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Thread: MOTN Frustration at Breast

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2015

    Default MOTN Frustration at Breast

    I'm hoping for some ideas as to what is causing a new (and exhausting) nighttime behavior. My 1 year old son has never slept through the night - not even close - but up until now breastfeeding could pretty reliably get him back to sleep. We finally mastered the side lying position and I was content to let the all night feeding continue because I barely woke up. The past two weeks, however, he has not been able to fall back asleep. He latches for a bit, whines, and crawls away. Sometimes he tries to find the other breast, sometimes he seems like he is looking for a more comfortable position as he crawls all over us and the bed. If I just let him do his thing he gets progressively more frustrated and the whines become cries. This happens every few hours and the wake times can last for 1-2 hours. If I offer the breast again he might try it for a few sucks, but goes back to the whining and crawling around.

    I have two ideas as to why he is doing this and I am looking for other help/suggestions:

    1) Frustrated with not enough milk? I am of two minds on this one because one the one hand I am sure I do not have as much milk as a few months ago. On the other hand, he has always gained really well. In fact, he was at the pediatrician's yesterday and they said maybe he was gaining too well. His solid food intake is minimal due to a swallowing issue we just got a PT referral for so most of the weight comes from milk. Even if it was a milk supply issue I am not sure how much I would want to increase supply as the pediatrician wants more of his calories to come from solids than what is happening now. (I'd say he is still 99% breastfed with 1-2 spoonful solids/day)
    2) Breastfeeding is no longer enough to get back to sleep? This is totally a guess, but maybe he is frustrated because he wants to sleep and he is going about it in the usual way (breastfeeding) but for some reason it does not work and he is mad. Is this something that commonly happens? In that case I am not sure what to do for him.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: MOTN Frustration at Breast

    If baby is gaining well with your milk as his primary food source, then this isn't a supply issue. My guess is that your second guess- that baby is hVing difficulty finding his way back to sleep because the formerly reliable nurse-to-sleep trick isn't working right now- is the correct one. It seems that some older babies go through phases of night-waking where that does happen- usually moms describe babies who wake up in the middle of the night ready to play, but that can't be the only type of sleep disturbance out there.

    Hang in there! I have no idea how to fix this... Except time? Especially if teething is to blame, which seems possible.

  3. #3

    Default Re: MOTN Frustration at Breast

    I recently experienced something similar with my daughter who just turned one. In our case it turned out to be teething. She had all four molars coming in at once, at least we got that out of the way! I think she was just so uncomfortable that nursing wasn't helping. We are using a Baltic amber necklace, no idea how much it really helps but we're going with it anyway! Unfortunately we had to resort to Tylenol a couple of nights, just to get us through the thick of it. It's been a couple of weeks and we're close to back to normal. Good luck mama, I hope it passes for you soon!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2016

    Default Re: MOTN Frustration at Breast

    My daughter will be one at the end of this month, and we have experienced what you are describing. Usually if I realize she is not falling back asleep when nursing, I stand up with her and rock/ sway vigourously. That seems to nip it in the bud and help her fall asleep quickly. She started moving a lot in her sleep a couple of months ago - now if I notice her rolling onto her tummy and getting into a crawling position I immediately flip her over and attempt to get her back asleep.

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