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Thread: Hungry baby won't eat

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    Default Hungry baby won't eat

    It's really hard to get my 5-month-old to nurse lately. Sometimes she acts distracted, other times she acts like it hurts to eat. We're pretty sure she's teething too. She's so tired and isn't sleeping either. She was sleeping great at night the last month and it's hard to adjust again. It doesn't matter where I go or what I do, but she just won't nurse for more than a minute (I often can't even get her to latch on). She has plenty of dirty dipes, so I know she's getting enough, but is there anything I can do to help her get a full nursing session in? It would make both of us happier .

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    Default Re: Hungry baby won't eat

    Hi Elliesmom,

    It sounds to me as if your DD is uncomfortable about something, most likely teething. Have you tried ambesol/orajel? Also, how about lying down in a darkened room where it is nice and quiet? I would try that first. Let us know if either of those options work!

    I know my son is teething, getting 4 top and 2 on the bottom (can you say miserable???) and he was not nursing well, so I got the ambesol/orajel and we got back to normal. His poor mouth hurt so bad!

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    Default Re: Hungry baby won't eat

    Hi elliesmom:

    My dd is also 5 months old. I've noticed lately that she's on and off the breast a LOT during a nursing session. She's able to empty quickly normally anyway but I'm beginning to wonder if she's just too much of a busy body lately to pay attention to eating. So much other stuff going on around her. I'm going to try the "quiet room" for feeding now. I'm sure part of our problem is teething as well, she's like a faucet and looks like she's "chewing" everything. Ouch! Mine also just this past week went thru the no sleep routine after sleeping like a champ "thru the night" and napping twice a day. I'm blaming that on a growth spurt as well as teething pain as well as the too busy to miss anything disease. See how I get myself to just keep smiling She's been in a great mood other than some late afternoon puffy eyes from the no sleep so I'm guessing she's doing ok. Does your dd act fussy or upset? Hang in there!

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    Default Re: Hungry baby won't eat

    We've been using Hyland's teething gel when we're sure she's teething and sometimes she goes to sleep soon after, and sometimes it doesn't do anything. She's been really fussy in the evenings, almost like when she was a newborn. I've tried laying in a dark room, and it doesn't help. She pulls off and cries. Just getting her in the position to nurse often sets her off. I know she's eating much faster, but often it's only a couple of minutes and I know she's not emptying my breasts.

    I don't understand why babies have to go through pain; it's so hard to see them hurt!

    Thanks for your replies; I know we'll get through this just like we've gotten through everything so far .

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    Default Re: Hungry baby won't eat

    My ds is just like that - but it started at 2 months and is still going strong at 9 mo, unfortunately. We need to nurse in a room with no one else and some white noise (white noise machine or static on the radio) to help him concentrate on nursing. He's ridiculously distractible - even if my husband tip toes into the room to get something he'll pull off and look at him. If we're out and about, we have to go back to the car to nurse with static on the radio. Yes, it's crazy, but we do what works. At my LLL meetings everyone said "it's a phase!" but I don't see it changing anytime soon, unfortunately. *sigh*
    -Laurelyn
    mama to ds Graham, almost 9 mo.

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    Default Re: Hungry baby won't eat

    Quote Originally Posted by pingjoy
    My ds is just like that - but it started at 2 months and is still going strong at 9 mo, unfortunately. We need to nurse in a room with no one else and some white noise (white noise machine or static on the radio) to help him concentrate on nursing. He's ridiculously distractible - even if my husband tip toes into the room to get something he'll pull off and look at him. If we're out and about, we have to go back to the car to nurse with static on the radio. Yes, it's crazy, but we do what works. At my LLL meetings everyone said "it's a phase!" but I don't see it changing anytime soon, unfortunately. *sigh*
    -Laurelyn
    mama to ds Graham, almost 9 mo.
    That's how my DD is too ... been that way since 4 months old, she just turned 7 months yesterday. I sure hope she gets over it soon! We have to be in a darkened room, with our white noise playing, make sure nothing on the table is interesting enough to pull away to look at, etc. Sometimes I have to sing to her the entire time we nurse. And I've had her come off and not continue simply because she heard me swallow and had to look up to see what it was! And my husband knows that he has to be more quiet than a mouse when we are nursing. I joked that we need a big red light to switch on when we're nursing to warn everyone to be silent ... kind of like the "On Air" lights at radio stations. Public nursing has become non existent ... I don't enjoy showing my nipple off every few seconds! LOL!

    While we were on vacation with friends who also had a baby she was able to nurse her DS everywhere, where I was forced to either trek back to our car (where we nursed and missed an entire parade we had gone to see) or drive back to our rental like mad to get her nursed ASAP. It sure would make it easier if she'd get through this "phase" ... but when have these little stinkers ever made it easier on us mamas?

    Mama to Adeline Brett, breastfed for 4.5 years (12/14/05) and little Eliza June, new tiny sprite in my arms and still learning the ropes (7/18/10)

    Family Blog • If I'm here I'm nursing and typing one handed ... forgive the typos!
    And I'm not a newbie at all ... I'm trying to get my old user ID working from back in the day ... paint-the-moon

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    Default Re: Hungry baby won't eat

    Is she fussing when she stops eating, like she's in pain or discomfort? Like maybe it's more than just being distracted? I know with my DD it's sometimes due to her teething (she just cut her first two) and sometimes just being a busy, distracted baby. Other times I have no clue why she's refusing to eat although she is clearly starving. But we have a lot of other big problems like outright nursing strikes and reflux that we've been dealing with. Does she ever show signs of reflux when she pulls away (Arching her back, Frequent spitting up or vomiting; discomfort when spitting up. Gagging, choking, frequent burping or hiccoughing, sour breath.
    Baby may be fussy and sleep less due to discomfort. See Reflux)?

    I just hate the not knowing ... I would do anything to help her, but not knowing what is causing her pain or discomfort is just plain torture to me.

    This is a really good link:

    Help - My Baby Won't Nurse!

    Let us know how things progress!

    p.s. I was warned by my ped to be wary of using Orajel/Anbesol on her gums because it can numb their whole mouth and make nursing very difficult (which they are already struggling with!). And I've heard great things about the Hyland's Teething Tablets, but they seem to keep some babies up at night because they contain caffeine. Just in case you didn't know.

    Mama to Adeline Brett, breastfed for 4.5 years (12/14/05) and little Eliza June, new tiny sprite in my arms and still learning the ropes (7/18/10)

    Family Blog • If I'm here I'm nursing and typing one handed ... forgive the typos!
    And I'm not a newbie at all ... I'm trying to get my old user ID working from back in the day ... paint-the-moon

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    Default Re: Hungry baby won't eat

    now this might sound silly, but have you thought about ear infections? I know that bf babies generaly do not get them. My daughter was the exception! Hers are caused by her outdoor allergies, and thank God for breastfeeding cause it could be so much worse. She has always been nursed, even when she had to be supplemented very early on. they started at 8 weeks and continued off and on until she was about 7 months. She had a total of 5 ear infections by the time she was 6 months!!

    Anyway, its a possibility and would cause the discomfort in eating and such. Albeit, its a small chance, but it is a chance. HTH!

    Sarah

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    Default Re: Hungry baby won't eat

    My DD is already being treated for reflux. Actually, when her reflux is really bothering her, she'll eat even more; I guess because it soothes her throat. Today we were out shopping and I went back to the car, under a blanket, and still couldn't get her to eat for more than a couple of minutes. It's like she's discovering the world for the first time! She didn't act fussy today when she pulled off; she was definitely distracted. She makes it so hard to NIP; I think she's trying to make sure all my modesty is gone .

    I don't think she has an ear infection, but I'm not sure I would know if she did. She's not feverish and hasn't been pulling at her ear or anything.

    The frustrating thing is she still acts hungry; she sticks out her tongue and bites her fist, but won't eat! Silly girl...

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    Default Re: Hungry baby won't eat

    my ds started this 2 weeks ago at 11 wks i can only feed him if he's sleeping i know it sounds silly but you do what works pretty much i have to keep putting him down for naps and then feeding i've tried singing and playing while nursing and it works for a minute and then its back to screaming.. we've gone to the ped 2x first one said it was reflux but when the meds didn't work we went back was told it wasn't reflux and just sounds like a phase but i'm with everyone else i sure hope the phase ends really soon i'm getting to frustrated i used to love feeding times and now i'm starting to hate them .. i was told if it was reflux that he would be fussy in between feedings and if he started eating while asleep that he would wake up b/c it hurt .. neither of which he does .. he doesn't spit up or anything so i guess its just a really long phase ..

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