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Thread: 4 month old... nursing much less...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    Default 4 month old... nursing much less...

    I was wondering if it could be normal for a 4 month old to shift (lower) how much milk he wants/needs? I was not expecting any decrease in the overall milk consumption until much later.

    I think he is taking in less because:
    * For a week I've gotten definitely less milk from the pump while at work (bringing home about 16 oz instead of 19 oz per day)
    * For the past 2 weeks I keep drenching my shirt at night because he is not taking out enough milk to keep me from leaking all over. Today this even happened mid-day so it's not like he is just sleeping more at night. I've been home on vacation from work and despite holiday stuff I was careful to offer the breast frequently... but he often just latches for a few seconds and blows a raspberry on my nip and then laughs at me... today this was followed by my milk flying all over the place!!!

    Could this possibly be normal? My son is 99th %-ile for weight so I kind of think maybe he really just doesnt want to keep up the huge intake as he is more alert and interested in the world around him... can this be okay or should i be pumping when I leak and getting all my milk into him or leaving him formula to supplement my smaller pump output?

    THANK YOU!!!!!!

  2. #2
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    Dec 2009
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    110

    Default Re: 4 month old... nursing much less...

    p.s. We have NOT started solids

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    Default Re: 4 month old... nursing much less...

    At 4 months your baby is in awe of his surroundings. It's comp,etely normal for him to be a distracted nurser. It may seem like he is nursing less, but as babies get older they become more efficient nursers and it takes less time to get a full meal in. As far as your pumping goes, your supply may be regulating and your pumping output may slightly decrease. 16 oz is still a GREAT amount to leave, if you are working a typical day I would guess baby would be ok with that amount (usually 1-1.5 oz for every hour they are away).

    Because baby is a more efficient and effective nurser, during a long vacation whe you only nurse, your supply can increase, your body responds to babymoreso than the pump.

    I do not think he needs formula at all by the way! If you are truly concerned that he may not be getting enough, count his wet diapers in a 24 hour period. If he is wetting 5-6 diapers in that time he is fine!
    Mommy to Maxwell 10-9-07 weaned with love (a party and a remote control monster truck) on his 4th birthday
    My Boy 3-16-10
    And my sweet pea Sam 2-12-11

    Watch Your Language

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    19,883

    Default Re: 4 month old... nursing much less...

    great advice from Jenna. Are you running short on milk to put in your LO's bottles while you work? I agree that 16 oz per day is still terrific output, but if you're running short adding in another pump session- maybe after your baby goes to bed at night, maybe during the workday, maybe first thing in the morning after he nurses- would be a good way to boost supply and cut out that doubt in your mind that's making you eye those cans of formula!
    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!"

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    110

    Default Re: 4 month old... nursing much less...

    Thanks ladies!!!

    I agree, 16 oz is awesome, I feel blessed to bring home that much. 19oz had me feeling like Super-Milk-Mom. :-)

    I have a pretty good day care provider (my husband) so he would probably deal with the decrease in what I'm leaving, I think. I am away from home for 11 hours (3 days a week).

    I guess I was just wondering how to know if there is a "problem"- if the supply is dipping because he wants less, that would be fine, but it would also be suprising at this age. The primary problem now is just the leaking & drenching of my clothing! :-) Obviously I wouldn't want a clog but I don't have any symptoms of that.

    Good idea to to count some diapers. His poos are definitely doing fine I think, the pees its hard to know off the top of my head.

    I am not really eying formula LOL - I have a decent freezer stash that I could supplement from but I was hoping to use that milk to allow me to cut back on pumping when baby is a bit older (9 or 10 months).

    I am super-sensitive about my supply going down at all because with my first baby, my supply was a MAJOR STRUGGLE all-year-long.

    With baby #2 now, all signs point to a great supply (16-19 oz is awesome from just 3 pump sessions), and my baby is a total butterball, he was over 20 lbs at his 4 month appt.
    So the BIGGEST problem is probably just my own hyper-worrying about milk! (and the excessive leaking...)

    I wouldn't want the supply to dip because he is getting more interested in his surroundings, but I don't know what to do beyond lots of offering, which I AM doing and he is NOT really responding to except to play on my nip which I don't want to encourage either. I offer frequently, but if he just starting playing with it then I put it away until next offering.

    Thanks for letting me talk through this ladies!!!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    10,440

    Default Re: 4 month old... nursing much less...

    Just keep offering. If you stop offering, he will forget to ask, and you will be on your way to early weaning or even EPing. What will be important is that he knows you are there and ready any time. So offer any time you think he might take it, and don't be upset visibly if he blows you off, and I would not allow play either. Offer, if he takes it, fine, if he doesn't, close up shop and offer again in an hour or two.

    I had one kid who never would comfort nurse until he was much older. My third didn't do the whole hang-out and snuggle and nurse thing until he was probably 10 months old and the newness of the world had worn off for him.
    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
    Feb 2011
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    278

    Default Re: 4 month old... nursing much less...

    My son was like this at 4 months too. He didn't really cut nursing sessions but I did have to offer, and he was particular about only nursing side-lying in the bed. NIP was really hard. At 10 months though, he is a major comfort nurser. Hearing "mu! mu!" all the time is cute though.

    Anyway, hang in there! He'll get less distractible as he gets bigger.
    Mama to five beautiful kids- 9, 8, 3, 2 and currently nursing our new baby girl born 1/20/2013


    "It should not be necessary to tell reasonably intelligent mammals to suckle and not dismember their neonates." ~Susan Blustein

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    110

    Default Re: 4 month old... nursing much less...

    Thanks ladies!! that is interesting to learn that some babies do not comfort nurse at an early age, but then do when they are older!
    My first son loved nursing, allll the time his whole first year :-) in fact it wasn't until 18 months that he really started turning down some of my offers!
    So with my second (plump) son I am just wondering what to make of his nursing. I guess as long as he is happy and healthy I'll try to go with the flow.

    I wouldn't want a supply drop to end up causing trouble.. but then do I really need to fight to maintain the supply I have (which has him over 95th %-ile for weight!) !!

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