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Thread: Baby will only nurse while asleep/sleepy, is there any hope?

  1. #11

    Default Re: Baby will only nurse while asleep/sleepy, is there any h

    Thank you meg for your reply.
    the thing is he doesn't eat when he is awake, and I know he is hungry because he hasn't eat for 5 hours and begain to eat his clothes. but he start to arc and cry when I put a bottle neat his mouth.

    the only way to make him eat is to wlk him un and dow stairs and get him asleep (if he is too deep sleep he doesn't eat either)

    does any one know why this suddenly happen? and what is wrong?

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: Baby will only nurse while asleep/sleepy, is there any h

    Hi fdnh, ok I would suggest start your own thread. You want to find moms who are bottle feeding at least in part, so maybe post in the Eping forum http://forums.llli.org/forumdisplay....sively-Pumping

    or the pumping forum or the working forum? If you do not get a response there, try here, as this is a busy forum but may have fewer bottle feeding moms.

    Does your baby ever root or show signs of wanting to NURSE during the day? If so, what do you do?

  3. #13

    Default Re: Baby will only nurse while asleep/sleepy, is there any h


    I am reaching out to try and get some reassurance. My 15 week old nursed fine for six weeks and then started choking and sputtering. We put him on a bottle and formula because a doctor suggested it was my milk. He choked on those too so I went back to nursing. He had a tongue and lip tie revision at 8 weeks. It didn't get better. I have tried every position. Now he will ONLY nurse when asleep in a dark room. After reading some of your stories I am hoping someone can reassure me that my sweet baby will get enough until he starts eating enough solid food (at 10 months or so). My daughter did the same thing, but it only began at 6 months so feeding her before her naps and before bed kept her gaining weight - although it was also EXTREMELY stressful. I am so scared and full of worry my baby will have to go on a feeding tube because of this. Some reassurance would be so welcoming right now.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2012

    Default Re: Baby will only nurse while asleep/sleepy, is there any h

    Hi, since I made the original post I've received a few private messages asking for updates and advice. I thought I'd copy&paste from my reply to one of them here so that those with a similar problem desperately searching the net for answers can at least know the outcome in my case and hope it provides some reassurance...

    I'm sorry that I still am not 100% sure why it happened to me and my son and that I didn't find a miracle cure...but happy to report it did get much better after a while and now at 20 months I'm still nursing him with no problems at all (except being ready to stop while he wants to continue!). I'm pretty sure it was not reflux because he wasn't fussy otherwise, only when he needed to be fed. We did try infant Gaviscon at some point and it didn't make any difference. The conclusion I came to was that I did have an oversupply and a forceful letdown. It came on gradually so I didn't believe it was a possibility at first but I think my supply increased gradually just because as time went on I was getting slightly more rest. While he was asleep I think he was just able to handle the flow of milk better because he was relaxed.

    Basically I just kept trying gently. The more I tried to force him the worse the situation got. In the meantime I started blockfeeding to get my supply and letdown under control and I continued that for many months. I would feed from one breast during the day and the other at night. I would get advice from an LLL leader or lactation consultant about this first though before trying it yourself... I also learned to feed in the side lying position which he preferred for a long time after he got used to, there were 2 months or so when he wouldn't be fed in any other position.

    There was a time when I could only feed him while he was fast asleep... even in the nights he would sometimes half-wake while I was feeding him and start crying when he realised he was eating. I'd rock him to sleep in order to feed him throughout the day and if he fell asleep in the pram I'd take him out before he woke up to feed (though sometimes he'd wake up as I was taking him out and refuse to eat which was frustrating). That was really rough on me emotionally and in every other way because I was basically constantly trying to feed him and always worrying about whether he was getting enough.... but then (after maybe 2 or 3 weeks) I was able to feed him while he was in light sleep, then a few weeks later I could do it when he was drowsy, then, when he was just tired but still awake... it got better slowly and I can't say precisely how long it took because sometimes he would still randomly fuss or refuse to be fed despite the progress we'd made. It may also have been partly due to distractibility because even after he got over needing to be dream-fed, for a while he'd only snack-nurse when we were out and about and have a full feed only at home.

    The only things that worked for me were to keep offering, never try to force (though it's so tempting to when you know your baby hasn't eaten for many hours and must be hungry), and using the new position (side lying)... also it worked sometimes to stand up and rock/walk him while holding my nipple close to his mouth so he could latch on his own accord. The motion while feeding seemed to calm him sometimes, so feeding in a sling worked sometimes. When he got a bit older, like 5-6 months, he was sometimes just too hyper/distractible and would pull off and look around or babble/ try to roll over etc...in those cases I just left him alone for a few minutes minutes, not to cry but babble, kick about or fuss a little and then when I went back he would eat. Maybe he just needed to tire himself out a bit or realise that he was hungry? Like I said it's all still a bit of a mystery to me.

    Hope this helps someone out there....it was a really hard time for us, especially because of not knowing exactly why he was doing this, but it did get better gradually and for a while getting him to nurse was just a matter of trial and error.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Baby will only nurse while asleep/sleepy, is there any h

    Wow, what a journey! I am so impressed that you stuck with it and tried so many gentle, flexible ways to encourage your baby to nurse. "Never try to force"- that's a perfect motto for good parenting, right there.

    Thank you for posting your update.

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