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Thread: Help with 4 month old nursing change

  1. #1

    Default Help with 4 month old nursing change

    Hello. This is my first time posting. I am in need of some help or advice about my 4 month old. So far, our nursing relationship has been great. My 4 month old has always nursed for about 20 min on each side, every two hours during the day and every 4 hours at night.

    Starting about 2 weeks ago, she has been not wanting to go longer than 5 min sometimes and refusing to nurse longer. She just pulls away and smiles. If I try and offer her again she fusses. I am now nursing her every 3 hours in hope of her being more hungry and nursing longer. Sometimes it works sometimes it does not and she will nurse on one side for 20 min and only a few sucks on the other side. I do not believe she is full because I know I do not make enough from one side for her to be full. She eats 6-7 times a day.

    This is my second child and I do believe I have a mild case of IGT as I was never able to produce more than 9 oz per day with my first child. We did not have a great nursing relationship and I wanted it to be better with my second child. I am able to produce more this time around and am taking Domperidone to help. I have not pumped a full day since I am just trying only to nurse, but the times I have pumped overnight if she did not wake up I have got 5 oz in just one session, and her weight gain at her last appointment was good, so I do believe I am at least making 20 oz per day this time. If I try and supplement her with pumped milk from a bottle, she won't drink it. That is another issue. She rarely will take a bottle from me or my husband. I am always worried if she is getting enough so I try and give her a bottle a few times a day just in case she wants more but she won't drink it. I do not offer her an extra bottle much anymore since her change in nursing behavior of only wanting to nurse for less than 5 min.

    I am just wondering why the switch in her behavior. She seems easily distracted maybe? I am just worried about her eating enough and know that she needs to eat longer on each side to get that second let down. Should I be pumping what she doesn't eat, or just let her eat as long as she wants and then try again at the next feeding? I don't want to ruin my supply. She is having at least 4-5 loaded wet diapers and 2 poop diapers. Though they are not as wet later in the day as in the beginning of the day.

    Also her weight at her 2.5 month appt was 12 lbs 10oz. I have a scale at home that is semi accurate and at 4 months she is weighing 14 lbs 3 oz. She has her 4 month apt in about a week.

    Sorry for all the questions, I am just feeling a little lost and find that the doctor is of little help.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Help with 4 month old nursing change

    Bump

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Help with 4 month old nursing change

    I would let her set the pattern. It is normal for nursing time to decrease, they get much more efficient at nursing and some babes can actually get a whole feeding in 5-10 minutes. I WOULD NOT limit the frequency of nursing in order to get her to nurse more at a time. I think that has the potential to harm your supply and throw off her ability to recognize her own hunger cues. Not to mention, bring you down below the recommended # of daily nursings (which is really just a guideline) of 8-12 per day. Even if you did have a supply issue (which to be honest I don't see any indication of from what you've written here), nursing more frequently would be the best way to remedy it.

    Why do you think you don't make enough for her to get a full feeding from one side? Many babies only nurse on one side per feeding. It's a good idea to offer the other side, but if she refuses it isn't cause for concern. Just try to remember to start on that side at the next feeding.

    Overall, I think it would benefit you to try and relax. I understand you're worried because of the issues you had nursing your other child, but every child is different and, to me, it doesn't sound like you have any cause for concern with this one. Just try it for a few days- set the pump aside, follow her lead, feed her when she's hungry and let her stop when she indicates she's done. Offer the breast more often if you want to, but if she doesn't want to eat, don't worry. Count diapers (4-5 wets per day indicate she's getting enough) and see how it goes.
    “We are not put on earth for ourselves, but are placed here for each other. If you are there always for others, then in time of need, someone will be there for you.”
    --Anonymous

  4. #4

    Default Re: Help with 4 month old nursing change

    Thank you so much for your help. I will go back to what I was doing before and feed her more frequently but let her decide how long to feed. Is the 8-12 times a day recommended all the way up till one year or does that change?

    I was concerned about her only feeding on one side 1. When I pump later on in the day I can only pump max 1.5 ounces total. 2. Won't my supply drop because instead of each side getting stimulation every 2 hours, only one side will?

    Also, the recommended 8-12 feedings: Would just feeding from one side count for one of the feedings? Sorry if this is a stupid question.

    I do need to try and relax more. I will just adjust the frequency and see how it goes. DD has an appointment and weigh in a week from now, that may help me relax too Thanks again.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Help with 4 month old nursing change

    If you nurse when your baby is asking for it your supply should adjust to be exactly where your baby needs it to be. A one sided feeding would count for one of the feedings, assuming you offered the other side and she didn't show interest, indicating she got enough to eat. She may or may not want to nurse again sooner if she only takes one side and that would count as another feeding. But really at this point, even counting feedings is something you'd really only need to do if you think he's undereating.

    Officially, 8-12 is the recommendation for newborns, though I think they consider a baby newborn up to three months. Once you get past that stage it is just so variable by individual. Some babies are snackers and want to eat little bits frequently (this was how my daughter was...still is with solid foods and she's 6), some babies want to eat a lot at a time and go longer in between (this is how my son was as an infant). Most babies switch it up and do one or the other depending on where they are developmentally. And throw in growth spurts, teething, illnesses, travel, major milestones...all things that can affect a baby's desire to nurse more or less. That's why it's best as much as possible to feed on demand (rather than watching the clock or # of feedings). And if you have reason to be concerned about intake watch diaper output, weight gain, and baby's general disposition for indicators there might be a problem.
    Last edited by @llli*still.here; May 30th, 2013 at 08:12 AM.
    “We are not put on earth for ourselves, but are placed here for each other. If you are there always for others, then in time of need, someone will be there for you.”
    --Anonymous

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Help with 4 month old nursing change

    My daughter is 4 months old on June 12th. she is 15 weeks currently, and this week on Saturday she stopped using a shield and starting only nursing for 5 mins on 1 side and eats more frequently. I just read this post and I was going to be asking similar questions in my post! Which I think I will still do. I pump during the day while I am working and when I pump later in the day after shes nursed all day its totally NORMAL to only get 1.5oz-2oz. if you pump right away after she eats in the mornings. you can get 3-4oz or even more. just relax. let baby eat how she likes to eat! if your worried just offer her the breast more! Thats what I do and my daughter is 15 weeks and just over 14 lbs. and she only eats 7-8 times a day and thats only 1 side at a time. she rarely eats both.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Help with 4 month old nursing change

    Thank you for your advice. I am trying to just offer her more feedings if i think she didn't eat so well the previous feeding. Sometimes she takes it but most of the time she does not. She seems happy and is not fussy so i am starting to worry a little less. It just seems like so little to eat later on in the day. Does anyone know why there is such a difference when pumping instead of nursing and getting 4 oz earlier in the day and only getting 1.5 oz later in the day?

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Help with 4 month old nursing change

    Most women have more milk in the morning, it's part of your natural daily hormonal cycle.
    “We are not put on earth for ourselves, but are placed here for each other. If you are there always for others, then in time of need, someone will be there for you.”
    --Anonymous

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Help with 4 month old nursing change

    I am also assuming you are pumping on top of nursing. so she is taking what she needs first. I notice my daughter eats longer and more frequently at night too. And its a good comfort and relaxer before bed that way

  10. #10

    Default Re: Help with 4 month old nursing change

    I usually don't pump if she nurses. I don't get much after she eats. I was just noticing a huge difference if I pump instead of nursing in the beginning of the day versus the end of the day.

    Yes I have no problems at night. Seems to be only during the day where she would nurse for shorter amounts of time. Evening and middle of the night feedings seem to be more relaxing and less stressful.

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