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January 16, 2006

Bottle Breakthrough and the Scientific Method

Ok, since our incredibly frustrating Saturday, much has happened in the 'battle of the bottle' (as we call it around here).

Saturday I decided that the bottle nipple was going to become Guido Jack's favourite toy. I wanted him to stop hating it and become friends with it, so that's pretty much the only toy I gave him all day. I would show it to him, make him touch it, and once in a while I would put it in his mouth, not for long, just to get a quick taste of it.

Well...at the end of the day I noticed something: I put the bottle nipple barely in his mouth (only the tip of it was touching his lips) and he started sucking on it! Not with his whole mouth, not a full-on latch like the ones you see in the breasfeeding literature. He would just suck with his lips, never letting the nipple past his toothless gums.

I felt like a scientist struck but a sudden lightning of discovery. It all came to me, and it all made sense now! Here's what I think happened: for a couple of months now my wife has been affectionately renamed "the fire-hose", due to the incredible power of milk production of her mammal glands (sorry for sharing Mariah, but it's in the name of science!). As a result, I think Guido Jack adjusted his style of sucking to a much more cautious "please don't choke me woman!" lips-only style. Me trying to shove the whole bottle nipple in his mouth was NOT AT ALL what he considered proper eating technique, no wonder he was so pissed. I had actually observed this behaviour in the last couple of days, I just didn't make much of it (oh the fool I was!).

So now I had an observation and a theory. Probably due to the extreme frustration I was already feeling, instead of being excited by my discovery I somehow got really mad at myself for not having noticed earlier: Why had I not applied the scientific method? Start from observation, you idiot!

I know, my wife tells me I'm weird too.

Anyways, an hour after the amazing discovery I decided to test my theory and try to feed GJ with this new "lips only" technique. Alas, it was a disaster. He would suck (with this sort-of wimpy suck one can do with your lips alone), but nothing would come out of the bottle. Ah, the troubles of a young (ok, not so young) scientist! I knew the theory was right, but what to do?

I know, let more milk through! I quickly sterilized a needle and made another hole in the bottle nipple. Genius right? Well, not only the new hole I made wasn't big enough to let anything through, but I left the needle on the fake-marble counter, and Mariah poked herself with it while cleaning half-an-hour later (you can imagine how happy she was with me).

So that was the end of saturday. I went to sleep exhausted, frustrated, but I had a glimmer of hope: if I could get more milk to go through, our problems would be over.

On Sunday morning I woke with excitement: let's go to CityKids, let's go to Day One, let's buy ALL THE NIPPLES! I know, it sounds dirty/strange, please bare with me. So we went to our usual baby stores and bought four (4) different kinds of bottle nipples (which brings our total to 7 I think, but the 3 we had at home were useless), from the "second stage" (3 little holes instead of one) to the funny-shaped playtext orthodontic one to the Avent "variable flow" one for which we don't even have a bottle for (it's not a hole, it's a little slot like someone jammed a screw-driver through it).

I went home, filled a couple of bottles with water, and tested it all, jusy by gently squeezing the tip of the bottle nipple with my thumb and index finger. It turns out that the screw-driver slot was the one that let the most milk through (I didn't really have to squeeze at all, gravity does most of the work).

So I tried that with The Guids, and lo and behold, he took an ounce in 5 minutes! That's all the milk we had stored last night, but this morning he took another 2 ounces, again in 5 minutes.

Success!!!

Of course I'm jinxing myself with this post, but there's hope. Go science! Go bottle! Go nipples! (what?)

P.S.I put some recent pics on guidojack.com

Posted by patata at January 16, 2006 07:30 AM