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Thread: growth spurt or comfort nursing?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    27

    Default growth spurt or comfort nursing?

    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.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    291

    Default Re: growth spurt or comfort nursing?

    have you tried a pacifier? That could help satisfy dd's sucking needs & i believe that it can help w/gerd (correct me if i'm wrong). at this age it's hard to really tell if babys are nursing for comfort or not and a lot of babies nurse more often than every 2-3 hours for various reasons. neither of my babies would go two hours until they were a few months old. hang in there and good luck!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    27

    Default Re: growth spurt or comfort nursing?

    Thanks, heatherdawn.

    I've wanted to avoid pacifiers, but tried one the other night. You're right that it's supposed to help soothe reflux pain, so that might get me over my pacifier hang-ups. For now, we're mostly using other distracting techniques - mostly cuddles from dad, which works some of the time.

    My bigger concern, though, is making sure that I'm not misreading her cues and denying her feeding when she's truly hungry. For now, I'm trying to err on the side of caution and feed her if I'm not sure....

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