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Thread: 3-month-old hardly nurses in public, dislikes baby carriers

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2012

    Post 3-month-old hardly nurses in public, dislikes baby carriers

    I'm having trouble feeding my DS on the go. Whenever we go out somewhere he gets so distracted/overwhelmed by his surroundings that he can't focus on eating and only takes a sip or so before popping off. He sometimes fusses all the way home and then finally has a good feed once we're back home although it can take a bit for him to settle even then. I've heard that getting distracted during feedings is typical around four months, but he's been like this pretty much from the start. It is upsetting to see him getting so hungry when we're out somewhere when I'm perfectly willing to feed him in public. I've tried feeding him in the car before heading home, but he likes to stare out windows and the car has lots of them! I tried using a cover once when we were at home to see if it would help him focus but he screamed at it. He often gets distracted at home even when we're alone in a dark room too, so I've generally tried to make up for it by increasing his night feedings, which do go smoothly. He also nurses well when he's gearing up for sleep. So I guess what I'm trying to say is that it takes considerable effort to feed him at home and is nearly impossible when we're out. Sometimes he is distracted peacefully and sometimes he is fussy, but either way he's often hard to feed and then he gets really hungry.

    Additionally, he won't nurse in a baby carrier. I have tried the following types: Kozy (a mei tai carrier), Baby K'tan, and the Ergo carrier. He's rarely content in a carrier for more than a minute or so if at all, although he is perfectly happy to be carried by hand all day long, perhaps because this gives him more freedom to squirm. When I put him in the carrier, he generally keeps his head turned to the side (his ear towards my breast) and fusses like he really wants to nurse but does not turn his mouth towards my breast to feed although he has room to do so. Then when I take him out he eats hungrily.

    I have no concerns about his weight/growth since he's quite big and strong, but it's been really hard taking him places to get things done or socialize and it's also hard to get things done around the house when he wants to nurse and be held but not in a carrier. He's quite active, has been rolling over since he was six weeks old and is now eager to crawl and can even crawl a few inches if given the time. It's great that he's so interested in the world, but I'd love for him to occasionally relax a bit and eat too!

    I'd love to get some advice on dealing with this phase or at least some reassurance from someone who has gotten through this.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Dallas, TX

    Default Re: 3-month-old hardly nurses in public, dislikes baby carri

    I don't have advice on your specific situation, but I will say when my DD hit the 4 month distractible age sometimes the only thing that worked was walking her, while jiggling her or patting her bottom and nursing at the same time. The walking was imperative to keep her latched on. But for mine this was a brief phase, maybe two weeks or so, and then she seemed to settle down again. We never really got the hang of nursing in a carrier. Sorry it is frustrating for you to go out! NIP is hard enough to coordinate sometimes without having baby popping off and not settling down to nurse for a few minutes!

    Mom to Aimee, born 8/22/11
    for 20 months!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2012

    Default Re: 3-month-old hardly nurses in public, dislikes baby carri

    I remember DS being extremely distracted around this stage. I don't remember it being a big deal other than a pain in the ass. But my mom commented on it every time she was around. More in amazement that I was so tolerant of it. Most times I didn't even notice until she said something. Anyways, we just stuck it out and it has passed. I think it is just like you said being eager to observe his environment.
    Married to the best husband ever since Nov 2009
    DS born 1/7/12 at 36 wks after PROM and Gestational diabetes happy and healthy ~

    Taking it one day at a time.

    Currently and !!!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Victoria, BC, Canada

    Default Re: 3-month-old hardly nurses in public, dislikes baby carri

    DS was really bad for this. I always had to feed him before we went out and right after coming home. And it always had to be in a dark, quiet room. I even had to nurse him in a bathroom at a LLL meeting once! So no advice, really, from me. Just hang in there, you will figure things out.
    Canadian mom and breastmilk fan.
    We have 2 beautiful children: Luana who's 9 y/o, had breastmilk for 2 years and is smart as a whip. Lucas who came out kickin', is 4 y/o and continues to enjoy his milkies.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2011

    Default Re: 3-month-old hardly nurses in public, dislikes baby carri

    Hey Squirmama,

    Congrats on having such an active and energetic baby! With that level of engagement and obviously precocious movement, you might well have a gifted child on your hands.

    Re carriers: I had two outward facing Bjorn carriers ("original" for under 3 months and "comfort" through to 9 months). My son never takes a breather either and loved the 180 degree view of the world and would wave his limbs excitedly in the carrier. There are some conflicting opinions on the safety of outward facing carries, but we never had any issues with the Bjorns until my son outgrew the height on the comfort carrier at 9 months. You can usually get these carriers used on Craigslist for at least half off retail.

    Re: distracted nursing- we're still there at 11 months. I offer when out, but he often only takes a few sips. If my son is distracted, I'll do something active/intriguing right before nursing (examples below) to scratch that mental "itch". In our case, distractibility has become less bothersome as my son has gotten more efficient at nursing. Where at 3 months both sides took 30+ minutes with distractions, it now takes 5.

    1. A jolly jumper (retails about $40): I checked out podiatrist recommendations, and these won't adversely affect leg strength or gait if used moderately (~30 mins)

    2. Museums: We have a membership to one around the corner and started going around your sons age. DS loved the variety, the other patrons, hearing descriptions of the exhibits.

    3. Books. LOTS of them.

    4. Once strong enough, rides in the grocery cart.

    5. Musical instruments.

    6. Throwing/manipulating wooden blocks or balls.

    I'm sure you already have a great repertoire of your own activities, but these helped me carve out little 5 minute chunks to pee, brush my teeth, or literally throw something together for dinner.

    Congrats again!! Smart, active children are so gratifying!!
    Last edited by @llli*alphawoman; October 4th, 2012 at 08:58 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Upstate SC

    Default Re: 3-month-old hardly nurses in public, dislikes baby carri

    Hey mama! My 4.5 month old DD seems to only nurse really well for about 5 min lately unless we're lying down. Maybe you could try that before you go somewhere, since its harder for them to look around and it might remind him of sleeping/relaxing/etc. If he gets in a good feeding before you leave the house in that way, he might only need a few min of nursing when you're out! Like you, I don't mind NIP, but it's much easier with a cooperative kid!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    North Beach, Maryland

    Default Re: 3-month-old hardly nurses in public, dislikes baby carri

    My DD is easily distracted when we are out. So I take her to the car turn the radio on a soothing station, and feed her. It helps, we can go for a good 30 minutes and then continue what we were doing

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2012

    Default Re: 3-month-old hardly nurses in public, dislikes baby carri

    Sounds exactly like my son. Nothing was ever good enough except mama's arms. He did start to like shopping carts and the stroller (for moderate time limits) once he could sit up. And nursing in public suddenly became possible around 9 mo. I didn't do anything different, he just grabbed them at a restaurant one day and stayed latched for a whole five minutes.
    Check out the book 'raising your spirited child'. Sounds like you have one too. I wish I had specific advice but these kids take extra time and patience to learn their unique quirks.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2012

    Default Re: 3-month-old hardly nurses in public, dislikes baby carri

    I had the exact same issues with my DD, who will be 1 year next week. We stuck it out by going to the dark, quiet room when we got home just like you are doing, as she wouldn't nurse with the distractions of a public place either. What we sometimes do now, is I'll let her watch sesame street on the ipad or computer while she nurses. I know that sounds rediculous, but the animation holds her attention and she'll stay latched on for 20+ minutes while she is watching. She nurses the best/longest during the day this way. Our night times aren't an issue either. Sometimes I'll bring the ipad with us when we are on the go or let her look at pictures on my phone. I guess playing to the distractibility by giving her something to do while nursing has worked for us. Good luck!

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