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Thread: Help...My 4 month doesn't seem interested in breastfeeding

  1. #1

    Default Help...My 4 month doesn't seem interested in breastfeeding

    My four month old recently started to become hugely disinterested in eating. He cries any time I try to feed him. He use to only latch with a nipple shield, and now all the sudden, he won't (no complaints), but he also will only latch quickly without it and pop off. I am getting so nervous about his eating, I am considering bottles.

    Any suggestions??

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Help...My 4 month doesn't seem interested in breastfeedi

    Be patient. Keep offering, and offer in different, comforting places- a warm bath, a dark room. Watch his diaper output. Don't resort to bottles unless there's no other option- i.e. baby is no longer producing enough wet diapers. And take baby in to the pediatrician- nursing strikes are often related to illness, especially ear infections.

    Good luck!

  3. #3

    Default Re: Help...My 4 month doesn't seem interested in breastfeedi

    This sounds very similar to what my 3-month-old started doing a few weeks ago. I DID end up going the bottle route for a little while but in the end I began a bf routine that I call "ambush nursing" and it seems to be working out for us so far. Maybe some of these tricks will work for you:

    1) My LO had recently become much more active: talking, grabbing at toys, looking around, etc. The breast was boring! Who wants to face in when there's all kinds of awesome outside?? I would put her to the breast and she would rear away, sometimes laughing like it was a joke and sometimes going red with rage. The only time she really ate was when she was sleepy, so I take advantage of that. When she starts to get grumpy and it's getting around that time when I think she's probably hungry, I take steps to wind her down. With my LO it works to tuck her tightly into the crook of my arm and rock her for a bit. Her eyes start to droop a little and she gets less wriggly. When she's nice and relaxed (doesn't have to be asleep) I move her towards our nursing position (we do cradle or cross-cradle) and kind of let her chill there for a minute. If she starts to rear back I replace her in the crook of my arm and try again.

    2) I cultivate judicious use of the pacifier (we use soothies--the blue kind they give you at the hospital). I know you are not really supposed to do this because of nipple confusion but I find the paci a really useful tool for nursing and have never had a problem. When my LO is relaxing I give her the paci, and I make sure she is still sucking when I move her to the nursing position. Then I pull a bait-and-switch--I pull the paci out of her mouth and quickly latch her on. Sometimes she accept the nipple right away, sometimes she needs a few tries because she wasn't quite relaxed enough. I do this if she starts to get squirrelly in the middle of a feeding, too. (A side note: if you do have to use a bottle, I highly recommend the "Soothie" brand put out by The 1st Years. Walmart carries it. It's basically the soothie type pacifier with a hole in the top--slow flow, and if your LO is already used to that type of pacifier it can cut back on nipple confusion. When we did bottles, it was the only type my LO would accept.)

    3) Alternately, instead of nursing her while she's going to sleep, I let her nap and latch her on the SECOND she starts stirring around, basically getting her to nurse while she's still pretty much asleep. Sometimes I give her several micro-feedings over the course of one nap! She wakes up full and doesn't even know why!

    4) I give her a "lovie"--a little blankie that she can feel while she's nursing. She's bored at the breast, so sometimes having something interesting to touch can really help keep her there for longer. Otherwise she windmills her arms crazily and distracts herself.

    At first I was concerned that my LO was eating less often than before--but she eats for MUCH longer each time now, and I haven't noticed much of a difference in diaper output. (It's maybe a little less, but she is no longer a newborn, so that is within the range of normal.)

    I really hope some of these tricks work for you! Trust me, I know exactly how unbelievably frustrating this situation is.
    Last edited by @llli*Aeryn; July 23rd, 2013 at 02:42 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: Help...My 4 month doesn't seem interested in breastfeedi

    So baby can now latch and nurse without a nipple sheild? Or only with a shield? I am a little confused on that point. Has baby been exclusively breastfed up to this point? Weight gain (so far) good?

    Anyway, babies starting to nurse "weird" at around 4 months is so common there is even a term for it: "four month fussies." It is usually temporary. It manifests in many ways-baby being very distractable, popping on and off the breast, wanting to switch sides frequenlty duing a feeding, fussing at and even fighting at the breast. Also babies typically get more efficient as they get older, so nursing sessions may start being quite short, compared to before.

    If baby does not want to nurse at the moment, you can keep trying, or it is fine to stop, wait 30 minutes or so (or whatever works for you) and try again. Keep offering to nurse at the earliest cues (or even before any cue,) offer when baby is sleepy, just waking or asleep, get in a playful situation with baby (such as the tub) and make sure baby has access, to the breasts etc. Napping and sleeping with baby (bedsharing) is a good way to increase nursing sessions overall, just know the risks and how to maximise safety when bedsharing.

    Here are more tips for gently encouraging baby to nurse: http://kellymom.com/bf/concerns/child/back-to-breast/

  5. #5

    Default Re: Help...My 4 month doesn't seem interested in breastfeedi

    He used to only latch if I was wearing a shield. Now, all the sudden he doesn't want the shield, which is fine. But, whenever I go into our nursing position, cradle style, he cries. He usually is fine on my right breast, but doesn't seem to like the left at all. I had him at the dr. To check his ears, but they are fine. The other day I had to resort to a bottle because he refused any side and it was almost five hours in between feedings, so I was getting quite full.

    He just used to be such a great feeder, but it was like a light switch turned on and he fights. He has always been a long nurser and I let him use the breast as a pacifier to sleep, but now he seems to want nothing to do with my left side and will tolerate the right.

    I am so stressed and upset, I keep thinking about bottles but then guilt creeps in

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: Help...My 4 month doesn't seem interested in breastfeedi

    Well you have to feed the baby! Don't feel guilty about bottles if they are needed!

    Maybe baby still needs the sheild on the left side? Can you try it again? Could it have been washed in some soap that makes it taste weird or anything?>

    Have you tried instant reward techniques? (see article I linked above in pp)

    How about a different nursing position(s)? sidelying, laid back?

    more info on that- Tips with pictures on latch and different positioning ideas (includes side lying) http://www.llli.org/faq/positioning.html

    Laid back position http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...astfeeding.pdf

    Laid back video http://www.biologicalnurturing.com/video/bn3clip.html

    Here are two simple pictorials, you want the one on latch. Notice that the mother is in a “slightly” laid back position, looks like on a couch? This is a very “adjustable” position, play around to find how you and your baby are most comfortable. http://cwgenna.com/quickhelp.html

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2012

    Default Re: Help...My 4 month doesn't seem interested in breastfeedi

    I too had to bait and switch with a pacifier at that age and take full advantage of naptime and bedtime nursing. Is he teething at all? Nursing on the right side was a fight if he had a tooth coming in on the left side and vice versa. Maybe because of the pressure? It stopped after the front eight came in. Nurse on the right if that's what he'll take. Pump the left if you can when full. Hang in there, mama. This too shall pass.

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