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Thread: New here, 2nd baby--Help, I think I have become a pacifier!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
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    139

    Unhappy New here, 2nd baby--Help, I think I have become a pacifier!

    First off, I have to say this site and forum is incredibly helpful!

    I just gave birth to my 2nd son almost 3 weeks ago. He's been a champion nurser from the start, lached on great and everything. I am bound and determined to nurse a minimum of one year this time. My husband is proud of me since I have nursed through several difficulties with this one--cracked and blistered nipples, engorgement, plugged ducts (both breasts) and I have not given up yet. (most women we know stopped afer encountering problems like that)

    I am, however, facing another difficulty with breastfeeding, and while I'm not ready to quit over it, I am dealing with quite a bit of self doubt, uncertainty and am losing confidence in my ability as a mother. That is how I have found my way here.

    This is the situation I am in with my new son:
    He typically nurses every 2-3 hours until lately...for the past few days, he's been giving me nursing cues (hand sucking, rooting, crying, etc.) within an hour, sometimes just minutes of eating. I have tried comforting him other ways, since it's so soon since he's eaten, like changing him, burping him some more, or just holding him, but in the end his screams win out and I wind up letting him have the breast. He falls asleep and rolls off it almost immediately, and when I wake him up and offer it to him, he clamps his mouth shut and continues to sleep. Once I'm sure he doesn't want anymore and can't be awoken, I will put him down in his 'nest' or bassinet, or daddy's arms, so that I can tend to my other child and housework. Within minutes, (sometimes a matter of seconds) of leaving my arms, he wakes up and starts to cry. Then we start the cycle all over again.

    He sleeps with my husband and I at night (in the bed with us, I have a little 'nest' for him) and I have noticed that this behavior doesn't occur at night or when he is in bed with me. He will just nurse at his normal times and promptly go back to sleep.

    My relatives are telling me that I have spoiled him, and my husband has suggested a couple of times that I just let him 'cry it out, and learn to comfort himself'.

    I read several articles on this site, and I feel better about following my instincts and giving him the breast as often as he needs it, whether it be to eat or just to soothe. But, at the same time, I feel like I am neglecting my other child (who has special needs) and my housework (laundry and dishes don't do themselves) and I'm feeling inadequate. Not to mention that the few times I have tried to 'let him cry it out' it has driven me to tears.

    Has anyone else been down this road? How long before they grow out of it? Any suggestions on how I can cope with this?

    Any help or even just a good ear is appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
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    718

    Default Re: New here, 2nd baby--Help, I think I have become a pacifier!

    Welcome to the forum and congrats on your new baby! There is a growth spurt at 3 weeks, so it could be one reason why he wants to nurse more often. And of course, the breast is much more than just nourishment. He is used to being in your tummy, he is probably missing that closeness. Letting him "cry it out" would send a devastating message.

    Ds nursed almost non-stop for the first 2 mo (actually, that brought me this forum). Now at 4 mo he nurses less often, but he`s still not willing to leave my lap. He has a crib he`s never slept in. I guess, some babies just have higher needs.

    Hope you find some time to be with your older child too, but these first few weeks/months are so crucial for our babies. They pass all too soon.

    HTH

    Mommy to a busy toddler

    "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep in order to gain that which he cannot lose."
    Jim Elliot

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    4

    Default Re: New here, 2nd baby--Help, I think I have become a pacifier!

    My 3 month old was much the same and still feeds little and often. I didn't want to let her cry either, what worked for us was picking her up facing away from me so that she didn't always want to immediately feed and distracting her in other ways while still comforting her. If this didn't work I would feed/comfort her. She did grow out of it to some extent so try and go with the flow.
    Try not to listen too much to other people, yo're not spoiling him.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    18,063

    Default Re: New here, 2nd baby--Help, I think I have become a pacifier!

    some newborns want to nurse 12 times in 24 hours and thats normal for them.
    ITs hard when you have older kids to take care of too?
    Do you have a sling or baby carrier? That help for part of the day to have two free hands to do stuff with older kids.
    Don't be afraid to call your local lll leader she can give you other ideas about how to manage older kids and the baby.
    some moms find they just have to let the little things go for a few weeks.
    And I agree 3 week is a time when they just want to eat, and they need to eat well to grow.
    IT sounds like baby is sleeping ok for you at night, that's great! He already knows that night times for sleeping and day times for nursing.
    When your hubby askes what to do to help give him something to do that he likes to do, my hubby is good at cooking and likes to shop so thoose were the things that he did to help. He called my mom for help with everything esle. Enlist your older kids help to if they are older!
    They can do lots more then we make them to do. Even a two year old can get you a drink of water or a snack for themself if its set up for them in the morning.
    My hubby doesn't like to help with tiny babies it makes him uncomfortable and he doesn't do diapars. WE figured that out even before we had any kids.
    Talk about ways he can help! Try not to nag about it.
    My hubby used to watch the baby while I put the older kids to be.
    As long as I layed her down on the bed she would be fine for about 45 mins he would read to her and she would just watch him and try and figure him out. This was a great way for them to bond.
    your baby is young yet you figure it out sometimes it just take a while.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
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    765

    Default Re: New here, 2nd baby--Help, I think I have become a pacifier!

    I went through the same thing with my son. What worked for me was to put him in the Baby Bjourn and carry him around with me to get my household work done. Hang in there, it will get easier.
    Mama to Andrew 6-20-06
    My angel in heaven, Benjamin William 11-2-07 to 11-5-07
    Kaitlyn 6-12-09

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
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    16

    Default Re: New here, 2nd baby--Help, I think I have become a pacifier!

    I hate the "spoiled" speech that people give to parents. You cannot SPOIL a child this young!
    I think our kids are about the same age and Abby is doing the same thing a lot of the time. She just sucks for comfort and then falls asleep at the breast, but heaven forbid I try and hand her off or put her down.

    I'm told it will get easier.
    Hang in there dear.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
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    139

    Default Re: New here, 2nd baby--Help, I think I have become a pacifier!

    Wow, thanks for all the encouragement.

    Today has been a better day, simply because I'm looking at it with a different attitude. His need for me is genuine and not manipulative. I'm not going to spoil him by making myself available to him for comfort and nourishment, even if it's not on a 'schedule'. This is what my gut has told me all along, but I guess I just needed to hear it from someone else who has been there.

    I don't have a sling or baby carrier but I found a site online that gives instructions on how to make your own and I'm going to do just that.

    He seems happier today, too, since I'm not stressing about his need to nurse every hour and a half. I think he might have been stressed because he could tell that I was. (or am I reading too much into that)

    Am I correct in thinking that as long as he has lots of wet and poopy diapers, he's still getting enough even if he's just doing this 'snacking' and not his normal full feeding times? Or should I be trying to make him go his usual 15-20 mins at each breast?

    Sorry for so many questions... This is my first time nursing, so I have some uncertainties still.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
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    562

    Default Re: New here, 2nd baby--Help, I think I have become a pacifier!

    So glad to hear that things feel/look better today. Sometimes a little supportive affirmation is all we need!

    Quote Originally Posted by lady_iles View Post
    Am I correct in thinking that as long as he has lots of wet and poopy diapers, he's still getting enough even if he's just doing this 'snacking' and not his normal full feeding times? Or should I be trying to make him go his usual 15-20 mins at each breast?
    Diaper output will always be our best guide to milk intake. If your son is making at least 5-6 good wet disposable diapers and 2-3 dirty diapers per 24-hour period, then he's getting plenty of milk. (Also note that as he gets a couple months older, he may start pooping less often, and that this is normal for an exclusively breastfed infant.)

    "Snacking" versus "a full meal" are terms that don't really have much significance when it comes to breastfeeding. Anthropological studies of hunting-gathering indigenous people find that babies "naturally" nurse as often as 4 times per HOUR, all day long. And studies of breastmilk's changing composition find that the more frequently a baby nurses, the steadier the milk's fat content is -- because the milk isn't sitting the breast for hours separating out into foremilk and hindmilk.

    Anyway, all this is to say that frequent and brief feeding sessions are just fine and in fact are a great way for your baby to get all the milk he needs and to keep your milk supply adequate for his needs. You don't have to try to force him to stay at the breast for longer periods.

    Sorry for so many questions... This is my first time nursing, so I have some uncertainties still.
    Not to worry! Questions like this are the reason these boards exist. And uncertainties are part of the getting-started process with any baby ... even experienced breastfeeding mothers have to go through this get-acquainted stage with their newborns! Don't hesitate to share your thoughts or any other questions here.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    882

    Default Re: New here, 2nd baby--Help, I think I have become a pacifier!

    I'm glad that things are looking up for you!! Its so hard, isn't it, when you don't really know what to expect? I'm glad you found your way here!!

    I also strongly advise you get a good sling for baby. That way, you'll have both hands free to do some cleaning, putting on make-up, or playing with your older child...and still give your newborn the closeness he needs.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    3

    Default Re: New here, 2nd baby--Help, I think I have become a pacifier!

    Hi:

    I just posted a similar thread before I saw yours. My 2 week old is doing the same thing. However, I think she is getting better. The sling definately helps since she can be close to me without having to feed. Also, I'm trying to keep her awake during feedings so she gets enough to eat. I just could not continue with the constant nursing because hers was going on night and day and I was getting ZERO sleep. So, while I don't necessarily have a schedule for her, I do try to get her to eat when it's eating time and try to distract her with comfort etc. in between.

    Hope this helps.

    Anna

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