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Thread: Fussy 4th month turned sleep feeder at 5th month

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Singapore
    Posts
    5

    Default Fussy 4th month turned sleep feeder at 5th month

    Dear LLL &/mothers who've been through the same,

    I was EBFing my baby and enjoying it. He usually will stay at each breast for 10-20mins and finish both breasts until...
    My baby was 4mth old. He started to be fussy and distracted during feeds. I tried to keep him at the breast by rocking him or giving him a toy to play with. The toy only worked for a while but the rocking works well. In fact he usually falls into deep sleep after just 1 breast. So when he stirs after abt 30mins while in this nap, I will just offer him the other breast while lying down, which he will take and pulls off once he had enough. Then he will continue his nap for another 30-40mins.
    This works well for us for a while. Now he is 5mth old,
    I have noticed the gradual but sure change. Baby
    - started to refuse taking the breast he when he is fully awake.
    - will only feed when he is asleep and stops feeding once he is awake
    - If I try to feed him, he will arch his back, gag, choke and sometimes really vomit.
    - only 1 breast at each feed. If I offer him both, he may gag or choke in the second breast and vomits all out.

    So now, at 5 mths, he will only take 1 breast/2-4hours during the day.
    From 8pm (his bedtime), he will take 1 breast / almost every hour until midnight.
    He sometimes will wake once or twice (esp if he seems to take less during the day) at 2-5am. And another time at 7-8am.

    Actually I am willing to tough it out... because he seems to have enough wet diapers and stools however, I am afraid bb is developing a very bad habit. Only eating when he is sleepy or asleep.

    Please help! He refused the bottle since he was 2.5mth old and it is almost impossible to feed him with the bottle be it by a third person (my mil/hubby).
    I tried to feed him some rice cereal since thinking that he is bored with BM. But he is refusing that too.

    Is there anything I can do?
    Or is this just a phase and he will outgrow it?
    Is this possibly related to reflux? He vomits at times...

    Please help....

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    860

    Default Re: Fussy 4th month turned sleep feeder at 5th month

    Greetings letitiachua,
    One breast per feeding, every two hours is NORMAL.
    At 5 months of age your LO is an efficient nurser. He is able to get all he needs from breastmilk alone, and your body will adjust to his requirements.
    I only fed from one side per feeding for my kids. Rice cereal is not nutritious enough to replace breastfeeding. And he is still quite young.
    the 8 pm till midnight feeding frequency reminds me of what my LO's did from7-9 pm.
    I called them marathon feedings.
    You are doing fine. Your LO is growing big and strong because breastmilk is all a baby needs.
    DD#1 July 1986 VB
    DD#2 April 1988 c/sec
    DS#3 April 1990 VBAC
    DS#4 June 1993 VB
    and suprise!
    DD#5 April 2001 c/sec
    BTDT scars and stretchmarks,: wrinkles and grey hair

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,767

    Default Re: Fussy 4th month turned sleep feeder at 5th month

    This could be entirely OK but it could also be the signs of an impending nursing strike, where baby stops nursing altogether way earlier than they should. In the last few weeks on the forums I have seen a couple of moms talk about baby refusing to nurse when awake and that leading to baby refusing the breast altogether. So while there is no need to be overly concerned, as baby is getting enough from nursing it sounds like, and babies can and do nurse well in their sleep, I would suggest you think about what may be causing these issues and take some steps to help with it.

    Some possibilities: Distractibility-can be very disruptive to nursing at this age. Sometimes it calms down all on its own, but until then, finding times to nurse in a dark, quiet room or somewhere with minimal distractions may help.
    A change in soap, lotion, deodorant, shampoo etc. that puts baby off
    Forceful letdown-the gagging at the breast may suggest this? But see if you have any of the other "symptoms"

    I have attached some articles below that I hope you find helpful.

    I would suggest NOT trying anymore to introduce a bottle (unless baby does start to refuse to nurse altogether and it's needed for feeding.) Also no need for rice cereal at this age. Babies this young do not get bored with the breast or breastmilk. Every biological impulse compels them to nurse. If they start to refuse the breast it is due to other factors.

    Help, my baby won't nurse http://kellymom.com/bf/concerns/child/back-to-breast/
    Forceful letdown http://kellymom.com/bf/got-milk/supp.../fast-letdown/

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Singapore
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Fussy 4th month turned sleep feeder at 5th month

    Dear esthervegan,

    Thank u for ur reply. I have to add. At times,
    1) He will take 1 breast when he is awake and during his nap, he will toss n turn with his mouth searching (abt 1-2h after the last feed). Then I will give him the breast.
    2) He will take 1 breast, no nap. If I offer the breast 2 hours later, he usually will refuse. After about 3 hours or more, he is then cranky. If I offer the breast, he will still refuse. I will have to rock him and leave my breast exposed. Then when he is drowsy, he will then turn to the breast and feed for <10mins and fall asleep.
    So my concern is, if he is awake, it seems that even though he is hungry, he does not want to take the breast.
    When I pump 1 side, I usually only get 50-80ml.
    Therefore, I think he is only 'sustaining' himself during the day. And come evening/night time, he catches up by continuous feeding. Is this OK?
    Am I encouraging the bad habit of feeding only when asleep/sleepy?
    Will he eventually outgrow this phase?

    Dear lllmeg,

    Thank you for your advice too.
    I think yes he is distracted so I have tried feeding him in a dark calm room with nothing much to distract him. But again he will just take 1 breast (<10mins at times) and refuse to take anymore. I tried to offer him the 2nd breast, but he usually refuses.
    As mentioned above, if he naps, he will search for the breast sometimes. IF not, he will have to be very hungry to want to come back to the breast. even that, I will have to rock him or make him sleepy first.
    No change in soap/shampoo/ the like...
    I do not have a forceful letdown I think. He seems to deal with the letdown pretty well when he is sleepy....
    When he was 3.5, he vomited at almost every feed. Then things got better when he turned 4 months. However, at times he would choke during feed and if he has had a full feed, he will usually vomit all out. Now, he still chokes every now n then but do not really vomit bcos he only takes 1 breast. Could this be a reason?

    Should I just continue as it is? I worry because, he is increasingly refusing the breast when he is awake and if he wakes up in the middle of the feed, he will stop feeding.
    by the way, what does DD, DS, LO stand for?

    Thank you...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,767

    Default Re: Fussy 4th month turned sleep feeder at 5th month

    But again he will just take 1 breast (<10mins at times) and refuse to take anymore. I tried to offer him the 2nd breast, but he usually refuses.
    Your baby is gaining fine-It is fine and normal and even typical for your baby to take only one side at a time and to nurse for less than 10 minutes at this age. This does not worry me in the least. What worries me (a little) is his refusal to nurse at all, when awake.

    When he was 3.5, he vomited at almost every feed. Then things got better when he turned 4 months. However, at times he would choke during feed and if he has had a full feed, he will usually vomit all out. Now, he still chokes every now n then but do not really vomit bcos he only takes 1 breast. Could this be a reason?
    That all sounds like forceful letdown. Look at forceful letdown again. It would be entirely consistant for baby to be able to handle the letdown fine while very relaxed and sleepy and bothered by it when awake. Certainly you can try some of the remedies for ffld even if you are not sure, with no drawbacks, like uphill nursing, allow baby to nurse at only one side per feeding, offer/let baby nurse frequently but don't pressure baby, etc.

    If it's not forceful letdown, you may want to consider that it may be painful reflux (GERD) causing these issues. But I am still betting it has something to do with the milk flow.

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