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Thread: Refusing to nurse at night

  1. #1

    Default Refusing to nurse at night

    I have a 7 month old daughter who is refusing to nurse at night. This problem began soon after her visit to the doctor who was concerned that she hadn't gained much weight in 3-4 weeks and suggested I start supplementing with formula. She has a history of reflux and a milk protein allergy. When she was a newborn, she had to be supplemented with formula for awhile but I was able to successfully transition her to breastfeeding only and she was doing very well with that for a long time. Since returning to work, she has gradually become more frustrated during nursing because it seems she wants more and cries after a nursing session comes to an end. My inlaws would tell me that she would demand more than I was pumping and so we gradually increased her bottle intake to 3 1/2 ounces, and I pump about 2-2 1/2 ounces per session, so I'm always behind. In the last week, she refuses to nurse at my breast for the last feeding of the night before bedtime and screams and screams until we give her the bottle of formula of which she takes 6 ounces, however she will nurse normally during the day. I am truly heart broken because even with the extensively hydrolized formula, she is more congested, spits up more and I hate giving it to her. I don't understand why she takes my breast during the day (with the holiday, I've been able to nurse her on demand completely) but refuses to nurse for that last session. I just don't know what I can do to get her back on the breast for those nightly feedings.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2013

    Default Re: Refusing to nurse at night

    Hey there, mama, this sounds so frustrating! I'm sorry you're going through this.

    One thing that jumps out at me is that baby is very likely developing something of a bottle preference with fast flow and larger feedings. Are you using slow flow nipples when you are bottle feeding, and are the bottle feeds paced to slow them to the general pace of a normal breastfeeding session? I would immediately start doing those two things if you are not already doing so!

    As for the evening formula feed, 6 oz is a pretty large bottle. That's about twice as much as an average session at the breast. So I think what I would do to work on weaning this off, is reduce the size of the bottle, and finish the feed at the breast. I would gradually keep decreasing the bottle size over time and encourage more feeding at the breast for that fussy feeding!

    Are you currently pumping during the replacement formula feeding at night? Any time you are offering a formula replacement, you want to make sure you are pumping to keep your supply up during that replacement feeding. This will also help keep your supply up for pumping at work, as well.

    Now, as to your work pumping issues--how long are you at work? How many times are you pumping, and for how long? How many bottles a day is baby getting while you are away? Maybe we can fix your work pump shortage, too!
    Apologies for the short responses! I'm usually responding one-handed on my smartphone!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Refusing to nurse at night

    with the PP.

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