Getting K to take a bottle was a priority because I had to get back to work at 12 weeks. When he was just a few weeks old, we'd make sure to give him a pumped bottle every day. He never had a problem with it.
With X, I had such unpleasant memories of pumping that for a while I hoped I could just be there for every single feeding, or give him formula on the rare occasion that I couldn't, and then wean him at 6 months when I went back to work. I guess we could still do that, but I've become more reluctant to give him formula -- the one time we did, I was up half the night with him helping him work out some digestive issues. So I'm back to pumping.
We tried giving him a bottle every day starting when he was about six weeks old. No problem. So we'd let a few days slip here and there, when I didn't feel like pumping. But then days turned into weeks, and eventually we realized he hadn't had a bottle in over a month. It turns out four-month olds are not quite as adaptable as six-week olds, so we battled over that for a few days.
A few days ago, JW proposed taking over a night feeding so I could get some sleep. I've resisted that suggestion before because I feel like his sleep is more important, since he's working. Besides, I was worried that I would become so engorged that I'd need to wake up and pump anyway. But my milk supply is more stable now and I was dead tired, so I agreed. I pumped a bottle and, after a fight, he got the baby to take it. And you know what? After that bottle at 12:30, X slept until 6:15 the next morning! The next night I took JW up on his offer again. This time, X cooperated with the bottle at midnight, and didn't wake up until 5 a.m. (Of course, K woke up both nights around 2 or 3 a.m. Our children are conspiring against us.)
I knew better than to assume X's long sleeps would be a pattern, but it definitely seemed like a good thing. I decided to keep giving him a nighttime bottle, thinking that I could control the amount he ate to make sure he'd get enough to sleep for a long while, and that not getting the breast might discourage him from waking up so much at night. So last night, I gave him a 5 ounce bottle at 1 in the morning and happily went to bed, hoping to not wake up until the next morning. (I had reminded, reassured, and threatened K before bed to discourage him from wandering into our room at 3 a.m. again.) But X woke up at 3:30 crying, and then at 4:30 screaming, and then at 5 I had to feed him. JW had given him 4-ounce bottles, so I thought 5 would be plenty. But maybe it wasn't enough, or maybe it was the fact that I, the food source, was the one attending to him at night again.
Tonight I'll try again with a bigger bottle. No rest for the weary.