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Thread: my 2 month old won't latch. Please help!

  1. #1

    Default my 2 month old won't latch. Please help!

    I recently went back to work about 2 weeks ago, 3 days a week. She is obviously bottle fed while I am gone. She has always been somewhat fussy once or twice a day while trying to feed her, but lately she will not BF at all! I have tried skin to skin, walking while trying to get her to latch, calming her and then trying again and even while she's sleeping. Every time I even move her into the position she starts to scream. She pushes away from me and does her head back and forth as if trying to latch but she just wont.If I hold her there she will fuss for a bit then calm down with my nipple in her mouth but she won't actually latch on. This has been going on for about a week and I feel so sad/frustrated/rejected. I have probably gotten her to eat maybe 10 times in this past week. When she is latched she often pulls away and won't go back on as well.I'm afraid she is getting to used to the bottles and how easy they are. I don't know what else to do, I really want to keep breastfeeding her but I feel like she is done i did have the pediatrician check her tongue for tonguetie but she said its fine.Please give any suggestions on what I can do.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: my 2 month old won't latch. Please help!

    are bottles being given in a breastfeeding supportive manner.
    As in paced bottle feeding?

    I found that using the breastflow or lanisnoh mOmma nipples (slowest flow possible, and those also are the best shape for us to keep as deep/wide a latch as possible) and actually taking bottle out of my LO's mouth every several sucks so that he would have to reach for it and latch back on if he wanted more helped me break my lo of his bottle habit. I also had to go to some effort to bring my supply up too.

  3. #3

    Default Re: my 2 month old won't latch. Please help!

    The only thing that is being done now is burping her after every ounce. How should I explain paced feeding to them?
    I don't think it is my supply being low though, I think I may have a fast let down because sometimes she will choke or click while sucking. That often upsets her further. I think she is mostly used to it now but could I still have a low supply with a fast let down? She eats about every 2-3hrs during the day and at night she has been doing aboit every 4hrs.
    She recently started sucking on her hands. I think she is doing it because she's hungry but I know its possible she's only doing it because she found them.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: my 2 month old won't latch. Please help!

    How frustrating! This is not an uncommon situation, and there are many things to try to turn this around.

    Since this started after your return to work, it is likely, but not 100% certain, it is due to the introduction of regular bottles.

    First, I would suggest making sure that your baby is not being overfed while you are at work. If baby is getting more than 1 to 1.5 ounces per hour of separation, it is possible baby is being overfed. A Baby who is being overfed with bottles will often stop being enthusiastic about nursing.

    As pp suggests, make sure baby is being cue fed using paced bottle feeding positioning and pauses. This is VITAL, as it allows baby to control the feeding just as baby does at the breast. It is your best bet when trying to prevent the overfeeding and/or "flow confusion" that leads to breast refusal. If it is not happening, make sure it starts happening.

    Is anything else happening that might interfere with your baby's desire to nurse? Pacifier use, sleep training, and meal scheduling are other things that can inadvertently "train" a baby away from nursing. A 2 month old will typically nurse frequently for both food and comfort, and this is behavior that is best encouraged while baby is with you. Pacifier use may be ok while you are at work, but it also may be helpful to suggest other methods of comforting baby to your baby's caregiver.

    Consider if anything else is going on. Is baby ill? Teething (yes it can happen this early) uncomfortable and wanting a different position perhaps? What about latch? Review latch ideas maybe.

    A baby might refuse to nurse due to both a too fast flow OR a too slow flow of milk. So maybe think about if there is any possibility either is happening.

    How is pumping going? Sometimes milk production reduces when mom is back at work. This might increase the likelyhood of breast refusal. It is important to be sure your pump and your pumping schedule are working well for you so that your milk production is not impacted too much be the return to work. Also if your baby is requiring supplemental bottles when you are home, that means you will need to pump when home, for milk production as well as to have milk to give baby in bottles. Also think about if there are other things that might be negatively impacting your milk production-like long sleep stretches and/or pacifier overuse.

    While it is not a good idea to starve a baby into nursing, assuming normal weight gain and normal ability to latch and transfer milk, your baby is CAPABLE of nursing. So when home, try to not go to the bottle too quickly. If baby is clearly upset and will not nurse while obviously hungry, perhaps try a small amount of supplement to help calm baby before trying to nurse again. There are other 'instant reward' techniques that may help, see article below.

    Ideas for encouraging the reluctant nurser- excellent article: http://kellymom.com/bf/concerns/child/back-to-breast/

    paced bottle feeding: http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...astfedbaby.pdf and video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UH4T70OSzGs

  5. #5
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    Default Re: my 2 month old won't latch. Please help!

    Sorry- just saw your other post. If you think fast letdown is part of what is going on, have you tried laid back positioning? http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...astfeeding.pdf
    and http://www.nancymohrbacher.com/
    Encouraging frequent nursing also helps reduce the flow. If baby is sucking her hands, or cueing in any way, or you just feel like nursing, never any harm in offering to nurse.

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    Default Re: my 2 month old won't latch. Please help!

    also:
    The only thing that is being done now is burping her after every ounce.
    Why is this being done? This suspiciously sounds like a technique for getting as much milk into a baby at one feeding as possible. This is NOT what you want to have happening.
    If baby needs to burp, that will be clear. If baby is being given bottles with appropriate pauses, insisting baby burp at all is probably not needed. As far as burping "every ounce" it just does not even make sense. Why every one ounce? (why not a half ounce? Why not two ounces) and why always?

    Even if the burping is working well for baby- the ounce per ounce things may indicate caregiver is looking at how much baby is drinking rather than following babies cues for how much baby wishes to drink, which will normally fluctuate meal to meal.

    Hopefully the links above explain paced bottle feeding well. Kellymom has more info too I believe. It can seem very odd to someone who is used to bottle feeding the 'old' way or who has been told to feed in such a way as to never let any air into the bottle.

  7. #7

    Default Re: my 2 month old won't latch. Please help!

    I think its definitely a possibility that she is being over fed. My mother in law who is watching her says she acts like she is still hungry after 2-2.5 oz. I'm sure this has to do with the way she is feeding. She thought that it was good to burp after evey oz just for her comfort, if that's not a good thing I will definitely let her know. I'm going to show her the video on paced feeding, so I really hooe this will help.
    She does use a pacifier often even when I am home. She wants it usually when she is fussy sitting in the swing by herself or when I put her in the car seat (she hates being in it). I don't give it to her when she sleeps unless she keep waking up every few minutes. This I think is because of gas. She has also been pretty gassy and uncomfortable the past few weeks. I tried cutting out dairy but it didn't seem to improve.
    She often spits up but swallows it, sometimes a long while after feeding. Is this possibly reflux? I also just noticed today a small whiteish/yellow bump on the inside ridge of her gums. I rubbed it and it didn't seem hard but it didn't pop like there's anything in it either.
    As far as pumping goes I think its pretty good. I get to pump at least 2 times while I'm gone, but I try for 3. My work schedule is hard to work around because I'm a dental assistant so different things take longer than others and sometimes I get stuck. I still get at least 1.5-2.5oz from each breast every time I pump(about every 2 1/2 to 3 1/2hrs). My pediatrician said that was a good amount.
    With the supplementing I usually will cave and give her a bottle after about 20mins of trying to get her to latch when she is sucking her hand and won't stop fussing. If she falls asleep on my shoulder I will let her sleep about 30mins then try again. I always pump if she doesn't BF.
    Last night and today has been pretty successful. At night she seems to take it easier. Today she has BF about every 2-3hrs with just a little fuss when I first put her in the cross cradle hold. I have been feeding her either right as she wakes up herself or I put her in the position while she is still asleep then try while she is still asleep. This has been pretty effective.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: my 2 month old won't latch. Please help!

    Ok it sounds like you have a good handle on what is going on and that things are improving. Great!

    The paced feeding video is a great 'how to' -I also suggest talking to your MIL about the 'why to' information so your MIL can have an understanding on why this is important.

    Your pumping output per pump session and your pump frequency sounds good to me. It certainly can be very challenging to pump at work.

    With the supplementing I usually will cave and give her a bottle after about 20mins of trying to get her to latch when she is sucking her hand and won't stop fussing. If she falls asleep on my shoulder I will let her sleep about 30mins then try again. I always pump if she doesn't BF.
    I suggest, maybe try to anticipate your baby's cues? A hungry baby will have a harder time latching than one who is calmer. Look over that kellymom article- it has many good ideas.

    Pacifiers are a breast substitute and thus, do tend to interfere with normal breastfeeding. Not in all cases, but often enough that it is a real issue. Pacifier in the moving car as needed may be unavoidable, but it is also ok to pull over and nurse a fussy baby or nurse prior to driving somewhere, etc. Again I am not saying absolutely NO pacifiers. I understand they are a tool that can be helpful especially for a busy mom. I am just suggesting, think about what your baby is doing when pacifying. She is comfort sucking. This is something nature designed the breast for. You do not want baby to get the idea that bottles are for eating and the pacifier is for comfort. That is often the fast road to breast refusal. So anything you can do to keep baby seeing the breast and your loving arms as THE very best place to get all her needs met is going to help counteract the possible breast refusal issues when baby is bottle fed part time.

    She has also been pretty gassy and uncomfortable the past few weeks
    I think it is possible your baby is still adjusting to your new schedule. I would not read to much into a baby being fussy under the circumstances. This is still a very young baby and fussiness and some discomfort are pretty normal. I guess it depends what do you mean by uncomfortable? Is she having trouble pooping or going a long time between poops? Is she exclusively breastmilk fed or does she also get formula? (Poop patterns often change around this age even in exclusively breastmilk fed babies as well, so if poops are less frequent that is probably normal. But it might explain certain types of discomfort.

    If you have forceful letdown, that may cause some intestinal discomfort. But it is unlikely to be a big deal and is usually best dealt with encouraging frequent nursing, nursing laid back, and not insisting baby take both sides at a time-one at a time is fine if baby prefers.

    If cutting out dairy did not help, that is a good indication the issue is not dairy. Food sensitivity is blamed for all kinds of normal behaviors. It does happen, but less often than moms are typically led to believe.
    She thought that it was good to burp after every oz just for her comfort, if that's not a good thing I will definitely let her know.
    I am not sure it is a bad practice, I just do not know what purpose it serves. I just think it is not necessarily needed. And will probably become even less needed if baby is allowed to control the pace of the feeding.

    She often spits up but swallows it, sometimes a long while after feeding. Is this possibly reflux?
    Well, ALL spit up is technically reflux. But typically, spit up is normal, no matter when it happens. I am not sure what baby re-swallowing the spit up means, if anything(?) But unless spitting up is painful, it is normal.

  9. #9

    Default Re: my 2 month old won't latch. Please help!

    Yes, she did well yesterday as well as last night. This morning before she left for grandmas she wouldn't eat but that's it. She said that she did the paced feeding soon after she got there. She drank 1oz then feel asleep. Later though I guess she was getting upset when the nipple was moved down and just went right back to sucking. Is that okay? She ate 2oz st that feeding.
    I started yesterday to try to use the paci less, she seemed to be okay with me distracting her when she would get fussy. I also tried nursing her when she seemed like she wanted it and she mostly would latch and suck a bit then would fal asleep. We did side lying feeding and she latched okay but as soon as we sat up and I burped her she spit it all up. Her usual cue that I notice first is her opening and closing her mouth, but sometimes it seems like even if I try to feed her as soon as I see her do this, she still gets very frustrated if either she doesn't latch the first time she opens or she just won't open to latch.
    The gas discomfort I see is mostly at night. She wakes herself up grunting trying to get it out. I will pick her up and pat her back then lay her down and do bicycles. Usually I will get some out but most of the time not all of it. Normally it ends with her pooping and having loud forceful sounding toots. This happens most nights. I give her drops sometimes but they don't seem to do much. She sometimes will go a day with only pooping once or twice but usually the next day she will have more. Thank you for all od your help, I think that thr things that I have done so far have been working for the most part. Unfortunately last night I got a fever and this morning noticed my breast very tender so I have mastitis :/ stayed hone from work feeling so bad

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