frantic rooting

(18 Posts)
clarriethefink Wed 06-Nov-13 15:12:02

Hi there, I'm a new mum. Have 2 wk old DS, so everything is very new to me. I am breastfeeding but finding it very difficult, but persevering at the moment as it is finally getting less painful. However my DS is feeding all the time, during the day every 2 hours. Between feeds though, he does not settle and frantically roots for my breast and screams. He strains his neck and shakes his head from side to side, sucking his hands etc. This gets worse in the evenings and we have had alot of sleepless nights as this can carry on from 8pm - 2/3am (we manage to walk him to sleep ny then). We are worn out. nothing seems to settle him. I'm bringing him for as many pram walks as possible to settle him but finding the time to do that is difficult. Would anyone know what may be the problem or if there is anything we can do to settle and calm him. It is getting me very stressed and upset seeing him as if he is in agony.
please help!
thanks so much

mumofboyo Wed 06-Nov-13 16:01:25

Have you tried a dummy? Sorry, I know next to nothing about bf (mine Ff) but I remember my dd was very 'sucky' in the first few weeks; she wanted to have the bottle constantly in her mouth but wasn't actually drinking any milk. After a few days we tried with a dummy (tried a few types of dummy) and she seemed a lit more settled.
Babies get comfort from sucking, perhaps that's what your ds us trying to do?

mumofboyo Wed 06-Nov-13 16:03:06

Either that or make sure he's properly winded and isn't struggling with something like reflux or trapped wind or anything.

NorthEasterlyGale Wed 06-Nov-13 16:20:58

If you don't have a dummy to hand, try letting him suck on your little finger (clean with a short nail, obviously!) or a finger joint. Not a long-term solution, but will give your boobs a bit of a break if he's just looking for comfort!

My DS was similar - fed anywhere between every 40mins and couple of hours for weeks, if not months (I've got all the feeding records somewhere but can't bring myself to look at them). Spend loads of time having skin to skin contact with him and he would only sleep on me or DH for the first few weeks; think it might have been a silent reflux issue or something as he preferred being slightly upright. We also used Infacol as he was quite windy - not sure if it helped, but at least we felt like we were doing something. Evenings ('Arsenic Hour') were indeed worse. We introduced a 'Ewan the Dreamsheep' and a lovey as early as we could so he could develop comfort items other than us - he still uses them now at 17 months, so that paid off.

It's the hardest thing I've ever done. But it does get better. Not that I believed anyone that told me that, when I was sleep deprived, sobbing and utterly at the end of my tether grin

As DS2 is due in 16 weeks, I'm trying to block all this out...<wibble>

NewJewels Wed 06-Nov-13 16:35:11

OP are you 'ending' his feeds or is he?

I find my LO (just a few weeks older than yours and already sooo much easier, I can't believe how much more sleep we get now - hang in there with the bf!) settles much better if I allow the sucking to decrease gradually until baby releases latch.

They do sometimes suck a lot to increase supply/because they are having a growth spurt. We still have odd days where I only get a chance to change a nappy or two between feeds.

Agree about trying different positions for winding.

I only found that the finger thing (like dummy) worked as an emergency temporary substitute for food when there was nowhere I could sit. Baby would rather have you :-)

feed him more?

it will lessen eventually but at the start it is all about the milk. I always think that they used to have 24/7 supplies so now anything less than that is a lot less.

Sammie101 Wed 06-Nov-13 16:52:05

My DD is similar, she absolutely loves her dummy. But it has the be the RIGHT dummy. She won't go for the nice new ones we bought her, it has to be the same one everytime!

I know people say don't give them a dummy until they're about 6 weeks because it may cause nipple confusion, but for my sanity she had a dummy after 2 weeks and it gives us both a break!

Yodeleeiay Wed 06-Nov-13 17:00:41

Poor you, those first few weeks are just a blur to me now but I was always grateful to my MIL (a midwife) for warning you might not even get a chance to run a comb through you hair some days. Then if I managed a shower and hair wash I felt great!
If he's rooting it sounds like he's hungry. Like newjewels said maybe sucking more to increase milk supply. Dd def was feeding more often than every 2 hours at 2 weeks. She also screamed a lot. In the end I had her strapped to me in a sling most the time and that eased her pain, being upright and having pressure on her tummy perhaps. I'm glad to hear the bf is getting better, it will get less painful... Congratulations on your new baby too!

mustardtomango Wed 06-Nov-13 17:44:54

Hi clarrie, my lo is 3 weeks and often does this too... Esp noticeable when he's fallen asleep on the boob, then been woken for something, he's then just looking for reassurance I'm sure.

Not great on the arms or getting anything done, but following his lead is giving me a more peaceful life than I might have otherwise I think.

ZuleikaD Wed 06-Nov-13 18:38:58

Yes, feed him more - don't imagine that feeds need to be a set distance apart. If he's rooting, stick a nipple in!

ziggiestardust Wed 06-Nov-13 18:55:16

Sucking is one of their few real pleasures at this age! I'd go for a dummy tbh and see how that goes. Try a different variety of shapes and sizes; we found he got more comfort from the larger ones, rather than the recommended flat ones. He'd suck away and just spit it out when he'd finished. He also gave it up himself about 7 months, when he'd worked out the food thing!

tiktok Wed 06-Nov-13 20:45:17

2 week old babies often want to be on or near the breast a lot of the time - perfectly normal. It;s a lot easier to respond to the rooting by feeding, than walking him to sleep or getting stressed smile

Just feed him. This stage won't last for long.
He doesn;t need a dummy - just you smile

Melonbreath Thu 07-Nov-13 08:58:41

Normal normal normal
At 2 weeks dd was permanently attached to my boob. At 3 weeks she was permanently attached from 3pm to 8pm. At 6 to 8 weeks she dropped the cluster feeding in the evening and went 3 hours between feeds.
Hang on in there.
The early days are exhausting, bewildering and confusing.
He's only been out 2 weeks and has figured boob=survival, it's a scary world out there when you're a defenceless little bundle!
He will sort himself out in his own time

Tailtwister Thu 07-Nov-13 09:35:48

Both mine fed almost constantly during the first few weeks. I would try putting him back on the breast as see what he does. If it's trapped wind he'll not settle back into a feed, if he's hungry he'll settle.

MILLYMOLLYMANDYMAX Thu 07-Nov-13 09:52:43

Dd could breast feed for 12 hours at a time for the first few weeks. She would have little naps but still be latched on. If i tried to move her she would start feeding again. It is exhausting and she would only sleep for at the most 2 hours at night for the first 8 weeks i was like the walking dead. But then all of a sudden at 9 weeks she suddenly slept for 6 hours straight. 12-6am. Never appreciated sleep so much.

clarriethefink Thu 07-Nov-13 21:40:54

Thanks everyone for all your answers and reassurance, i've been following his lead and feeding/comforting when he wants, he's still having moments but i'm not letting it stress nme out as much anymore. some days are better than others but we tried two different soothers and he was having none of it, he'll suck on a finger for a minute or two though. we'll just keep in mind that his current behavior is only temporary.
Once again thank you all for the kind words of support and advice smile

SquidgersMummy Fri 08-Nov-13 20:10:41

Hi - just to say have you tried the breast and bottle feeding board - some really great support there for breastfeeding. Lots of sucking and snoozing on the boob all normal...the 4th trimester I think they call it...enjoy all the snuggles, being latched on and close is all your baby wants (though can be good for you to get a break too!) good luck and congrats xxx

lolalotta Fri 08-Nov-13 20:26:49

When my DD shakes her head like that it is wind.

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