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Thread: Snacking baby - help!

  1. #1

    Default Snacking baby - help!

    Hi everyone,

    I'm new to the forum, but would love help! My little one is 6 weeks old and we have had some breastfeeding troubles. First, since she was a late-preterm, we had issues with blood sugar and jaundice. She also had a tough time latching onto my flat nipples. Eventually I was given a shield at about 2 weeks and it has made a huge difference - much easier latching and no more pain! However, in the last two weeks, we have experienced a new hurdle. She will eat for 25-45 minutes, sometimes one breast and sometimes both, and then fling herself off all covered in milk (pretty cute). She seems done, but then 15 minutes to a half hour later, she's hungry again! She only goes 90 minutes to two hours at night and when she takes forever to eat, I'm only getting an hour sleep here and there. She snacks during the day too (ate every single hour this morning for four hours straight). I know she's gaining extremely well and is a pretty happy baby, but this demand is killing me. Any tips? If anyone has experienced this, does it get better? I've tried making her "more awake" to feed, but it doesn't matter. Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Fort Lauderdale, FL

    Default Re: Snacking baby - help!

    Based on her age and what you described it sounds like a growth spurt. It may last a week and it'll happen again around 9 & 12 weeks, but yes, it does get better. let her snack and nurse her until she doesn't want to nurse anymore. You have no idea how happy you're making her...hang in there mommy!
    Born Free, Breastfed & Cloth Diapered
    Miss Melanie Elyse
    5/29/11 @ 5:47pm
    7lbs-4oz & 19 inches

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Snacking baby - help!

    "Snacking" is a very normal eating pattern for a breastfed newborn. It gets a bad rap from people who base their ideas about infant feeding on the eating patterns of formula-fed babies. Formula digests slowly compared to breastmilk (slower, not better!) and it is easy to cram a baby all the way full using the bottle, whether the baby wants to be full or not. That all results in formula-fed babies typically eating larger amounts, less frequently, than their breastfed peers.

    So what you're seeing is normal. But that doesn't mean you're doomed to experience it forever! As babies get older, they can go longer between feedings and often choose to do so as they become more interested in the world around them. They also become more efficient feeders, with many babies able to get a full meal in just a few minutes at the breast. So even if the baby continues to nurse very frequently, 5 minutes feedings every hour or two is a lot less taxing than 25 minute feedings every hour or two.

    It sounds like the shield has been working well for you, but one problem with shields is that they can slow down milk transfer, leading to longer feedings. You might get more of a break between nursing sessions if you can manage to ditch the shield.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Sidney, NE

    Default Re: Snacking baby - help!

    Like PP said, very normal. My son literally nursed all night long for 6 weeks. I didn't want to cosleep (terrified I would roll over on him!) but it ended up being the only way that I could get any rest. It does get better as time goes on. I found with both of mine that around 8 weeks the feedings got a lot shorter and they started to sleep for longer stretches at night. I know that doesn't help now while you are sleep deprived but there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

    Mother of 2
    Aidan - 5 years -- breastfed for 4 months
    Avery - 5 months -- still breastfeeding -- 2nd time's the charm!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2010

    Default Re: Snacking baby - help!

    It sounds like you are at one of those hurdle points where a lot of moms give up BF because it's so darned hard. Once you get through a few more weeks, I bet life will get a lot easier.

    SAHM-WAHM to lovely Lizzie, born at home 9/14/2010

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011

    Default Re: Snacking baby - help!

    My DD born one month preterm did about the same at that age, then started to sleep longer stretches at night, even sometimes 5 hours, at about 10 weeks, but still nursing every hour or so in the day. The length of the feeds went down from 1 hour each to just few minutes each...

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