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Thread: Advice needed RE: distracted eater

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011

    Default Advice needed RE: distracted eater

    I've got a couple issues that I'm dealing with right now regarding my 6.5 month old daughter and could use some insight.

    Background info, we've been EBF since birth, but we've used a nipple shield from birth to about 3.5 months (we finally had to go to the Newman Clinic to kick the habit). She's been doing well off the shield for the most part. We recently started introducing solids, homemade and whole foods. She really seems to be enjoying exploring the tastes and textures, so we're happy with that.

    She currently weighs about 14.5 lbs (birth @ 7lb11oz)

    Here's my first issue. I have a hard time keeping her on the breast for any significant length of time, it's been like this for the past month or so. She latches, waits for let down (which seems to be taking longer these days), sucks for a minute if I'm lucky, then wants to sit up and look around. I generally let her look around and then try to get her back on, she'll often go back on but only for a few seconds, then she's off and looking around. I'll switch sides to give her a change of scenery and she does the same. She rarely empties a breast anymore.

    She is very easily distracted, so I try to keep the room quiet and minimize anything that might catch her attention while she's eating, all to no avail.

    It seems the only time I can actually get a substantial feed is when she's tired.

    My other issue is sleep related. She's recently outgrown her bassinet, so we decided that we wanted to try bedsharing with her. Up until now she had been sleeping through the night (since 6 weeks). Since bringing her into bed with us she's been waking several times per night and wants to feed, then seems to comfort suck long after she's back to sleep. My sleep has suffered greatly.

    I've set up the pack and play and we now put her down in it, sleeping through is hit or miss now. When she wakes I often bring her into bed with us and feed her, and try to put her back in the pack and play so I don't spend the entire night as her pacifier (I wouldn't mind as much, but I find it hard to sleep in one position for too long, I'm kind of an active sleeper, constantly changing positions).

    I kinda feel like I ruined her sleeping habits by bringing her into bed with us in the first place.

    Is there anything I can do to a) get her to eat for longer periods during the day. And b) get her sleeping back on track.

    Could the wonky eating during the day be affecting her sleeping at night?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011

    Default Re: Advice needed RE: distracted eater

    I forgot to add, that lately she seems to be waking up when she rolls in her sleep, which also seems to correspond with the bedsharing as she had to roll on her side to feed. I always thought that when they hit the rolling milestone at 4-5 months they then start rolling in their sleep, but she never did...until she was in bed with us. Maybe it's coincidence.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Kent, OH

    Default Re: Advice needed RE: distracted eater

    Wow, I could've written your post! I also have a DD who likes to wake, play, eat, sleep. She sometimes also still does dreamfeeds. I think she might be teething too. I just try, like you, to feed her in a quiet, darker room away from as many distractions as possible. Also, I try really hard to accept that with me, she seems to like to wake, play, eat, sleep vs. wake, eat, play sleep. She is definitely an individual. Born 1 month early and lowest birth weight was 5# 14oz and she weighs 16# 8oz now, so I know she's not starving! Hang in there!
    Full time working mama to a precious
    Due date was 05/02/2011 - born 04/04/2011 at 36 weeks exactly.
    and 14 months and still going strong

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2010

    Default Re: Advice needed RE: distracted eater

    I also had/have a distractable nurser. Some other things you could try during the day: singing/humming to her while nursing, nursing necklaces/earrings, nursing laying down, playing music or a sound machine.. I think I'm missing some but I've tried it all! Some days she was more amenable and others not, I'd just keep at it. Some times I'd recreate more of a nap-time setting, rock a few minutes, settle her down a bit, and then try the nursing and distraction. Nursing while she was in super active play mode was not going to work.

    Things I thought about while reading your post: the reverting to night waking thing happens to alot of people, I wouldn't necessarily attribute it to anything you did, like changing her sleeping location. There's more stuff going on: teething, learning new things like rolling over, etc. that can interrupt sleep/keep them from going back to sleep on their own.

    I think nursing her at night is a great thing (calories, comfort, mom doesnt have to get up or even be completely awake if she doesnt want to) if she goes for it given she is wanting to nurse less during the day. I think its pretty common but I'm not sure one is causing the other. My toddler nurses plenty during the day and she still wakes 2x a night to nurse (we bedshare, and she is teething molars ).

    Honestly, as far as me sleeping goes, it wasn't ideal for my sleep to have her in the bed, but I got used to it and now I sleep much better. The alternative was getting up every couple of hours, and even if I wasn't planning on nursing her, I'd have to settle her down and that would definitely interrupt my sleep. You may find that this waking is temporary, or that you enjoy bedsharing given more time, or that the pack-n-play might work out for you, I say whatever is working to give all maximum sleep is what we do. Staying flexible is a good thing b/c babies are always changing it up.
    Can't believe I've been and a full-time SAHM to Elena (5/2010) for over 2 yrs!
    Mami de mi preciosa Elenita
    http://forums.llli.org/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=32384&dateline=131170  7429 OakRoseCharms Free Shipping for LLLadies just pm me! My Blog

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2011

    Default Re: Advice needed RE: distracted eater

    I am nursing 6mo girls and DD1 is 100% distractable. It started over a month ago. I have taken to feeding them in their room (rather than the living room) where there is no tv. I also learned (after a few weeks) that when I talk it distracts DD1 and she stops eating. So I try to limit talking while nursing. They are getting much more efficient now, so sometimes just a few minutes if enough of a feeding for them.
    Full time working Mom to 3, DH is my hero as a SAHD:
    DS July'09, nursed for 12 weeks
    DD1 & DD2 April'11, tandem nursed for 16 months

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