Feeding every 2 hours still at 8 weeks. This can't be normal can it?(24 Posts)
My DS is nearly 8 weeks old and has been BF throughout apart from 3 or 4 bottles of formula in first 2 weeks.
He feeds like this: 80 minutes or so at about 6am, 45 mins at 8/9, 45 mins at 10/11 then I usually get a complete break until 2pm (60 mins), 4pm, then into the evening cluster of every 90mins until he finally takes a full feed and conks out usually between 10 and 11, sometimes later. He then goes a full 4 hours, feeds for about half an hour, and is up again once more before the 6am epic.
He rarely sleeps in the afternoon longer than a few minutes unless I let him sleep on me- if I put him down he'll wake within 20 minutes usually to be sick.
In the evenings I end up endlessly swapping boobs, winding and mopping up sick while he fights it but cries straight away for food if removed for more than ten minutes.
I'm exhausted, DP is hacked off, and DS is sick an awful lot- my clothes are usually soaked by the time DP gets home.
Is this normal to be feeding and overfeeding so much? O thought it would have been less frequentand for less dduration by now. He had a growth spurt 10 days ago (night feeds every hour for 4 days) so it can't be that.
Any ideas when this might calm down? I dread leaving the house because I know he'll be hungry again soon.
Sounds fairly normal to me. However, might be worth getting a breastfeeding supporter to check latch / attachment, just to make sure he is getting milk efficiently.
How is he during the actual feeds? Some of his feeds are quite long - is that because he's unhappy/pulling away then crying and going back on, or just because he's slow?
Is he sick only when laid down, or during/straight after feeds?
How is his poo? Is it really runny, rather than pasty? Does he have a lot of wind and does it seem to distress him before passing it?
Does he have any hives, especially on his face and chest/belly, or bad cradle cap?
My son had all these symptoms - constantly wanting to feed, sometimes taking up to 2 hours before finishing, but being unhappy when finished; not able to lay down without being sick; only really getting one 'long' sleep each day when the exhaustion overtook him, from around 5/6pm for about 4/5 hours....turned out he is allergic to cow's milk and was reacting to the proteins coming through my breast milk.
Could also be reflux? If it's been like it for a while, then his oesophagus could be inflamed so it will be uncomfortable for him to feed, but obviously hunger will make him want to feed so it can be quite an unhappy, prolonged activity for him.
Could be tongue tie?
Mine fed 2 hourly for about 6 months. I am not sure he needed it tbh but always took it!
2 hourly is pretty normal for a breastfed baby.
The duration of some of the feeds sounds a bit long though. Has he been checked for tongue tie? You might need to find a specialist for this as HVs don't really know what they're looking for.
Yes, I wondered about tongue too. Could explain some of the mammoth feeds. How do your nipples feel during and after feed? Definitely worth seeing a breastfeeding supporter.
Still, the feeding you describe is well within normal.
There is a difference between actual feeding and sucking for comfort. If he is feeding efficiently, he should be done in around 5-10 mins. You can tell they are drinking and swallowing as they do long sucks with pauses when the mouth is open, there are videos that will show you this. After a feed many babies are quite content to carry on sucking for comfort and it sounds like this might be what is happening.
Both my children fed every hour and a half to two hours for months! They only have little bellies so only take a small amount. The actual feed itself lasted for 5mins, after that I was a dummy! Sometimes I left them to it and just enjoyed the cuddle, other times it wasn't practical so I would insert my little finger into the corner of their mouths to break the suction. Sometimes the comfort sucking would trigger another let down and they would have another feed.
Evenings are always tricky op, this is when they like to cluster feed as your milk supply would have decreased towards the end of the day so by baby suckling often on an emptied breast he is sending signals to your body to produce more milk. It works beautifully. He's just putting in his demand, your supply will catch up if it's not interrupted by bottle feeds. Also your milk will be thicker and more satisfying in the evening therefore filling him up for the longer night stretch. He may also be going through a growth spurt so allow him access to you as much as he wants. I know it's hard as you feel like you never get a minutes peace but it does get easier and if you plonk yourself down in front of the tv with everything you need at your disposal, snacks, drinks and remote plus bibs, wipes/muslins it can 've quite relaxing. It does pass.
It would be worth getting seen by a bfc just to make sure that he is latched on properly and getting enough milk but from experience it can be intense and he's still only little. Get passed this stage and it is a piece of piss!
5-10 minutes sounds pretty short to me. I don't think it is the case that all babies feed properly for 5-10 minutes and then just comfort suckle - lots of breastfed babies have a pattern of breaks, pauses, swapping sides etc during a feed.
I agree with what thebreastmilksonme but ONLY if your baby is perfectly happy during these mammoth feeds - if he is distressed during feeding though it would indicate that it's not just comfort sucking.
Generally he's quite happy when he feeds apart from in the afternoon/evening when he gets boob rage and will latch, have 2/3 minutes then start fussing and thrashing about. I generally wind him then switch sides ad nauseum.
He's often sick when he lies down, or will splutter and choke- raising the head of his moses basket made a huge difference to night wakings.
He sometimes stops feeding after 15-20 minutes and pull a pucker face. If I wind him he usually throws up. If I encourage him to latch back on he will, reluctantly, but will then spectacularly sick up. When he grizzles and is hoisted onto a shoulder or sat up, he can be very sick - big cheesy curds and sometimes mucus.
He does have a bumpy rash that started near his eyes and spread over face and gradually down to his chest and arms. It doesn't seem to bother him but looks bad. He's had it for about 6 weeks and gp just said it was a 'reaction to the outside world'.
I did wonder about an allergy. We have our '6'week check this Friday so will ask then...
Will also try and get back to the breastfeeding group this week to ask about tt. Thanks for all the input so far!
Sounds like it could be allergy. I didn't want to say so when I read your op because my ds1 has severe allergies and I worry that I see allergy everywhere. But you should definitely speak to your hv. Your little one sounds a lot like mine at the same age. Fussy, refluxy and sick. . But it's the rash and mucous that are ringing alarm bells with me. Does he have any eczema or cradle cap? What are his nappies like?
Definitely speak to your hv and/or gp and also post on the Mumsnet allergy board (those lovely ladies hsve helped me so much).
Hopefully it's not allergy, and even if it is this id manageable. But please do check it out.
Sorry, that sounded really scare mongery! Don't worry, this can be sorted, even if your gorgeous little baby does have allergies. And, as I posted earlier, the frequent feeds are well within normal.
DS1 did this, actually he only started going 2hrs between feeds at 9weeks.
It didn't hurt, and his weight gain was ok, but only just.
Years later, I find he's tongue tied. Definitely worth getting it checked by someone who knows what they are doing. That will probably not be your HV or GP. Seek out someone who can spot a posterior tie.
Ties can cause a lot of air to be swallowed down which can come up and bring milk with it.
Sounds v normal. Ds1 fed every 2 hours 24/7 until he was 10mos.
Thanks all... his weight gain is pretty immense - up 4lbs on birth weight by 6 weeks (health visitor didn't believe he was 'only' that age) to nearly 12lbs.
Nappies- we get plenty of wet ones but he tends to save up number twos to huge, very runny blowouts every 24-36 hours. Usually light brown or dark yellow in colour, very occasionally we get a green one but that's usually 1 of a cluster of 3, the other two being fine (god my life has become spectacularly dull).
Re feeding v sucking- he seems to actually feed for 25 minutes maybe less, sometimes more, but will then close his eyes but stay attached and keep suckling in the hind milk fashion for 30 plus minutes. When he actually falls asleep he delatches. If he's disrupted in this phase he's full enough to not show hunger signs, but will want feeding quicker than if I'd left him to it.
Swapping sides less often could help. Babies are trying to get a certain amount of calories from each feed. The initial milk is high volume, low calorie. Once the breast is emptier the milk has more calories. If you swap sides frequently baby can need a large amount of milk before they've had the calories they require. This can cause them to be sick and fussy as they've got more milk in them than their wee tummies can cope with.
Have a look on kellymom.com and see if any of the articles on fussiness sound like your baby.
Thanks jolly will have a look on there. Almost the only time that I swap him is in the evening and then only if he's thrashing about - it's similar to the rare occasions when he seems to finish one boob but still roots, which is when I switch and that seems to work. Otherwise he'll tend to feed off just one boob (and fall asleep).
A lot of this sounds 'normal' even after 8 weeks. How does anyone get anything done? No wonder people switch to formula...
There are a few signs there that point to an allergy - I would go to the GP and see if you can get a referral to your Peads department at hospital. My GP wasn't interested even when I said my son was doing 8-10 liquid poos every day and just said "as long as he's not constipated that's the main thing".
We had no idea a BF baby could have allergy so hadn't mentioned it before our referral - it was when the Paed saw our video of our son breathing like a 90 year old with pneumonia and saw the rash (non-itchy) on his face and chest that he said it looked like CMA.
Did you try cranial osteopathy? Some babies have a high need to suck and this can be from birth trauma. DS3 was similar and used to overfeed and then throw up, due to my high supply.
It took a long time for him to stop feeding so much. The nighttime cluster feeding used to start at 4pm, til about 11. Then it just got a little bit later.
How are you doing feeding in public? That's the great thing about breastfeeding, you can go out without worrying when the next feed is as its always on tap
This sounds a bit like my sisters baby and she put it down to colic and I kept saying are you sure its not reflux - turned out it was reflux so it could just be that. In the mean time have you tried infacol? And if you do have a bf group near by try going every week I did and it really gave me the confidence to feed in public and gave me a bit of time to socialise with all the ladies that went. . I hope it goes well and it does not sound like your baby is sleeping too badly either. Good luck op.
Sounds like reflux to me. Dd was very similar (but shorter feeds with shorter gaps between, think hourly, and for 15 mins at a time. They want to feed a lot as the milk soothes the soreness from the acid. Dd also had high weight gain (had gained 3 oz from birth weight when weighed at 5 days, was up 1lb by 10 days) my first had reflux so I knew the signs and went to the gp who prescribed ranitidine at 7 weeks. There was a spectacular improvement within a week and she was rarely sick after that, weight gain normalised too, and feeding settled to 2.5-3 hourly. She is now 7months and still on ranitidine, and I really know about it if I forget a dose!
Crosses fingers for miracle reflux cure. Will pursue at gp on Friday.
Will also look into cranial osteopathy again- looked before but DP dismissed it as 'mumbo jumbo bollocks' and said no. As DS is otherwise fairly placid I didn't push it despite forcep delivery.
It wouldn't do any harm would it?
Congrats on your DS! I had a DS too and was just looking here for similar advice so was reading your thread with interest. I had to give up BF due to really bad tongue tie which wasn't diagnosed until 3 weeks (snipped at 4) by which time my nipples were ruined. Anyhow just to say that I have the same constant feeds and need to suck. He has put on a similar amount of weight to yours too and that is why the tongue tie wasn't picked up sooner so Id definitely get that checked. We have also been going to cranial osteopathy and I would recommend it. DS was very tight on his right and had a locked jaw which she released. It's not a miracle cure but will eliminate any issues like that (especially if you had forceps (us too)). Id try and get a recommendation for one and they normally say they will do x no of treatments up front so you know what your paying for! Hope things get better soon xxx
Hi Almond! Sorry, thread dropped off my threads. Congrats on your DS too!
Sorry you had a tricky time of it. This baby lark is so much more complicated than people make out!
Interesting about yours being very sucky too. Will definitely look up the cranial osteopathy route.
Bizarrely, things have improved loads this week. He seems to be feeding more efficiently and slightly less often. He's also settled himself to sleep a couple of times (accidentally on my behalf - once I just put him inhis pram to put the dishwasher on and came back and he'd nodded off), is less fussy in the evening and is sleeping better at night too.
The only thing that's changed is I've got a carrier and he's been sleeping in that while we've been out.
Totally weird but fingers crossed it's not a fluke! Hope things pick up for you too x
Join the discussion
Please login first.