my son is almost 7 months, ebf
i have noticed that ever since I have been giving him food he is extremely fussy at the breast-arches & pushes away & "yells at me" as i bring him close in cradle hold when he is awake. he went on a strike after 4 months i think due to nipple confusion which lasted about 5 days and then this reappeared at about 5.5 months. at 4 months he dropped percentiles to the 25% from the 50% (a formula fed chart) and has remained there since.
He also seems to not open his mouth on his own for a few months now while awake, but rather i remove his thumb for him and switch the thumb for the breast.
since at least when he started eating food (at 5.5 months) he has been most likely to nurse when about to fall asleep, but he can also be fussy then too. I have to constantly offer the breast when sleepy until he finally nurses so my feedings are usually before naps and before bedtime if lucky. I nurse him on demand though it is hard to tell when he is hungry (not starving)-he just sucks away on his thumbs.
On a good day, he nurses around 5-6 times, sometimes with 3 or 4 hours between feedings though not consistent times for consistent lengths of time nor consistent numbers of breasts. very rarely has he taken two. on a bad day he might nurse 3 times. i feed him around mid morning and 5 pm after he nurses. if i think he skips a nursing session (5 hours have passed) i usually pump as much as i can and put in around 3-4 ounces in some oatmeal as his "food".
A few factoids that might help solve my mystery:
-Over the past week he has been adding in two more feedings in the nighttime. i used to ignore him when he woke but now i am not sure whether it is because he is hungry or in pain from teeth
-I have been very stressed out since July-had to move houses with my family under stressful circumstances. A possible cause for low milk...
-My baby has only gained 2 ounces last month-from 15.6 to 15.8 and dropped percentiles for weight. My doctor asked me if my milk supply was low.
-regards to a nursing strike possibility, I have tried bathing with him, dancing with him, seducing him, but maybe i inevitably pressure him too much.
-He also bites me and I think he is teething on top of it all.
-I have been giving him food since he is around 5 and half months (around the time that this began)
-He nurses sometimes sidelying and flat on his back when he is awake, but the cradle hold is VERY offensive to him.
-He also nurses so infrequently sometimes that i dont offer him food and wait until he will finally nurse. I was told that i should have my milk supply well established by now, so i always assumed he was getting enough milk
I guess I have several questions since there are a few things going on:
1) how do i know if he has skipped a nursing session? along those lines, when and how much should i pump to replace the nursing session? if i pump at night does it produce more milk at night or just increase my milk supply in general?
2) am worried that if i bottle feed him more pumped milk, then he is going to bite more since he bites the bottle nipples a lot. tried a sippy cup, but he bites that too...advice?
3) how long should i wait between feedings before insisting that he take milk from at least a bottle or cup and stop seducing him unsuccessfully?
4) i usually make sure that he nurses first before feeding him, but if he refuses to nurse, do i skip the food too so he will be hungry for milk??
5) What do i do if i have been pushing him back too much and he actually has an aversion to the breast?
6) how do i know if i am starving him? i dont want to stuff his face with oatmeal but feel that is the only way for him to get milk sometimes