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Thread: 3 Month Old Starting To Fuss And Cry During And After Feeds

  1. #1

    Default 3 Month Old Starting To Fuss And Cry During And After Feeds

    Title says it all. My son has been doing this on and off since the 6 week mark and he is now 14 weeks. I figured it was growth spurts but lately I'm not so sure because it is getting progressively worse. Here's our background:

    Around 8 weeks we went on a loose EASY routine where I would feed him after a nap instead of before. This moved feeds from every 2 hours to 2.5-3 hours. I initiate feeds after a nap whether he cries for one or not. Around 12 weeks he began not waking for night feeds. He had been down to 1, occasionally 2 night feeds. Lately he will go down at 8 and wake for a feed between 6:30-8. This means he will go up to 12 hours without a feed. The other 12 hours he will eat 5x. A typical day will have 5-6 feeds, which seems low. He has always been a small fry in the 25th percentile, but continues to put on about 2lbs a month and diaper output is normal. He poops 1-2x daily and will occasionally skip a day, but it's not common. I also have 1 pump session before bed, where I get 3-3.5oz total.

    Our problem right now is that he is starting to go nuts at every feed. He will latch, eat through a letdown, and then begin grumbling with the nipple in his mouth while sucking, while kicking and wiggling. This escalates to him raking me with his nails, slapping me, and screaming until I let him off. Attempts to get him back on that breast end up in more screaming after a few sucks. I switch sides where he will eat what was let down, and then begin the same process of fighting. I have never been a big producer, I always have "just enough" it seems. Weighed feeds for the past 2 months have been in the 3-3.5 oz range. Last weighed feed was barely 3oz.

    I figure, ok, he must be filling up fast and popping off because he's full, right? Well after continuing to pass him back and fourth between breasts to get another let down, sometimes successfully, sometimes not, he will continue to cry. If I hold him he wails. If I set him down he wails. It's like feeding him turns this switch on him to start fussing like crazy, because after he wakes up and before I feed him he's pretty happy. The crying and whining will sometimes subside in 10-20 minutes, but lately he just continues fussing on and off until nap time, and then the process starts over again. Sometimes I wait for him to calm completely before offering the breast again. Sometimes he takes it, more often he just turns his head and refuses it outright, if not just a few sucks. The LC I work with seems to not think he's hungry because he won't continue sucking but I don't think that's a good enough indicator. He gets 1-2 bottles of expressed milk a week, if that, and doesn't seem to have any of these issues when having one. Not big on pacis but lately I offer one just to see if he will take it and stop wailing! I'm just really hating the way I feel when feeding him. It's so incredibly frustrating.

    Overall I'm just concerned that:
    1. He's still hungry but refuses to work for another let down. If he does manage to work for one he eagerly gulps it down.
    2. My supply will suffer because of these short, probably non emptying feeds.
    3. Something is bothering him because of the continued wailing after a feed.
    4. That 5-6 times a day at an average of 3.5oz is way too small an intake. I'm sure his morning feed is more than average, but still.


    I've seen a lot of threads about fussy feeding at 3 months old but I'm so paranoid my supply is going to tank or that he's not going to gain if he keeps this up.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,144

    Default Re: 3 Month Old Starting To Fuss And Cry During And After Fe

    Welcome to the forum and congratulations on the baby and on making it through the first 3 months of nursing!

    Fussiness at the breast is very common. Most of the time it's nothing to be concerned about. I think that a lot of the time it's the baby's way of trying to get his desired flow of milk- either slowing the milk flow down of it's too fast for him, or getting it to speed up if it's too slow. But in this situation, where baby has dropped down to a very low number of feedings, I think you are right to be concerned that there's something more going on.

    What that something is... I just don't know. Could be an ear infection, or some other illness, or the beginning of teething. But my gut says it's the EASY routine that has thrown a monkey wrench into your nursing relationship. Any time a mom embraces a schedule, even a loose one, she's teaching the baby that he needs to ignore his own internal feeding/satiation cues. He has to eat not when he's hungry, but when mom says it's time for him to be hungry. And that has the potential to turn nursing into a source of stress rather than a source of comfort.

    I'm sorry, I know that probably comes across as very judgmental. FWIW, I am not a huge fan of the Baby Whisperer- this review from the very reputable kellymom.com explains why: http://kellymom.com/parenting/review...babywhisperer/

    In your shoes, I would immediately take away the routine/schedule. Take a nursing vacation, during which you and the baby spend a couple of days in bed and/or in the bath, just relaxing together and nursing whenever the baby seems to want it. Hopefully that will induce him to bump up his feeding frequency to a more typical level- which, FTR, is generally a minimum of 8 feedings per day. Many babies want and need to nurse more frequently than that. Changing how and where the baby sleeps can also help. If he sleeps in a swaddle, stop swaddling him; if he sleeps in his own room, move him into yours. Those two things might induce a little more nighttime waking on his part, and a little more nighttime alertness on yours, resulting in another couple of nursing sessions per day. Sometimes that's all that's required for a baby to get the milk he needs.
    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!"

  3. #3

    Default Re: 3 Month Old Starting To Fuss And Cry During And After Fe

    I'm hesitant to think it's the schedule simply because it technically started before we even tried the routine, and for an entire week we were on vacation when he was 10 weeks, and he had no schedule at all during this time, and still fussed after feeds.

    I'm wondering if it could be thyroid related? I started shedding a lot of hair and I feel pretty tired at times. Also the trouble seems to be more "let down" related, as he isn't getting a second let down very easily and won't work for it.

    My left breast tends to produce at least an oz more than the right side, and has always leaked, but lately it's producing .5oz to equal to the lower producing side and has stopped leaking. It's like my letdown isn't working as well as it should. I don't know what's going on with us and what to think anymore. I just know I want to continue at least another 3 months. He's yet to have a drop of formula and I want to keep it that way

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,144

    Default Re: 3 Month Old Starting To Fuss And Cry During And After Fe

    Do you have a history of thyroid problems? If you do, or even if you just suspect that something is off, you should go in and see your doctor. Postpartum thyroiditis affects around 5% of women in the postpartum year.

    That being said- being tired and shedding a lot of hair are both normal for new moms. Shedding is inhibited during pregnancy, which is why pregnant women are often complimented on their full and lustrous hair. But starting a few months postpartum, all that hair that didn't fall out during pregnancy suddenly starts to go. So new moms usually notice a shower drain full of hair or a thinner hairline around 3-5 months postpartum.

    The difficulty with letdown- that's something that can happen when a schedule results in dropping supply. You already have noticed a decrease in supply on your formerly high-producing side, right? So my feeling is that the first thing to try is to remove the schedule as a variable. If you're nursing on demand and still having this trouble after you've been demand feeding for a while, then you look at other explanations for the fussiness.

    Is baby still nursing just 5-6 times a day?
    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!"

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    312

    Default Re: 3 Month Old Starting To Fuss And Cry During And After Fe

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*parksmama View Post
    I'm hesitant to think it's the schedule simply because it technically started before we even tried the routine, and for an entire week we were on vacation when he was 10 weeks, and he had no schedule at all during this time, and still fussed after feeds.

    I'm wondering if it could be thyroid related? I started shedding a lot of hair and I feel pretty tired at times. Also the trouble seems to be more "let down" related, as he isn't getting a second let down very easily and won't work for it.

    My left breast tends to produce at least an oz more than the right side, and has always leaked, but lately it's producing .5oz to equal to the lower producing side and has stopped leaking. It's like my letdown isn't working as well as it should. I don't know what's going on with us and what to think anymore. I just know I want to continue at least another 3 months. He's yet to have a drop of formula and I want to keep it that way
    In my experience, which has been nursing one baby who has never taken a bottle and is now 10.5 months old, schedules never worked for us. Even the loosest of schedules. She doesn't even have a nap schedule and we are perfectly happy. I never offered at exact to-the-minute times or anything like that, but it always seemed like she was a lot less interested in nursing when I offered at regularly timed intervals. Now we nurse with absolutely no routine whatsoever and she loves nursing! She used to be a baby who seemed to dislike nursing all together, except when asleep.

    As far as letdown issues, I have had those as well. What helps is a stress free nursing attitude, as in, offer to baby, if baby doesn't want it, just act casual and move on immediately. No hanging out and forcing a feed or anything like that. Then in a bit offer again, very casually, no pressure for either of you. The less pressure you feel the less slow your letdown will likely be. At least it is for me.

    And then again maybe your letdown is just fine! Maybe the flow is different because your supply adjusted, and btw all you EVER need is "just enough". That's exactly how nursing works. Your body does not want to make any extra, because that is an awful waste of precious nutrients for your body. So if you went from extra to just enough, it's likely going to take some time for baby to come to terms with that and realize that he needs to work harder for milk. This also happened to us and resolved itself, again...mine really didn't love nursing until about 2 months ago or so, so around 8 months. Good luck!
    and Mama to two little girls

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