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Thread: Five month old losing interest in breastfeeding?

  1. #1

    Default Five month old losing interest in breastfeeding?

    Hi there,
    I am a new mom, and my son is five and half months old. We have had our share of struggles in the beginning with breastfeeding and sleep. I visited clinics and hired an LC for in home visit, and recently hired a sleep consultant for our sleep issues. Recently, I have begun introducing solids, and I would say he gets about 2-3 Tbsp 2x daily (half cereal, half fruit or veg)... He really is enjoying the solids. I offer the solids only after a nursing. I nurse him when he wakes up, I nurse him to sleep for three naps each day, and top him up after each nap, and nurse him at bedtime. I am breastfeeding 7 x per day, and no longer in the night. Recently, he is popping off screaming and is inconsolable. I used to have no problem nursing him to sleep for his naps or bedtime. And now I can't even calm him before I place him down in his crib for a nap or bedtime. I know he is tired because he is on a 2 hour wake schedule. So every two hours I nurse him to sleep and he sleeps for 1-2 hours, and he wakes for 2 hours, etc... He no longer will take a pacifier and he no longer takes a bottle. We are still getting our wet diapers in each day. But it breaks my heart that I can no longer soothe my baby with breastfeeding. Any suggestions as to what could be happening? I don't think he is teething, but then again, he is drooling and mouthing an awful lot. I wish I could help him.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    Canada
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    Default Re: Five month old losing interest in breastfeeding?

    Aw, I'm sorry you guys are having a rough time, mama. It sounds like he's getting a lot of your milk which is awesome! My thought when I read your post is that right around that age, there is SO much brain development going on, that could possibly be it. My son will be 5 months on the 18th and I noticed that he's becoming much more distractable, much more alert to what's going on, and the list goes on. Just keep up the nursing as much as possible, as that should be his main source of nutrition right now. My guess is that he will calm down a little, and become more content with the nursing before/after naps like he used to be.
    Mommy to L - May 7, 07' , B - February 7, 09' , and R - August 18, 12'

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    212

    Default Re: Five month old losing interest in breastfeeding?

    Hi Mama, Sorry to hear that things are so tough. It is very unlikely that your baby is losing interest in breastfeeding, but it is entirely possible that he's not so into the comfort feeding thing. Some just aren't. My one thought when reading your post is that it sounds like you're being very driven by the clock and the advice of the "professionals", but maybe not so attentive to the cues of your baby. Babies change constantly in their first year. They are growing rapidly, learning new things, growing teeth, etc. Just because a two hour schedule was working for him last week does not mean that is the pattern he needs right now. It sounds like you rely on a schedule to structure and support your day. You might need to back off of it a little to really pay attention to your baby's cues. When he's fussy before a nap, try holding, cuddling, or wearing him, then maybe try again on the nursing before he goes down. Or maybe he'll fall asleep without nursing and then you will nurse longer when he wakes up. Point is that baby is not necessarily hungry at one hour 45 minutes and tired at 2 hours. Maybe he is, but he can tell you better than the clock can.
    All the best.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    168

    Default Re: Five month old losing interest in breastfeeding?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*lehall View Post
    It sounds like you rely on a schedule to structure and support your day. You might need to back off of it a little to really pay attention to your baby's cues. Point is that baby is not necessarily hungry at one hour 45 minutes and tired at 2 hours. Maybe he is, but he can tell you better than the clock can.
    I can totally appreciate why a schedule sounds appealing but I agree with pp that you might need to back off the schedule a bit and see what LO is telling you. You said you know he is tired because it has been two hours awake...I would suggest that rather than watch the clock you start to watch him and see when he is telling you he is tired. We have never "scheduled" LO but have found that he has a very regular, self set routine, napping at pretty regular intervals when we are watching for the signs. And, my LO has displayed the exact behaviours you are describing every time he made a sleep transition to longer awake times or dropping a nap. It could be possible that your LO is ready to be awake a little longer and is fighting naptimes because he just isn't tired yet.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Five month old losing interest in breastfeeding?

    Thanks all, you are probably right, but instead of him not being tired, he is actually overtired... We had major issues with sleep in the early months... He would only stay asleep for 40 minutes or so (used far too many sleep associations, rocking, shushing, cradling, swing)... He never co-slept well, he didn't even sleep well beside our bed (never transitioned between sleep cycles or stayed in deep sleep)... We tried everything... So I called a night doula/sleep consultant for help. He was beyond overtired. He never blinked. Would stare at lights and was a miserable boy! The feed and sleep routine really saved our breastfeeding, and rescued our overtired child. He can now fall asleep in his crib from a drowsy state. But I do not think he is ready to be awake two hours. I think he is getting himself overtired and worked up, and when we go to feed and sleep he is not interested in the breast, he is just tired and he no longer finds it soothing because at that point nothing is soothing for an overtired child. I will pay less attention to the clock and more attention to him. Thanks for your advice! However, since implicating the naptime routine, he will not nurse anywhere but in the corner of his room in the dark after a story and lullabies, etc... He is very easily distracted. I tried in a change room at the mall last week... And he no longer takes a bottle either. Hopefully this phase passes soon! Is it common for a six month old to take several catnaps at day? Or should they be taking only a few longer naps in a day?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    Default Re: Five month old losing interest in breastfeeding?

    My boys have both been cat-nappers. Little guy is almost 6 months, and he has not consolidated napping yet. Sometimes he will go longer, but 20-40 minutes after he falls asleep nursing is about normal for him. He'll sleep longer if I'm babywearing. Sounds like are babies are very different in sleeping/temperament though. I assume from your comments that you're at home with him. You might try a two day intensive period of learning then following his cues. You know what he looks like when he gets overtired. What about when he's just starting to get sleepy? What are his "bigger baby" hunger signs? You can keep the same patterns, but maybe they won't follow exactly the times you've gotten used to. And perhaps he prefers other ways to be soothed. Maybe try nursing him sooner and then if he pops off, you can sing, sway, rock, hug, or whatever does feel soothing to him right now.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    5,475

    Default Re: Five month old losing interest in breastfeeding?

    You have worked so hard to establish a breatfeeding relationship with your baby, of course you do not want to see it come to an early end!

    It does not have to. There is lots a mom can do to encourage more nursing and keep things doing. Changes in nursing habits are normal as baby develops, and the distractable age can be tough! But certainly, these little hiccups do not mean nursing is ending.

    I know he is tired because he is on a 2 hour wake schedule. So every two hours I nurse him to sleep and he sleeps for 1-2 hours, and he wakes for 2 hours, etc... He no longer will take a pacifier and he no longer takes a bottle. We are still getting our wet diapers in each day. But it breaks my heart that I can no longer soothe my baby with breastfeeding. Any suggestions as to what could be happening? I don't think he is teething, but then again, he is drooling and mouthing an awful lot. I wish I could help him.
    I don't understand why you think you cannot sooth your baby if he still regularly nurses to sleep for naps? And what do you mean when you say you no longer nurse at night? Does baby take a longer than two hour sleep stretch at night?

    Introducing solids can sometimes be a tricky time for breastfeeding. How a mom wants to start solids will vary quite a bit. Here are the general suggestions.

    Nurse baby prior to any solid 'meals.'

    Start solids when baby is developmentally ready for them. Certain outward signs indicate inside readiness. (for example- Baby can sit up on thier own, can grab food and put it in thier mouth, gum it and swallow without gagging or spitting it out.) If the tongue is still trying to thrust food out, that indicates baby is not ready. When exactly readiness will occur will vary from baby to baby, The AAP says not to start solids until 6 months of age, LLL is more relaxed and suggests babies are typically ready to experiment with solids "around the middle of baby's first year." A few babies are ready prior to 6 months, many are not ready for a few months afterward.

    For up to about baby's first birthday, solids are for fun and experimentation. Under 12 months, almost all of a baby nutrition will ideally come from breastmilk (or formula for the formula fed baby.)

    Let baby eat soft safe bits of food himself, with hands or a spoon, as opposed to an adult spooning in very thinly pureed food to bypass the tongue thrust reflex.

    This article has some general suggestions for prolonging the nursing relationship. https://www.llli.org/nb/nbjanfeb06p4.html

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