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Thread: 8 weeks old baby does not nurse

  1. #1

    Default 8 weeks old baby does not nurse

    Firstly, sorry for my english, I'll try my best but if something is not clear enough, please let me know

    My difficulty with BF-ing is that my nipples are not 'nice': one very big(left side), the other big and inverted (right side)

    With my first baby, I pumped and offered him bottles for 3 weeks and then managed to get him latch on(he couldn't latch on till then) and BF from the left breast first since it produced more milk, and from the right breast couple weeks later. It was a big success for me.

    Now with my DD, I managed to get her latch on right after birth, but that was a shallow latch because her mouth was very small. So this time I also need to pump and she drinks from bottle. I did hope the history repeat, but I was wrong.

    Now at 8 weeks, she seems to latch on well, but she sucks very weakly, and falls into sleep quickly. She mainly comfort-nurses.

    My milk supply is not the problem, I think, since I pump and get enough for her to drink from bottle. I use Medela pump in style breast pump, I pump 5 times a day and get total 16-24oz . This is not a big amount but my baby only drink up to 3 oz every 2-3 hour, she sleeps for long stretch at night(5-6 hours)

    I did hope that I can get her BF like her brother, but for now I don't see any improvement as the time goes by(too fast for us, I think). I guess my baby has nipple-confusion so that she can't sucks well, or she is used to the ease of drinking from bottle.

    Here(in Vietnam) I can't get any help from lactation consultant since there's no lactation consultants.

    I'm thinking about using SNS, but wonder whether it can help in my situation. I used SNS once with my first baby, it's not easy to use

    Sometime I think it maybe easier for both my DD and myself that I pump and give her a bottle, since she does not have to nurse and only after that can get her bottle at every feeding, I , at the same time, don't have to sit to nurse her in vain(seem like she does not get much with BF-ing). But I'm still desperate to BF!

    Please help and thank you!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: 8 weeks old baby does not nurse

    Welcome to the forum!

    First, no worries about your English. It's terrific!

    Since your baby will latch and will nurse, and because you have a milk supply which is equivalent to the baby's needs, it seems to me that your primary challenge is going to be taking the bottles out of your nursing relationship. Using the SNS to supplement baby at the breast would be one way to get the bottles out of the picture. I totally understand why you're reluctant to try that- I have used a SNS and it is definitely a tricky device to use!

    Another thing to try would be to latch her on, nurse her, give her a SMALL bottle (maybe 1 oz) and then latch her on again. That way she will get her most urgent hunger needs met by the bottle, but she'll still be hungry enough to nurse well at the breast.

    Does baby sleep with you in bed? Often babies who don't nurse all that well during the day will nurse well at night, because they're too sleepy and relaxed to hold out for a bottle.

  3. #3

    Default Re: 8 weeks old baby does not nurse

    Thank you mommal!

    My baby does not refuse to latch on, but she usually falls into sleep very quickly. I'm afraid nursing is a hard work for her, sometimes she might suck well, but the suck-swallow only repeats for max 10 times, then she rests and may sleep right after that. Seems like she does not interested in nursing at breast, or she only consider my breast as where she comfort-nurses.

    My baby sleeps with me in bed, but she does not nurse better at night
    Last edited by @llli*lylymom; June 25th, 2013 at 05:35 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: 8 weeks old baby does not nurse

    Here are some things that work for sleepy babies:
    - Keep her cool. When it's time to nurse, strip her down to just a diaper or single light layer, and keep a fan blowing in the room where you nurse, but not directly on the baby. Babies are often more alert when they're cool.
    - Annoy her by tickling the soles of her feet or rubbing against the grain of her hair, using your hand or a cool damp cloth. It's hard to fall asleep when someone is annoying you like this!
    - Breast compressions. When suckling slows, use your hand to move more milk into the baby's mouth. That may wake her up and encourage her to take a few more sucks.
    - Switch nursing. When baby's suckling slows and you can see that she is drifting off to sleep, take her off the breast, burp her and/or change her diaper, and then put her on the other breast. If she starts to doze off on that side, repeat the process and keep repeating it until she will no longer wake. Hopefully this encourages baby to suck more and teaches her that the breast is not just a comfortable place to relax and nap. If she is going to be nursing, she needs to be actively suckling or you're going to switch her.

  5. #5

    Default Re: 8 weeks old baby does not nurse

    I've tried to wake her up already. Actually, she latch on and nurse at only 1 breast, which has big nipple and more milk, the other breast with big inverted nipple and less milk(1-1.5oz each pumping session) is harder to latch on, therefore I always offer her only 1 breast. I was always hoping that when she can nurse well, she will take the other breast, too.

    Right now I think the actual problem of us is that if she is not interested in nursing anymore(only 1 to several minutes after latching on), then she only comfort-nurses or sucks very weakly even when she's awake. How can I get her to suck actively? I wonder the suckling technique of her maybe not so good(nipple confusion?) so that she can get much milk, furthermore BF-ing is much more tiring..

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: 8 weeks old baby does not nurse

    The best way to get a baby to suck actively is for her to be at least a little bit hungry. How much milk are you putting in her bottles? And do you offer the breast before or after the bottle?

    Don't give up yet, mama! I know that nursing is extremely tiring when it's not going well. But I think there is every reason to think that things will get better and you will eventually be able to give up bottles and pumping.

  7. #7

    Default Re: 8 weeks old baby does not nurse

    I offer the breast before the bottle. And almost always have to wake her up to take the bottle(poor her ). Actually if I give her the bottle from the beginning of a feeding, she will drink actively, if after the breast, she seems to drink less actively, but still can drink 2-3 oz, so I think she does not get any or only a little(up to 1 oz) with BF.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: 8 weeks old baby does not nurse

    Is your baby being seen by a doctor? Is baby gaining ok? The extra sleepiness at this age is a little concerning to me.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: 8 weeks old baby does not nurse

    LLLMeg makes an excellent point. Though I have known babies who were still very sleepy at 8 weeks, and who were fine. Just sleepy.

    Since the baby nurses more actively when given the breast before the bottle, I would do the following:
    1. Offer both breasts at the beginning of every feeding.
    2. After offering both breasts, offer a small supplement via bottle. Maybe 1-2 oz.
    3. After giving the supplement, offer both breasts again, trying all possible tricks to keep baby alert.
    4. Pump for the next bottle.

    Hopefully, this approach will maximize the amount of time baby spends actively nursing at the breast, and also teach her to expect every feeding to conclude at the breast rather than with a bottle.

    While you're doing this, watch the baby's diaper output really, really carefully. If she's not getting enough, it should show up as a reduction in diaper output.

  10. #10

    Default Re: 8 weeks old baby does not nurse

    LLLMeg: Actually, she only falls into sleep when at breast, if I lay her down, she'll wake up very soon during the day. At night I have to wake her up to take the bottle, then her only drinks a little, usually 1-1.5oz, although she does not get much with BF(I'm pretty sure because she does not suck much)

    Mommal: I'll try what you suggested, but usually if she's not too hungry, she does not nurse actively. But let's see. Thank you!

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