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Thread: Baby will not relax when with me. Need help/opinions.

  1. #1

    Default Baby will not relax when with me. Need help/opinions.

    I have been nursing non stop for days with only the nights offering any rest...which I, btw, do appreciate, believe me. It seems kiddo regulated his sleeps automatically and sleeps long stretches at night - at least 3 hours, it would probably be longer but we haven't seen the pediatrician yet, so I'm still waking him for feeding intead of just letting him sleep until he wakes me.
    My problem is during the day, it seems he only wants to feed, and feed, and feed. He never goes down for sleep. He seems happy though and has several alert moments where he looks around.

    First feed of this morning was 15 mins on left, some burping, then 10 mins on right. He quietly unlatched himself both times, so I assume he felt content. I dressed him in his sleep sack and held him on my chest. A minute later he was rooting! But I'm so sore, so I gave him his pacifier. That settled him a bit but not long enough to sleep. He would doze, lose the paci and immediately start rooting again.
    I put him in his crib with the pacifier and was totally expecting him to start whining as soon as the paci was out but nope, he sucked it for a bit, it fell out as he dozed and he actually continued sleeping. That was almost three hours ago. Per doctor's instructions I should wake him again just about now, so I guess I will do that, make sure he feeds "by the book" (one side for at least 15 mins and then offer the second... that is correct, right?) and then either put him down or let his dad hold him until next feed two hours later.

    Is this horribly wrong and cruel? I know I'm suppose to feed at first sign of rooting, I know the paci is not "natural" and we're just tricking him to settle with it... But I am sooo tired of being suckled on
    My nipples are bleeding and the initial pain when he latches is still there. I can take it because the rest of the feeding is painless but I can not take that sting several times in each and every hour. All. Through. The. Day.

    I love this kid. I Would gladly hold him and cuddle him all day long but he won't let me unless I'm feeding him!

    I know you can't train a baby but is there any way to help him realise that he can hang out with me without having to suckle? Or am I completely wrong in even wanting that?
    I don't want to deprive him of what nature is telling him he needs and I know he is just following instinct... but I gotta admit I feel resentment that he only sees me as a source of food, while with his dad he can actually fall asleep or at least hang out on the paci for longer periods at a time without spitting it out and start obsessively rooting.

    Maybe tomorrow I can go back to feeding on cue but today I just desperately need a break, so he's going to have to settle for the paci between me feeding him and I just hope that's not wrong.

    Sorry this got so long. I'm just getting really emotional about this and it felt good to write it all down.

    summary: Baby only wants to eat when with mommy, mommy is tired and wants to ignore feeding cues and only feed on a schedule (for today at least) and let dad hold the baby between feedings and keep him occupied with a paci if necessary, when daddy needs a break then simply put him down in pram or crib if that will work. Baby is one week old exactly. Pee and poop are above recommended quantity. No idea about weight as pediatric visit isn't until next week.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2012

    Default Re: Baby will not relax when with me. Need help/opinions.

    Hi mama, welcome to the forum, and congratulations on the new baby!

    Yes, it can be exhausting to take care of a new baby and nurse, nurse, nurse all the time. But it is also entirely normal newborn baby behavior. First, baby's stomach is TINY - the size of a grape - so baby NEEDS to eat all the time because he can't eat that much at once. Second, baby just came out of your womb a week ago where it was warm, quiet and dark, and he could just listen to the gurgling of your belly and your heart beat. Now he is in the bright, cold world and the closest he can get back to the comforting environment of the womb is to be on your breast, when he gets nice, warm milk, lies against your warm skin, and he can listen to your heart beating.

    Here's more information on normal newborn nursing behavior: http://kellymom.com/bf/normal/newborn-nursing/

    One thing that's important to address is the pain with nursing and the nipples bleeding. Any chance you can see a lactation consultant, preferably an IBCLC, to make sure baby is latching correctly? Breastfeeding should not be painful but often it does take time for mom and baby to learn how to latch well, and a lactation consultant can give you hands-on advice while observing baby. Because of course it's hard to breastfeed all day long when it is painful.

    You are right that feeding on cue, and NOT putting baby on a schedule, are important for breastfeeding to work well. Every three hours is not enough for many babies - many babies will nurse 10-12 times or more in 24 hours, and often for hours at a time when "cluster feeding," and that is what establishes your milk supply and lets baby get the calories he needs to grow at this point. You are also right that you cannot "train" a baby to eat according to a schedule. Baby rooting all the time and wanting to nurse is nature's way of making sure baby is giving you the stimulation you need to establish your milk supply and for baby to get the nutrition, warmth and bonding he needs. That said, if you have just nursed baby, having daddy hold him for a bit while you lie down or take a shower or have a bite to eat is fine too. But you have to be realistic about your expectations - expecting baby not to need you for hours at a time is not realistic. Getting a half-hour or 45 minute break here and there is more like it.

    And feeling emotional - very normal! All those post-partum hormonal changes can make for a very emotional time. If you start feeling overwhelmed to the point that you are not able to take care of baby, then it's time to speak to your ob or midwife.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    COUGARTOWN Baby! From here on in!

    Default Re: Baby will not relax when with me. Need help/opinions.

    It's very very normal behavior for a newborn because they are working on instinct to get your milk supply regulated. I would NOT ignore the feeding cues of a one week old because it could be very very detrimental to your supply. And the amount your child will grow in the 1st 6months is so dramatic and it really based on their ability to completely absorb breastmilk into their growing brains and organs. And babies this small aren't like you or me so applying the "he can't be hungry again so soon!" idea is wrong. He can be. He is and he is frantically instinctually telling your body that it can't relax. He's growing. He needs to demand milk so that your supply keeps up with the demand. If you thwart the demand, the supply suffers. Infants know that on a primal level. So feed him when he wants to eat. Do NOT schedule feedings. It's dangerous.They need to eat around the clock and every hour at least during the day is completely normal ESPECIALLY if you are already getting 3 hour breaks at night. Because the MINIMUM a baby needs to 8 times in 24 hours and the more normal number at this age is 12. So yes during the day he needs to make up for any 3hour intervals he is taking at night.
    Now in terms of your nipples, Lanolin or nipple butter on them and keep them out and exposed. Because the more air they see the quicker they will heal. So don't put cracked bleeding nipples away. Keep them out. Let them air dry. Once they are dry apply lanolin or nipple butter. And then keep them out some more.
    Baby blues are very normal and it's also normal at this point to feel both isolated and overwhelmed. But you aren't alone. All of us here who successfully breastfed/feed spend the 1st 6weeks AT LEAST in our PJ's on the couch feeding. It's the most important job you have right now and the only one that really can't wait. If you don't do the dishes or laundry, those things will still be waiting there for you tomorrow. If you don't feed the baby today tomorrow you may not be able to. It's THAT important. Wrap your mind around the fact that for these 1st few weeks this is just about ALL you are going to do. I sat in one place on the couch. I had both the phones and the remote with me. I got up to Pee, change diapers and get more food. That's it. For weeks. This is how mother nature set it up. This is how you and the baby get to know and each other and how you find your groove as a dyad. A child that is close to on it's mother constantly the 1st 12 weeks as well as constantly waking and eating reduces it's risk of SIDS exponentially. They are supposed to be with you the whole time at this point.
    And don't be mad at your one week old. He IS working on instinct and his father doesn't smell like milk. Your the Mama. It's a huge huge thing. Your DH can support you by bringing you food and changing diapers but you are supposed to be the primary caregiver at this point. And this time will pass so quickly. So try to enjoy it.

    Way too lazy for formula

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: Baby will not relax when with me. Need help/opinions.

    I would suggest there is a misunderstanding about what feeding on cue means.

    After three kids, I would define feeding on cue means USUALLY or most of the time, nurse baby whenever baby cues, as long as baby is cueing a MINIMUM of ~10 times per day. If baby is not cueing at least that often, or is not gaining, or mom is getting engorged, then it may be needed to nurse baby more often than baby cues. If baby is cueing with normal frequency, nursing will be very frequent in the early weeks, it is entirely normal for a baby to nurse 10 to 15 times each 24 hour day or more. Frequent nursing allows baby to get enough, allows mom to make enough, and helps prevent the many issues caused by engorgement and forceful letdown. Also, timing the length of feeds or 'sides' is not needed or helpful, typically. Baby can nurse as long as baby wishes on one side, then switch or not, depending on what baby indicates.

    But I would say cue feeding does not mean that mother must instantly put a healthy, gaining baby to the breast every single time baby cues, around the clock, every single day. Mom needs to eat. She needs to take a shower. She needs to use the restroom. Sometimes she may need to hand baby off to dad or grandmother and take a walk around the block or a short nap. Sometimes she has to stop an older child from doing something unsafe, or poor pasta from a pot of boiling water, or fry an egg. So it is simply not practical to say that cue feeding means that not a moment may ever go by between cue and baby nursing. Yes, of course, get all the help you can so you can cue feed as much as you can. Cue feed as the norm. but I see little point in "scheduling" baby for one day. I would instead suggest, relax your standards a little, about breastfeeding and everything else. As long as such breaks are fairly short and infrequent, baby is not fed a bottle at this time, and mom does not become engorged, then such occasional breaks are unlikely to cause much mischief. Pacifiers are tricky, especially when there are latch issues already. Pacifiers can potentially cause a couple of issues. A baby who sucks on a pacifier may learn poor latch, or worse latch, and in any case are unlikely to learn proper latch (unless in some cases, baby requires suck training, and that is a whole different area.) and also while a baby sucks on a pacifier, hormones release that tell the baby they are eating and getting full. So they nurse less, and then we are back to engorgement issues, and, in worse case, poor milk production and poor gain. But dad's clean pinky finger makes a good pacifier that will probably not cause these problems. Plus there are other ways dad can soothe baby.

    Nipple injury/bleeding indicates a pretty serious latch issue. Have you gotten help with latch? What positions have you tried? Does it seem to be getting better, staying the same, getting worse?

    I would also suggest that your baby may cuddle and sleep more on you, while you veg on the couch or whatever you want to do, if baby is NOT in a sleep sack or swaddled. Your baby, who is still getting used to being outside of you, craves to be as close to you and your skin and your heartbeat as possible. This can be actually skin to skin, or with one or both of you lightly dressed. If you think baby is cold, pull a blanket over both of you. Please note I am not suggesting nursing sidelying with baby on the couch, that is potentially unsafe if you fall asleep. I mean leaning back in a comfy position with baby nestled on top of you. Dad can also snuggle baby this way.

    https://www.llli.org/docs/0000000000...t_partners.pdf and https://www.llli.org/docs/0000000000...ybabyideas.pdf tips for dads and calming fussy baby.
    Last edited by @llli*lllmeg; March 29th, 2014 at 03:33 PM.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Baby will not relax when with me. Need help/opinions.

    Hey and sorry for being late to reply. I did actually "put him on a schedule" that day but learned half way through the day that I wasn't really doing anything different. Turns out, the "schedule" was not so much a schedule but just me anally timing each and every feed from start to finish and that's exactly what I needed to do in order to feel like I could do this.
    The simple act of keeping precise time made me see that he does actually relax with me but more importantly it gave me a clearer idea of when he's full. I was literally interpreting EVERYTHING as feeding cues and it was driving me insane. He likes having his hands in his face when he's sleepy (or almost at all times, really) but I can tell now that that's different from when he's rooting. He also just makes noises sometimes, when he's sleeping or when he's just chilling. Every noise is not a second away from turning into crying...

    ... I'm a first time mom. Can you tell? lol

    Anyway, the timing also gave me a clearer idea of how long I have to take a shower, eat, etc. As in, I got an actual amount of minutes to work with and that made a world of difference. Before, I constantly felt like I was in a rush because I was always on high alert for those feeding cues...

    As for the latch. I think we're doing ok with that, really. When I feed now, it is painless except for a second or two of pain right at the start. Engorgement (if that's what you call it when the breasts have time to fill...?) does hurt but I was told it subsides as the tissue gets more used to being full of milk.

    There are wounds on the nipples though, which got there pretty much on the first day, and they reopen sometimes but I have started, as of yesterday, to take better care of them between feedings. I hold them in a saline bath for a minute and also started putting breast milk on them and wear no top or shirt most of the time. Anything else I can do? I have lanolin too but I honestly felt my nipples didn't start "toughening up" until after I stopped using it so much, so I'm kinda skeptical of its benefits...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    miles from nowhere

    Default Re: Baby will not relax when with me. Need help/opinions.

    Do what works for you, as far as your nipples are concerned. I didn't use lanolin either, it made my nipples feel more tender. I think what you're doing now- just taking better care of them- will help and they'll start to heal.

    Those first couple of weeks are the hardest. Everything is so new and your post-pregnancy hormones make you feel like everything is an urgent crisis (at least that's how I felt). But you'll find your groove. And then it'll change . And then you'll find it again. Rinse and repeat. Try to be flexible and don't think too far ahead. You can do this! You're already doing it.
    “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.”

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2012

    Default Re: Baby will not relax when with me. Need help/opinions.

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