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Thread: Finicky and fussy

  1. #1

    Default Finicky and fussy

    I'm a first time mom breast feeding my 6 week old. I really value the benefits of breast feeding but its been challenging since day one. A few days after she was born she developed jaundice so the pediatrician said we needed to suppliment with formula. We used a syringe to avoid nipple confusion. I was having difficulty, so I began pumping and feeding her the breastmilk with the syringe as well as formula. Feeding her that way took forever so we gave in to the bottle, but I was only producing an ounce when I pumped (every 3 hours).

    I went to a LC and she said to put baby back on the breast. So after her roller coaster feeding experience we are back to the breast. Fortunately she knows how to latch and does a good job nursing. However, she will randomly start crying in the middle of a feeding and refuse to relatch. I try several times, burp her, check her diaper, make sure she is comfortable overall, then try again. I have tried for half an hour at a time, offering both breasts but she just gets frustrated as do I. She is still getting formula mainly because she seems to frantically hungry and I don't want to starve her when she won't latch. I feel guilty giving her formula, but I only do so as a last resort.

    I figure she has had a month to transition from the bottle to the breast, so I'm not sure why she gets so fussy and fights me. I have noticed it gets progressively worst as the day goes on. Please help this frustrated duo!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    21,144

    Default Re: Finicky and fussy

    Welcome to the forum and congratulations on the new baby and on making it through the first 6 weeks! You definitely had a rougher go of it than most- I wish that when the pediatrician told you that supplementing was necessary, he/she had told you that you could supplement with breastmilk, and that by pumping all the supplements, you'd be making sure that your supply stayed adequate to the baby's needs.

    Fussiness is really common in babies this age. It tends to worsen as the day goes on, so much so that there are commonly understood terms for it: the witching hour(s), fussy evenings, evenings-only colic. It doesn't necessarily indicate that your supply is poor or anything except that your baby is being a baby, and going through a difficult but normal neurodevelopmental stage.

    How much formula are you using in a 24 hour period? And how are you supplying it- via bottle, syringe, SNS? Are you pumping at this point, and if so, how is it going?

    Don't worry mama, this all sounds fixable and normal!!!
    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: Finicky and fussy

    She is getting 12-18 oz of formula in a 24 hr period via syringe. We offer it in 2oz increments,but she usually wants 6-8oz total. We haven't given her a bottle again or ever introduced her to a pacifier, much to the confusion of our family. If she wants comfort nursing we offer a pinky finger.

    As for pumping, I haven't tried for 2 weeks because I only got an oz total after a half hour pumping session. I have a nice pump (Medela In Style) I just can't seem to get much.

    She has plenty of wet diapers and one large bm every other day. I read the Kelly Mom link about weaning from formula supplements, and I'm thinking of reducing her formula intake by an oz a day. We do offer gripe water when she gets fussy at night, but she can get frustrated during nursing any time of day, even right off the bat in the morning.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    21,144

    Default Re: Finicky and fussy

    I agree that the kellymom method is the way to go, particularly because you're using a fairly large amount of formula.

    Is there a reason you're giving the baby a pinky to suck on when she wants to comfort nurse? When there's any question about supply, the best thing is to make sure the baby does ALL her sucking at the breast. Second best would be to pump all. the. time. Any time baby takes a supplemental feeding, you want to get the pump out and use it to make up for the stimulation your baby would otherwise have given you.

    I'd love for you to see a lactation consultant, preferably an IBCLC. It sounds like you could use some hands-on, professional help with pumping and also an evaluation of your baby's latch and nursing ability.
    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
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    18

    Default Re: Finicky and fussy

    Do you think maybe she starts crying in the middle of a feed because she is full already? That's what my LO does. Is she happy after you remove her and soothe her? How much supplement does she require after breastfeeding?

  6. #6

    Default Re: Finicky and fussy

    @mommal- I guess we offered her the pinky because no one ever told me to put her to breast every time she wanted to suck. We mainly use it to try to calm her (like when she is so frustrated she won't latch) or when we are trying to get her to sleep at night after she has been fed. I will go back to pumping, I just felt like it was unproductive. I can definitely make an appointment with an LC.

    @sweetchic-when she burst into tears suddenly during a feeding she sounds upset. And when I offer her the breast she roots around like she is hungry but can't seem to latch. I have put my nipple into her so that all she would have to do is suck, and she still won't. She acts like she is hungry and mad that she can't nurse. After so much wailing that she turns red we give her formula, which she sucks down ravenously. When she has a good feeding session she comes off the breast content and sleepy. We mainly supplement when she gets too frustrated, so mostly at night. Depending on how she sleeps, that can be 2-3 times a night.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Finicky and fussy

    Great news: we are weaned from formula and are EBF. What a relief! Now we are working on getting her to sleep at night and trying to relieve her colic.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,144

    Default Re: Finicky and fussy

    Yay!!! Well done, mama.

    What are you looking for, in terms of nighttime sleep? Maybe we can suggest tips. Or at least commiserate. It's totally normal and often desirable for young babies to wake and nurse at night, and we've all been there!
    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!"

  9. #9

    Default Re: Finicky and fussy

    I don't mind night nursing it's her sleeping times that need adjustment. She has been going to sleep between 3-5 am waking around 8-9am for a feeding then going back to sleep until noon. I didn't mind it when she came home from the hospital, she needed time to adjust and organize. But now I think she needs to get on a regular routine so daytime events (like going to the Dr.) don't interfere with sleep. d

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