she took 150ml from a bottle! I have no clue what changed, maybe Amelia secretly told Maia the benefits of being able to have your milk and bottle too. All I can say is phew! I was seriously beginning to wonder if it would ever happen. It’s a great relief knowing she won’t starve herself on her two days at daycare. Now she just has to sleep there…

Anyway it’s probably been the biggest difference between the two girls that we’ve encountered thus far, and really forced us to remember just because something worked for Amelia, doesn’t mean it will work for Maia. And in the future it’ll probably be vice versa too. It’ll become even more important to remember  this as they get older and become their own individual little beings. They may look similar, but they’re completely different kids. So we should expect them to act, learn, or grow in the same way.

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