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Thread: 6 month old great nurser, suddenly impatient and fussy?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011

    Default 6 month old great nurser, suddenly impatient and fussy?

    Hi ladies, I haven’t been here in awhile (almost 2 years to be exact). I nursed my first born for 28 months and she’s now 4.5 years old. :-) I have so many of you ladies to thank for the support and helping me go as long as I did!

    Anyway, we recently had another baby who is now 6 months old (as of tomorrow). She just started this crazy fussiness the past few days with sleeping and nursing. I’m REALLY hoping it’s a wonder week or growth spurt of some sort. She’s ALWAYS been a great nurser, never had to supplement or give bottles. Something I often had to do with my first born, so this is all new to me but I’m loving it! Until this week that is… she’s making me question everything now. All of a sudden she’s on and off the breast constantly… as if she’s impatiently waiting for the let down. So I’m switching her back and forth from side to side because she won’t sit still and I don’t want her to give up completely… so I keep switching her until the milk flows. It’s not my doing…she literally pulls herself up to sitting after only latching for a few seconds. But the good news (I guess?) is that she is TRYING and not outright refusing, but she’s just not staying latched long enough now for the letdown to happen. Is this just distractible nursing happening now? Because she just started sitting up this week (unsupported) and she’s also learned to roll on to her tummy in the crib, so I know she’s working on a bunch of new skills. We’ve also introduced solids, which she loves so far. OH and! As if all that wasn’t enough, she also started sleeping longer stretches at night and it looks as though my period is trying to come back. When my first daughter started to sleep through the night, my period came back that month. So I fear that’s what’s happening this time around as well. And I say “trying” to come back because I’m spotting every few days, so not sure what is going on with my hormones. I’m wondering if that may have dropped my supply and that’s what’s causing the fussiness? Although there are so many factors, as I stated above, so it’s hard to tell.

    I feel like a newbie all over again because it’s been so long since I’ve had a nursing baby! I guess I’m just looking for support… and for someone to tell me “it’s not you, it’s baby and her new skills”… because I really don’t want to lose my supply OR our nursing relationship! It’s WAY too soon! I started taking some fenugreek yesterday along with some rescue remedy (I had an LC tell me it’s good for faster letdown). Maybe that will help? Do you think this is a phase (the impatient on and off the breast)? I’ve backed off on the solids today as an experiment to see if maybe she just hasn’t been hungry since we introduced the solids (I always nursed before offering food though)? She’s also having green poop! Ugh… we’re a mess over here.

    Anyway, thanks for reading all of that! Help? :-)
    Gina - SAHM to Sofia Rose born day after Christmas 12/26/09 and Ava Grace born 12/9/2013

    Nursed DD1 for 28 months and am now nursing DD2 going on 8 months!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: 6 month old great nurser, suddenly impatient and fussy?

    Hello, and welcome back!

    I will tackle the easy concern first, and suggest that if babies poop color has changed, that may be due to solids. And in any case, green is within normal for poop color.

    Has babies weight gain always been pretty good? Any concerns there? Because here is the thing. I have no idea why your baby is popping on and off. It might be any of several things, or some combo.

    But popping on and off and being distracted or nursing less often or nursing a short period of time is only a problem if baby is not getting enough to eat overall. And while possible, this is unlikely, assuming gain has always been normal. Why? Because milk production does not simply disappear for no reason, and babies do not suddenly forget how to nurse. Also, Weight gain typically slows after 6 months. A baby who is gaining more slowly may simply not need to nurse quite as much as before.
    Here are a few suggestions, you can try some, all or none as makes sense to you.

    Try the techniques for helping distracted baby nurse more. I know many of them are hard to do when there is an older child around, but do what you can.

    Besides the switching, have you tried breast compressions to help baby stay interested?

    See if you can Encourage baby to nurse overnight at least once, especially if the quiet of nighttime helps with distraction. If you are swaddling baby or using a pacifier for overnights, you can try not using these sleep lengthening techniques.

    Try different nursing positions.

    Besides nursing before solids, nurse AFTER solids. If you do not offer water with the solids, (and there is no reason you should at this point when you are also nursing,) baby might be thirsty after eating and may be more eager to nurse.

    Don't push solids-even by putting spoonfuls of puree into baby's mouth, baby may be getting more than baby needed or wanted. Look into baby led solids. aka baby led weaning. even if you want to stick with purees, they can be done in a way that is baby led.

    If you are giving baby much water, or ANY juice or other liquids, stop.

    Generally, Healthy babies nurse for hunger, thirst and comfort. These are all compelling reasons to nurse. If they have not been trained away from the breast with overuse of bottles and pacifiers, they know where the milk is and how to get it. It does not make sense to me then, that a drop in supply would cause baby to pull off before there is even any letdown. If you think the issue is a too slow letdown, try instant reward techniques (like hand expressing until the milk flows, or putting a few drops of expressed milk on your nipple just before latching baby.) But I wonder if you are letting down quicker than you think, and if baby is just getting very efficient? The issue could not maybe be a too fast letdown, could it?
    Last edited by @llli*lllmeg; June 8th, 2014 at 10:15 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: 6 month old great nurser, suddenly impatient and fussy?

    with everything from LLLMeg, above.

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