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Thread: My LO doesnt eat, only "snacks". How to encourage baby to empty breast?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2010

    Default My LO doesnt eat, only "snacks". How to encourage baby to empty breast?

    I have an 8 week old boy who has at least 1-2 good feedings a day (meaning nearly or does empty my breast) but throughout the day it's constant snacking. I get impatient sometimes bc i get a tingly itchy feeling inside my breast like it wants my baby to eat more but he doesnt. Not to mention he falls asleep at the breast. We've tried cold cloths, i snap my fingers, changes his diaper (stays awake for 5 min then falls asleep) make funny noises, bought a whistle, even had my husband play his guitar and my mom the tambourine and the harmonica to keep him awake but eventually they all stop working. I'm sure his falling asleep doesnt help but i dont know what else to do. Sometimes i think my baby behaves like this bc i used to eat 4 -5small meals a day (I used to diet b4 pregnancy and then it became a lifestyle). How can i encourage my baby to empty my breast?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: My LO doesnt eat, only "snacks". How to encourage baby to empty breast?

    Have you tried breast compressions while he's nursing? You can squeeze your breasts and get more milk into him... my daughter was sleepy too. We couldn't get her to stay awake nursing for anything for the longest time, so I get the frustration. A whistle sounds kind of scary though... could activate their shutdown reflex which would just make them go to sleep.

    Eventually they wake up. Also, their stomachs are only the size of their fist, so they're not meant to take in a ton at once. Babies are designed to feed frequently.

    Mommy to
    Lilah 10/08 nursed 25 months
    Beatrix 01/11 nursed 30 months

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: My LO doesnt eat, only "snacks". How to encourage baby to empty breast?

    If by "constant snacking" you mean that your baby is eating every 1.5 hours or so (or even more frequently), that's nothing to worry about, since that eating pattern is totally normal and totally healthy. A lot of new moms hear that babies "should" eat large meals every 3-4 hours, and not "snack" in between, and they get freaked out when their babies don't follow that pattern. Think about it this way: when an adult eats 4-5 small meals per day it's healthy, even though it's technically "snacking," right? That sort of pattern- frequent small meals instead of infrequent large ones- is healthy for babies, too.

    As long as the baby is gaining weight well and producing the right amount of wet and poopy diapers (http://www.kellymom.com/bf/supply/enoughmilk-older.html), then he's getting enough to eat even if he doesn't thoroughly empty the breast.

    I'm with the PP that breast compressions are a terrific way to keep a baby alert and interested at the breast!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2010

    Default Re: My LO doesnt eat, only "snacks". How to encourage baby to empty breast?

    At 11 weeks, I rarely feel that she empties my breast and she almost always eats from only one side and refuses to take the second when I offer it. During her awake hours she snacks alot like you're describing. She does eat enough that I'm physically comfortable, though. I usually just let her eat as much as she wants, and if she needs to eat again in 30 minutes I let her. But, it usually ends up being enough. Right now, I'm trying to get her to nap better. So, if I know she's drifting off before she's had enough to get her through at least an hour nap, I run my finger along her ear or jiggle her bottom a little. Nothing big or she'll pull off altogether. Just a little something to wake her up a little.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Ontario, Canada

    Default Re: My LO doesnt eat, only "snacks". How to encourage baby to empty breast?

    I know it can be frustrating, but as long as you've got weight gain and wet / poopy diapers, you're doing fine. As well, it may just be a phase. If they're going through a growth spurt, you'll also encounter cluster feedings which feels like constant snacking. It feels like forever, but it really only lasts a few days.

    One thing that may help is lightly touching their temple, down to their jaw in front of their ear. This triggers the sucking reflex and may get some more into them, even when they're sleepy / sleeping. "Dream nursing" is when they nurse during their sleep.
    Mommy to our DD1 early bird (34 weeks, 2 days, 7lbs, 14oz)! Oct. 2nd, 2008 Emergency C-Section, Frank Breech, HEALTHY Girl!
    Weaned @ 17 months
    Our DD2 early bird (37 weeks, 3 days, 7lbs, 12oz) Aug. 10th, 2010 Our Successful VBAC, growing like a bad weed!
    Weaned @ 15 months
    Our DD3 early bird (37 weeks, 3 days, 7lbs, 6oz) Feb. 16th, 2012 Our 2nd VBAC and lightening speedy birth!

    Loving being a Mom of 3, 40 months apart!!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2010

    Default Re: My LO doesnt eat, only "snacks". How to encourage baby to empty breast?

    I have the same problem with my 4 month old. I have an OALD and the milk comes fast and a lot for the first 6 to 10 minutes. After that she doesn't want to nurse because she doesn't want to work for it. I am looking for any solutions as well!

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