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Thread: Is DS starving in the evenings??

  1. #1

    Default Is DS starving in the evenings??

    My DS is 5 weeks old and has been acting like he is starving to death in the evenings. This has been going on for about 2 weeks. I have been nursing him and pumping to build up my stash, as I go back to work next week. He nurses frequently (and fine) throughout the day (about every hour) and towards the end of the day, I have to do switch nursing. He acts like he is not getting any milk after a few minutes on one side, so I switch him, get another let down, he sucks for a few minutes, crys, then we switch again. Later in the evening the switching doesn't work anymore. He takes a couple of sucks and then screams. He is giving me all the hungry cues, so I know he wants food. My breast do feel empty, but I know there is still SOME milk in there. Plus, I thought with all the nursing and pumping, I should have a huge supply. I let the crying go on for a while, trying to give him the breast, but then end up giving him the bottle of the milk I've pumped that day. I have only been able to pump about 3-4oz each day over the past 2 weeks, and he sucks that down in the evenings like he hasn't had food in forever. After he has the bottle, he is calm enough that he will nurse normally before going to sleep. I hate to think that he is that hungry, but really need to build up my stash or I am going to have to supplement with formula, which I DO NOT want to do. Any advice??

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    miles from nowhere

    Default Re: Is DS starving in the evenings??

    It's totally normal, mama. The evening fussies, aka the witching hour, aka 'colic'. Don't resort to giving bottles, your breast is plenty. Check out this article about cluster feeding for a better explanation and some tips on how to get through it.
    “We are not put on earth for ourselves, but are placed here for each other. If you are there always for others, then in time of need, someone will be there for you.”

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Is DS starving in the evenings??

    What the PP said. It's not starvation- it's cluster feeding plus normal evening fussiness. The techniques mentioned in the article the PP linked to are all very useful. In addition, try an evening bath- my kids always stopped screaming the moment I had them in the water. Just changing the incoming sensory stimuli can have an amazing calming effect on a fussy baby.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2009

    Default Re: Is DS starving in the evenings??

    My son did the exact same thing at that age. He's 8 weeks now and the excessive fussiness and cluster feeding have started to diminish slightly (through no actions on my part).

    I too found a warm bath helpful as well as a walk. I'd put him in the wrap and he'd be more calm by the time we got down the driveway. The change of scenery helped me as well - I found some evenings quite challenging and draining.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2012

    Default Re: Is DS starving in the evenings??

    My son also did that exact same thing in the evenings from around 1 month until around 3 months. It's normal. The reason he calms down after a bottle may be that he's in a 'milk coma'. Babies that age often get sleepy and blissed out after feeding so that may be what you're seeing. It doesn't necessarily mean he was hungry beforehand.

    Also what time of day are you pumping? If you are pumping in the evenings or late afternoons, I would stop. Your milk supply is naturally lower in the evenings so if you are pumping then, you may be taking away milk that he actually needs and he could be hungry. Pump in the mornings, after the first morning nursing. That's when your milk supply is highest.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Is DS starving in the evenings??

    my three week old does this too. this week, 11pm-2am, you can set your watch by her carrying on. and i have oversupply-but this is the only time i feel 'empty'. its an illusion, you have milk, you do not need to give a bottle, your baby is just fussy/has a fussy 'time'-which is normal.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Is DS starving in the evenings??

    Thank you ladies! I must have been super lucky with my DD. I BF her exclusively for 10 months and she didn't do anything like this, so I was worried something was up. He had his normal fussy period last night and I walked him around in his carrier and tried to nursed him. He finally settled down and went to sleep. No bottle needed!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Ontario, Canada

    Default Re: Is DS starving in the evenings??

    Also keep in mind that if he's giving you a 3 or 4 hour sleep, he's storing up to satisfy himself before he sleeps. Sleep starts to extend so the feedings start to get a little more frantic before those longer sleeps.

    Make sure you're burping too. That can cause fussiness. They're hungry but there's a big gas bubble in the way.

    It's all normal. Just keep putting him to the breast. Build a little camping area for yourself on the couch with some water, a snack, the remote and your laptop. This is temporary, but totally expected. So make the most of it!
    Mommy to our DD1 early bird (34 weeks, 2 days, 7lbs, 14oz)! Oct. 2nd, 2008 Emergency C-Section, Frank Breech, HEALTHY Girl!
    Weaned @ 17 months
    Our DD2 early bird (37 weeks, 3 days, 7lbs, 12oz) Aug. 10th, 2010 Our Successful VBAC, growing like a bad weed!
    Weaned @ 15 months
    Our DD3 early bird (37 weeks, 3 days, 7lbs, 6oz) Feb. 16th, 2012 Our 2nd VBAC and lightening speedy birth!

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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    North Beach, Maryland

    Default Re: Is DS starving in the evenings??

    I am so grateful for these forums. My daughter is 7 weeks old today and I swear we go through the same thing as you EVERY night. It's exhausting yet at the same time rewarding. My son was nothing like my girl. I never had any feeding problems. It's nice to know I'm not the only one, when my mom and friends are telling me I am.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2012

    Default Re: Is DS starving in the evenings??

    My DS does the same thing! It led me to wonder if my supply was too low, but then I'd wake up spraying milk every morning. I was glad to hear it's normal!!

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