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Thread: Teething, Nipple Confusion, or Both?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2011

    Unhappy Teething, Nipple Confusion, or Both?

    My LO is almost 6 months old, and just cut his first few teeth.

    A couple of months ago, we introduced him to pumped breastmilk bottles, and after some convincing he took to them. Perhaps too well. He started getting very fussy at feedings: latching on, sucking for a couple of minutes, then pulling off, sticking his hands in his mouth, and (sometimes) screeching. He would still take a bottle no problem, and down 5 or more oz of milk, so it seems he was still hungry. We thought this might be nipple confusion, and so stopped giving him bottles, and he got a bit better about taking the breast, but never really went back to his former non-fussy ways.

    Now that he's really getting into the teething, he's been getting fussier, and we're worried he's not getting enough milk (he is a long "lean" baby, he looks alright but doesn't have much baby chub to spare). My supply has also significantly decreased in the past two months, as he hasn't been as persistent. He does feed well at night, but we've been trying to feed him less at night, as he's demonstrated the ability to sleep through the night on several occasions and our Ped suggested we wean him off of night feedings.

    We decided to give him pumped breastmilk again today, to see if he was still hungry after feedings, and to boost my supply a bit.

    He's been fussier than ever, and won't latch for more than a few seconds. I've tried giving him something cold to suck/chew on before feeding (chew toys and frozen wet washcloths), but he just sucks them for a few seconds before fussing again.

    Is this just teething pain? Preference for a bottle? Both? I don't want to be pumping all the time, and I'd rather not increase his night feedings, but I don't know what else to do to make sure he gets enough milk.

    He still has plenty of wet diapers.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2006

    Default Re: Teething, Nipple Confusion, or Both?

    If there is ever a question about if a baby is getting enough to eat, then dropping feedings is never a good move. If not feedings are going smoothly, then especially don't drop them.

    Teething can really interfere with breastfeeding.

    I'm sure someone has a good link on overcoming nipple confusion and maybe even nursing strikes; I don't have one bookmarked. But I would consider cutting the bottles out, giving Tylenol and Advil in case it is teeth, and nursing as much as possible and not pumping unless baby skips a feeding. Supply is totally driven by demand (except if you are pregnant) so you need to increase demand.. And a baby is better than any pump.

    Some babies really prefer to to work for their food, so anything you can do to give him immediate gratification will help, such as starting a letdown then latching on, breast compressions while nursing and switching sides over and over.
    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!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2010

    Default Re: Teething, Nipple Confusion, or Both?

    I ran into the bottle preferance issue with my son when he was about that age (he got bottles of breastmilk all day at daycare) so I understand the frustration if that is what is going on. I agree with aprilsmagic statement about immediate gratification - this sounds like a lot of crazy work but I had some success with this method - putting about an ounce of breastmilk in a bottle and starting that first, then quickly switching to the breast. His initial hunger was satisfied and he was in the "zone" so he was more patient and would elicit a letdown. Just an idea. Teething certainly complicates matters. Good luck to you!
    Blessed with DS - born 9/2/09 - nursed/pumped for 12 months
    Blessed with DD - born 3/27/12 my dreamfeeder

    903 ounces donated.

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