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Thread: Now my baby wants to nurse ALL THE TIME

  1. #1
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    Sep 2006
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    Default Now my baby wants to nurse ALL THE TIME

    we've been nursing since 8am, it;s noon now. DD is 13 days old, she's gaining weight, she's already had 4 dirty diapers today... this is getting to be ridiculous. she won't sleep and doesn't eant to do anything but nurse.

    please help. i dont know how much longer i can take this.

  2. #2
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    Aug 2006
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    Default Re: Now my baby wants to nurse ALL THE TIME

    Hang in there! As difficult as it is, it won't last forever. Each day is a little different at this point. Is this the first time your baby has nursed like this? Occassional days of lots of nursing happen during a growth spurt to increase your supply. Be sure to drink a lot and keep snacks handy. Hope you get a break soon and know it won't last.

  3. #3
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    Feb 2006
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    Default Re: Now my baby wants to nurse ALL THE TIME

    Ktroia -- wow, you are really being pushed to your limits of endurance, aren't you? I'm sorry you're having such a hard time.

    I was going to say this is typical for a growth spurt, but I see that you posted 2 days ago with the same stuff going on -- eating every hour or more. Usually a growth spurt this young is over in a day or two, although I'm sure there is a very wide range of normal among different babies.

    Are you getting a longer break at night, or is that hourly nursing going right around the clock? When did it start?

    It's wonderful to know that she is gaining weight and making good diapers. Sometimes a baby who nurses constantly is doing it because she isn't getting enough milk for some reason, so you can be glad that this doesn't seem to be the issue with you.

    While she is nursing, you may notice that after a period of active, rhythmic sucking and swallowing, your baby may lapse into more of a drowsy "comfort suck" pattern. This may feel more like a flutter or a "nibble" than a good strong tug on your nipple, and these little flutter-sucks may happen every few seconds, and then just a few times a minute, and then pick up again. I think that basically, a baby who does a lot of this comfort sucking is one who just plain feels safe and good and lovely with the breast in her mouth.

    There's nothing wrong or harmful about comfort sucking, so don't feel like it's something to be avoided. But if she has been spending a lot of time at the breast, and you are ready for a break, then you might try very gently unlatching her with your pinky finger. If she protests losing the breast, try putting your clean pinky into her mouth, nail trimmed short of course, with the nail down against her tongue. Many babies will happily suck on someone's finger this way, and it does not run the risk of interfering with a good latch the way an artificial nipple or pacifier might. Best of all -- other people have pinky fingers, too, not just momma. So maybe you can get a break that way.

    Another suggestion to help a new mom through periods of intensely frequent nursing is to learn to nurse in the side-lying position. If you can get comfortable doing that, it is actually possible to fall asleep while your baby nurses, and you can get a lot more rest. My son and I didn't get the hang of this position until he was about 5 weeks old, so if it's not coming easily, just try again tomorrow -- it is WELL worth the effort in the end.

    My last suggestion is to work on getting the help that any mother in your position would need -- someone to bring food, to change diapers, to vacuum and do dishes and laundry, someone to keep you company for at least a few hours a day. Someone to hold the baby so you can take a shower and eat a meal. Do you have any help like this? It really is necessary, if you are nursing basically 24/7, then you need someone to take care of YOU, so that in the brief periods when you aren't nursing, you can rest or eat or bathe, not cook or clean. You may have family or friends who have just been waiting by the phone hoping for an invitation to come and help, but if not, there are other options, like hiring a postpartum doula, a baby nurse (but have her help you, not take over the baby's care herself), or even just a teenager in the neighborhood for a couple hours in the afternoon. It would be a very short-term expense, because before you know it, your baby's patterns will change, she will mature a little, and you'll get much of your life back -- I promise.

    Let us know how the rest of today goes. I'm hoping that this is just a drawn-out growth spurt, and that she will soon reward you for all your hard work by sleeping a lot once it is over.

    --Rebecca

  4. #4
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    Sep 2006
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    Default Re: Now my baby wants to nurse ALL THE TIME

    she finally fell asleep at around 12:15 for 40 minutes in my mom's arms but as soon as mom tried to put her down in her bassinet she woke and wanted to nurse again. now she's nursing, but i don't think she's getting much. She's been nursing like this since around 10 last night. how long can the milk keep coming out? the supply has to end at some point.

    sadly, i'm really not enjoying this. i actually dread hearing the baby make a noise now b/c i know all she wants is to attach to my boob again.

  5. #5
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    Feb 2006
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    Default Re: Now my baby wants to nurse ALL THE TIME

    Quote Originally Posted by ktroia
    she finally fell asleep at around 12:15 for 40 minutes in my mom's arms but as soon as mom tried to put her down in her bassinet she woke and wanted to nurse again. now she's nursing, but i don't think she's getting much. She's been nursing like this since around 10 last night. how long can the milk keep coming out? the supply has to end at some point.
    Well, fortunately, I can reassure you that your milk supply will be just fine as long as she is nursing frequently and making good diapers. Breastmilk is basically infinitely replaceable! The breast is never completely empty, because as baby nurses, your breasts are making more milk.

    I'm glad to know your mother is there to help. Could you ask her and any other helpers NOT to put the baby down? Some babies need constant holding/carrying -- being put down makes them startle awake, and then you are back to square one. I know it can feel like just holding a sleeping baby isn't doing anything productive, but if your mom is holding the baby, then you can be resting or doing something else that will help get your own needs met.

    Do you have a sling or another kind of baby carrier? I wonder what would happen if you put your daughter into a sling after nursing and went out for a short walk if you feel up to it, or just wore her while you brush your teeth or eat a meal. Or your mother or another helper could try wearing her while they fold some laundry or tidy up a little. Maybe your baby just really needs to be held a lot at this stage.

    Even if it's just for 40 minutes, sleep when the baby sleeps, especially if she is nursing this frequently at night, too. You do need enough rest, food, and drink to get through this with your health and sanity intact.

    --Rebecca

  6. #6
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    May 2006
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    Default Re: Now my baby wants to nurse ALL THE TIME

    I understand what you're going through. It does feel "ridiculous" when you're going through it but it gets easier (gradually). My DS nursed every hour around the clock for 5 WEEKS! No one ever told me that BF would be THAT demanding in the beginning. There wasn't a day that went by that I didn't want to throw in the towel. But now, 5+ months later, the thought of no longer nursing my DS someday brings tears to my eyes. It may not be a "normal" or "typical" nursing pattern for a newborn but those high needs babies do exsist. I have heard that this time is called the fourth trimester. Human babies join the world undeveloped and want to remain attached to mom a while longer.

    You can do this! Months from now it will all be a blur.

    Jennifer
    Amazed and Proud mom of Luke (Lucas) - 4/5/2006; 9 lbs 12 oz , 22in
    Wife to best friend Carl - 11/4/2001

  7. #7
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    Sep 2006
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    Default Re: Now my baby wants to nurse ALL THE TIME

    So sorry to hear about your situation. My dd was the same way for the first couple of weeks. I also knew that she was getting plenty- lots of wet/dirty diapers and weight gain. Still, it seemed like I was nursing around the clock and as committed as I thought I was going to be to breastfeeding, I wanted to give up every day. BUT IT DOES GET BETTER! I promise. Before having her, (she's my first) I had read a lot about putting them on a schedule to help regulate thier eating and sleeping cycles. This entails trying to put them on a rigid 2 hour schedule and letting them cry it out some. I threw this philosophy out the window when I actually started nursing and let her set her own pace, eating and sleeping when she felt so inclined. This made those first few weeks reallly really rough but it wasn't long before she got herself on a good schedule, and started to go a lot longer in between feedings. At 5 weeks she was sleeping 4-6 hours through the night at least 2-3 times a week and now (at 8 weeks) she sleeps at least 6 hours a night just about every night, if there is no gas or some other random problem. Sometimes this means that she eats more often during the day, or cluster feeds right before bedtime (every hour) but I have loved the little schedule we have gotten into. Don't give up, and take all the help you can get. With the exaustion you feel right after delivery, it is so easy to think that breastfeeding is impossible but it is not. Good luck to you.

  8. #8
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    Sep 2006
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    Default Re: Now my baby wants to nurse ALL THE TIME

    Sorry, I had an afterthought. I also learned eventually that sometimes my dd just wanted to suck. She would eat if given the chance but eventually started taking a pacifier (offered by my DH or his mother) and would go right to sleep. At first she would spit the pacifier out but if we held it there for just a minute she would take it and fall asleep for 2-3 hours until time for another feeding. Don't know how you feel about pacifiers but this works for us!

  9. #9
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    Sep 2006
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    Default Re: Now my baby wants to nurse ALL THE TIME

    ktroia,

    My DD does the same thing. This has been frustrating to me because my MIL says that DD should nurse about 5 minutes on each side and that will be all she needs. Ugh. It practically takes her 5 minutes to get settled - she's an over excited nurser. Every baby is different. I don't know how you feel about pacifiers, but when I notice DD is drifting off while nursing, I offer her a pacifier. Often, she takes it and is perfectly content - then I get a break for a bit. :-)

  10. #10
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    Sep 2006
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    24

    Default Re: Now my baby wants to nurse ALL THE TIME

    Today has been absolutely horrible for us. She is nursing non-stop; we're up to about 18-20 feedings today at least. She hasn't slept very much, either. At this point, I will put her on the nipple and I don't htink anything is coming out b/c she gets frustrated and starts jerking her head back with my nipple still in her mouth.

    I'm at my wits end with this. Both my mom and DH have been trying to help, but nothing will get the baby to stop crying now and my boobs don't seem to have enough milk in them for her despite her having 7 dirty diapers today.

    I'm so over this. I love her to death, but it's starting to really have bad affects on my sanity.

    I am absolutely petrified to find out what happens this evening. Something tells me we're going to have a horrible night.

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