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Thread: Little problem with feeding on demand

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    46

    Default Little problem with feeding on demand

    Having read so many things on this board about the advantages for both baby and mother of feeding on demand, I'm a big beleiver in it.

    But I'm beginning to wonder if I get my LO's signals wrong.

    Yesterday afternoon, I fed him as usual, he asked for it hourly sometimes less, and I was thinking it was a growth spurt since he is in his 7th week.
    So I offered the breast freely and he nursed frantically but seemed agitated.
    I burped him often of course, guessing it was gas and then he started spitting up a lot.

    It became a circle of burping, walking around, spitting up all over him and me, then crying pityfully asking for more milk.
    He seemed miserable....I was under the impression that he didn't know when to stop and was overfull but still asked for more!

    How does that work with feeding on demand?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,952

    Default Re: Little problem with feeding on deman

    Sorry you had such a rough day! But before you freak out, remember that it was just one day. There are so many reasons babies fuss - growth spurts, illness, gas, reflux, simply being a baby- and sometimes the hardest thing for a nursing mom to do is to remember that not everything her baby does is caused by something she did or failed to do. That doesn't mean your baby wasn't uncomfortable or overfull. But if he was, it is not your responsibility to fix it by trying to space out his feedings. Part of having a breastfed baby is allowing the baby to learn how to identify his own satiation cues and how to stop nursing when he is full. Some days he will probably get it wrong and eat too much, especially in the beginning when your milk supply is probably extra abundant.

    All that being said, if a baby seems very uncomfortable when spitting up, that is something to watch. Most babies are "happy spitters" and their spit-up events are laundry problems, not health problems. But if your baby is consistently upset and uncomfortable when spitting up, then you might need to look into acid reflux. One symptom of reflux can be very frequent feeds, because milk is alkaline and soothes stomach acid, and because constant swallowing can help keep stomach contents down where they belong.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    2,538

    Default Re: Little problem with feeding on deman

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*mommal View Post
    Sorry you had such a rough day! But before you freak out, remember that it was just one day. There are so many reasons babies fuss - growth spurts, illness, gas, reflux, simply being a baby- and sometimes the hardest thing for a nursing mom to do is to remember that not everything her baby does is caused by something she did or failed to do. That doesn't mean your baby wasn't uncomfortable or overfull. But if he was, it is not your responsibility to fix it by trying to space out his feedings. Part of having a breastfed baby is allowing the baby to learn how to identify his own satiation cues and how to stop nursing when he is full. Some days he will probably get it wrong and eat too much, especially in the beginning when your milk supply is probably extra abundant.

    All that being said, if a baby seems very uncomfortable when spitting up, that is something to watch. Most babies are "happy spitters" and their spit-up events are laundry problems, not health problems. But if your baby is consistently upset and uncomfortable when spitting up, then you might need to look into acid reflux. One symptom of reflux can be very frequent feeds, because milk is alkaline and soothes stomach acid, and because constant swallowing can help keep stomach contents down where they belong.
    Autumn
    Moma to *Silas* 10-30-07

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    46

    Default Re: Little problem with feeding on deman

    Thank you for your input!
    I'm so grateful for this board, you especially seem to have words of wisdom about every problems. I feel better everytime.

    I've got to keep telling myself that things will adjust.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Washington
    Posts
    105

    Default Re: Little problem with feeding on deman

    I'm reviving this thread because I'm in the very same boat with my own 6.5 week old son. For the past two days he's appeared to need to nurse constantly -- there were times yesterday where I nursed for two hours straight with only a ten minute break when I tried to burp him and see if he was done. If he's not nursing he's got fussiness that sounds frustrated and tired, but not actually hungry, yet he's doing other hunger cues like the side to side head movement and kind of licking/smacking his lips.

    When I'm holding him he wants to eat and won't be soothed any other way, but my husband was able to soothe him last night, making me suddenly doubt my ability to read his cues right. Given that this is week 7, his fussiness level has gone up in general, and he seems to be frustrated if he's not nursing, is it safe to say that this is a growth/development spurt and I'm likely feeding on demand correctly? I'm sort of worried that I'm "making" him eat when that's not what he needs.
    First-time mom to Markus, August 17, 2011.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    10,440

    Default Re: Little problem with feeding on deman

    Babies know from whom they get food, and they will often want to eat when mom is holding them, but not so much with dad, because they know they can't get dad to feed them. \

    But, IMHO, if a baby wants to nurse, that's OK. There is way, way, way more to nursing than just food.

    I learned that only when I had a baby who is physically unable to nurse. And it was a difficult lesson to learn, one that still hurts my heart. I would give anything to be able to comfort nurse my baby, whether or not he's hungry. If your baby wants to nurse for comfort, that's A-OK. Maybe that's what he needs.
    Susan
    Mama to my all-natural boys: Ian, 9-4-04, 11.5 lbs; Colton, 11-7-06, 9 lbs, in the water; Logan, 12-8-08, 9 lbs; Gavin, 1-18-11, 9 lbs; and an angel 1-15-06
    18+ months and for Gavin, born with an incomplete cleft lip and incomplete posterior cleft palate
    Sealed for time and eternity, 7-7-93
    Always babywearing, cosleeping and cloth diapering. Living with oppositional defiant disorder and ADHD. Ask me about cloth diapering and sewing your own diapers!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    361

    Default Re: Little problem with feeding on deman

    I had the same issue with my LO. Our issue ended up being silent reflux, and just a generally "needy" baby, as in he wanted to be held a lot. mommal's advice about reflux... my baby would nurse until he threw up, and if he wasn't sleeping or nursing, he was crying.

    There are other symptoms of reflux though, back arching, gulping sounds when he is laying down, wet burps, etc. It could also just be a phase he is going through with a growth spurt...

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