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Thread: Is this normal? Very fast eater...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    135

    Default Is this normal? Very fast eater...

    Hi everyone - I've posted this concern within another thread, but I keep hearing conflicting stories from the 'professionals' so once again, I am looking to those who have 'been there' to further comment for the upteenth time.

    My ds is 7 weeks old and recently weaned off a nipple shield (sometimes have to use it the middle of the night still). With the shield, my ds would nurse about 10-20 minutes - usually only on one side. About two weeks ago when he finally latched on, I noticed he only ate for about 5-10 minutes total.
    Now at 7 weeks, he seems to be full even faster! He does eat very quickly at the beginning and I seem to have very fast milk, and what appears to be overactive let down. On average, he has about two (what I would call) really good feedings a day (around 6 or 7 minutes total), about 4 or 5 that are 'okay' - around 4-5 minutes total, and about 2 or 3 'bad' feedings - only about 2-3 minutes total.

    He appears totally satisfied when he is done - and I can generally still 'spray' milk out of both breasts when he is done - so I don't think its a supply issue (although I was concerned about that). We continue to try to feed usually for about 30 minutes, but it seems when he is done, he is done. He still has about 2 or 3 large bowel movements a day (mustard yellow, seedy, usually very watery). Every single diaper is pretty wet - I've tried the trick of putting water in a diaper to judge the wetness, and his diapers all just seem normal to me - his output hasn't really changed since we transitioned to the breast. He is gaining weight significantly - 6-14 at birth - last weighed in at 9-12 (at 6 and a half weeks). He doesn't fuss or cry when he is done eating, I always try the nipple shield at the end just to see if he wants that. Thing is, when he is sucking, he is truly sucking milk - I can see it spraying out the corners of his mouth and my milk often lets down about 2 or 3 times every feeding. He usually eats every 2.5 to 3 hours.

    Previous threads have told me this is perfectly normal - that he is just an 'efficient' eater. However, a doctor I spoke to today was shocked that he eats for such a short period of time and told me I should probably be supplementing him with a bottle after feedings. Should I be trying that? Problem is that when he is done, he is done - I try to put anything near his lips and he locks them shut - won't let anything in there. It has taken me 7 weeks to accept the fact that he is okay - as I have been worried about his eating since day one and now I think he is perfectly satisfied. But when doctors say things like that, I start to worry all over again.

    Help please! Looking for reassurance. Is this normal?

    Lisa

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    1,168

    Default Re: Is this normal? Very fast eater...

    It's normal! Not common or typical, and certainly not "textbook" (hence, perhaps, your doctor's confusion), but it's NORMAL. Baby IS nursing, is making good diapers, is growing well. You're not in pain, and you're clearly producing milk. The clock has no relevance when all these other criteria are being met.

    --Rebecca

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Is this normal? Very fast eater...

    This is perfectly normal. The doctor doesn't know what he is talking about. The rule of thumb is to watch the baby not the clock (number of diapers, content, weight gain). Also without the nipple shield the baby can empty the breast faster and better than with the nipple shield. I had to use a nipple shield for a brief period with our second baby and noticed this. Also every baby is different and every mother is different. I also have an over active let down and our baby has to strugle to keep up with the milk flow (both of my babies had to, the other one did better than the other). Our first child used to nurse for a long time and the second child doesn't. Our second baby is the type that likes to get the job done fast and is then done which is the complete opposite of our first child who lived on my breasts.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    135

    Default Re: Is this normal? Very fast eater...

    Thanks everyone.

    Its just that everyone I talk to think its so strange... Perhaps the other Mom's I know don't really pay attention to how much 'active' feeding their babies are doing - don't know. Anyways, he does seem fine - he goes for his 8 week check up next week, so I guess we'll get him weighed again soon. I guess I should count my blessings. He only seems to get fussy and angry when I try to force him to eat more when he is done. Also, with every feeding, he seems to get faster and faster at satisfying himself. I have just never known anyone to expereince this before - its very unsettling. I obviously just want to make sure I am not starving him He is an EXTREMELY laid back baby, and rarely ever cries. He doesn't even cry in the middle of the night when he's hungry - I actually wake up to him grunting a bit - even if I leave him for 20 or 30 minutes, he doesn't cry. So I've always wondered if he would even cry if he was starving.

    Thanks again!
    Lisa

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    145

    Default Re: Is this normal? Very fast eater...

    hi there...wanted to let you know that i totally understand. my ds is now 10 weeks and only nurses on one side per feeding and its FAST. it used to be, until about 8 weeks, that he would be done NO MATTER WHAT in 4 minutes. i could do nothing else to get him to eat. i obviously had milk (leaking everywhere) and he was wetting/pooping/growing. i also have a fast and furious let down. now, he pulls himself off and back on to help control the flow - so i need a cloth diaper handy to catch the sprays! it is soaked at each feeding! pretty messy, but he now nurses for about 10-15 minutes total (but that's counting pull-off time)...

    i think that is normal (he went from 8.5lbs at birth to 12 at 10weeks. i think that is ok?)

    so, although i still worry at times, i will tell you not to! sounds like he is getting plenty, very quickly!

    ps - when i would try to get him to feed longer, i would get projectile spitting ups...found out, don't force a full baby to eat!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Is this normal? Very fast eater...

    Quote Originally Posted by lf105
    Thanks everyone.
    He is an EXTREMELY laid back baby, and rarely ever cries. He doesn't even cry in the middle of the night when he's hungry - I actually wake up to him grunting a bit

    Thanks again!
    Lisa
    This sounds just like our daughter (the fast eater). She doesn't cry either just grunts a bit in the middle of the night. She is also a very laid back baby unlike our first. I used to say "I think she would be happy to starve to death" because in the beginning I couldn't get her to nurse at all. She was more interested in sleeping than nursing. She also developed bad case of jaundice which didn't help with the sleepiness. Now she is a pro nurser but does it quickly. Some feedings are a bit longer than others but still none more than 10 minutes. She is 4 weeks old.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    4,893

    Default Re: Is this normal? Very fast eater...

    My daughter is 3 months old now and was a 33 week Preemie with plenty of feeding issues. Now she is directly on the breast - no shield - and she is also a fast eater (usually 8 minutes on one breast) and rarely cries (I also wake up to grunting, no cries). I stopped timing her because I realized that she knows what she wants and when. If she isn't fussy or unhappy I don't give it another thought. I say be thankful not worried. It sounds like you have a great baby on your hands. My experience has been that people expect babies to be a certain way but not all babies fit that mold, not to mention most of those babies are formula fed. Enjoy your baby!

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