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Thread: Baby won't nurse unless hungry?

  1. #1

    Default Baby won't nurse unless hungry?

    The advice I keep getting in AP circles is to nurse baby all the time, booby booby booby, that's all they need; make a bed picnic for yourself, stay in bed for days and just nurse.



    But my DS won't do it. He has had a real issue with bfing, too much foremilk at one point, too fast a let down at another and now he just hates to comfort suck when it means he gets milk. He WANTS to nurse to sleep, but unless it knocks him out in the first few minutes, he gives up in frustration and screams. Then he's upset because he wants to suck, won't take a dummy, and can't nurse because it's making him too full.

    In the early days, he persevered until he hurled. He did this several times and learned it isn't worth it and now won't do it. The only time he nurses for comfort is overnight - we cosleep and he stays attached pretty much all night, using it as a settling tool for himself. He hurls occasionally through the night because of going past "full". This is gonna do my head in eventually but at the moment it's the least of my worries cos at least he isn't crying and is sleeping/sucking. But through the day for naps and bedtime, he won't have a bar of it.

    So we have to use the fitball to bounce him to sleep and he is so sad at the loss of his nursing. He would much rather go to sleep the peaceful way of nursing than bounced to the moon, and my back can't take the bouncing much anymore.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    May 2008
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    1,110

    Default

    Can you either put him to bed after he has nursed-for-food (ie. make some of his naptimes after his feeds), or express some milk to make an emptyish boob for comfort sucking?
    I use an office chair to "swivel to sleep" rather than bouncing - that might be worth a try too...

  3. #3

    Join Date
    May 2007
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    Warrnambool Vic
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    Hi,

    It can be soooo hard to read their signs, can't it? And quite frustrating when we don't quite get it right. and, then just when we think we've worked it out, it changes again. The bed picnic idea can be great when you have newborn and getting over the birth - but you can't stay in bed for 2 years or so! Tell me, how many feeds does your little one have in 24 hrs? What have his weightgains been like? How long does he spend on each breast? Does he tend to have both breasts each time?
    Usually, if your baby has been awake for one and a half hours or so (allowing for individuality) then he will be tired and ready to go to sleep. Some signs of this might be that he is whingey, sucks his fists (tricky, because that looks like "hungry" to adults) may be playing with you, and then suddenly "crack it" and turn away, or maybe rubbing his eyes. This means that he wants a little help to go to sleep. So you might give him a little feed, usually from the breast he last fed from, or wrap him firmly and cuddle him or rock him til he goes to sleep, or put him in the sling and go for a walk or do the housework, or whatever. The funny thing with babies is, the more sleep they get, the more they often want - as though they learn to enjoy and feel safe going to sleep. While I'm not big on timing feeds or sleeps, it can, in the early days, help to just jot down what the time will be in an hour and a half and when that time comes, start observing his behaviour and working towards sleep. There may be one time of the day when nothing you do seems to work, and times when you mix up the hunger cues and tired cues - that's Ok - you'll work it out in the end!

    Warm Regards
    Barb

  4. #4

    Default

    Tell me, how many feeds does your little one have in 24 hrs? What have his weightgains been like? How long does he spend on each breast? Does he tend to have both breasts each time?
    Thanks, Barb . It's hard to tell precisely how many feeds as we cosleep and he is pretty much attached from midnight until dawn. But through the day he is very regular, at three hourly (I think he eats more at night, but maybe it just seems that way cos that's when my breasts are most full, and well emptied by morning) so that would be about 6 feeds (not counting snacks or attempts to feed to sleep) during the day and about 4 to 6 from 10pm.

    As for weight gain, he is a heffa. Huge. Only 8lb10 at birth but gained two kilos his first month! High gain still but not as high as that since. I only offer one breast a feed as we have a foremilk oversupply problem. I have block fed for two feeds (approx six hours on one side) and it rectified, only to return a few days later when we reinstated one breast a feed. It's gotten bad again, with an explosive green watery poo yesterday so i'm figuring I have to block feed two feeds again for a while. This morning he had a little yellow in his green and it wasn't as watery so maybe it's not too bad but really, this issue with foremilk is annoying. Sometimes he can only get through half a breast full. So of course I don't offer both breasts cos that would make it all so much worse.

    I'd really like the breast he fed from to be flopsy so he can comfort suck from it to sleep but it's usually still got a whole feed left in it! Shall I block feed and for how long? I've increased my intake of fat, more fish oils, coconut cream and EPO. My protein intake is pretty lame.

    I will admit to a fear that as long as I am cosleeping/bfding he will cluster feed all night. Other women in my position all say it just continues until they wean from the bed or the breast, usually by two or so. I honestly don't know if I can go that long now, but maybe I'm looking at it through the glasses of a two month old which can be rough at the best of times. He doesn't look for the breast unless hungry when sleeping with DH, so maybe that's the key, keep him on DH's side of the bed all night. I didn't want to stick him in a side car bed, and basically I can't cos he protests if not on a body 24/7.

    Thanks for reading. I appreciate any help.

  5. #5

    Join Date
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    Warrnambool Vic
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    Hi,

    Your baby sounds completely noemal and well adjusted. When I first read your e-mail I thought you were wanting your baby to feed more, but then your second e-mail suggested maybe you wanted him to feed less? As I said before, follow your baby's lead. He is certainly getting plenty to eat, so he probably won't want to feed more often. Other settling techniques might be more helpful for him - patting, rocking or the sling, rather than feeding to sleep. It's good to have a balanced diet - but you needn't worry too much about it. The block feeding has worked for you, so it might be sticking with it a little longer. If you want to co-sleep, that's perfectly fine. You do get used to it, and all the research shows that co-sleeping mums get more sleep overall than mothers who sleep apart from their child
    Regards
    Barb

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