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Thread: 6mth old fussy for 2 wks, pulls off breast, extra feeding

  1. #1

    Default 6mth old fussy for 2 wks, pulls off breast, extra feeding

    My 6 month old has been fussy for nearly 2 weeks now. He was a very content baby and not so much now. He started waking up one more time in the middle of the night. (previously only waking up once between 7pm and 6am) And during the day there are a couple feedings where he'll eat for 10 min and pull off fussy so I put him on again and he'll eat a little longer and pull off fussy. Before he would eat close to 20 min on one side and be done and happy. I had thought of the 6 wk growth spurt but it's been 2 weeks. I'm worried I'm not making enough or something. I haven't nursed past 6 months before so this is new. I really want to make it to the 12 month mark this time but I can't handle this much longer. Please help.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    21,355

    Default Re: 6mth old fussy for 2 wks, pulls off breast, extra feedin

    The behavior you describe is very normal for a baby this age, and it probably has nothing to do with your milk supply. First, it's normal for babies to wake to nurse several times at night. The fact that your baby was giving you that extremely long stretch of nighttime sleep with just one wake-up was unusual for such a young baby, and unfortunately you should never count on such good luck to last, especially once teething kicks in. Second, at 6 months, your baby is surely teething even if the teeth haven't yet become visible at the gumline. Teething makes babies fussy, wakeful, and sometimes causes them to be difficult to nurse. Third, at 6 months you should expect your baby's feeding length to vary. By this age, most babies are capable of getting a full feeding in just 5-10 minutes at the breast, and the world has become so interesting to them that they often do not want to spend long time periods hanging out and nursing.

    You mention that you've been nursing on just one breast at a time. Are you still doing that? If so, I suggest trying to offer both breasts at a feeding. It's the first thing to do if you suspect a supply problem, and there is no harm in it. Also, many moms who start out needing to use just one breast at a time eventually transition to using both.
    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: 6mth old fussy for 2 wks, pulls off breast, extra feedin

    Thank you. Since he's been doing this I try to get him to get at least 10 min on one side and then I offer him the second breast. So he has been going both sides at one feeding these last 2 weeks.

    How long should I try to get him to take the one side before switching to the other? What I have been doing is when he gets fussy on the one side I squeeze the breast and if milk shoots out then I try to get him to take more on that side. When it doesn't "shoot" out, and it's been at least 10 min usually, then I switch sides. I just worry to about the whole foremilk hindmilk thing.

    At 4 and 5 months he got his 2 bottom teeth and didn't do all this but I understand every time may be different. I had been thinking of trying to get him to take a bottle of formula after his 7pm feeding thinking it may be that hes not getting enough. I say formula b/c I've never w/ 4 kids been one to get much milk while pumping. I've just been worried he's not getting enough. As a side note, he's not interested in solids either.

    Anyone have any idea on how long this will last?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,355

    Default Re: 6mth old fussy for 2 wks, pulls off breast, extra feedin

    Don't worry about the foremilk/hindmilk thing at all. First, you can trust your baby to get his needs met, and to nurse in a way that creates the right balance of milk for him at any given time. Second, all milk contains everything your baby needs to grow and develop. All the fat, all the carbohydrates, all the protein. A baby will grow well on a diet of the so-called "foremilk" alone, provided he gets enough of it. The only potential downside to consuming a lot of lactose-rich foremilk is that the baby can be more gassy and fussy than average- but that's really not a health concern.

    That being said, it sounds like you're going about it just right. If milk is still shooting out of breast A, offer it again before offering breast B. Don't watch the clock- just the baby and the breast. They're better indicators of what you should be doing than length of time.

    In my experience, teething gets worse as time goes on. You have 4 kids so you've probably experienced this- the incisors are bad, the molars are worse, the canines are simply awful.... I really would be inclined to chalk this up to teething, particularly because he got his last set of incisors a couple of months ago and the tops ones usually follow the bottom ones by a few weeks/months. But I also wonder about colds, tummy bugs, and ear infections, especially with older kids around, dragging home every germ under the sun. Might are sense to swing round to the doctor's office and have someone take a peek in his ears.

    If your baby is being fed on demand, growing at a normal rate, and producing enough wet diapers, I see no reason to worry about supply. If anything, I suspect you have been running an oversupply for a while and are only now adjusting to produce the necessary amount rather than an excess amount. That can be a fussy time- oversupply usually produces fast letdowns and babies can grow to like them. When oversupply declines and letdown speed slows, the baby has to learn to nurse in a new way and that can cause fussiness. If this is the cause of the fussiness, the best thing to do is to allow the baby to work through the frustration and learn a new set of nursing skills. Supplementing with bottles of pumped milk or formula just gives your baby an option about how he is fed- and when he has an alternative to nursing, that can cause him to stop nursing in favor of the easier alternative. So I personally would avoid the bottles.

    Finally, as to how long you can expect this behavior.... Sigh! This is a really impossible question to answer, as it depends on too many variables. What's causing the fussiness. How your baby reacts to teething. Your baby as an individual. Etc., etc., etc.!
    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!"

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