One piece of advice I got from reading “Attaching in Adoption“, when we first were in Ukraine to bring Karen home, was the importance of regressing baby home children to a baby bottle.  The book even recommended regressing children as old as 7 to the bottle.  The book didn’t go into much detail, except to say that it was helpful for bonding.   We also found that the bottle helped Karen relax since we were lucky that she had never been introduced to a pacifier.

My sister posted a really great explanation on the various benefits of bottle regressing in one of her comments several pages ago.  She adopted her son, Alex, from Siberia last year.  I’m reposting her detailed post for the benefit of anyone who may read this prior to adopting from a baby house or orphanage. 

From her comment:

I would definitely make every effort to get him to take a bottle. Try different fluids, try warming it up, and like food, try to do it in a quiet calm place where he can focus on it. With Alex it took a week to get him to take the bottle and it turned out it was just because he only wanted warm liquids, something we only found out by trial and error. (You can warm it in a microwave or by placing the bottle in hot water for a few minutes. Test it on the inside of your wrist first because the one scalding incident will be enough to ensure he never wants a bottle again!

Now, here are all the good reasons for the bottle:

1. Attachment: It’s not just the sucking, it’s sucking while making eye contact with Mom, and cuddling. Alex’s bottle is part of his bedtime, nap time and wake up routines, when we sit in his room, he lies in my arms like a baby, and we rock, cuddle and sing. Other times he gets a cup or sippy cup.

2. Oral Motor: Alex can’t chew because he was taken off the bottle and given mush since 6 months old. And although he now can say about 10 words, his pronunciation is limited to about 3 or 4 consonants. So cracker sounds like dadder. Sucking strengthens the mouth and jaw muscles that are necessary for both chewing and talking.

3. Nutrition. Since it took several months to figure out what foods Alex would eat and wasn’t allergic to, we used baby formula in his bottle. This way we were certain that he was getting nutrition and we didn’t have to stress too much about what foods he ate. It also helped him put on weight pretty quickly…according to our IA (International Adoption) doctor, orphanage kids generally find their new growth curve within 9 months of coming home. So we wanted to get him moving up quickly before he tapered off. He’s gained over 2 kg since coming home, but he’s still pretty thin – because he’s also grown so much taller.

You should be able to get Nestle baby formula in Lugansk. And when you get back to Israel you will probably be able to get toddler formula which is a little more nutritionally appropriate, although I don’t personally think the difference is that big.