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Thread: Slow, sleepy eater

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    1

    Default Slow, sleepy eater

    I need help! My baby is a very slow & sleepy breast feeder. She is pretty lazy on the breast and I now am at the point where I am just too sleep deprived. My daughter is now 13 days old and had jaundice when she was born. The doctor had me use my expressed breast milk in a bottle and now we are trying to transition back to the breast. She can latch on well, but is so sleepy and takes an hour or more to feed.... then needs to start again in a half hour or hour later. Its just too much for me to handle as I fall asleep trying to keep her awake. (especially at night... she seems hungry all night long even if sh BFs for 2 hours) Will she get better at feeding? Is there anything I can do?

    I am thinking about going back to pumping and feeding her with a bottle, but now am concerned I might not be able to pump enough to keep up. I have been trying today and can't pump the amount I should be to meet her needs. Also, I'm trying to do both- so maybe that's the issue? What can I do to still BF, but also pump to supplement?

    I feel so lost and unsure what to do....

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    22

    Default Re: Slow, sleepy eater

    My lo was slighty jaundice and she also lost more than the weight % that's allowed to be lost in the first few days. For the first few weeks I had to feed her pretty much every hour, 2 tops. And I had to wake her if she needed it, so I had a very sleepy babe too. I asked the nurses how to keep her awake and feeding and they all told me, strip her down. Take off all her clothes except diaper of course. The less warm and cozy she is, the less falling asleep there is. And when she started to doze off, I'd sit her up to burp, even if I just did it 5 minutes ago. In the middle of a feeding, I'd change her diaper, that always really woke her up, ready to feed for the next half of the feeding. In all, this usually took about an hour or so, then I'd start it all again in another hour.
    But on the bright side it doesn't last long at all. In a couple weeks she'll be awake and eager for her full feeding. Good luck and hang in there!!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    833

    Default Re: Slow, sleepy eater

    CONGRATULATIONS on your new little baby!!!!



    Quote Originally Posted by Kelleyandannie View Post
    I need help! My baby is a very slow & sleepy breast feeder. She is pretty lazy on the breast and I now am at the point where I am just too sleep deprived. My daughter is now 13 days old and had jaundice when she was born. The doctor had me use my expressed breast milk in a bottle and now we are trying to transition back to the breast. She can latch on well, but is so sleepy and takes an hour or more to feed.... then needs to start again in a half hour or hour later. Its just too much for me to handle as I fall asleep trying to keep her awake. (especially at night... she seems hungry all night long even if sh BFs for 2 hours) Will she get better at feeding? Is there anything I can do?
    Those first days are so hard, let me tell you, you might feel like crap but you're doing a great job . It's very good that she latches well, fabulous!!! The sleepiness is very frustrating but common when they're so tiny. There are some tips for dealing with that here and also here. You'll notice that they suggest trying breast compressions and that can help shorten the nursing sessions.

    Also, I think these are a few awesome links for general information and encouragement during the first weeks:

    Nursing Your Newborn-- What to Expect in the Early Weeks
    Frequent Nursing

    Frequent and/or long feedings are considered normal.

    I am thinking about going back to pumping and feeding her with a bottle, but now am concerned I might not be able to pump enough to keep up. I have been trying today and can't pump the amount I should be to meet her needs. Also, I'm trying to do both- so maybe that's the issue? What can I do to still BF, but also pump to supplement?
    Giving bottles or trying to do both by switching off can be very risky so early in the game. The best bet if you want to succeed is to exclusively nurse for several more weeks at least. Babies learn to breastfeed by breastfeeding. Exclusively pumping has its own sets of problems and in the long run it would be far more difficult than regular breastfeeding. And yes you're right it can be extremely hard to maintain a milk supply that way.

    Uh oh I have to run, I will check back later. Hang in there, it will get easier, I've totally been there!!!!
    Erin (32), breastfeeding CLW, knitting cloth-diapering crocheting, heirloom tomato-growing philosophizing poker-playing feminist artist mama to my 19 month old daughter! Baby #2 due January 2009.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    547

    Default Re: Slow, sleepy eater

    yes it does get better! My daughter had jaundice as well and was super sleepy. We took her clothes off, did baby sit-ups with her, rubbed her ear, back, or foot, shook a rattle, ... Sometimes these things helped, sometimes she was still too sleepy and took forever. But, as the jaundice works it's way out of them and they get a little older, they get less sleepy and then (at least for us) they eat a little better. You're wishing she'd wake up more now, but won't be long before you're wishing they'd take a nap Also, nursing her in bed while I was lying down was a life saver in the first few weeks, at least that way if you fall asleep, lo is safe and sound, just take the proper precautions. Hang in there!!!!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    470

    Default Re: Slow, sleepy eater



    It does get better my son fed nonstop at times for 2-3 hours. He was also jaundiced and sleepy all the time. It did get better. Now at 6 months it takes him 5 minutes and he is done! Congrats on your new baby!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Orange County, CA
    Posts
    3,092

    Default Re: Slow, sleepy eater

    When my LO was just a couple weeks old it used to take us half an hour to wake her up, then 40 minutes to BF, then I would pump for 20 minutes, and start the whole process over again in half an hour. It was brutal, I was beyond grumpy, and DD was SO difficult to wake up. But pp's are right - it does get better!

    Some of the things we did to get and keep her awake were undressing her (usually did nothing), using a damp cloth on her face and body, blowing gently on her face, and pumping her arm and tickling her feet while she was feeding. Our LC also told us to use the "lone soldier" technique - we would undress her, then leave her on a blanket in the middle of the floor and leave the room for a minute. Usually she would realize she was all alone and no longer in someone's arms and that would wake her up.

    Keep it up - you can make it! It will be so worth it if you can just hang in there another couple of weeks.
    Karen

    Proud mama to
    Kaitlyn Ann 12/23/07 - 7 lbs., 15 oz.
    11/09
    Jackson Thomas 1/16/11 - 9 lbs., 3 oz.


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