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Thread: Always hungry

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    929

    Default Always hungry

    My 4 wk old wants to nurse constantly (24+ times a day). He never seems satiated and is very fussy when not nursing. This has pretty much been going on since birth. In the past week and 1/2 his stools have been slimy and green. What I've read is that this may be due to him not nursing long enough to receive the hind milk. Is this true? How do I force him to stay at the breast longer? And more importantly, how do I get him to actively nurse and not passively suck?

    Help, please! My husband and I are very tired and are close to throwing in the towel on breastfeeding.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    683

    Default Re: Always hungry

    Hi there -- It may help to know that many babies have a really strong urge to suck and therefore are at the breast constantly. So, this behavior that your baby is exhibiting is very normal. Green poop is also normal and I would not suspect a foremilk/hindmilk imbalance (often the cause of green poop) since he's nursing non-stop. You can read more about foremilk/hindmilk here (not a LLL source). You may want to try offering the same breast for a block of time (say, 12-3 only offer the left breast even if he needs to nurse 5 times) to see if that makes any difference. It's possible that you are switching breasts too frequently.

    Even if your baby is passively sucking, your milk will let down (over and over and over again) and baby will actively nurse, even if for only a few minutes. When you're nursing him, how long are you allowing him to stay at the breast? I'm unclear as to your situation because you said that he wants to nurse constantly but then you also want him to be at the breast longer.

    Keep in mind too that around the 3 week mark, babies go through a growth spurt. It's possible that your baby is hitting a growth spurt now and that would explain his need to be at the breast constantly. The very best thing you can do is allow baby to nurse whenever he appears to need it. As he gets older, his nursing patterns will change and you will have a little more freedom. In the meantime, why not learn how to nurse in a sling so that you can have some mobility?

    How many wet/poopy diapers per day is he having?

    Don't throw in the towel! Think about how convenient breastfeeding is! Plus, you are able to calm your fussy baby at your breast. If you were to bottlefeed him, his fussiness would probably only increase and you wouldn't have the parenting "tool" of nursing to offer him

    HTH!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    929

    Default Re: Always hungry

    Thank you! To clarify, Luke wants to nurse constantly but once at the breast will only actively nurse for a few minutes and will often fall asleep and let go. If I put him down he will wake up within about 10 minutes and start his fussy "rooting" again.

    He has several (12+) wet and/or poopy diapers in a 24hr period. He is also gaining weight well so I know he's getting something.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    38

    Default Re: Always hungry

    Hi there, from what you are saying it sounds like things are going fine for your baby's health-diapers and weight gain. My little guy nursed every hour for a good period of time. It was very tough, but I am so glad I stuck with it because of the amazing benefits to all of us. He is not sick at all. It is free. It has helped me tremendously with my weight loss. It is so convenient and easy, especially with night feedings-no mixing or warming required. Stick to it if you can, I just love it!

    If you are having problems with him nursing a few min. and having him fall asleep try to keep him awake by having him only in a diaper, stroking his cheek and neck, getting a cold wash cloth and rubbing his feet, etc. This time will pass of nursing all of the time and just treasure these few short months of your baby's newborn life.

    Things will get easier! "This too shall pass"-my favorite quote when Justice was a newborn.

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