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Thread: Rocking while nursing

  1. #1
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    Nov 2013
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    Default Rocking while nursing

    My 4 month old used to fall asleep while breastfeeding but since a few weeks he is unable to fall asleep and gets frustrated. I started rocking him to help him fall asleep and now he just wont nurse unless I rock him. Mild rocking wont do, our nursing sessions are no less than a gymnastic event with me almost jumping with him in my arms. If I slow down he kicks his legs and starts screaming. How do I break this habit. I try to taper down but he screams and just wont let me. How can I make him fall asleep without rocking.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Rocking while nursing

    Hi I see no one has replied to your post. I guess you stumped the experts!
    Besides the gymnastics what other things have you tried at nursing time? For example does your baby nurse at night and do you have to do the gymnastics then? Will baby fall asleep at any other time – such as in the car or with a pacifier? Have you tried swaddling? Or if you are swaddling have you tried not swaddling?
    About how frequently-how many times each day-does baby nurse? Is baby now and has baby always been exclusively breast-fed?
    Have you tried nursing in a sling or other baby carrier? Various positions?

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Rocking while nursing

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*lllmeg View Post
    Hi I see no one has replied to your post. I guess you stumped the experts!
    My bundle of joy has that effect on everyone

    Thanks for your response!
    So far I have not tried anything apart from the vigorous rocking. He nurses fine at nights when he is sleeping, also when he just wakes up and still a little sleepy.
    He does not take a pacifier. He does fall asleep in the car. He also falls asleep if I just rock him without nursing but that does not go well, he cries and it feels like he is fighting the sleep and eventually sleeps because he is just tired and exhausted.

    He used to kick off swaddling ever since he was 2 weeks old and I have never tried to swaddle him. He nurses every 2-3 hrs. He is exclusively breastfed although he had to be given formula in the first two weeks while my supply was low. I just got a ring sling and trying to get a hang of it.
    When he is just hungry and not sleepy, (which rarely happens) he is distracted but nurses okay..

    I feel like I have ruled out all the possible solutions that you can offer me. Sorry but he is not one who can be easily cajoled.
    I have never had a calm nursing experience so far. Initially it was my sore nipples and low supply. Then it was oald lots of crying and tears and he almost started to hate the breast. He finally came around, it was going well for few days then he was getting distracted by everything around him, even me. That is when I started walking and rocking him which kept him on the breast longer. I think this went out of hand now. I'm literally huffing and puffing and sweating by the time he falls asleep.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Rocking while nursing

    How long has this been going on? For a few weeks?

    I'm wondering if there's not some kind of developmental leap going on that he's trying to process. I know some babies go through phases where they only sleep on a swing or only relax when being bounced or whatever, so maybe it's something like that and he'll outgrow it.

    Do you feel like it's something that is out of the ordinary? Is it setting off mommy alarms that something might be wrong? Or are you just tired of the wild gymnastics and looking for a solution?
    “We are not put on earth for ourselves, but are placed here for each other. If you are there always for others, then in time of need, someone will be there for you.”
    --Anonymous

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Rocking while nursing

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*metromom27 View Post
    That is when I started walking and rocking him which kept him on the breast longer.
    Keep in mind that babies become more efficient with nursing as they get older. So they may be getting as much milk in a short session as they used to in a long session. Also, it really doesn't matter whether baby takes in his milk in 15 short sessions or 10 longer ones. Also very normal for baby to become distractible, especially during the day, as he gets older - too much other interesting stuff to pay attention to! So, one suggestion would be to give him many, frequent brief feedings during his waking hours, and leave the longer feedings for when he is sleepy. As for putting him down to sleep, how does he do with less vigorous rocking and a bit of nursing? I agree - your current situation does not sound sustainable!

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Rocking while nursing

    My baby went through a phase around that age where he would only latch on if I stood and walked around. It passed rather quickly, but I wonders if I was going to be doing that forever. Hope it's just a phase for yours. My mom thought I was a little crazy for indulging the phase.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Rocking while nursing

    I agree this may be a phase, and if you can find a way to make it something you can do without exhausting yourself, in other words as previous posters have suggested find a way to give baby this type of stimulation in perhaps a left exhausting way maybe by sitting on a exercise ball and bouncing or rocking in a chair or walking around or singing loudly or something else that might give baby whatever it is he is getting from the gymnastics, maybe that could get you through it. I don't know if this is The same or not, but my second child needed to be rubbed vigorously in order to calm down when he cried. I mean I would lay him on top of me and rub him vigorously up and down his back so hard my husband would think I was hurting him! Seriously it was the only thing that would calm him down. During these sessions which happened several times a day, he would not even nurse for comfort he just wanted to cry and cry and this is the only thing that worked. It was like he needed that stimulation, and I wondered if there was some sort of sensory issues going on. But in our case It was a temporary thing and he outgrew it at some point I think this went on from about four months to eight or nine months something like that. He is now seven years old and while he is a very energetic child, he sleeps fine, focuses well when he has to and is a joy.

    I wonder what happens if you just don't do the gymnastics. Does he just refuse to nurse and cry? Does he refuse to nurse and is happy about it? Does the only nurse for a short time, or only one side? Baby is now several months old, and should be able to respond appropriately to hunger cues. Meaning baby should know how to eat when baby needs to eat, for as long as baby needs to eat. Of course baby will probably want to nurse for other reasons besides food, and that is also healthy and appropriate. My point is, Assuming your baby is healthy weight at this point, I don't know that it would hurt to experiment for a few days or weeks, and basically insist that he nurse without the gymnastics, or not nurse. assuming he is gaining fine all this time there is little need to worry so much about it. when baby initially needed supplements it can be hard trusting that baby can get enough milk, and mom may so worry a great deal if baby is nursing for shorter periods of time or less often. but both of these can be entirely normal.

    I also forgot about the four month fussies. There seems to be a fairly common phenomenon of a four-month-old showing very strange nursing behavior. Again this is usually temporary. It is written about in the womanly Art of breast-feeding the eighth edition.
    Last edited by @llli*lllmeg; February 18th, 2014 at 06:32 PM.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Rocking while nursing

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*still.here View Post

    Do you feel like it's something that is out of the ordinary? Is it setting off mommy alarms that something might be wrong? Or are you just tired of the wild gymnastics and looking for a solution?
    No. No worries at all. He is a high needs baby, who is quite a handful even without the gymnastics. Just looking for a solution.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Rocking while nursing

    I had that phase too! Before you know it, the next phase will begin I'm sure What about a moving chair or a rocker? Or maybe start off by swaying and then slowly ease yourself down onto the chair. Just keep on trying to sit down once he is latched and sucking. He might eventually get used to it.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Rocking while nursing

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*metromom27 View Post
    No. No worries at all. He is a high needs baby, who is quite a handful even without the gymnastics. Just looking for a solution.
    HI mama! I haven't been in here in a HOT minute but one of my friends that I made right here in the forums tipped me off to your post because she saw that your baby sounded similar to my first born Then I read this response you gave and felt like I might know you -> "My bundle of joy has that effect on everyone" because that was me.

    Can I ask two questions first? How old is your sweet bub? When you say he is high needs, what do you mean?
    I'm Colleen
    Mama to
    Silas born May 2009 ~ Nursed 18 mos, weaned during pregnancy, unweaned at 24 months, still nursing when he feels like it
    Lola born March 2011 ~ The Mary Lou Retton of toddler nursing
    Married to Brandon
    Using cloth on both bums

    We hibernate together



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