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Thread: Very sudden changes at 8mo?

  1. #1

    Default Very sudden changes at 8mo?

    Hi ladies!

    My 8mo has been breastfed from the beginning with very little issue (I count my lucky stars). We started baby-led solids at 6mo for dinner only, but started sending lunch to school with her at 7mo. She loves solids but it never affected her nursing frequency. I pump at work and get good yields so I know my supply is fine (usually 15+ oz total in 3 x 20-min pumps). During the week she usually nurses about 5 times a day, 2-3 of which are still at night which I encourage. She usually gets 4-5 x 3oz bottles in a 10 hour separation at daycare. They do paced feeding and she doesn't always finish her bottles. On the weekends she usually nurses 10-12 times in 2-3 hour intervals, it just all depends. Her sessions are usually at least 10-15 minutes long, and often she'll comfort nurse at least once a day for 30+ minutes at a time. I nurse on cue but often I offer when it's convenient, but she rarely turns it down. Diapers and gain have always been great, but she is petite.

    So here's my problem: This week we went on a "vacation" to the beach with my husband's family. The baby did mostly fine, but missed a lot of sleeping and some nursing, especially those comfort sessions. By day 3 I was having a hard time getting her to nurse during daytime hours at all. She would latch for 5 minutes (at most) then do a backflip off the boppy to crawl away. I would try to reposition her and she would fuss and roll away again. I tried other positions but she was just not interested. I did notice more night waking that night with longer sessions as if she was making up for the daytime losses. We're now on day 3 of this behavior (first full day back home, although babe went back to school).

    So was this just distraction from the overstimulation? We keep a very chill calm house, and the "vacation" was one small step down from total chaos. I absolutely suck at nursing in public so I always took her to a closed bedroom but that didn't seem to help.

    I feel more full than normal now since she's not draining me throughout the day (today wasn't as bad since I was pumping at work). So her nursing in shorter durations is causing me to be more full, which can in turn cause her to nurse for shorter durations since she's getting more milk more easily. Tonight she was choking quite a bit which hasn't been an issue since the early days. Choking does nothing to encourage longer sessions either.

    So what do I do? Pump after she barely latches for a few to protect my supply? Roll with it and hope it's just a spell? Do their habits really change THAT quickly? Like mid-day? I've tried to stay as low-intervention as possible and trust my body to adapt to her needs, but I don't want my supply to take a hit if this continues and not be able to recover.

    If you've made it thru this detailed novel and are still awake, any ideas or guidance or similar experiences would be very much appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    California, USA

    Default Re: Very sudden changes at 8mo?

    I went camping for 5 days with my 6 month old. My typical day is like your weekend day but when we went camping everything changed. He wanted to look around and be in everything. He really only nursed for naps (3 a day) and he made up for it at night. It took a day or two to catch back up at home but he returned to his old habits. I think I would pump a little more to keep your supply up. I think your LO will return to normal(ish?) In a few days.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Very sudden changes at 8mo?

    It's very common for travel to affect nursing, particularly with an older baby who has other options (solid food, bottles, sippy cups). So much excitement- a lot of babies decide that they have more and better things to do than nurse.

    If I were in your shoes, I think I would either pump or hand express after those very short sessions. Not too much- I'd stop after around 2 oz. That way your supply is protected, and you get some milk for the freezer. And because the pumping/expression is limited, you won't send your supply into overdrive and risk making nursing unpleasant for her.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Very sudden changes at 8mo?

    Thanks for the advice ladies. It's still going on, but not quite as bad. I can get a couple good sessions out of her during the day, but it's no less stressful. It's worst at bedtime; I can tell she's getting exhausted, but because she doesn't want to nurse she's having a hard time getting to sleep. She cries regardless of what I do: hold her, set her down to play, lay her down on her favorite pillow, put her on the boppy, etc. So far I've had to pump a handful of times, mostly in the evening when she goes to bed and in the morning when I'm the fullest.

    I'd read about "the distracted baby" but I would have never imagined it would be THIS stressful.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Very sudden changes at 8mo?

    Just an update if someone searches and lands on this thread...

    Things have improved after a few weeks. She's still easily distracted so no more nursing on the couch in the living room, but for the most part she can finish a session without crawling away a dozen times! Although she is still nursing shorter durations on average, she has started to comfort nurse for naps again. At bedtime though she nurses to full then rolls off ready to sleep. I guess that's helpful since it's a clear sign she's ready for bed, but I still miss the evening snuggles sometimes.

    I never expected an 8mo would become so independent so quickly!

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