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Thread: Need help! Baby cues for feeding non-stop! Silent refluxer??

  1. #1

    Default Need help! Baby cues for feeding non-stop! Silent refluxer??

    Hi ladies happy to find you. My baby is now 5 weeks old. Was born 7lb 11 and now approx 11lb or more.

    My questions: Why is my baby wanting to eat non-stop? Literally always cueing. To the point where her belly is huge and round, she is crying for more but refusing it and she is gaining lots. Is this only with reflux or is there any other reason for this? Is anyone's baby the same? Does she really need meds for reflux?

    Since the early days she would feed, get uncomfortable/cry, cue for more still crying, I put her back (after calming or trying to) and she usually refuses or goes on and pops off crying really soon. If she is awake she is asking for more, or she's in her swing! There was may be 20 mins where I could carry her around today and she didn't ask for more.I spend the day distracting her! Diaper changing, bath and swing are distractions. Tummy time is just her headbutting her hands. She will cry for it. I can not really go anywhere because she is always "hungry" however much she eats, and cries, and cues/cries. So.... here's the thing, I have over active let down. I'm sure a lot of frustration/choking/ uncomfortable stomach is coming from this. She does spit up in the night or while sleeping and it seems to sit in her throat. She gets gurgley and tries to clear her throat. It took me probably 3 weeks of her life to figure out this much! She basically has symptoms of reflux but I know a lot of it is similar to what might be caused by over active let down. I spent a while thinking her crying was for acid heartburn pain, now I'm not sure if it was all crying for feeding. Either way it is crying and she needs something! By waiting as long as possible before putting her back on she is able to eat a little more and then begins the cycle over. I this morning tried expressing some of the foremilk and I think it helped her comfort but that was it. I have meds for reflux I have been holding off giving since recently learning about overactive let down. (I would prefer no meds unless necessary). I really need to know if anyone has had a baby do this, and if this is reflux?! I will do whatever she needs. It's tough and I'm guessing! After googling so far I do not find anyone with a baby requesting non-stop other than reflux babies.
    Your help and experience is so appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    New York

    Default Re: Need help! Baby cues for feeding non-stop! Silent reflux

    I know how frustrating it can be when all I wanted was a happy blissfull nursing infnat and what i had instead was an infant who screamed while being fed, screamed in between feeds, spit up pools of milk and yet achieved all the "important" milestones. He had good weight gain and wet and soiled diapers. So I knew the breastmilk was doing its job but the actual breastfeeding was not what I had expected. For me the pacifier was a game changer. My milk production did not plummet because my LO still nursed every 2-3 hours or so. I used the pacifier when I saw he wanted to suck but had already gulped down a full feeding. For us the pacifier use at about week 3 did the trick.
    DD#1 July 1986 VB
    DD#2 April 1988 c/sec
    DS#3 April 1990 VBAC
    DS#4 June 1993 VB
    and suprise!
    DD#5 April 2001 c/sec
    BTDT scars and stretchmarks,: wrinkles and grey hair

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2013

    Default Re: Need help! Baby cues for feeding non-stop! Silent reflux

    To me, it all sounds very normal and it sounds like you're doing a fabulous job. I'm no expert (just one 12-week baby), but since I've recently gone through your phase I know it was literally the most difficult time for BFing because it was all about building supply. The 3 week growth spurt was very difficult, but the 6 week one was even worse. All I did was nurse while my husband fetched me things. At times, reflux crossed my mind because it's so often diagnosed (I personally think it's over-diagnosed) and we had a lot of fussiness and some spitting up (at night, like yours), but ultimately, I think it was just DS learning how to eat and sometimes eating SO MUCH that some of it was bound to come back up. He'd eat, get fussy, stop, cue, eat, fuss. It felt like a never-ending cycle. But my reward is a growing baby and nice supply of milk. Just keep feeding, feeding, feeding. It WILL get better.

    I have read that some babies get overwhelmed by an over-active let-down and expressing first is supposed to help. Sounds like that's working for both of you, so that may help! But again, your experience all sounds very normal to me.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Need help! Baby cues for feeding non-stop! Silent reflux

    with the PPs. I know that life with a newborn who feeds non-stop can be hugely frustrating. But it is normal- as one of the long-time forum members likes to say that we all spend the first 6 weeks- at least!- living on the couch, in our pajamas, with a baby permanently attached to the breast. It gets better, I promise! A newborn baby's sole interests are nursing and being in close physical contact with mom. Older babies get interested in the world around them. Once baby discovers her own fingers, or her toes, or mirroring expressions with another person, or watching the cat cross the room, she'll be less dependent on constant contact with you.

    What you describe doesn't strike me as reflux, since baby is gaining weight so nicely. I'm thinking that something related to oversupply and forceful letdowns is more probable, since you KNOW that those are an issue for you right now. Have you tried feeding in reclined positions? And having baby sleep in upright positions (e.g. propping the head of her crib mattress up with a towel placed under the mattress)?

    Can you give us a sense of your supply and the forceful letdown symptoms you're seeing? At 5 weeks, you might be looking at some block feeding if your supply is still on the extreme high side.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: Need help! Baby cues for feeding non-stop! Silent reflux

    I agree with pps but I will add this thought from my personal experiences with overproduction and ffld. Frequent nursing is one of the best ways to lessen the unhappy effects of forceful letdown and help overproduction 'calm down' or 'normalize.' (This is assuming you are cue feeding in every sense-nursing when baby cues, only switching sides if/when baby wants, and nursing each time as long/short as baby wants.)

    So if your baby wants to nurse constantly, that may be because baby knows what helps best.

    I also found nursing “uphill” aka “down under” and now called “laid back” helped a lot. I never expressed before a feeding, (I am way too lazy for that) but sometimes I found that if baby popped off at that initial rush, if i waited and let the milk spray into a towel before offering the breast to baby again, that helped.

    If your baby is cueing to nurse but then not nursing, or only nursing for a short amount of time, that is fine. Comfort baby another way, holding/rocking/swaying/bouncing her in your arms. Some of this may certainly be related to your milk production but is entirely normal for a five week old baby to pretty much only be happy when held, (and often, not entirely happy then.) If it works I think A pacifier is fine since baby is gaining so well, but you do need to be aware that lengthening the time between feedings will probably make the milk flow MORE forceful when you nurse again.
    Even if you do decide to block feed, it will take time for this to “work” and nursing with great frequency is important. Like mommal I am also wondering if your overproduction is at the point that more intervention is needed.

    Have you read the kellymom article about forceful letdown? Tried laid back positioning?

  6. #6

    Default Re: Need help! Baby cues for feeding non-stop! Silent reflux

    Thank you for the responses, I really appreciate it. I would love to hear from someone who's had a silent refluxer. I was looking at how to make this thread more directed at those that have but I don't know how. Wanted to add some things - she does cry when held if not distracted with very energetic dancing for as long as I can keep it up. She is not good say, in a moby wrap as many have suggested to me. She wakes with a cry/scream sometimes ( unless that's normal). Also refluxers either lose or overly gain weight since they eat to soothe. She roots, cues and cries when held by my husband, tummy time, any time! unless asleep! There have been a few 10 minute intervals recently where she is ok. Someone asked me today "is she ok in the car?" No! only if shes asleep. Definitely been trying all of the great suggestions for over active LD and it's much better. I have been choking her much less. (position/block/frequency/expressing.) Feeding so frequently that I only have to lay back with her in cradle rather than her on top. It hasn't changed her unhappiness outside of that. I just don't want to leave her uncomfortable/hurting 24-7 if she does in fact have reflux and that's what her cueing, crying and refusing is. I see everyone elses babies eat and behave normally after! Plus it just seems like she's missing out on enjoying things It would be great to know if someone had all this without it being reflux... It would be great to take her on a stroll or walk her round the block in a carrier without her crying.
    Also I would like to not use a pacifier.
    Thanks ladies

  7. #7

    Default Re: Need help! Baby cues for feeding non-stop! Silent reflux

    @lllmeg, How was you're crying experience at 5 weeks? Does it sound similar? She is happier when held but I couldn't just stand there still and hold her and her be fine.
    Thanks so much

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: Need help! Baby cues for feeding non-stop! Silent reflux

    Doctor Sears has the best article on reflux I am aware of. http://www.askdrsears.com/topics/par...-faq%E2%80%99s My eldest son was diagnosed (but not via testing) with reflux that seemed to respond to meds which we started at about 4 months of age for about two months. (At five weeks I was in a nightmare fog of breastfeeding issues but I do know not one of us was sleeping with any regularity.) But I also had overproduction/forceful letdown (but did not know it) and we also kept trying to lay him down in his bassinet when he fell asleep. Things got way better when we started bedsharing and wearing him is a sling, both of which we also started at about 4 months. So I don't know to this day if he ever truly had painful reflux.

    If your baby is always miserable, even in your arms, something is probably not right. If baby is clearly in PAIN a good deal of the time, that is certainly a sign something is wrong. If baby can never sleep for some duration without waking (at least one to two hours, it is normal for baby to cycle into light sleep and brief waking about every 90 minutes) even in arms or right next to mom, that is also a sign baby is unusually uncomfortable.

    A normal 5 week old baby has an incredibly strong instinctual need for the constant closeness of her mother. She is also dealing with a very young digestive system. if a baby sleeps best (or only) in mothers arms, prefers to be rocked and swayed, cries out when left alone, or when she wakes up alone (or feels alone, in a cradle or crib, not touching mom even if mom is close) has a 'colicky' time of day of a few hours where baby is inconsolable even in arms, wants to nurse with great frequency, has occasional gas pains, ouchy burps, or crying out when needing to burp, or tends toward fussiness, all of those are usually simply entirely normal newborn behavior. Some babies are more fussy than others, but they grow out of all this usually in time and interventions are not needed. These are not clear signs something is 'wrong' in an otherwise healthy, gaining newborn.

    Trust your instincts. You know baby best. If you have tamed the forceful letdown/overproduction and still think something is wrong, then I think it makes sense to consider if there is true painful reflux and/or sensitivities to food proteins in your diet. Both are somewhat rare, (Well, allergies are very rare, I am not sure if there is a study on instances of reflux that require medication, I do know that for several years it was way over-diagnosed) but they certainly happen. And if your baby has reflux that requires meds, the meds will likely make a dramatic difference.

    Some random thoughts-
    a baby in a car seat is at the perfect angle to exacerbate painful reflux. And some babies just plain hate the car.
    Tummy time is usually torture for little babies. I have never seen a baby this age who enjoyed tummy time- a five week old baby is helpless and in particular helpless trapped on her tummy wondering why someone does not pick her up!
    There is not much for a 5 week old baby to 'miss out' on. Her only job right now is to grow like crazy, and that is exhausting. All she needs to be doing is eating and sleeping and feeling safe and loved by you and dad.
    pinkys make good pacifiers
    Last edited by @llli*lllmeg; May 2nd, 2013 at 11:39 PM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Need help! Baby cues for feeding non-stop! Silent reflux

    with LLLMeg. Especially on the whole "missing out" thing! As a society, we encourage moms to do waaaay more than necessary when it comes to stimulating babies. We're supposed to do tummy time! And routines! And there has to be play time and sleep time and wake-up time and outside time and calm time and blah blah blah blah! Really all a new baby needs is to eat, grow, and be held and cuddled. All the other stuff will come in time, without you having to force it.

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