4 wo sucking constantly - so close to giving up right now

(19 Posts)
apachepony Tue 05-Feb-13 23:59:12

He's been on the boob constantly - not a break without screaming - for past 3 hours. Don't think it's growth spurt as he had that last week. In general he seems to want the breast a lot - I think at least some of it is pure comfort sucki g and not sure I want to be a human dummy! Am exhausted - bad night last night and tonight shaping up to be worse - he won't stop sucking for a minute and doesn't seem sleepy. He has barely slept all day. So close to giving him a bottle of formula!

redandwhitesprinkles Wed 06-Feb-13 00:08:52

I ebf mine. Dd had dummy from 8 weeks, ds from day 2. No nipple confusion. I went down this route rather than formula (but wasn't against it either).

Do what is best for you and your family.

Ps no probs giving up dummy at 14 months. Ds still has his at 10 but not really that fussed by it.

apachepony Wed 06-Feb-13 00:11:02

I let my mum and dh give him a dummy last week - he spat it out, doubt he would take it tonight

thelittlestkiwi Wed 06-Feb-13 00:19:08

Is he gulping occasionally? If not he may be sucking for comfort not food. Try a finger or the dummy again? DD had one from day 1 in hospital as Mw said she was a very sucky baby. No problems with confusion for her.

Hang in there.

apachepony Wed 06-Feb-13 00:26:11

I might try dummy again. Not concerned about confusion - baba had to have bottle supplements early on and caused no confusion - but would worry that it might affect supply? I'm a bit worried about my supply - I've never leaked, can barely express and am concerned this is why he sucks so much - might a dummy affect supply?

Tortoiseonthehalfshell Wed 06-Feb-13 00:29:33

No, a dummy can't affect supply.

Four week olds do just do this. I mean, I know it's awful, but it's short-lived. You won't be a 'human dummy' (and of course, a dummy is a plastic nipple - it's the substitute, not you!) forever. It's cluster feeding, it's really standard in the evening.

Is he having plenty of wet/dirty nappies? That's the thing to look for, don't worry about whether you can express. I know that when they cluster feed like that, it can feel like you don't have enough, but it's rarely the case.

louisianablue2000 Wed 06-Feb-13 00:38:57

He's four weeks old and will still be building up your supply and perfecting his technique. In about two weeks it will suddenly seem a lot easier. Is he your first? In which case get to bed and stay there with him for the next day and get some rest. Eat some ready meals or get your OH or Mum to cook for you. Lots of chocolate is an essential!

It might be a growth spurt, it might be he's got a bit of a cold and a sore throat, or he just wants the comfort of being close to you. There are days when BFing is exhausting but it does get better, I promise. But make sure you rest and treat BFing like a full time job for now.

thompson369 Wed 06-Feb-13 07:42:06

My dd was like this at 4 weeks and it is tough - she is now nearly 6 weeks and it's so much easier and enjoyable. If you can stick at it that bit longer you'll probably find things improve. It's hard though when it's late at night and you're tired. I did give a little formula on a few nights and my little one did seem to settle better, I appreciate that goes against some guidance but I feel it helped us at the time. Good luck and well done for getting this far.

apachepony Wed 06-Feb-13 08:24:05

Well he slept for a 2 and half hour stretch at one point but the rest of the time he has been attached to my boob. He has never been this bad before, not when we stopped the formula and he was trying to build up supply, not at the 3 week growth spurt. I thought I was doing really well when we got over those, and my mum thinking I hadn't enough milk, to see him gaining weight well only for this to happen! It's possible he's caught a cold (again! He caught one for a week from me when he was just a week old which is when we went cold turkey on the formula as it seemed to be bringing it back up) as I'm a bit sniffly (been a bit weak the last few days following a brief upset tummy and lack of sleep) and I think I hear a catch in his breath. All the same I think we will have to try a bottle of formula tonight if this continues cos I really need to try to get some sleep...

ThreeWheelsGood Wed 06-Feb-13 08:51:47

Evenings are generally when newborns cluster feed. It's exhausting. Try and nap earlier in the day, either afternoon when baby sleeps or an hour or so when your partner gets home, and be mentally prepared for it. It's such really days - all you need to focus on is feeding and rest. It will get better! In a couple of weeks baby still be smiling and more interactive. Do what's best for you, but bear in mind breastfeeding is not just food - it's comfort - and all the sucking will be adjusting your supply, if you supplement with too many bottle feeds your supply will be affected. Keep at it, good luck!

WutheringTights Wed 06-Feb-13 09:46:14

I had one night like this at about three weeks (lucky, I know). By about 2am I was crying with exhaustion and sore nipples. DH took DS away (to a different room) for a bit to give me a break - he decided that DS screaming for half an hour so I could rest was better that me having a meltdown. Ten minutes later DS was fast asleep and slept for three hours. I was then much more relaxed and better able to feed him.

Maybe he wants comfort and associates you with milk so that's how he gets his comfort. Could you hand your DS over to someone else for an hour? Even if he cries for the whole hour he will be fine and you'll be better able to look after him if you've had a break.

apachepony Wed 06-Feb-13 12:44:32

God, he's a different baby in the mornings! So much more relaxed. Although a v clingy baby - hoping to get a sling in the next few days so I can at least eat! Dh helps out a bit but can't really do much when I'm breastfeeding.

SanneSannes Wed 06-Feb-13 14:15:40

Your DS sounds very much like my DC2. She was feeding practically non stop the first 10 weeks of her life and seemed to be completely addicted to my boob. As soon as i took her off she just screamed inconsolably... I'm sure lots of it was for comfort and not hunger (didn't take a dummy either). It is very exhausting, and i remember i was in shock as DC1 was not like that at all-but i promise you it gets better!!! She is now 4 mo, not at all clingy anymore but wonderful cuddly and smily. I really think she just needed to get a massive comfort boost in her first weeks to figure out that life with us is actually ok. If he is your only child, try to get as much rest as you can with him by taking him into bed with you during the day (and night if co-sleeping works for you). experiment with feeding positions which give you a rest AND provide maximum comfort to baby-eg feed him lying down or laid-back (google biological nurturing). I also went into bath tub with DD, gave her lots of skin to skin which calmed her down a lot. Plus all of the above will help you boost your supply as well. Hope this helps, honestly i know how hard this is but it will get better!!

SanneSannes Wed 06-Feb-13 14:18:51

And yes, a sling saved my life (especially as had to run after 2 yo DC1 as well...). In fact i have two-i find the babasling great if i need to be able to put sling on in seconds, and the Bondolino as a sturdier sling which seemed to be best for my back.

SanneSannes Wed 06-Feb-13 14:22:16

Sorry-one more comment regarding supply: neither leaking nor the amounts that you express are good indicators for your actual supply. Keep a close eye on your baby's weight gain and that will tell you whether he is getting enough milk.

apachepony Wed 06-Feb-13 16:32:51

Thanks sanne. We're already co-sleeping and feeding lying down - a great help tho one difficulty is I can't deeply sleep as I've read about the potential risks and worry about the duvet etc. and he won't easily sleep in bed in daytime - seems happiest falling asleep on my lap while I watch tv with one watchful half open eye and little hand making sure I don't move. He may want comfort given he was sick with jaundice then cold for first 2 weeks of his life. I feel totally zapped though!

OrchidFlakes Wed 06-Feb-13 18:00:55

My DS was like this clocking up insane hours (8, 12...16!!!) BUT by 6 weeks it all shifted to 20 mins ish every couple of hours. Hang in there if you can xx

apachepony Thu 07-Feb-13 07:34:12

Another night with absolutely constant sucking apart from maybe one hour sleeping. Now he's lying here cooing at me and I'm in bits. He slept for a max of about 50 mins yesterday, always lying on me. This can't be normal! Will try to hang in another day before trying formula, but this is tough - my cold is getting worse as well. Not sure if he has the cold, don't think so

SanneSannes Thu 07-Feb-13 09:20:13

Poor you!! You must be shattered, especially if you also have a cold! At 4 weeks babies cannot yet distinguish between day and night which doesn't make things easier. It is very common that babies of that age will only sleep on you for comfort reason, and want to bf constantly for comfort reason, so formula is unlikely to do the trick im afraid. On a positive note, all this sucking will get you a great bm supply!

Hang in there, it will really pass and it is pretty usual behaviour for a baby of that age (sorry-must admit i was ready to kill when people said that to me whilst i was so sleep deprived that I was halucinating!) I think the more comfort you give him now, the earlier he will realise that life on earth is just fine and will need less of comfort from your boob going forward.

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