Baby is so difficult to feed

(26 Posts)
spambolina Wed 21-Nov-12 21:00:04

Ok, where to begin! Its a long one!!
Have a gorgeous 4 month old DD who is such a difficult feeder I'm at my wits end. She is fed combination of breast and formula. Had tongue tie which was found by lactose midwife after we were re admitted on day 4. She became colicky at 3weeks, then it seemed to improve and then since about 3 months maybe even more it seemed to get worse, certainly the feeding has become more of an issue: we now have to feed her upright and walking around the house. Having to do this for as soon as we stop or sit down she gets more and more fretful.
I have spd so carrying,walking and feeding can be quite painful.
I try feeding her in bouncy chair and it helps a little but she is clearly uncomfortable: arching, crying, grunting. Was using Infacol but not sure it was doing much. Went to Dr and got some infant gaviscon to try for reflux, well that went down like a ton of bricks, and she refused to take it so can not tell if its reflux or not!

So, not sure what to try next.......

I can hear her tummy or bottom making noises when I'm feeding her and she will pull off the bottle after the first couple of gulps, clearly uncomfortable. She is so windy. So what's happening is she will only feed maybe an ounce at a time, ,then have a bit more in 20 mins, then have a play , then sleep for 30 mins, wake hungry feed a little, take a bit more in another 20 mins etc etc, it continues all day like this. As a result she's a grumpy, fretful thing during the day unless of course she is asleep in the sling on me or someone elses arms then shes happy and content.
Has anyone else had similar problems? Would you recommend gripe water? Change formula? Milk intolerance perhaps? Anyone tried goats milk formula?
Could it still be colic, thought they start to improve around 4months?

Would love to put her more on the breast as she now only takes a feed in the night from the boob. She sleeps thru the night till 4am.

When she was taking more of the boob she was still like this and I was having to walk and breast feed! But this only started around the 3month mark, up until that point we would do usual breast feeding positions. Now she would like the bottle more as I guess it's easier? Anyway, have tried to entice her back to the breast but she not so interested now.

We were using the breastflow bottles to encourage her to stay on the breast, but switched to Dr Browns in the hope that they would help with the colic, yet she is still little Miss Windy Pups!
Help!

Right, can type now, about to have dinner, will be back with some advice - I was in a similar situation!

shouldIbecrossaboutthis Wed 21-Nov-12 21:18:46

how much sleep does she have during the day and how long is she awake for?

Have you tried baby massage?

What did they do about the tongue tie? Did they snip it? The reason I ask is that many of the symptoms you describe (windy, unhappy, colicy, snacking at the breast or bottle, symptoms of reflux) are associated with tongue tied babies.

Handsfulloffun Wed 21-Nov-12 21:34:21

One of my dt's did this, he had silent reflux. Gaviscon helped and tilting his mattress.

Iggly Wed 21-Nov-12 21:39:27

Did you get the tie snipped?

Ok, start with baby massage, it seems to me that she needs to empty her stomach, whether that's poo or wind. Get a nice warm (old!) towel, make sure the room is nice and warm. Lay her down, naked if possible, some babies find it easier to poo/fart with no nappy on. Use baby lotion/oil. I like to use massage bars from Lush, but use whatever you've got. Try to keep eye contact, and maybe sing a little song as you go.

1 - Oil your hands, rub them together, so the oil warms up
2 - Using the flat of your hands, starting at her chest, rub in a downward motion towards her belly button. Use both hands in a steady motion. Repeat for about 30 seconds.
3 - Push her knees gently into her chest, she should make a straining type noise. Repeat about 5 or 6 times.
4 - With the flat of your hand again rub in a 'rainbow' shape over her belly button, from your left to right. Repeat for about 30 seconds.
5 - Legs into her chest again.
6 - Hold her left shoulder, and her opposite knee, bring them together. Repeat a couple of times both sides.

Warning!! If she's really bunged up, she may just explode! So make sure you're wearing something you don't mind getting covered in poo!! Do this 2 or 3 times a day if possible. A warm bath, putting a warm wet flannel on her stomach will help too. You can also get a warm wet flannel and very gently rub round her anus. Don't stick it in though!
Every time you change her nappy, push her knees gently up to her chest, this will help with her stomach too.

She also needs to take bigger feeds, and to stop snacking. What's the longest that she she sleeps? Will she sleep in the car/buggy? She should really be feeding about every 3 hours. Are you sure she is hungry when you feed her?

Gaviscon can make babies very constipated, how much is she having at a time and how often? I used to put the Gaviscon in with the formula feed, and then add an extra ounce of water. I was told to give mine the Gaviscon at every feed, but this really bunged him up, and he would often scream in pain while pooing.

ThreeWheelsGood Thu 22-Nov-12 08:56:20

Thanks for the baby massage guide VisualiseAHorse - very useful

ChestnutsRoastingonaWitchesTit Thu 22-Nov-12 09:00:37

Does she still have the tongue tie?
Even if snipped, a troublesome one can re-attach or may not be fully snipped.

Get the tongue tie dealt with and you will find her less windy, a tongue tie prevents proper movement of the tongue whose job it is to move food to throat and aid swallowing, therefore, she is swallowing air!

You may still have residual problems because the tongue is a muscle and hasnt been getting a proper workout, so has been made weak. 4 months is a long time for the tongue to be stuck

stargirl1701 Thu 22-Nov-12 09:09:43

My LO (11 weeks) is the same.

We have had some success with tilting the crib. We recently were prescribed Ranitadine for silent reflux which seems to be working.

Good luck OP. It's horrible to be struggling to feed.

Iggly Thu 22-Nov-12 13:07:08

You can't tackle the feeding issues without being sure the tie is gone

spambolina Thu 22-Nov-12 14:30:31

Yes tie was snipped on day 5, but didn't know they can reattach so will try to have a look. Will try the massage, we do something similar when she's feeding in boucy chair and does help a little.
We did try the gav but she refused to take it either on its own or in bottle so had to rule that out!!
She has 30 min sleeps about 4 or 5 times a day but will sleep thru night from 8- 4am.
Poor little mite, hate seeing her so unhappy.

thehumanegg Thu 22-Nov-12 20:28:55

Sounds like you're in the process of eliminating various causes so might be worth another go at eliminating reflux. Your GP might give you something else to try like ranitadine - at least you'd quickly see if that's been the problem. Mine was similar and diagnosed with reflux, though the gaviscon worked for her. I've heard it gets worse around the stage you're at. I'm no expert but I wouldn't have thought of wind as always a cause for concern - only because my DD (same age) farts all day especially in company but seems happy about it.
Hope it gets better, my DD still acts in a similar way now and again and have on occasion resorted to the walking round and feeding, must be exhausting as a regular occurrence.

How much does she take when she wakes at 4am? You need to get her to take a big feed then, and then wait a couple of hours before you offer another one.

Have you tried the Gaviscon with both formula and breastmilk?

(sorry for all the questions!)

narmada Fri 23-Nov-12 20:53:51

OK, I would say the advice about 'getting her to take a big feed' is probably barking up the wrong tree - sorry visualiseAHorse don't mean to offend but I also had one like this who had three inter-related problems:

Tongue tie (posterior, very hard to spot)
Milk allergy
Reflux

If she has either of the second two of these the absolute worst thing that can be done is trying to get her to have large amounts of milk in one sitting. CHildren with cow's milk allergy cannot shift milk through their digestive system effectively; large volumes with reflux will result in regurgitation, either internally (silent) or overt ('traditional') reflux.

It is extremely common for babies with reflux to only want to feed in motion/ while distracted/ while sleepy.

What made the difference was a) tongue tie division; b) elimination of non-hydrolysed milk protein from his diet via using a special prescription formula c) some fairly intensive drugs - lansoprazole at max dose and lastly, a referral to a feeding specialist to deal with the bottle/ breast wrestling issues.

narmada Fri 23-Nov-12 20:54:39

What made the difference to my DS, I meant. Oops!

narmada Fri 23-Nov-12 20:57:03

OH, and lastly, DS's symptoms were at their absolute worst around 4 months, which is not a surprise as it's when they need the highest volume of milk if being bottle-fed formula.

narmarda - you are right. Tongue-tie, allergies and reflux all need to be looked at first.
I should have typed something along the lines of 'if you think snacking is the problem causing wind etc, a big feed would be better, as her stomach is constantly working if she's snacking. If she can take one big feed, then you can wait a couple of hours till the next feed'

Thank you for pulling me up on that one!

batteryhen Fri 23-Nov-12 23:07:35

My DS was like this. I have just been through 2 weeks of hell when feeding. I started a thread on it. I was prescribed gaviscon too, thought he had silent reflux etc. However, my GP wanted to send off a urine sample and lo and behold it came back positive. He is now on ABS.

The symptoms of a urine infection are screaming and refusing food. It might be something to ask your GP about? X

spambolina Wed 28-Nov-12 11:03:49

Well thanks for all your suggestions, we have had 4 easier days at last, we changed to a different comfort formula and give gripe water every feed as well as moving he feet around up to her tummy whilst she is feeding in the bouncy chair and this seems to be making a big difference, and bless her she is more content, relaxed and happy and even fell asleep in her chair the other day. She still has a bit of reflux but definitely better than it was. Still keep her upright to feed and for a while after her feeds. Even doing more than one poo a day!!
Tongue tie is as it was, snipped. She wouldn't take gav in bottle or after breast but seeing as though we have an improvement I will continue with new formula and gripe........fingers crossed!! It won't be long till weaning starts! Have heard the helps with colicky, reflux babies. I'll let you know!

I mentioned 'silent reflux' to my doctor, who looked at me as if I was mad. Reflux is reflux she said. She also explained that all babies are born slightly milk intolerant as they a born without the enzymes to help break it down. In other words, unless theres other signs that your baby is allergic to cows milk I.e skin rashes etc then get on with it and it WILL get better.

EMS23 Wed 28-Nov-12 11:11:24

DD1 was a difficult feeder from 8 weeks on, peaking at 11weeks when I finally saw a great doctor at my surgery who prescribed Nutramigen. It was an instant cure for my DD.
She was suffering silent reflux caused by the intolerance. At 1yr old she went onto cows milk and has been fine with dairy since.

The doctor who told you silent reflux doesn't exist, is wrong IMHO. I'm not a doctor but it most definitely does bloody exist!

narmada Wed 28-Nov-12 16:31:50

spambolina I am really glad you are having better times.

But....your gp is talking bolleaux as you clearly suspect. Beware the GP who 'looks at you like you are mad' grin. I am glad you are having some better luck though.

Babies may take a while to crank up lactase production after birth, but that is nothing to do with milk intolerance. Milk intolerance is intolerance to milk protein, not lactose.

Skin symptoms are not necessarily present in all cases of milk intolerance and their absence is not a reason for doing nothing and sitting it out. Gah! My son had no skin symptoms but refused to feed and developed colitis - neither of which are trivial, surely. Honestly, some GPs.......

Incidentally, some comfort milks have the milk proteins partially broken down and hence they might be of benefit to babies with some degree of protein intolerance. Gripe water contains an alkali which can act to neutralise excess stomach acid IIRC.

Small hijack...VisualiseAHorse that massage is magic! Didn't have to open the bag of prunes after all! grin

spambolina Wed 28-Nov-12 20:32:38

Narmada, can you clarify IIRC?
Yep, although I respect my GP who has always been brill, you do kinda get the feeling that GPs in general are thinking, here comes another overly neurotic mother! If gripe and formula start to fail then might go and ask for some ranitidine. Did you find that things got a lot easier when you weaned DS? And did you try early weaning?
You know I look forward to the middle of the night feed when she is asleep because she feeds so peacefully, no struggling, no crying no arching, it's blissfully still.
VisualiseAHorse, great massage.

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