My son is 6 months old and we've never had any major issues with breastfeeding. The last few weeks I've noticed some changes that are stressing me out:
- I nurse him every 2 to 3 hours during the day (lately, closer to 2). He sucks for about 2 minutes, just long enough to get the intial flow going from the let-down, drinks vigorously, and then pulls off. I offer the same breast again, which he aggressively "attacks" and sucks from a few times. Pulls off again. We repeat the on/off cycle numerous times until I finally give up. He whimpers a bit until I offer the second breast. He aggressively goes after it. Sucks and stays on while he gets the initial flow of milk. Once it seems that the flow of milk has slowed (2 min) he starts the off/on cycle again. Occasionally he will even try to nurse my arm -- that kind of makes me wonder if he isn't getting enough?
That is the biggest issue. Does this sound normal? A couple other things that might be relevant:
-He is fussy all day now. Not just at night or at a certain time of day, but all day. Very out of character for him. I know it could be the start of teething - but how do I know the difference? He doesn't seem to be chewing on things more than usual.
- Wet diaper output appears to be on the low end of normal. Not entirely sure because they don't always seem super saturated. He has one very wet diaper in the morning, and then about 4 moderately wet diapers the rest of the day.
- Bowel movements have slowed to every 5-10 days. (A couple months ago, he was going at least once very day, if not more) The consistency is like peanut butter. I noticed him straining to poop and his face got very red.
- He had been sleeping 6-8 hour stretches without issue. The last couple of weeks he has been waking much more frequently to eat.
Tonight, before bed, I nursed him normally (same on/off scenario happened again) and then offered him a bottle of formula just to see if he would take it. (He's only ever had 2 bottles of formula his whole life, and only when I was gone.)
He attacked it and patiently sucked down 4 ounces, even with the slow flow nipple. He seemed very hungry! I know they say that sometimes babies will take a bottle after nursing even if they are full -- but how do you know the difference??
Thanks for reading and thanks for any help (emotional or otherwise!)