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Thread: New behavior...not sure what to do?

  1. #1

    Post New behavior...not sure what to do?

    Bfing has been going well, up until last night. At around 8:30 my LO was acting hungry so I nursed her. She fed for about 20 minutes, which is normal, but then still acted hungry. So I kept offering her more but she would act like she was going to latch on, then start shaking her head back and forth and screaming. It was like she couldn't/wouldn't latch on. This and the screaming went on, off and on, for about 45 min. Finally, I got desperate and offered her a bottle of what I had pumped that morning. By this time it was about 9:45 and she drank the whole oz like she was starving. I figured that would calm her down because it appeared she was hungry. She was somewhat relaxed for about 30 min, but still acted like she was hungry so I let her feed, again. This time she actually did latch on and feed, but for only about 10 min. Then, the head shaking, no latching, screaming behavior started again. I tried rocking her, walking around the house, singing, everything I could think of but she still acted hungry but refused to latch. Finally, I caved and gave her a paci. I didn't want to but it was a last resort and she calmed instantly. I was worried about giving it to her for fear of nipple confusion and what if it falls out of her mouth while she's sleeping? Will she scream until I give it back to her? She ended up just sucking on it until she fell asleep and didn't scream when it fell out, and I didn't give it back to her the rest of the night. I feel guilty for having given it to her and like I'm doing something wrong because I don't understand her new behavior. Any thoughts?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,962

    Default Re: New behavior...not sure what to do?

    First thought: one weird evening doesn't necessarily mean anything. Sometimes babies are just cranky and it has nothing to do with you, or with breastfeeding, or the phase of the moon, or whatever!

    Second thought: if this behavior continues, don't worry. Fussy evenings are very normal for young babies. There are even widely recognized terms for them- things like "the witching hour(s)" and "evenings-only colic". The are some useful strategies for dealing wth them, including the following:
    - Nurse. Nurse, nurse, nurse, nurse, nurse!
    - Warm bath.
    - Motion. Rock in a rocking chair, swing in a swing, bounce on an exercise ball, stroller ride, car ride, etc.
    - Closeness. Wear baby in a sling.
    - Calm house- lights, tv, and stereo down or off.
    - White noise (dryer sounds, radio static, noise machine, etc.)
    - Fresh air- take baby outside.
    - Pacifier- that worked for you once and I'd encourage you to try it again, provided baby is >3-4 weeks old and nursing is otherwise going smoothly (those things will reduce any risk of nipple confusion). If it falls out of her mouth, just replace it until baby decides to nurse.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  3. #3

    Default Re: New behavior...not sure what to do?

    Thank you! The only concern I have is that she is just over 2 weeks old and I'm really nervous about nipple confusion. I've been working so hard at establishing nursing, and it to this point now problems, but I don't want to create problems. What do you think? Once she fell asleep she didn't even notice it had fallen out of her mouth.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,962

    Default Re: New behavior...not sure what to do?

    Most recommendations are to wait at least 3-4 weeks before introducing a paci, provided that nursing is going well. If mom and baby are having problems getting their nursing relationship figured out, you're supposed to wait longer. The problem is that at 2 weeks your milk supply is still being established (which in this instance means it's getting tamped up to it's maximum level) and baby is just getting the whole nursing thing figured out and is just starting to really gain weight... I honestly would put the paci away for another week or two. If you're going to use it, I'd keep it to an absolute minimum- maybe once per day, during that evening fussy phase.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,430

    Default Re: New behavior...not sure what to do?

    I agree with mommal. A fussy time is entirely normal and probably has nothing to do with baby being hungry. I have a newborn as well and she has a fussy time of 1 to 3 hours every day. It is so regular that I think I would be worried if she did not do it.
    Use all your other comforting techniques if she will not nurse. I agree with mommal that very occasional pacifier use at this point is probably fine however I don't use a pacifier in these cases I will sometimes use my pinky or my knuckle or even give baby her own hand to suck.
    I am wondering why you are pumping. Sometimes pumping in the early weeks can cause issues if it is done when it is not necessary which it usually is not. If you are pumping on top of exclusive breast-feeding it can increase your supply to more than you really want. But in any case as long as your baby is gaining well you do not ever have to worry about giving her supplemental bottles I would be more concerned about supplemental bottles than a pacifier as far as nipple confusion goes.
    Kellymom.com has an excellent article about what to expect in the early weeks with a breast-feeding baby I forget the exact title but if you go to that site I think it comes up on the front page. Another great source of information is the book the womanly Art of breast-feeding you want the eighth edition which was published in 2010.
    It sounds like you're doing really well and congratulations on your new baby!
    Last edited by @llli*lllmeg; September 8th, 2012 at 04:31 PM.

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