My 4 month old baby only breastfeeds lying on the bed or when half asleep(11 Posts)
Hi there, I'm having a real nightmare my baby girl is now 16 weeks and three weeks ago suddenly started refusing the breast when alert during the day times. We were previously breastfeeding in various positions, mostly more layed back biological ones as I have a fast let down etc. There was some fussiness in the early days but things had really settled and I thought we both had the hang of it. Now however when I bring her to the breast she screams, turns her face away and arches her back as if to try and get away. It's a real nightmare as she wasn't the biggest weight gainer to start with and nor we can't go or do anything- we are literally bed bound. We thought it might be thrush to begin with as the Dr. Said he could see some white at the back of her throat, however we've treated her for it and that's now gone (I'm dubious it was ever there to begin with really) and she's still refusing to feed.
Has anyone had this?? Or have any ideas/advise? We're at our wits end.
Thanks in advance!
How often are you trying to feed her?
I had this and it was such a nightmare, they get so aware of everything that this age.
I found standing up and walking around whilst feeding helped. But ultimately I often needed to wait until she was very hungry to feed so stretched feeding stop 3.5-4hourly (the annoying thing was she wouldn't go that long at night ￼) she did grow out of it though.
I'm still trying to feed every couple of hours because that's what she was doing before but maybe I'll try for longer stretches. Good to know I'm not th only one who went through this! How long did it last for? It's really undermining my confidence at knowing her cues for hunger as I'm not sure if she's refusing because she's not hungry or if she's just on strike. She can get really frantic and still refuse. Hoping it will pass as at the mo it's a constant battle.
Ok definitely aim for feeding every 3 hours instead, that definitely helped us, can't remember how long this phase lasted, my dd is still a pretty distracted feeder tbh! I doubt she's on a strike, I presume she's still having lots of wet nappies?
My DS did this too. He would only dream feed. Most people I have met who exclusively BF have found this too.
I talked to the HV and at 5 months she said that his weight has dipped and I needed to introduce solids to get him interested in food again. I wanted to wait until 6 months but felt bad ignoring the HV so started solids at 5 months. I'm not sure it made much difference and he's not a big eater now tbh.
A friend had the same issue and spoke to a lactation consultant. They advised feeding in a room with few distractions.
Sorry I can't help but you are far from alone OP.
Could she be tired? Sometimes fussiness and back arching are overtired signs rather than hungry ones. What is her napping like?
Thanks so much for your replies, it's so good to know I'm not alone. It's strange because there seems to be no literature on this issue!
She is still having lots of wet nappies and otherwise appears appears happy and lively. It's only around the feeding that things get really difficult- sometimes she really cries when I bring her to the breast as if it's painful almost.
The HV mentioned about weaning her early too, although she is only 17 weeks so we're still too early yet. She has dipped on her weight chart too which is a worry, I'm just hoping it will pick up again.
That's interesting about tiredness it could be that, but she does usually nap quite well in the day. Her best feeds are when she's either just about to sleep on just waking up.
We're going on holiday at the end of September to Spain and just don't know how I'm going to manage the flight, seeing as she refuses to feed seated. It's just so tricky being so bound to the lying down thing it makes things really difficult.
Thanks again for all your suggestions!
dd1 did exactly the same - just nosy. So had to feed her in a darkened bedroom or no feeding got done. I stopped bf at 6 mos with her as it was such a fag having to only feed in my bedroom in the dark. Have you tried expressing to see if she will take a bottle with you sitting - I did bf on flights but this might be a solution for that?
It does sound as though you are trying to feed too often though - remember she will be much more efficient now, so taking more when you do get her to feed. (That said, ds was the complete opposite and demanded bf every 2 hours day and night). Try taking your cues from her for a few days.
Dc3 was my worst - she could only feed at night due to her muscle tone, so I had to set alarms all night to get enough fluids into her as she couldn't feed during awake time. Gah. And couldn't latch so I had to express and bottle feed. Seems like yesterday but I do not miss the infant feeding conundrums at all. They are all so different!
Gosh yeah that sounds tough! We didn't manage to get her on the bottle, she didn't take to it I think probably because we left it too late to introduce it so unfortunately that's not really an option. We have a sippy cup which we could try which could be an alternative. I'm hoping with the flight if she just sleeps a lot I can feed her while she's sleepy. It's just the whole hanging out at the airport thing though as well. It is really tough, I really don't want to give up and hoping it will get easier and it just developmental. But I feel you, it does feel difficult to sustain if you can only feed in a bedroom on the bed!
I'm trying to feed her less often now, I think your right she probably wasn't hungry enough. It's just she does the ferocious sucking of her hand and just about anything really that it makes me think that she's hungry. I used to be good at telling her cues but this episode has left me a little under confident I think.
I spoke to lactation consultant who suggests making sure breast is fully drained/block feeding to help with the oversupply which hopefully might help fussyness and then just basically trying to coax her back to the breast.
Her poos are also looking funny, kind of gloopy slimy and less cottage cheese which apparently they're supposed to look like at this age. Anyway apparently that could also be due to not draining the milk and hind milk/foremilk inbalance so I shall give that a go! Thanks a lot again for all your suggestions. Fingers crosse we'll come out the other side.
Oh everything is in their mouth at that stage! It may not be a hunger cue. I honestly would still try 3 hourly feeding. At that age they can normally go longer between feeds.
I feel your pain though, I remember thinking I had it all sorted after all the pain of the first few weeks and then this obstacle came along!
Oh and I'm pretty sure the hind/fore milk has been proven to be a myth but I'm not sure.
The hand sucking could be teething? But agree they put everything in their mouths! I was hopeless at reading cues at that stage, just chose what I thought seemed like a reasonable schedule and went with that...
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