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Bottle rejection and transitioning between breast and bottle feeding

When our son was 9 months old I had to return to work part-time. I was exclusively breastfeeding and had plenty of milk so I never had the need to use a bottle.

So a week before I was due to go back to work we decided to do a test run and Matt was to give our son a bottle for his daytime feed. We had received some hand-me-down bottles from my sister which were just plain Avent bottles which we thought would be fine for the job, but I got a call from Matt around feed time and he said our son wouldn't have a bar of the bottle!

It never even entered our minds that he would flat out reject the bottle! Luckily, my work was very flexible and close to home, so I was able to duck home to breastfeed my son during my lunch break. But I know many of my friends with kids didn't have that flexibility with their work.

It wasn't until a few months later I came across a post on Instagram by Zoe Foster-Blake, saying that she too had problems getting her son to take a bottle, but came across the Comotomo bottles that worked straight away for her.

It was then I realised that bottle rejection was such a common issue for many parents who were trying to transition to a bottle.

When we started Eat Teeth Sleep a few months later the Comotomo bottles were one of the first products we stocked. We wanted to make sure as many parents knew about these bottles so they didn't have to go through the same issue of bottle rejection like us.

We've had so much positive feedback from relieved parents, who have found the Comotomo bottle worked for their baby. We even had one person who tried 15 different bottles without success before she came across the Comotomo bottles!

Some of our customers had even had to put off returning to work due to their baby not taking a bottle, which can put real financial stress and pressure on a family.

So why are the Comotomo bottles so special?

They have a wide teat design (65mm across the teat) which mimics the shape of the breast as closely as possible, and the base is made from soft silicone. This allows you to squeeze the base to get some milk flowing like a let-down at the start of a feed.

They have an amazing success rate with fussy bottle feeders, with a study done found 85% of babies who rejected another brand of bottle took the Comotomo bottle.

The one tip we recommend with any new parents is even if you do decide to breastfeed, make sure you introduce a bottle from the beginning. It only has to be once every week or so with a few mls of expressed breast milk but it can save you lots of stress if you do have to go back to work early for any reason.

Some parents are concerned that introducing a bottle early on may contribute to nipple confusion, impacting on their breastfeeding resulting in their little one preferring the bottle and refusing the take the breast. The Comotomo bottle is designed to mimic the breast to allow for smooth transition to the bottle without any nipple confusion. 

We made sure with our second child that she had a bottle every now and then, just to be sure she was comfortable with it. This allowed for a smooth transition later on and we never had an issue with her taking the Comotomo bottles. (See her picture below at 5 days old feeding from the Comotomo bottle.)

And they aren't just great for breastfed babies transitioning, they are great for any baby, regardless of whether you decide to breast or bottle feed. They are made of the highest quality materials and also have one of the best rated anti-colic systems of any bottle on the market. 

And best of all they are so easy to clean as you can fit your whole hand (or most of it) inside the bottle!

Don't just take my word for it, head over to our website and read the reviews and find out what other parents think about the Comotomo bottles. 

To view the full range of Comotomo bottles follow this link: https://www.eatteethsleep.com.au/collections/bottle-feeding

Amy xx 

Getting the Balance Right

There are moments in your life, that when you look back really stick with you.

A few years ago, not long after first child was born I was playing golf one day with a bloke who had just had his first grandchild at around the same time our son was born.

He asked me what I did for a living and I told him our situation. This was before we started this business, where Amy and I shared the workload caring for our son.

At the time we were living in the country and had very limited access to care, so we each worked 3 days a week and we’d have one day off together as a family.

I still remember him telling me how lucky I was to get to see my little one grow up. He told me much he enjoyed spending time with his grandchild, and appreciated it more now that he was older as he missed a lot of his own kids growing up through work.

At that moment it had really justified our decision, as it was exactly why we decided to share the load.

Our dads were pretty similar to him. They worked long hours Monday to Friday and even weekends sometimes to pay the bills. They would go off to work and our mum’s would stay at home and look after us.

For me that meant during the week, the only time we would get to see dad is when we picked him up from the train station after work, and we were already in our PJ’s ready for bed.

I knew he had to do it to pay the bills but he was commuting almost 4 hours a day and working weekends sometimes, just to give us a roof over our head and food on the table.

I was always grateful and probably more so now at the sacrifices that my parents made for me.

Amy and I didn’t want either one of us to miss out on seeing our son grow up so we decided that we would each work 3 days a week. Amy from Monday to Wednesday and me from Friday to Sunday, having one day off together as a family.

This meant that we had to make a few sacrifices, as we had our wages cut almost in half overnight. I had to work weekends, we had to cut back on our ‘luxuries’ like eating out once a week and holidays, and where we lived, but that was our decision as we felt it was important that one of us didn’t get to miss out on all of the milestones.

We were prepared to grind, just so we could spend the time with our son as we both knew we’d never get that back if we missed it.

We lived to our means and we got more satisfaction out of being around him, than we would of living in a big house or driving a fancy new car.

There is a saying that I love and that is ‘work to live, not live to work’. Still to this day we are earning a lot less than we could potentially, but we have a great balance in our lives that allows us to be happy.

Your kids are only young once, and at the end of the day the time that goes past, you can never get back. Don’t regret your decision, whatever it may be. Make sure the balance is right for you.

Matt

 

Quality not Quantity

Within the squares of social media, mothers can be made to feel less than adequate if they are not an organised housewife, not setting up creative and educational activities to do with their kids or not always getting out of the house doing things worthy of an Instagram snap.

Just the other day I was watching my children play at the park, myself beaming as the smiles on their faces were so wide as they ran, climbed and jumped. I caught myself observing another child, a primary school aged child who was also running, climbing and jumping but all whilst she was holding her phone.

She was spinning whilst filming herself, going down the slide whilst filming herself, moving her phone to get a better angle. At one point she crashed into her friends at the bottom of the slide, in fits of laughter but instead of engaging with her friends she was engaged in her phone.

I am all for technology and what is has given us and what it continues to give us, but it saddens me as to what we have lost. Those memories may be captured on social media but were they truly engaged and fulfilled?

I looked across at my children, younger than this girl, (obviously not yet at the age to have their own mobile phone) engaged in their moment of play, playing for the joy, playing with pure excitement.

Are moments taken for granted for how it looks to others, the angle we project to others? What will people remember? Looking back on the photos will they remember the fun of play and the feeling of joy? How will they reflect on those memories created in a chaotic world?

I often find myself looking at my phone rather than engaging. Something I am guilty of, trying to manage and balance other aspects of my life rather than truly being present in the moment, too busy.

This moment at the park the other day looking at the primary school aged girl made me really think about me, the mother, the person who my children will remember. I nearly always have my phone nearby to capture memories, to share with family or to watch over and over again with my kids (not just once….multiple times!).

But will they remember the times we took thousands of photos just to get the right angle, the right shot? Or will they remember the times we were playing PJ Masks with Luna girl chasing Gecko and Owlette and there was an action shot taken?

Or a photo taken after the chaos resembling a moment of pure joy (and exhaustion on Mummy’s behalf from all that running! Seriously these kids are like Energizer bunnies sometimes!).

Quality is much more important than quantity.

There are so many times that I need to refocus and remind myself of this. Our phones are attached to us and as a result we lose our ability to play, our ability to completely engage. We don’t need to set up creative and educational activities to rival those on Instagram, our children just want us. They want us to play, to engage. 

It might mean turning off your social media for the weekend to refocus or turning off your work emails to engage, to stay connected.

Who and what will they remember?

Create those memories that cannot be replaced.

Amy xx

How Shifting Your Mindset Can Change How Your Baby Sleeps

I read an article recently from the Australian Breastfeeding Association about the normal amount of night feeds and night wakings for babies 6-12 month old. After having two children, both polar opposites in their sleep habits, I found this very interesting.

In the study they said that only 21% of babies between 6-12 months of age didn’t wake during the night.

Did you think that would be more or less?

I bet there is always one mum, you know the one mum whose baby has slept through the night from 6 months or even earlier. And just because their baby is sleeping through, you think you must be doing something wrong. Guess what, you’re not!

Most of us struggle through little or no sleep for at least the first 12 months. Not something you want to hear but it’s true.

I guarantee if you asked 100 parents, 80-90 of them would be experiencing the same things you are going through, some probably worse but we only seem to remember the babies who are sleeping better than ours.

We also don’t openly share our experiences as we feel we will be judged and don’t want to be viewed as a bad parent when everyone else appears to have it together.

So many of us put ourselves under so much pressure and get frustrated because we want the baby who sleeps through. And of course who doesn’t want that baby! To wake up feeling refreshed not trying to pry your eyelids open.

We fell for the comparison trap and it was the assumption our second baby would sleep as well as our first. Our first child was pretty much a textbook baby, but our second child on the other hand was very different.

Unfortunately we had already expected our second child to be the same as our first. When she wasn’t sleeping for as long or settling as easy as her brother we started to get frustrated and went looking for solutions. 

Luckily for us after 8 months of torturing ourselves with trying to ‘train’ her to sleep better, we read a book that changed everything. It was Pinky Mckay’s book ‘Sleeping Like a Baby’. After the first chapter we woke up to ourselves. There was one thing that we needed to change and fast.

It wasn’t anything to do with our daughter, it was our mindset

We were so frustrated by her not sleeping as well as expected. But we quickly realised that we had wasted so much time that could have been better used enjoying her for who she was.

Mindset is one of the most important things to learn as a new parent.

If you expect too much you will end up frustrated, cranky and your baby can start to mirror your mood.

Be grateful that you get to spend quality time with your baby. It’s easy to get frustrated by the lack of sleep, and I put my hand up and can say lack of sleep has got the best of me a few times.

But don’t forget they are learning as well, so be patient and show love. You’d be surprised how much better your baby sleeps when you are calm and happy.

You just need to manage it the best you can. I’m not saying it’s impossible to help your baby sleep better, but don’t expect perfect or you will be disappointed.

Hope some of that helps.

Matt

To get the FREE first chapter of Sleeping Like a Baby just visit https://www.pinkymckay.com/sleeping-like-a-baby/

Two Pieces of Advice That Would Have Saved Our Sanity as New Parents.

Having a child is one hell of a journey! There are plenty of ups and downs but we wouldn’t change it for the world.

Here are two pieces of advice that would have saved our sanity as new parents. 

1. Don’t compare your baby to another baby.

If you are comparing your baby to other babies you will set yourself up to fail!

No two babies are the same! 

In the first few weeks you will spend close to 5-8 hours feeding per day.

You might spend most of that time on your phone, researching milestones and your baby's development.

A multitude of topics relating to your baby of course!

I’m sure every new mother in the past few years has done this at least once or twice or 100 times a day!

Comparing and questioning everything, why is my baby doing this, or why is my baby not doing that?

You may read that so and so's baby slept for 7 hours straight but yours only slept for 3 hours, so you must be doing something wrong.

You aren't doing anything wrong!!!

As we said before no two babies are the same and there are too many different variables in each situation that you will never get a true comparison.

Setting unrealistic expectations in your mind will only lead to frustration. 

If you're busy comparing your baby to the next, you'll miss out on valuable time that you could be bonding with your baby.

Time is one thing we can never get back.

99.9% of what you will scroll through will be the very best of parenting!

Babies and toddlers have the ability to melt your heart one second, and rip it out the next.

Be prepared for everything and anything!

2. Trust your instincts.

Just think back to your parents or grandparents or even great grandparents.

They had next to none of the information that we have access to today.

They had to trust their instincts or asked a relative because they couldn’t google their problems for a solution.

And you’re still here right, so they must of done a great job!

When you scroll through the internet searching for answers, you second guess your instincts.

There is so much conflicting information out there.

Don’t get me wrong the internet is a fantastic tool to solve problems but go with your gut and what feels comfortable to you and your situation.

Our journey.

We are parents ourselves of two beautiful young children Aston and Isla and we’ve had our fair share of ups and downs as well.

From post-natal depression, to breastfeeding and sleep issues but we’ve made it through stronger.

We fell into these traps ourselves and looking back it would have saved us a lot of stress and grief. How hindsight is a wonderful thing.

With Aston I had breastfeeding issues from the beginning.

I was even told by nurses whilst in hospital just to bottle feed because he was struggling to latch.

We ended up back in hospital with him as the maternal health nurse was afraid he hadn’t put on enough weight at his first check up even though he was happy and having lots of wet and dirty nappies.

You can imagine how bad we felt as parents, that we were led to believe that we were failing our new son.

It was only until the midwife on night shift came in that night that it put our mind at ease that we were doing the right thing.

We can still remember her coming in the room to check on Aston's feeding.

She was an older lady and she wasn't the warmest of characters. 

She was going through her checklist and asking us the same questions that we had been asked by the previous midwives. 

We were waiting for her to politely tell us in a round about way that we weren't giving our son enough milk and we needed to top him up with a bottle. 

We were quite mistaken. She asked us why we were here!

We explained the maternal health nurse had recommended us to come into the hospital.

She shook her head, rolled her eyes and told us there was nothing to be concerned about.

He was getting plenty of food, was a very happy baby and had the right amount of wet and dirty nappies.

Needless to say we were out of hospital first thing the next morning! 

With Aston I had to use nipple shields while breastfeeding, as they were the only way that I could get him latch and feed.

I used them for 4 months before he learnt to feed without them.

Some of what you read online says that they shouldn’t be used for that long or used at all, but he was feeding well so we trusted our instincts and kept using them as long as necessary.

Our second child Isla was a great feeder, but wasn't as good a sleeper as our first. In reality she wasn’t really that bad of a sleeper.

We were frustrated because we were compared her to our first child who was a text book sleeper.

Our second child was getting the sleep she needed, but we were trying to improve her sleep instead of managing her and our own sleep better.

The turning point for us was reading a great book called ‘Sleep like a Baby’ by Pinky McKay.

The first chapter goes through a series of parents and the sleeping patterns of their babies. What we got from the book was a change of mindset.

It reminded us that every baby is unique.

Some will be happy with 10-12 hours instead of the recommended 12-15 hours sleep.

It’s common sense when you look at it but sometimes you get carried away when you are a bit sleep deprived.

When we stopped comparing Isla to Aston the weight of frustration and expectation was lifted from our shoulders.

She’s now just over 2 years old and has slept through the night from around 16 months.

She wakes at the crack of dawn almost every morning, which is not ideal, but she always greets us with the biggest grin first thing in the morning!

The best way to start the morning. 

Our parenting journey led us to opening an online store dedicated to help make life easier for parents. Parenting is hard, with so many twists and turns.

We source the most useful, efficient and high quality baby and toddler products from all around the world so you don’t have to waste your time scrolling the web for hours on end.

We wish you all the best with your baby journey and hope our advice can help you on your own parenting journey.

Amy and Matthew xxx