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Thread: Latching and Sleeping Question

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2013
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    20

    Default Latching and Sleeping Question

    Hello,

    I'm the very proud mother of a beautiful 11 week old baby girl. I took the breastfeeding classes and even spoken with a few breastfeeding moms but haven't really found the support I so need! Having this forum available is a God send! On to my questions for anyone out there who might be able to answer.

    My baby girl is gaining weight wonderfully (just over 14lbs), having plenty of wet (8+) and dirty diapers (although the dirty ones have slowed up a lot, maybe two a day); however I'm not sure her latch is a good one. We have struggled with latching since she was born and our first session which was everything but special. Should I be concerned or just roll with it? She clicks and releases often and usually eats very quickly. She gets a bottle (pumped breast milk) most of the day while I'm at work (I usually work an 8-10 hour day) and then nursed when I'm with her. I have inverted nipples which is also an issue. Any suggestions or advice? I saw the lactation consultant the day after she was born and then I was at my breaking point and called her again when she was around 3 weeks old.

    Also, she really only sleeps a good 4-5hours (~7-~1:00am) at night and then wakes up two to three times during the night. Should she be sleeping a full 6-8 hours by now?

    Thanks again!!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    102

    Default Re: Latching and Sleeping Question

    My LO is 14 weeks old and still wakes up 2-3 times at night. He goes down at around 10pm then wakes around 3am then again at around 6ish until he finally wakes up for the day at around 9. I believe that BF babies tend to have this same pattern for a while. It really all depends on the baby. Some will sleep for longer and some will wake more often and also depends on if they are going through a "stage" whether it be teething or growth spurts or mama has gone back to work.

    As far as the latch goes..what makes you feel that her latch is not good? I would say not to depend on how it looks rather than how it feels. If it feels fine and there is no pain (regardless of how it looks) and she is gaining weight, then everything should be fine. The clicks, releases, and quick feeds kinda sounds like you have a fast let down. I had that same issue a few weeks ago but now my LO seems to prefer the fast let downs and gets upset when it is gone silly baby. She might just get used to it in her own way or if not try to catch the let down in a washcloth and then put her back to the breast when the sudden gush is over with.

    I agree that these forums are a GOD send!! I have learned so much and I love to share my experiences. No one else seems to understand quite like the ladies on these forums. Love you all
    Happy Mama of 4 beautiful boys ages 14, 10, 7 and the newest member of the family:
    Damian Gabriel 2/13/13 , , twice a day at work, and finally successfully. We never gave up and we are as happy as can be !!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Salt Lake City
    Posts
    86

    Default Re: Latching and Sleeping Question

    Sounds like she is getting enough milk. Dirty diapers start to slow down at this point, and many babies stop having one every day. Unlatching is common at this age, too. One of mine will unlatch often so that she can look around, and then go back to eating. So unless the latch is hurting you, then it is probably fine. Her sleeping sounds completely normal, too. One of mine sleeps 6 hours at night, but the other wakes up after 4, which is still very common at 11 weeks.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    20

    Default Re: Latching and Sleeping Question

    Thanks so much for responding!! I'm really not sure about the let down because I've never been able to feel it and my breasts don't leak. They do not react to her cries or other babies as I heard can happen. I have not had to wear bra pads since I started breastfeeding. If she weren't gaining weight and growing so beautifully, I would be worried.

    I'm glad to hear that her sleep pattern is pretty normal. I was worried she wasn't getting enough at the 1:00 am feeding and that is why she would wake up again so many times after. She usually does fall asleep while eating...

    I was worried about her latch because of the clicks and releases. Here lately it has gotten worse and she has never really had a steady moving jaw, she usually "chomps". It doesn't hurt any more (It did the first week or two) and I was wondering if the latch was ok or if my breasts just got used to it? She doesn't go two hours in between feedings all the time, it really varies from 45min - 4 hours. She really is an odd eater.

    Thanks again!!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    464

    Default Re: Latching and Sleeping Question

    My baby used to do the clicking thing - can't remember exactly when or for how long, but he did outgrow it. I was never really sure what that was about. It didn't "hurt" per se, but it didn't feel awesome either ... a little uncomfortable and annoying. I figured out that in order to make those clicking movements, he was getting a bit lazy in his latch and sliding back a little. So I would pop him off and latching him again, paying extra attention to getting a really deep latch. If he was latched correctly I found he couldn't do the clicking thing. (I particularly like the flipple latch technique -- you can google it.)

    Also, you say your baby is "an odd eater" but she doesn't sound too odd to me! In her eating or her sleeping. I think there are just pervasive, unrealistic expectations in our culture about what is/isn't in the realm of "normal" for babies. As if all babies nurse for the exact same duration, from both sides equally, in perfectly even time intervals, and gain in the same patterns. Then we are made to feel that we are "abnormal" or doing something wrong as parents if our baby deviates from the textbook baby.

    (Stepping off soapbox now.)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,735

    Default Re: Latching and Sleeping Question

    I think you baby sounds totally normal. I guess my only slight concern is the possibility the latch is off somehow, which could possibly in the future lead to a lowering of milk production. Since you work and are thus pumping rather than nursing about a third of the time, that is also potentially problematic to production. So, having the two situations together would suggest to me it might be important to see your IBCLC if that is possible to have latch and baby’s suck assessed. Basically, you want the best latch possible, and your baby may be there already and the clicking may not mean anything serious. Just to err on the side of caution, you could get it checked out.

    Have you tried different nursing positions?

    Your baby is doing a 4 to 5 hour stretch of sleep! wow, that is great! This is normal, and more frequent waking than that is normal as well. Anyone who is suggesting to you that a 3 month old baby should sleep longer than that in a stretch does not understand normal infant sleep patterns.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,248

    Default Re: Latching and Sleeping Question

    Wow, 4-5 hours of sleep at just 11 weeks? Lucky! Seriously, there's no "should" when it comes to infant sleep. The only thing that's predictable about it is that it will change all the time. You'll think you have your baby's sleep patterns figured out, and then she'll go through a growth spurt or start teething or master some new developmental milestone and everything will change. Anyone who says that your baby should be sleeping X number of hours based on her age, or her weight, or the phase of the moon should be reminded that your baby is an individual, her needs are individual, and that you, the mom, are the person who is best equipped to know what your baby needs when she wakes up at night.

    Where does baby sleep? In his own room, in your room, or in your bed? Often the key to dealing with frequent wake-ups is to adjust your sleeping set-up so that the wakings are least disruptive to you.
    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!"

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    20

    Default Re: Latching and Sleeping Question

    Oh wow, thank you so very much for all your helpful suggestions and comments. I'm not sure if there is an IBCLC in my area. The LC I saw while in the hospital was on the hospital staff. Should I call and see if she would meet with me again? No one in my family has ever breast fed so while they have the best intentions in mind, they keep pushing formula. My husband's mom breastfed her babies but supplemented with formula. I'm just driven I guess and am so determined to give my daughter the best I can, and to me that's breastmilk. She did get supplemented with formula twice in her life, when I let people convince me that I was not producing enough and starving my child. Finding this site has soon proved that I am no longer letting people get in my head like that ever again!

    I have tried different positions but they are very difficult for a couple of reasons. The first is I am very well endowed. I would say right now I am a EE, prior to baby I was a D. I did use the football hold during the first couple weeks of life but then the second problem arose... her length. She is in the 95% for height/length. Just like her daddy, ha. Right now I use the cross cradle hold with the assistance of many pillows. Since pregnancy and while nursing my carpal tunnel syndrome is vicious, which is another issue.

    DD sleeps in our room in a bassinet that is attached to our bed. She sleeps on my side of the bed of course. I have bringing her into our bed and tried nursing her while laying on my side but it has not been really effective. In that position should baby be on her back or on her side?

    What should I be on the lookout for in regards to production issues? I'm really not sure how much she eats when I nurse her but when she gets bottles she eats around 12 ounces, which is what I pump every day.

    I'm glad to hear that her sleep patterns are normal, it's hard as a new mom to get information from every source who tells you something different. When it comes to breastfeeding, the only true support I seem to get is from my sister. All other family/friends keep suggesting formula. While I know they mean well, it just gets so frustrating!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,248

    Default Re: Latching and Sleeping Question

    Definitely call the hospital LC. Worst thing that happens is that she says she's too busy to meet with you, in which case you ask for the number of a non-hospital LC. Your local La Leche League is also a good organization to contact- leaders are trained to provide mother-to-mother support and they can also get you in touch with local LCs and IBCLCs.

    When you're nursing side-lying, the baby will generally be on her side, but if it works better when she's on her back that's fine! What works for you is going to be as individual as you are. Help with the side-lying position is a great reason to see the LC, though. If she could help you get that figured out, maybe you wouldn't have to sit up and fuss with pillows. You could just roll baby into bed with you, latch her on, and drift peacefully back to sleep.

    The rule of thumb for expressed milk is that a baby will take about 1.5 oz of milk per hour of separation. She may sometimes tak less than that, or more during growth spurts. If she consistently takes more than 1.5 oz per hour, you may need to chat with your caregivers about proper feeding and soothing techniques for a breastfed baby.
    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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