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Thread: is my 3 week old having a growth spurt?

  1. #1
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    Default is my 3 week old having a growth spurt?

    my 3 week 3 day old usually bf every 3 hours for 15 minutes on each breast. Now it seems he is feeding every 2-2.5 hours for 10 minutes at a time on each breast. I have tried waking him up to see if he will bf longer and no luck. He falls asleep each time. Is this normal for this age? Should I be concerned? He is latching properly and milk is coming out easily for him. Or is this a temporary growth spurt?
    Last edited by @llli*monte.hamilton; July 3rd, 2013 at 10:02 PM.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: is my 3 week old having a growth spurt?

    3 weeks there is a growth spurt due. Though those intervals don't sound like you have hit it yet. At my son's 3 & 6 week spurts he nursed almost non stop for 3days. Like after dinner I handed my DH the baby so I could nap for 2hours because he nursed nonstop from midnight til 5 am. I think your baby is rearing UP for a growth spurt but that slight increase you are experiencing is really the calm before the storm. Just nurse nurse through it. The only way your body knows your baby is growing and needs more milk is if your baby gives more signals.

    Way too lazy for formula

  3. #3
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    Default Re: is my 3 week old having a growth spurt?

    I agree with djs.mom. This just sounds like a normal nursing pattern to me. Often a baby will kind of 'wake up' after about two weeks as if they realize 'hey, I gotta get growing! time to nurse nurse nurse!' This is different than a 'growth spurt' which can be a temporary but very dramatic increase in nursing frequency with some babies, and not even noticeably different in others. Besides, a baby’s whole life is basically a growth spurt in these early months.

    If baby is pooping and gaining normally your baby is doing just fine. In fact newborns are typically much more erratic in timing and length of nursing sessions than what your baby is doing. So don't worry if baby starts wanting to nurse on a different pattern than before, as long as baby keeps nursing with good frequency, which would typically be 10 or more times a day.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: is my 3 week old having a growth spurt?

    also is baby taking both sides each session because baby 'finishes' one side and wants the other, or were you told baby has to nurse both sides each time? It's ok to let baby nurse one side at a time if that is what baby wants.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: is my 3 week old having a growth spurt?

    I know he wants to suck constantly until he falls asleep. I have given the pacifier to give my nipples a break but he doesn't necessarily want to eat every time he wants to suck. He screams when the pacifier falls out after falling asleep. Should I just let him use me as a pacifier? He has a weigh in on Monday. He was born prematurely at 36 weeks so I am concerned about his weight increase. Should I work harder at having him nurse longer? He's been only nursing one side at a time for about 20 minutes (that is what he did last night into this morning which is shorter than his original 15 min on each breast) and then is hungry two hours later.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: is my 3 week old having a growth spurt?

    The consensus recommendation on pacifiers is that introduction of a paci should be delayed until 3-4 weeks, or longer if nursing isn't going well. When a baby sucks on a paci, 2 things can happen:
    1. The baby's latch and suckling ability can be negatively affected because the way a baby sucks on a pacifier is different from the way a baby sucks on the breast.
    2. The mom's milk supply can be affected if the baby skips nursing opportunities or stretches out the time between feedings because he's satisfied by sucking on a pacifier.

    Since your baby was a bit early (which can impact his ability to nurse), and because you're sore (which implies that baby's latch may not be all that it should be), I think I'd delay using a pacifier until you're certain that baby's on track with his weight gain.

    Nursing every 2 hours, or even more frequently, is totally normal. As LLLMeg pointed out, babies do "wake up" after a few weeks on the outside, and when that happens they tend to spend more time eating.
    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!"

  7. #7
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    Default Re: is my 3 week old having a growth spurt?

    I have given the pacifier to give my nipples a break
    are you having nipple pain, soreness? During nursing, after?

    As mommal says, everything you describe your baby doing is normal. Babies nurse very frequently, nurse to sleep, want to nurse again 10 or 20 minutes after "finishing" etc. All normal esp. in the newborn period. Pacifiers are replacements for the breast, not the other way around. And they are replacements that ‘pacify’ baby while providing no nutrition. Which the breast does, even when a baby is so-called comfort nursing.

    But if YOU hare having nipple pain, that may possibly indicate a problem.

    I would not say you have to work harder to get baby to nurse longer, because baby is nursing a normal length of time, as long as you let baby nurse as much as baby wants. However, I suppose there is no harm in trying breast compressions to see if that keeps baby interested in feeding longer at a time, esp. if baby’s weight gain is not on track.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: is my 3 week old having a growth spurt?

    they feel chapped/sore. He latched om well in the hospital and the first two weeks things went well. Now he sucks viciously on a pacifier but not so much when he latches onto me he does get milk but is not as enthusiastic to bf.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: is my 3 week old having a growth spurt?

    Then I suggest stop the paci use and work on latch/positioning.

    Nipple pain that crops up later after no pain may be related to thush possibly.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: is my 3 week old having a growth spurt?

    I intentionally left the paci home today when visiting my mother. I find today was a better day working on the latch/positioning. I do feel more sore having had him at the breast more frequently instead of using the paci. The pediatrician check him for thrush and he was negative for it. I guess I should see my OB if the nipple soreness continues?

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