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Feeding and napping mess

(12 Posts)
hayleygi Wed 26-Feb-14 10:43:31


My baby is just over 6 weeks old and we have had a fair few challenges regarding feeding and sleeping so far. Baby was constantly feeding on me from morning to night, fussing at breast and generally screaming the house down as she was never satisfied. I have mentioned this to various health professionals over the weeks and as you would expect got the responses of growth spurt, boosting your supply etc. My mum came to stay with me and noticed baby behaviour (the constant screaming, being attached to me for 18 hours, noone else being able to hold her including dad) and also thought that this was not quite normal, we went to docs who thought it might be reflux and gave gaviscon (we have since stopped using as don't think that is a problem).

Things were continuing to be bad so i contacted a lactation consultant who came and witnessed a feed and She also asked on babys weight gain, which at last weigh in was 13g a day, she thought i had a low supply issue and slow letdown. She gave some advise on feeding, breast compressions and topping up with formula if required due to the slow weight gain. We tried this for a day or so but the only feed i could satisfy baby was first thing in the morning then we would have to top up with a bottle, baby would scream the house down with the bottle but get slightly better with it as day went on. in fact in between feeds she was a much happier baby in general.

Me and my husband made the decision to try to give baby bottles in day and breastfeed first thing in morning and last thing at night however baby has other ideas. Due to the above all she has known is being attached to my breast and is constantly looking to go there. She can't nap without being on my breast and is desperate for it when giving a bottle. We made the mistake of going cold turkey during the day yesterday as she has been topped up at every feed for a few days before anyway. The first bottle took an hour of crying and calming before she would take it then other bottles took between 5-30 minutes to give. We then gave her breast at night. During the day she would also not settle for a nap. I think she needs the comfort of my breast to get to sleep as that is all she has known for 6 weeks.

This morning i breast fed at wake up (5am) then when she wanted another feed at 7:30 went to give a bottle and we again had a screaming session and it took an hour for her to take bottle. Then she wouldn't settle for a sleep and got overtired and started screaming again so i feel like i have made the mistake of giving her a breast to suckle so she can nap. The last few days have been non stop battle of wills and constant crying. I feel so bad for her.

Because baby has such a strong connection to the breast i don't think combining is going to work so want to switch to formula completely. The lactation consultant did suggest herbs\ drugs to try and boost my supply but after the last 6 weeks of stress and unhappiness for both of us i just want to switch to formula completely. I can't believe i am saying this as i was sooo desperate to breastfeed and it really hurts that i can't do it.

Would like some advise on what i can do to salvage this feeding\napping mess. How do we start to get her accepting the bottle and any advice on getting her to nap without my breast.


Mogz Wed 26-Feb-14 13:30:41

I think that actually it all sounds pretty normal, your baby is tiny she needs to feed a lot, especially as you're breast feeding. Have you tried simply taking a day in bed with her doing lots of skin to skin cuddles and just feeding?
If you do want her to take bottles you can try your partner giving them to her when you're not in the room. Babies have an amazing sense of smell and it could be she can smell you and your milk and is confused. You may also need to try a few different brands of bottle and different flow rates for the teats.
Also if you do stop breast feeding be aware of the risks of getting blocked ducts or mastitis if you go cold turkey, it's pretty ouchy but can be avoided by either stepping down the amount of breast feeds slowly or expressing a bit (which you can store and feed baby if you want).
My lo is 11 weeks and still naps best if I'm cuddling her, it can be a bit of a pain sometimes bu she knows nothin other than needing her mum, try to enjoy it.
I hope some more knowledgable people will come along to help out a bi more soon.

ExBrightonBell Wed 26-Feb-14 14:01:44

I think that unfortunately there will be some fussiness with the bottle whilst your dd adjusts to being fully formula fed. I agree that she is probably smelling your milk when hungry hence getting upset when offered a bottle instead.

I would echo what Mogz has said about stopping bfeeding and the risk of mastitis. Express a bit if you need it to relieve the engorgement.

It is also not too late to sort out the breastfeeding if you want to get back to it. Nothing you describe sounds out of the ordinary for a bfed baby. They will feed a lot more than a ff baby and feeding to sleep is not unusual or a problem.

You could try posting in the Breast and Bottlefeeding section, under Feed the World, as there are lots of helpful posters there who can help you with either feeding method.

murphy36 Wed 26-Feb-14 19:10:14

We had similar issues with 'low weight gain'. DH dropped from 13% by day 3. All the tests showed he was fine and not dehydrated. We introduced cup feeding in the hospital and bottle 'top ups' after a couple of weeks. Initially after each feed of upto 90ml which evolved into once a day top up and a bottle only night feed. He went 75% to 25% then tracked between 25 to 50 after that.

So, some comment, first you need to be careful, I wouldn't advise weighing on a daily basis, it could really distort you view of how much weight baby is gaining. They don't gain evenly by day or even by week!! DS would gain 80g one week and 300g the next.

Unless you're having issues with BFing I would try BFing each feed first then offer the bottle if baby is still hungry. Most babies won't starve themselves and you might just have a baby that isn't very hungry and stays slim. However, always monitor numbers of nappies and the colour of wee, many heavy wet nappies and light wee and that baby isn't lethargic or floppy.

A BF councillor in your area or NCT BF hotline might help if latch/position are a problem. Check for tongue tie too! And try taking fennel tea and/or fenugreek. Kellysmom website has more advice on what to take/avoid to help naturally boost supply.

There's lots of options on types of bottles and nipples. We had a Breastflow type that mimicks breast difficulty to get milk and some anti colic tommee tippee ones. DS did fine with both, but trying different ones is a possibility.

I might post some more later on, but that's a start eh...

murphy36 Wed 26-Feb-14 19:16:49

Infacol helped us a lot when baby was upset and not sleeping.

My mum is a lovely woman, I'm sure yours is too and I don't want this to seem like I'm saying something bad about your mum. Mine is mum to 4, one FF and 3 BF. I listen to her experiences and what we were like as babies, she wouldn't offer an opinion on what was 'normal' my Aunty does and I tell her to shush. Getting advice and hearing others experiences is great, get as much info as you can and make your own decision.

Artandco Wed 26-Feb-14 19:19:26

Feeding promotes more milk

Try going to bed with baby for the next 2 days. Feed on demand, sleep on demand, and watch DVDs.

Babies do feed lots. I would expect every 2 hrs at this age.

stargirl1701 Wed 26-Feb-14 19:20:07

If it is reflux or silent reflux then you need some decent meds. Gaviscon is only the first option. I would film a feed on your phone to show the GP and ask for Ranitidine if the GP thinks it is reflux or silent reflux.

murphy36 Wed 26-Feb-14 19:20:44

Probably fed up of my advice, but around 6weeks is normally the high water mark for crying/screaming, so I can imagine that and the lack of sleep is having a negative affect.

Don't worry, it gets better. And I think what you're doing is fine btw.

Woody31 Wed 26-Feb-14 19:21:27

Agree fennel tea is good to boost your milk. I would too have a day in bed doing nothing but feeding babe and eating / drinking yourself. Loads of water for you. You could offer top ups of formula after feeds to see if interested but don't push it. Have you tried a sling for sleeps or the buggy ? Don't get hung up about it having to be in the cot or Moses basket at such a young age. Lastly I would double check tongue tie. Let us know how you get on.

springbabydays Wed 26-Feb-14 20:03:43

It took ages for my supply to settle down and my little one only seemed satisfied by the morning feed for what felt like ages. Late afternoon and early evenings were spent constantly feeding with what felt like no supply. Perseverance paid off and 11 months later still going strong. If she's screaming at the bottle then offer breast instead (enjoy the huge amounts of precious time you get to spend with her!) I wouldn't worry about how/why/when naps happen either at this stage. Don't fight with her, work with her. Also consider the growth spurts which will increase time at the breast and are quite frequent at that age. Good luck!

daluze Wed 26-Feb-14 20:10:40

I really feel for you. I had a very similar situation, with baby being attached constantly and most advice telling that it was normal and I should feed as long as he wants. But you can't do it physically for weeks 18 hours a day!
There is the advice from my breastfeeding councillor, which had dramatic effect in just few days.
Feed on one side for max 25min, making sure baby is not asleep - stroking a heel, etc. Then change side, if baby is sleepy, wake up by stripping of clothes down to nappy, change nappy. Feed on the other side max for 15min. If baby still hungry, give bottle - formula or expressed milk. Then express for 15 min (I rented a hospital grade pump and expressed from both sides simultaneously, while DP was giving a bottle). Everything should be over in 1 hour. Then both you and baby go to sleep until next feed. Feed every 3 hours (unless baby sleeps longer). Then do the same, topping up with expressed milk from the previous feed.
It is not a textbook advice, but it returned my sanity in just a few days, and after about a week or two I did not need to top up and express anymore, and switched to normal feeding on demand. From about 8 weeks the feeds lasted only about 10-15 min. I was also taking domperidone to boost supply (which was low due to baby being in NICU after birth)
Good luck whichever way you go - whatever happens, you already gave your baby the best start!

murphy36 Thu 27-Feb-14 13:37:44

I don't thinking clock watching is a good idea personally. Let baby feed for as long as they want as long as they are awake and actively suck/swallowing.

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