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Thread: 3 month old Repeatedly Pulling Off

  1. #1

    Default 3 month old Repeatedly Pulling Off

    I have seen some similar posts, but wanted to tell my particular story in the hopes I will find an answer! (I am sorry this is so long)

    My now-13 week old has always nursed very well. She has also always been very happy and she never continued to cry when offered the breast. Well, two and a half weeks ago she started crying one evening and I couldn't get her to quiet down for over an hour! It was very unusual behavior for her. She wouldn't drink, just cried and cried. I was starting to think something was seriously wrong, when she finally had a decent feeding and fell asleep.

    After that, she was very fussy. I couldn't put her down during the day without her immediately starting to cry. And the crying got intense very quickly. If I didn't pick her up right away she would start screaming. Again, this was very unusual behavior for her. At feedings, she would latch on, take a drink or two, then fling her arm back and unlatch. Then she would immediately seek the nipple and latch back on. This would happen over and over again.

    Fast forward two weeks. I took her to the doctor the day before Thanksgiving, because I thought she might have a UTI (my first daughter had urinary reflux and I was told it was hereditary), but the urine culture came back normal. Ears were fine, chest was fine. Everyone else in the family had a bad cold, so that was my second guess, but she wasn't sick.

    The crying when I put her down has improved greatly, but she is still really fussy at mealtime. She weighs 14lbs 9oz. She latches and unlatches repeatedly, but I *know* she's hungry (I think I know, anyway) and if I take the breast away (thinking she must not be hungry after all) she gets upset.

    She has been drooling a lot. I'm wondering if it is teething pain? The doc said it's too early for that, but I realize they don't know everything!

    It has never occurred to me that I had a fast let-down -- I've never seen any other signs. Occasionally she does choke/cough while nursing, but I assumed that all babies do at some point. ??

    I hope someone can help!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    20,960

    Default Re: 3 month old Repeatedly Pulling Off

    Welcome to the forum!

    So the crying is predominantly in the evenings, correct? If so, my guess would be that this is garden variety evening fussiness- see this link for more: http://kellymom.com/parenting/parent...fussy-evening/. The baby is the right age for it. But teething could also explain a lot.

    Most babies hate being put down. If you have a sling or swing, that might help. The sling allows you to move around without having to put baby down, and the motion of the swing can sometimes trick baby into thinking that she's still in mom's arms.

    Fast letdowns can also cause fussy nursing behaviors. Are you experiencing any or many of the following:
    - Frequent feelings of fullness or engorgement
    - Seeing milk squirt or stream from the breast when baby unlatches
    - Lots of leaking
    - Strong letdown sensations
    - Ability to pump many oz of milk with relative ease, if you are pumping
    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
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
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    42

    Default Re: 3 month old Repeatedly Pulling Off

    my experience is the same, 5 mos baby becomes fussy and screaming during feeding. you may try another feeding position, mine she prefers side lying. there is no other way i can feed her aside from this position. i tried it many times but same things happened.

    other stimulation also can cause baby at this age to become fussy during evening.

    my girl used to be very quite on bed, all she want was milk and sleep. no cuddle with nanny, but because she have a cousin same her age and we're living at same apartment who demands cuddle all the time and my daughter saw her like that now she demands it too and i think realized that cuddle feels good. so did another thing to cut this issue, i tried to put her on a bouncing chair in semi- fowlers position and guess what, she loves it. she's not an infant at all, she get bored lying on her back and sitting is new for her. bonus to our nanny she tried to put cousin too on the chair and both of them enjoyed it.

  4. #4

    Default Re: 3 month old Repeatedly Pulling Off

    The crying is not predominantly in the evenings. Yes, last night she was fussy in the evening, but this morning she was fussy as well. The Moby wrap and swing work sometimes, but not often.
    As far as a fast letdown: I only feel engorged in the morning (she sleeps 8 hours straight at night, wakes for a feeding then sleeps another hour or two). And "no" to the rest of the questions.

    The only position that gets her to eat when she is latching/unlatching is me nursing her while I'm standing! That isn't very comfortable...

    Maybe I simply am trying to feed her too often. I got used to her wanting to eat all the time and maybe now she really doesn't want to. I started keeping track just today (duh, should've done it sooner) of feeding times and how it went. I'll let you know what my research shows. But, does a baby suddenly (and this was sudden) stop wanting to eat all the time? I thought it would be more gradual than this was.

    What do you think?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
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    NY
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    Default Re: 3 month old Repeatedly Pulling Off

    About how many times do you think baby is feeding per day? I'd be hesitant to reduce the number of feeds at this age, particularly since you have a baby who is already going 8 hours without a feed--that's a long time, and highly unusual for a 13 week old! In other words, don't be surprised if baby starts to wake more in the coming weeks!

    The fact that baby is willing to feed happily while you are standing suggests to me that it is probably some sort of sensory issue causing the fussiness. Do you have a rocking chair? Would baby nurse if you rocked in that? I'm thinking maybe the standing is akin to baby feeling motion, and baby might enjoy that sensation right now. My daughter went through many periods where she wanted to nurse with me standing and walking around. (She still actually likes for me to do that occasionally now, but it's getting tougher and tougher for me to do that now that she weighs 27 lbs!) At that age, we also had a lot of pulling, on-and-off behavior at the breast. I just continued to offer, and baby always wound up getting fed--the nursing "sessions" just took a lot longer for us at that time. The fussy nursing lasted for about a month or so for us, then passed.
    Apologies for the short responses! I'm usually responding one-handed on my smartphone!

  6. #6

    Default Re: 3 month old Repeatedly Pulling Off

    She feeds at least 6 times per day. Maybe 9. Before this all started I would have said at least 9 times per day.

    I have tried rocking her while nursing and she won't have it. If she is already happy, that's fine, but if she is being fussy, it doesn't help.

    I hope this fussy period only lasts a month or so like yours did! Right now, it feels like forever not knowing what's going on.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    5,420

    Default Re: 3 month old Repeatedly Pulling Off

    Maybe your milk production is going down/levelling off, which is often normal at ~ 3 months, and that is making the milk flow less intense than before, and baby is objecting to that. I would suggest, offer to nurse frequently (but do not insist.) As long as baby is gaining normally, the long sleep stretch may be ok, but nursing 6 times a day overall is pretty low for a three month old and due to that and the long sleep stretch I am a little concerned about you milk production going forward. If baby gets a pacifier or is swaddled at night, you could try not doing that and see if it helps baby not take such a long stretch at night. (Again this long stretch may be fine, or it may not, every mom is different.) Also you could try breast compressions during the feeding. And I agree with sonogirl about trying a variety of different positions and nursing places and movement.

  8. #8

    Default Re: 3 month old Repeatedly Pulling Off

    It's interesting how similar our situation is -- my son starting doing the same thing about a month ago (he is now 15 wks), which I recently posted about. He will fling his arm back and unlatch and then latch again. Mine seems to fight his way through it and feed, though. He constantly rubs his faces and squirms though, like it's uncomfortable. Like your baby, mine also sleeps a long stretch at night -- usually 8-8.5 hours. He feeds about 7 times a day. I had a problem with oversupply until the 2 month mark, and my supply seems to be okay now. I hope it's not damaged by him sleeping through the night!

  9. #9

    Default Re: 3 month old Repeatedly Pulling Off

    Yes, idksmom! Our situations are very similar! I noticed while reading through the posts that there are several babies who have gone through something similar right around the same age. Funny, huh?
    As it turns out, I stopped swaddling my baby a week ago, because she was showing signs of rolling over -- and she did roll over the next day! I hoped by some miracle that would be the cause of this fussiness, but it wasn't. It seems to me that it is either because she is really gassy (I try to burp her extra well and give her gas drops) or because my milk is in fact coming too quickly for her. This was never a problem before, so I'm leaning toward the gassiness.
    I'm trying not to worry about it too much. I offer her milk relatively often and she is getting enough, even if it is a struggle sometimes. I am still hoping this phase passes soon.

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