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Thread: 4 month old not nursing well during day

  1. #1

    Default 4 month old not nursing well during day

    My son is 16 weeks and has not been nursing well during the day for the past week or so. He shoud be hungry (goes 4 hours between feeds), but pops on and off the breast the whole nursing session (just a few sucks, then pops off and straight back on again). Sometimes he whines and fusses in between. And I don't feel my let down happening like I used to and I don't notice his gulping swallows that used to happen during let down. So my breasts are not emptying fully and I got a plugged duct the other day (which fortunately I was able to resolve). What would be causing this? Is he frustrated at slow let down? slow flow? is it developmental changes? I used a nursing cover today to try and reduce distrations but it didn't seem to help him. Should I pump to empty breasts?

    Oh and he does nurse well at the last feed of the day when he is sleepy and I do notice the let down happen then (but he doesn't wake to feed during the night anymore). He is almost 18 pounds and has regular poops and at least 6 wet diapers a day (but not quite as heavy wet as they used to be).
    Last edited by @llli*sebsmom; October 26th, 2012 at 12:51 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: 4 month old not nursing well during day

    babies often do nurse 'weird' at around this age. so it may be developmental and will go away.

    not feeling let downs and not feeling full is also normal once milk supply 'regulates' which just means, you start making enough for baby and not tooo much.

    but it conerns me a bit that your baby is only nursing every four hours. if you mean every four hours around the clock, that would mean 6 times per 24 hour day, which is definitly on the low end for frequency and nursing so infrequently could certainly lead to lower milk production and plugs.

    there is no harm in nursing more frequently, and nursing more frequently can usually help with any number of issues.

  3. #3

    Default Re: 4 month old not nursing well during day

    The same thing is happening to my 4 month old and me. I have been home for a week while my mom/babysitter was on vacation. This is the longest stretch at home since I started back to work at 9 weeks old. Starting about 3 days ago my baby started pulling off and fussing while nursing. I thought it was just gas at first, then got worried and took him to the doctor today. The doctor said everything is fine, he is probably just protesting the schedule change. He is still taking a pumped bottle fine, because it is easier. He is usually such a good eater, he is 17 pounds and 5 ounces and in the 87% for his weight.
    My supply has been negativly affected and now he is refusing to nurse even more!!! He only nurses well in the morning when I am more full and if he is sleepy but not overtired. I think my stressing over this is just making my supply worse! I did not think it would upset me this much, I have exceeded my original goal for breastfeeding and now really wanted to make it to at least 6 months.
    I really hope my supply boosts and that my baby will begin nursing again once we start back on our schedule next week.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: 4 month old not nursing well during day

    kprass, It's hard to tell from your post, but it sounds as if you are continuing to pump and bottle feed while you are home with your baby?
    I would suggest that a time at home would be a great time to boost supply, as you can nurse your baby as often as you want/baby will.

    I am not sure what you mean by schedule, aside from of course your work schedule-if you mean a feeding schedule, I suggest supply and nursing behavior is often adversely affected by scheduling/delaying feedings. Cue feeding would probably help, nursing at not just your baby’s cues but your own-basically, cuddle baby and offer to nurse as much as you want/can. Babies nurse for more than food, it is important to encourage them to nurse for comfort as well, as that helps with milk production. If baby is nursing frequently, it is fine if baby does not nurse 'well' every time. When a baby is on a feeding schedule, it makes every nursing session a "meal' that must be completed or baby does not get enough. But that is not how nursing is designed to work...

    Here are some tips for encouraging baby to nurse: http://kellymom.com/bf/concerns/child/back-to-breast/

  5. #5

    Default Re: 4 month old not nursing well during day

    Thanks for the reply meg. I generally offer the breast whenever he gives a cue or if 4 hours have past whichever comes first (although I sometimes find his cues harder to read now that he isn't a newborn). He goes 4 hours between feeds early in the day but nurses more frequenty later in the day (and has been sleeping through the night without nursing for quite a while now) but on average he does 6 feeds per day. Since he's been gaining really well, I hadn't been too concerned. But I will offer it more frequently now as I don't want my supply affected.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: 4 month old not nursing well during day

    Offering more is good. 6 feedings per day isn't enough for most babies. Can you cram in another couple of feedings? 8 nursing sessions/day is usually the minimum necessary for exclusively breastfed babies- but that's usually, not always! Many babies will feed far more frequently than 8 times a day, and a rare few will be well fed with fewer than 8 feedings per day. So don't freak out if your baby deviates from the norm, either by feeding more or feeding somewhat less, as long as his weight gain and general health remain good.
    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!"

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