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Thread: 6 month old nursing for only few minutes at a time

  1. #1

    Default 6 month old nursing for only few minutes at a time

    My DD is 6 months and she has started to nurse for only a few minutes at each feeding. I offer both sides too! But she doesn't nurse as long as she used to. She will take more before a nap (sleepy feeding) and she is still waking 2-3 times per night. I would like her to take more during the day. I am just wondering if this is normal or is it hurting my milk supply. I tried to nurse her more often but what would happen is that she would make the milk come in and then wouldn't eat. This left me with many plugged ducts/engorged etc. So that doesn't seem to work. Any advice or is this a normal stage of nursing? My other daughter never slowed down nursing so this is new to me!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    19,892

    Default Re: 6 month old nursing for only few minutes at a time

    How are your baby's diapers? If she's having enough wet and poopy diapers, then there's no need to worry: good diaper output = good milk input. Also, how often is she nursing per day?

    Crazy nursing patterns around 6 months can be due to teething, which makes some babies reluctant to nurse, and also to development- the world is now so interesting that your baby may be forgetting to nurse. Try taking her into a quiet, darkened room when it's time to nurse- reducing distractions may make her feed more peacefully.

    Is your baby getting any/many bottles? Sometimes a baby who gets a lot of bottles becomes lazy at the breast, in which case shelving the bottles for a while may help.

    Keep offering! You can't offer too frequently. And keep your pump handy (if you have one). That way you can empty those plugged ducts even when your baby isn't nursing well.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  3. #3

    Default Re: 6 month old nursing for only few minutes at a time

    I agree with the PP. Six month olds are busy exploring their worlds and possibly teething. Also, she may just be a very efficient nurser, and she gets all she needs in the 2-3 minutes. If she's gaining weight, and having enough wet and poopy diapers, she's getting what she needs. Watch your DD rather than the clock.
    My DD is a super quick nurser too, just a couple minutes on each side, and she's thrived just fine.
    Has she started solids or is she using a sippy cup?
    Julie
    LLL Leader and Mama to three blessings Michael 10/04, Joel 6/06, and Katie 6/08. Wife to Paul.

  4. #4

    Default Re: 6 month old nursing for only few minutes at a time

    There are a few things that have been going on....

    1. She nurses only a few minutes a day about 5 times/a day, but then is waking up every 2 hours at night to feed. How do I reverse this?

    2. I have tried to feed her in a quiet place, but that hasn't helped either

    3. I tried solids thinking it would satisfy her more during the day and nurse less at night. But what I would do is mix an ounce of breastmilk with just 2 spoons of cereal. That way I knew she was getting more breastmilk. Haven't added fruit or anything else.

    Thanks for your help!
    I am a very tired mommy these days

  5. #5

    Default Re: 6 month old nursing for only few minutes at a time

    I know this is hard, because it's nearly the same situation I've had with my DD the last few months. It seems that some babies just tend to wake and eat more often at night than others. Are you able to nap at all during the day?

    I do understand your desire for her to eat more during the day and sleep at night, but I don't think there's any easy way to make this happen. Does she seem ready to eat more solids? Does she act interested and readily accept food from a spoon? Perhaps try some mashed banana or avocado. Avocado is especially good because it's high in good fat which may help keep her satisfied longer if you feed it to her near bedtime. I tried this with my DS2, and I believe it helped. I would puree it in the blender and add breast milk so it was pudding consistency (I also added a pinch of stevia to make it a tiny bit sweet to encourage him to eat it), and fed it to him at bedtime.

    Also, does she sleep with you or in a crib? I've found it easier to co-sleep with my DD so that I just have to open my shirt and nurse her, rather than get out of bed and walk to her room and sit in a chair while she eats. Although it seems that sleeping in close proximity to her seems to lead to her waking more and wanting to eat more - but it's so much easier at this point.

    You asked if this was just a normal stage of nursing, and I think that every baby has their own "normal" and this sounds like it's your DD's "normal."
    You can try to increase her intake during the day, and try some comfort hugs and perhaps a bottle of water at night to help her get back to sleep rather than nursing. Remember too, it's just a season, and she will sleep all night... someday.
    Julie
    LLL Leader and Mama to three blessings Michael 10/04, Joel 6/06, and Katie 6/08. Wife to Paul.

  6. #6

    Default Re: 6 month old nursing for only few minutes at a time

    Hi again,
    I hope that you and your DD are doing well. I just bought this book today because I thought it sounded helpful for my situation, and I thought you might find it helpful as well. Here's a description.

    Pantley, Elizabeth, The NoCry Sleep Solution
    McGrawHill, 2002
    This book provides a gentle approach to sleep training for parents who believe it necessary to modify baby’s sleep habits without resorting to the cry‐it‐out methods. It offers easy‐to‐use charts to plan and measure progress. The ideas presented are common sense solutions to a problem that is seen as monumental for many new mothers. LLL does not agree with the cautions against letting baby fall asleep at the breast or holding a sleeping baby or child. (Featured in New Beginnings, Jan‐Feb 2003.)
    Julie
    LLL Leader and Mama to three blessings Michael 10/04, Joel 6/06, and Katie 6/08. Wife to Paul.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    5,883

    Default Re: 6 month old nursing for only few minutes at a time

    I also cosleep with my DD to help her get what she needs at night and still get some sleep myself.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    142

    Default Re: 6 month old nursing for only few minutes at a time

    hi sixyearplan
    I just have to say that your approach to nursing your children is so lay back...you dont let it get to you. I just had to say that since you encourage others to continue on. Even in our difficulties you seem to understand,. I have to say just out of curiousity...could you give us your day with your little ones and how and when they nurse..be neat to see if you would like to


    sorry for hackin
    just need to pat sixyearplan on the back

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    5,883

    Default Re: 6 month old nursing for only few minutes at a time

    My DD nurses frequently and often for short intervals. At nap time (twice a day or one long one at 11 months), she nurses for a long time. We lie down to nurse - less and less time in the sling.

    My personality is not terrbily laid back, but I have done an ok job raising my 13 and 7 year olds it seems. The biggest regret I have is all the worrying I did with them about how I was parenting and were they normal nursing. I realize now that getting down doesn't really help our situation and perhaps when there are challenges it's time to look at how our bodies are designed for nursing and emulate that, rather than trying to conform to the societal expectation of children modeled after formula fed infants.

    Babies are made to nurse very often - many cultures nurse several times an hour and at night in a shared bed. Perhaps that is nature's way of getting over being distractible. Baby is hanging out on or near mama, looks over, is reminded of nursing, and does so.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    142

    Default Re: 6 month old nursing for only few minutes at a time

    so do you mainly nurse all day in a sling.....even now and at infancy?

    hats off to you mama!
    you have done a fine job!

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