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Thread: Help

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
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    17

    Default Help

    My DS is almost 6 months old and over last week or so I have been struggling with changes to his eating habits. Previously he would eat every 2-3 hours for 30-40 min about 7-9 times per day and was sleeping most of the night. 9pm-430/5 in am. He's become very distracted now and keeps pulling away (with my nipple still in his mouth! Ouch!). I have a 2 year old and she just follows me if I try to go somewhere else. He also has been suckling a lot or eating for 3-5 min then pulling off. He gets very stiff and pushes off my too. We have been struggling with reflux since birth and I have increased his dose on meds. I don't think it's that cause he's very predictable when it's time for dose to be increased

    He constantly has hands in fmouth. I know part of that is normal. But he puts fingers in mouth while eating. He also will not nap. He was never a big sleeper(except when he's nursing). Now though its like maybe 2 20 min naps all day and he's getting up every 2-3 hrs at night He's fussy which is not normal for him. I've been blessed with a very calm happy baby. He has plenty of wet diapers and poops at least 2 times a day. He's gaining well too. 16 lbs 6 oz at 5 mos.

    He pulls on his ears a little, no fever, no drainage from nose so I do not think its ear infection. I'm wondering if we are getting a tooth? I did not make it past 7 weeks breastfeeding with my DD so this is all new to me.

    My supply is dropping I think too because he won't eat a full meal anymore I usually pump 1 oz for every hour I have not pumped or fed him. Now I'm getting 1/2 oz. I'm pumping with a Symphony too.

    Today for example he has just wanted to nurse all day long which is limiting but I just kept putting him on and he would nurse for a little then fall asleep. I would wait a little bit then try lay him down and he screams. I can't just sit on the couch all day with him latched so I don't know what to do. As the weekend approaches I'm concerned because I work 12+ hours on the weekend and I will be gone. I can't keep up with his bottles. He was drinking 6 bottles a day while I was working and the last few weekends he's been drinking 8. I can't keep up with the supply now. We haven't supplemented yet but I'm afraid I will have to a little.

    Any advice for all of this

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    1,907

    Default Re: Help

    Hi mama, it really sounds like he may be teething. If you let him nurse as much as he likes, even if it's for short periods, it will be good for your supply and good for his pain. You can also try other teething remedies - something cold or hard to suck on or bite on, teething drops etc. And tylenol or motrin if needed, maybe at night to give you a longer stretch (though honestly, getting up every 2-3 hours is not bad - you're lucky you were getting such a long stretch before!). It's also really normal for baby to become distractible and difficult to nurse in the the second half of the first year. Babies will make up for less nursing during the day by nursing more at night. Painful for mama but if you continue feeding on demand, baby will get the nutrition he needs and your supply gets a big boost from that nighttime nursing! (That's what I would always tell myself when baby woke me up to nurse at night!) Also, nursing in a dark, boring place, if possible. Of course, if your baby is like mine, his biggest distraction is his oldest sister - and it's hard to get her to be NOT distracting, right? One suggestion is to have some special toys that come out just during nursing time.

    In terms of supply dropping, the best way to boost it is to increase demand, either through more nursing, more pumping, or both. Adding just an extra session or two may do the trick. Also, you want to make sure there isn't any problem with the pump. Even hospital-grade pumps can wear down or malfunction. I haven't personally used the Symphony, are there replaceable parts like membranes or valves that you can try to change out? If that doesn't do the trick (along with increased nursing/pumping), then you might want to consider taking the pump into wherever you are renting it from and having them take a look (or perhaps you are getting it on the job? I'm guessing from your username you're an RN? - in that case I guess having whoever is in charge of it take a look).

    How big are the bottles your LO is drinking? If he is getting 8 bottles in 12 hours I hope they don't have more than 2-2.5 ounces in them! For that separation you'd expect him to drink between 12 and 18 ounces. Otherwise, overfeeding him with bottles will make it hard for you to keep up and also decrease his desire to nurse when you are together. Especially in this time when he may be teething and is fussier than usual, you want to be sure his caregiver doesn't use the bottle to help with fussiness. It's easy for babies to get too much milk from the bottle, something that won't happen at the breast.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Limbo
    Posts
    594

    Default Re: Help

    Great thoughts from PP. Also, have you gotten your cycle back yet? Any chance/sign of that being on the horizon?

    I've found that my cycle can cause a lot of issues that look like teething (usually in addition to teething) like nursing strike, crankiness, and a nit of a supply droop that causes some sleeping disturbances. If you notice cramps or anything it could be your hormones adjusting and could be affecting your milk some - but will also go back to normal without concern.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    17

    Default Re: Help

    Thank you for the replies. I have not gotten my cycle back yet but I have been cramping here and there lately. I guess that could mean the return. . It's been such a nice vacation from it.

    As far as his bottle eating. Yes I am a nurse and I work every sat and sun 12 hours. My husband is home with them while I work. I was leaving him 3 oz bottles and he was eating every 3 hrs roughly but over last month he has been giving him 3.5 oz bottles because he felt 3 oz was not enough. He acted hungry still and was calm with another 1/2 oz. but now he's feeding him every 2 hrs. He's much more fussy with my husband than me during the week and I don't really know why except that boob is gone all day . But with him drinking 3.5 oz every 2 hours I cannot meet the demand when pumping at work. I can only pump every 4 hours at work and I usually only get 4 to maybe 4.5 oz at a time. So if we r giving him too much on the weekend how do I scale back and deal with anger of less milk?

    The pump parts and valves all seem to be fine. I use the symphony at home and the Ameda platinum at work. I'm just not pumping as much as I was.

    I'm fine with feeding him on demand it's just hard when it's all day and all night. I'm just really tired and struggling not too be crabby with daughter and husband cause I'm so tired

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    1,907

    Default Re: Help

    Hmm, well, I can see a couple issues. One is that he is eating every 2 hours at home and you can only pump every 4 hours at work. So there's a mismatch there. And 3.5 ounces every 2 hours is A LOT. It can be normal for a breastfed baby to eat every 2 hours but the amount in the bottle is too much. Also based on the fussiness it sounds like DH may be using the bottle to try to soothe him. So what is DH doing with your LO while you're working? Maybe it's a question of finding other activities and ways of soothing him. Is he using a carrier? Going for walks? For me that has always been a great way of soothing a fussy baby. Songs, books, nursery games? Going outside or to the park? Maybe it's a matter of distracting your LO. Are there difficulties getting him to nap? A swing may help (or again, going for a walk!).

    If you work on trying to have your LO drink less from the bottle and you're still behind, and you can't add in pumping sessions at work, then it means you have to add in some pumping sessions at other times. The good thing is, since you're working on Sat and Sun, you have lots of options of when to add in those extra sessions! For example, you could add in an extra session on weekdays. A good time might be after a morning feed, when you have the most milk. I know this may be a bit difficult while watching the two kids, but you can probably set up a safe situation where you are in a baby-proof room together and they can play while you pump. My kids have always been somewhat fascinated by the pump so they'll spend a few minutes just watching me pump! The extra pumping will provide some extra milk for the fridge, and help keep your supply up for when you're working and not able to pump as often.

    Just because the pump parts and valves all seem to be fine, it may still be worth it to try changing them out. Just last week one of the mamas on here was wondering how she could tell if her parts needed replacing. They looked fine, but she was having a drop in pumping output, and when she changed out the valves and membranes, everything returned to normal. Just a thought!

    Yes, it's hard having a baby and a toddler and baby getting up every couple hours at night and working! I've been there! Just remember it gets better. Your baby is not going to get up every few hours forever. He's not even going to be a baby for very long. No magic answers, except the commonsense ones - let go of stuff that doesn't really need to be done; try to go to bed a little earlier; try to take a nap at least some of the time - if the stars align and you can get both baby and toddler to nap at the same time, for example. Hang in there mama!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    436

    Default Re: Help

    That was me with the pumping issue! And nothing looked wrong with my valves and membranes at ALL, but changing them got me back up to my usual output.

    I also have a frequent-eating almost 7 month old, so I pump every two hours at work. I also work in healthcare, and I just had a lot of really detailed conversations with my supervisor about my frequency, and they are okay with it. My baby likes to eat every hour or 90 minutes or so while I am at work, so I leave lots of little bottles. 2.5 oz is about the max. And when I am home, she nurses probably 11,000 times in the three hours before bed, ha! I definitely have teeth in play, though...her first cut through just yesterday. So we just nurse on the move to keep up. I nurse her on the floor, outside on the lawn, while I am walking around, while laying in bed, while in the bath, etc., etc. It is almost never on the couch these days.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    17

    Default Re: Help

    So my husband basically says he screams all day when I'm at work and I'm sure he just gives him a bottle to help. Not the most patient when it comes to babies. I can wean back the bottles because it makes sense that if I'm pumping 4-4.5 every 4 hrs and he's eating 7 oz every 4 hrs that that is why we have no milk. I am adding more pumping during week already. I'm also fine to nurse him whenever but I cannot walk and nurse him. It just doesn't work right. I've tried 3 diff carriers to do this. I also am not comfortable lying down to nurse because it makes me sleepy and then my breast smothers him. I can't get positioning right. I've looked at the links on this but it just doesn't work.

    As far as work pumping. I work in a very busy ICU so pumping more than every 4 hrs just isn't feasible. I have to have someone watch my pts for 15-20 min so that I can go pump. Every 2 hrs won't happen. I struggle to get my work done as it is.

    I just don't know what to tell my husband to do cause I've suggested all of the distraction ideas. He gets overwhelmed and then agitated And I'm sure the baby senses that. It would b better if I just didn't have to work cause he's pretty great with me all week. But as that is not an option, I guess I will just wean him down again

  8. #8

    Default Re: Help

    Here are some ideas for dad.

    Bottle feed breastfed baby http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...astfedbaby.pdf

    fussy ideas http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...ybabyideas.pdf

    more fussy ideas http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...t_partners.pdf

    Does dad ever get out of the house, like to a park, on a walk, baby gym or music class, anything? Does he know any other weekend dads he can hang out with? We know how important adult social time is for moms who are home with young children. What’s the old saying…”Playgroup’s are for the MOM, not the baby.” But here is little out there for dads. Just breaking up the day with outings may help.

    I don't know why your baby 'screams all day" but my first guess is, he just wants you. Which is normal. He is certainly getting plenty to eat and has one on one attention from dad, so what else could it be?

    I feel a bit bad for your husband, I assume he works all week and then has an entire weekend of caring for a baby he cannot comfort? If that is an accurate picture, I wonder if there is any other option. In just a few months time, baby may well LOVE to be with dad.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    286

    Default Re: Help

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*mommy.rn View Post
    My DS is almost 6 months old and over last week or so I have been struggling with changes to his eating habits. Previously he would eat every 2-3 hours for 30-40 min about 7-9 times per day and was sleeping most of the night. 9pm-430/5 in am. He's become very distracted now and keeps pulling away (with my nipple still in his mouth! Ouch!). I have a 2 year old and she just follows me if I try to go somewhere else. He also has been suckling a lot or eating for 3-5 min then pulling off. He gets very stiff and pushes off my too. We have been struggling with reflux since birth and I have increased his dose on meds. I don't think it's that cause he's very predictable when it's time for dose to be increased

    He constantly has hands in fmouth. I know part of that is normal. But he puts fingers in mouth while eating. He also will not nap. He was never a big sleeper(except when he's nursing). Now though its like maybe 2 20 min naps all day and he's getting up every 2-3 hrs at night He's fussy which is not normal for him. I've been blessed with a very calm happy baby. He has plenty of wet diapers and poops at least 2 times a day. He's gaining well too. 16 lbs 6 oz at 5 mos.

    He pulls on his ears a little, no fever, no drainage from nose so I do not think its ear infection. I'm wondering if we are getting a tooth? I did not make it past 7 weeks breastfeeding with my DD so this is all new to me.

    My supply is dropping I think too because he won't eat a full meal anymore
    My 6 month old is acting very similar, but we don't use a bottle. My supply is lower, I know that for sure, and her feeds are about 5-10 minutes. Even though she's acting like this, her diaper output is fine and her weight gain is the high end of normal. Since your baby's output is normal as well as weight, I would agree that it's probably a phase or teething or hormones. Just glad that someone seems to have similar issues at this age!
    and Mama to two little girls

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    17

    Default Re: Help

    I know. I feel awful for him cause baby is just so different with me and he feels so helpless. And then I'm helpless at work. I will give him the links and back off the large bottles. I guess I can just leave 2-3 oz portions for him. Thanks for all the feedback. I really appreciate it. I feel so lost and clueless . It's not a feeling I deal well with.

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