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Thread: Poor appetite, changed sleep schedule but smiling like never before ?!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2006

    Default Poor appetite, changed sleep schedule but smiling like never before ?!

    My LO has just shuffled things up a little for us, and I'm trying not to worry. Up until a week ago, he used to feed vigorously every 1-2 hours during the day, and every 3-5 hours at night. Recently, he has begun sleeping for longer stretches at night - up to 7 hours, and then when waking, he's not really interested in feeding. He feeds half heartedly for about 5 minutes, and then I can't get him to continue beyond this.

    I always try again in 20 minutes to get him to feed again, and he's still never interested. He's still producing sufficient diapers, and I guess in total for the day I'm feeding him about 8-10 times, though before I used to feed him 10-15 long times, and now they are so short and spaced out it's hard not to worry (with the exception of a couple of hours of cluster feeding that occurs between 8-11 each night).

    My left breast subsequently never feels really full anymore. Last night I went 12 hours without feeding on it, and this morning he would only nurse on it for 5 minutes. It feels fairly empty. My right breast is doing well however, and he seems to llike that one a bit better feeding for 10 minutes on this side. I think I need to up my supply on the left side, however what is the point in doing this if he has no appetite?

    Last night, for the first time since he was a week old, he woke at 4am for his nightly feeding and wanted to stay awake and play. Granted, he was all smiles so who could resist, but normally he goes back down to sleep after 1-3 nightly feeds for a total of about 10-14 hours of sleep each night. In 12 hours, he only fed for 20 minutes total, and this morning when he awoke, he's only fed for 10 minutes (and I had to struggle to get him to take that!).

    My question is, should I be worried about his lack of appetite even though he is still happy, alert and active?

    Should I be trying to increase my left breast supply, or should I just let him do the work when he demands more milk?

    Thanks for any advice you can offer!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Western PA

    Default Re: Poor appetite, changed sleep schedule but smiling like never before ?!

    I wouldn't worry as long as he is, as you said, happy, alert, and producing enough wet/dirty diapers. He is probably just starting to get his days and nights/sleeping schedule in order (and may even be gearing up a 3-month growth spurt feeding frenzy! ), and may be easily distracted by all the interesting things he has just started to notice.

    My advice, although I know it goes contrary to your instincts, is NOT to try and feed him so soon after a "poor" feeding (I think you said you try to feed him again after only twenty minutes?). Trying to feed a baby who doesn't want to eat will only frustrate both of you. I would recommend letting him go until he gives you hunger cues; that way he will more eager and more vigorous when he does want to eat.

    Remember supply and demand! He will let your body know when it needs to produce more milk.

    Last thing: if you are worried about "lop sidedness" you can start each session on the left breast until you feel your supply has evened out. But remember that for most women, after a few months of nursing (when supply is firmly established) you will rarely feel "full" like you did at the beginning unless you are engorged; this doesn't mean you are having supply problems, just that your body is more used to this strange and wonderful thing that's happening to it
    Erin - Hayden James is my beautiful boy - we've been nursing happily for two years, with no end in sight!

    Change the language, change the reality.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2006

    Default Re: Poor appetite, changed sleep schedule but smiling like never before ?!

    What a perfect response. You provided excellent advice and managed to set my mind at ease...thank you! I'll stop stressing out about it, and just go with the flow. Thanks for the tip on not feeding him so soon after a 'poor' feeding.


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