Anyone have any experience distinguishing their baby's requests for comfort nursing from hunger?
My 6 wk old daughter has reflux (GERD) and has gained weight rapidly. Although our pediatrician wasn't worried about the weight gain, she suggested that babies sometimes confuse tummy pain with hunger, which fits my baby's behavior some of the time. She did not suggest altering the frequency of feeds (every 2-3 hours during the day), but did suggest that it's okay to distract baby if she's asking to feed when I know she's not hungry. Sometimes I can tell, for example, if baby finishes feeding then spits up and then acts frantically hungry. But sometimes I can't. And since we're probably due for a growth spurt, I'm wary of relying solely on time since last feeding. Plus, this week my baby has started sleeping longer stretches (yay!), so it seems possible that she's trying to cluster feed in the evenings.
While it would be nice, in theory, to rely solely on baby's cues, that hasn't been good for either of us. Overfeeding seems to lead to more spitting up on her part, which leads to more pain and even more spitting up and pain. And, I have a hard time coping with a crying, frantically nursing baby who can't be satisfied.