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Thread: Issues with 8 week old latching on breast and bottle

  1. #1

    Exclamation Issues with 8 week old latching on breast and bottle

    I apologize in advance for the number of issues I'm about to post but I am so mentally and physically exhausted and frustrated that I need to let it all out in hopes that this can get better and there are other people out there having issues and maybe solving them.
    So my 8 week old had been breast feeding fine up until about 4.5 weeks. First the basics... Baby boy is so gassy it is insane....sounds like a grown man at times. He was tongue tied and his frenulum was cut at three days old. The lactation consultant told me at our 2 week checkin with her it may need cut more re and to ask the pediatrician at 1 month check. At 1 month pediatrician said it looked fine, but didn't actually inspect it.

    So at 4.5 weeks he started to fuss more as the day went on. He would feed fine during our night feedings and morning but as the day progressed he would pop off my breast and arch his back cry and cry and then scream. Sometimes it would get better if he pooed or passed gas. Other times I would try to calm him and relatch but he would scream even more. He at this point in time was waking and feeding roughly every two hours maybe more during the day as I was feeding him on demand.
    We took him in to the pediatrician for his 1 month appointment and were told he has reflux. So we have been on medication now for 4 weeks and it doesn't seem to have helped. At about 5.5 weeks and to the point of him screaming for 3 hours on and off we went back to the pediatrician and were told he had an ear infection and put him on antibiotics. This is why we were told he was screaming in pain during feedings
    After the 10 day cycle nothing had changed. There are some days that are better than others but almost 2 feedings a day he bugs out and will not latch on the breast. I also notice he doesn't latch as deep sometimes just takes the nipple in slightly. I've tried to break and relatch but then he screams and stops, so now if he takes the breast at all I'm happy, but should I be worried he's not deep latching and how do I correct it this late in the game?

    We have introduced the bottle to him now (takes between 2-4 oz, depending on what he wants) and he will do the same thing on the bottle at times. Can't sees to get the nipple in his mouth, sucks two or three times, opens wide and then screams. Other times he takes the bottle fine. The same thing is occurring in the breast as is the bottle. But it seems to be worse on the breast.

    Finally, I've been pumping and storing for some time now. With being gone during the day I try to pump 2-3 times every 2-4 hours when I can. Now when I get home at night I'm so ready for him to nurse and instead he screams and screams and sometimes just the bottle helps or soothing and walking helps...so I'm back to pumping which I don't want to do unless I have to. My breasts are starting to hurt more now and I feel like I'm producing less.

    I feel so lost, frustrated, and overwhelmed with what I should be doing, any help would be appreciated!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Issues with 8 week old latching on breast and bottle

    Welcome to the forum and congratulations on the new baby and on making it to 8 weeks of nursing!

    I'm curious- was your baby by any chance slightly early? The reason I ask is that colic usually kicks in around 3 weeks, so if your baby was 1-2 weeks early... You see where I'm going with this! The behavior you describe does sound colicky to me because one, your baby was fine until 4.5 weeks; two, he does the same thing whether he's getting breast or bottle; and three, the crying and fussiness intensifies as the day wears on.

    When you are at work, is the baby being fed via paced feeding techniques?

  3. #3

    Default Re: Issues with 8 week old latching on breast and bottle

    Yes he was 3 weeks early. So if it is colic, do you have any recommendations? I know some says they just grow out if it, but I feel so helpless for him.

    And sorry but I'm not familiar with paced feeding techniques, what do you mean?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Issues with 8 week old latching on breast and bottle

    It is important baby is not fed bottles in a way that undermines breastfeeding. This document explains paced bottle feeding as well as cue feeding with bottles. http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...astfedbaby.pdf

    And here is a video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UH4T70OSzGs

    And here is some info about making sure baby is not overfed while you are at work: http://kellymom.com/bf/pumpingmoms/pumping/milkcalc/

    I am curious what the doctor based the ear infection diagnoses on. Is he/she aware there is no improvement after a full course of antibiotics? Also, If baby has been on reflux meds for 4 weeks with no improvement maybe it is time to either change the meds or rethink THAT diagnoses.

    Colic has many possible causes and at the same time, is pretty mysterious. It is very difficult and frustrating. Basically for colic you pick baby up and comfort and comfort. Change the input- try different sounds, movement, going outside, etc, to change the sensory input. If baby will not nurse, don't worry. Baby will later. Try to not give a bottle if you are there to nurse. Your baby is old enough and has been nursing long enough to know how to nurse to get milk. If baby really seems frantic with hunger, try giving baby just a little weensy bit of milk before nursing. Or try instant reward techniques. But I think the most common mistake parents make in that situation is to give a bottle when baby is perfectly capable of nursing, and just does not want to at that moment. There is no such thing as a "missed" nursing session, because babies eat when they want. If baby does not want to right then, comfort another way and nurse later.

    What do you think is making your breasts hurt? If baby will not nurse and you are getting uncomfortable, can you pump or hand express enough to feel comfortable? If latch is hurting, due to history with tongue tie I think you need to see IBCLC again. Of course latch can be fixed- 8 weeks is not late. Here are many latch/positioning ideas that may help: http://feedthebabyllc.com/latch-and-positioning/

    Was/is there any sign that overproduction or fast letdown is or was going on? See http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...ggrimacing.pdf

    If you have the weekend or just a day off, that is a good time to take a nursing vacation. Put away the pump and bottles and just lie down with baby and snuggled and nurse and relax.
    Last edited by @llli*maddieb; July 11th, 2015 at 12:20 AM.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Issues with 8 week old latching on breast and bottle

    Here's what worked for my colicky kids:
    - Nurse as much as possible, but don't freak out if you get turned down. A baby who won't latch probably isn't hungry, though the cries will make you instinctively seek to get him to nurse.
    - White noise- heartbeat or breathing sounds, ride in the car, radio static, running water, etc.
    - Warm bath- just running water over the baby in the sink.
    - Motion- rock, swing, stroll, bounce, etc.
    - Closeness- snuggle baby close in a sling or next to bare skin.
    - Calm house. Lights, TV, tablets, phones, and stereo turned down or, preferably, off.
    - Natural light. Babies have sensitive internal clocks that you can set with exposure to natural light, as opposed to artificial light.

    Nothing is likely to work for long. Every soothing technique is going to buy you maybe 5 minutes of calm. So just keep changing it up- when one soothing technique fails, try a different one.

    Colicky crying often peaks at around 6 weeks. Your baby was 3 weeks early, so you might be in the heart of darkness right now. Hang in there!

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Issues with 8 week old latching on breast and bottle

    I forgot to add that it is possible the anti biotics have caused additional tummy issues. If you think that is possible, maybe consider probiotics for baby?

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Issues with 8 week old latching on breast and bottle

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*maddieb View Post
    I forgot to add that it is possible the anti biotics have caused additional tummy issues. If you think that is possible, maybe consider probiotics for baby?
    This is a really good suggestion. Also, did the doctor check the baby for thrush? Antibiotics wipe out a lot of a baby's beneficial microbial community along with the target bad germs, and that provides an environment that is conducive to the overgrowth of yeast. Yeast in the oral cavity (a.k.a. thrush) is very uncomfortable and can make eating an unpleasant experience for the baby.

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