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Thread: Normal nursing behavior?

  1. #1

    Default Normal nursing behavior?

    My daughter went from wanting to eat every 30 minutes to suddenly refusing both breast and bottle for hours and hours at a time--sometimes 3 or 4 hour stretches. She is just 3 months old. Wet/poopy diapers vary from day to day--never had less than 6 or 7 wets in a day, always at least 1 (BIG) poop, usually 3+. But this is super new behavior and I'm not sure if that will change. Is this normal for her age? Edit: This evening she went for a full 5 hours without nursing--screamed and went red with rage whenever I offered either breast or bottle. I finally got her to nurse while sleepy. (This is another new behavior--she only seems interested in eating when she is half-asleep.) Again...normal?
    Last edited by @llli*aeryn; July 19th, 2013 at 10:25 PM.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Normal nursing behavior?

    Could baby be in pain? any signs of issues with Ears, nose (congestion) teething?

    Prior to this, how many times a day did baby nurse and how many times a day did baby get a bottle?

    Does baby use a pacifier?

    Any recent changes in routine? New pet? House move? relatives visiting or leaving? Mom going back to work? Changes in day care situation?

    Have you tried cutting on distractions (nursing in a darkened, quiet room, for example?)

    Any changes in your perfume, soap, laundry detergent, deodorant?

    It is normal for baby to stop nursing as often as before when baby moves out of the newborn stage. However, this sounds more like breast/bottle refusal which is NOT normal. And while this seems to happen, I would not think baby ONLY being able to nurse when asleep is normal. I have been very surprised how often I have seen that situation come up on the forums, though.

    These ideas may help: http://kellymom.com/bf/concerns/child/back-to-breast/

  3. #3

    Default Re: Normal nursing behavior?

    She might be teething--chews a lot and drools. We also moved recently.

    Prior to this she ate extremely often but only for a couple minutes each time (5 at the absolute most, even at night.) Now she eats every 2-3 hours (on average) for about 10 minutes. (I have a fast letdown and abundant supply so she only takes 1 side. Based on her bottle intake and what LCs have told me at her weight check I estimate she gets at least 2-3 oz when she nurses this long, esp. if she takes in most of my letdown.) She always gets at least 8 feedings in per day, usually more.

    She doesn't often get a bottle--doesn't like it as well.

    She loves her paci. Often she will give me hunger cues, so I will latch her on without a problem and she'll suck until she gets milk, then she'll get angry. Then I'll give her her paci and she's content.

    She does seem pretty distractable. But when she's refusing the breast she TOTALLY refuses, no matter where we are. Tho sometimes she responds well to a change in position.

    She eats very, very well at night--sometimes she'll eat 4 or 5 times between 3 AM and 9.
    Last edited by @llli*aeryn; July 20th, 2013 at 04:08 PM.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Normal nursing behavior?

    OK, then I would suspect it has to do with distraction plus teething pain. If your baby is nursing at least 8 times a 24 hour day and gaining well, then this behavior is not really a problem unless all that nursing at night instead of during the day is a problem for you! If it is, I would suggest trying replicating as much as possible what you do at night to see if that encourages baby to nurse more during the day, plus any other ideas in the article I linked above that make sense to you to try.

    The reason I asked about bottles and pacifier use is some times bottles and pacifiers can "train" baby away from nursing, causing some babies to wean/start refusing the breast “early” . This is called "triple nipple syndrome."

    Since your baby is not taking many bottles and only getting the pacifier occasionally after a feeding, that is not likely an issue here. However, I would suggest encouraging baby to comfort nurse as much as possible. Maybe try switching baby back to the breast after the paci at those times baby seems "angry" about letdown. The idea is to keep baby associating the breast with all things good, food and comfort.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Normal nursing behavior?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*lllmeg View Post
    The idea is to keep baby associating the breast with all things good, food and comfort.
    You are definitely right about that--I think my trouble the other night was that I was trying to press her onto the breast when she was clearly not wanting to go on. I was stressed, she was stressed, and she wanted to eat less and less the more I tried. After the episode was over she had 3 good, long nurses and seemed to "reset" the next day. I definitely won't do that again!

    I've also done the "bait-and-switch" you mentioned--putting her to the breast with paci in mouth, then quickly pulling paci out and latching her on. Sometimes this works and sometimes it doesn't. When it doesn't I figure she REALLY doesn't want milk, just sucking. Since my milk comes out so quickly it's hard for her to comfort nurse without getting a big ol' mouthful. I'm hoping my supply will self-regulate soon so she has an easier time comfort nursing.

    Thanks for the advice.

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