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Thread: 3.5 month old refusing to finish :(

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Central Virginia

    Default 3.5 month old refusing to finish :(

    Hi ladies,
    I desperately hope someone can give me hope. I've been bf'ing my daughter since she was born, but just within the last couple of weeks, she has started a very frustrating trend. She will eat for maybe 5-8 minutes on one side, then come off & start screaming. She refuses to finish that boob & becomes irate if I keep offering it again. She will take the other breast for about the same amount of time.. usually less, though, & also refuse to finisg. (i am dribbling as she screams, so I know she didn't empty me.) She ardently refuses both breasts at that point, but attack a bottle, if offered, like a little piranha. I have been fortunate enough to have a donor so far for the bottle feedings ( I get next to nothing when I pump.), but I really don't want to have to depend on a donor when my baby could easily get everything she needs from me. I know formula wont kill her, but I wanted to have her on breastmilk for at least 6 months... & preferably MY breastmilk. I have tried dimming the lights, skin to skin, even singing & massage.. I have tried everything I can think of. I called the lactation consultants to try to set up an appointment, but ended up playing phone tag with them just to find out they couldn't see me & they recommended I try the LCs at the other hospital in town... and those LCs have yet to return my call. I am trying to pump to keep my supply up, but in the meantime I feel like I'm drying up... I feel like throwing in the towel. I don't want to.. More than anything I want to keep bf'ing. But I am fast losing faith. Help?
    Mommy to 2 beautiful girls ~ born on 06/06/2010 & 03/21/2012 <3

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    The Armpit of the Universe

    Default Re: 3.5 month old refusing to finish :(

    is it possible that she's just going for the bottle because it's interesting? in the same way she might be interested in shoelaces or the book you're reading or whatever? (my son's 8 months and desperate to steal whatever cup i'm drinking from, but then not interested in having a drink, just chewing on the cup). Also, a lot of babies start getting very efficient at nursing, and just don't take as long. in your shoes, I'd just offer more frequently, so even if she's too distracted to nurse for long, she still has ample opportunities to nurse. some mamas find nursing necklaces to hold their lo's attention.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    West Salem, Ohio

    Default Re: 3.5 month old refusing to finish :(

    My LO is 5 months now, she is my first to EBF. We had some issues at the beginning and I found that I have OS/OALD I wouldn't get much at the start when I would pump but she was able to get the flow going and it was too much for her sometimes. So I had to start laying down to feed her, it was the best way to get a solid feeding from her. There was also I short time period that it seemed she would only eat if I stood up and bounced her around, or swayed, while having my breast available for her to latch on when she stopped crying. Also, maybe you could try rocking her, or bouncing, or walking whenever she stops after those few minutes. She could have filled up enough, or maybe she just needs a break for five or ten minutes, or half an hour (mine does this sometimes, she will eat for less than 5 minutes and then stop, gets mad at me if I try to keep her going, then within about half an hour maybe an hour she nurses again.) I hope some of this helps...
    Mother of 3 beautiful girls, and expecting baby number 4 in July

    Elisabeth ~ 9/25/07
    Eliana ~ 1/08/09
    Elivia ~ 1/22/12 ~ EBF

    with all 3 still

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    New York

    Default Re: 3.5 month old refusing to finish :(

    Greetings ohvamommy!
    as long as your baby is wetting 6-8 diapers a day
    And as long as she is having bowel mov'ts that are plentiful, yellow, seedy and wet
    And as long as she is gaining weight
    and as long as she is nursing on average, at least 8-10 times over a 24 hour period
    You are on track and doing fine.
    My LO's only took one side per feeding.
    She may need to comfort nurse and she is frustrated b/c she doesn't want a mouth full of milk.
    With the bottle she has no choice b/c sucking even the bare minimum means getting milk...even if she does not need/want it.
    Your baby can get everything she needs from nursing exclusively.
    If you know she needs to be fed after the first 5 minutes of nursing but she pops off, you can try burping her and then putting her back on the first breast.
    You may find she is more satisfied with only nursing from one side per feeding.
    Started my family in 1986
    Finally done in 2001

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: 3.5 month old refusing to finish :(

    Typically Babies get more efficient at the breast as they get older, and some can get all they need in 5 minutes. Also, typically no need to switch sides unless baby wants to. So, maybe she IS finished! Taking a bottle after nursing means nothing. I would suggest stop giving your baby a bottle. Just offer to nurse again a bit later.
    Possible complicating factors that might suggest this new behavior is not just the normal progression: : 1) Introduction of bottles, some babies get used to the fast flow of the bottle and get upset at the breast.
    2) forceful letdown-the opposite of above issue, baby is upset by a too fast flow from the breast.
    3) Feeding scedules or sleep training. Breastfeeding goes best and Babies are happiest when nursed on cue throughout the day and night, with frequent feedings that last for as long (or as short) as they like.
    4) You are taking a homone based birth control that may be harmng milk production.
    5) there is some other factor harming milk production or inhibiting letdown

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    COUGARTOWN Baby! From here on in!

    Default Re: 3.5 month old refusing to finish :(

    I would NOT supplement with donor milk! Only because I don't think you need it. If she will eat off both sides and 5-8minutes, she is able to extract enough milk. And if she is hungry again she can nurse again. By giving her donor milk you risk decreasing your own supply. I wonder what is causing the screaming. My thoughts are possible reflux or ear infection. I would take her in and have her ear checked on Monday. And in the meantime try nursing in a more upright position. Which actually helps with ear pressure AND reflux. So if it's either of those things, nursing in a more sitting up position would probably help. Keep us posted.

    Way too lazy for formula

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2012

    Default Re: 3.5 month old refusing to finish :(

    I'm only a few weeks ahead of you on the learning curve, but minus the bottle and supplemental milk, this sounds very familiar to me. Within a week around the 3mo mark, my son went from nursing almost constantly, and never refusing, to nursing for brief spurts every 1-4 hours and very angrily refusing if I tried to latch him back on or offer when he wasn't interested. He's still gaining weight and happy, so I've just been working on quickly taking him away from the breast after an unaccepted offer so that he doesn't work himself up to be too angry. Hopefully this is just a normal behavioral change for you two and you will adjust easily! Does she seem happy for most of the day, even when she doesn't get supplemented off the breast?

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