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What do you think my baby's problem is? Really getting me (and him) down...

(46 Posts)
MabelMay Sat 10-May-08 19:50:13

Hi all - sorry, this might be a long one.

I have a 14 week old ds2, he was born quite big but has never been a huge feeder. For medical reasons, I'm sadly unable to breastfeed so he has been on the bottle from day one.

Anyway, for over a month now he is a nightmare when he feeds. Sometimes he just squirms and writhes around crying and going red; at other times he flips his head from side to side after just a few sucks and sometimes he makes a funny low groaning sound whilst he's sucking, takes about an ounce and then stops, crying.

HOWEVER, this doesn't happen with every feed. He feeds fine during his nightfeed (around 4am) as he is half asleep and it seems to be instinctual then.
Also, recently, my DP and I have found that if we cover his eyes shock with a blanket or similar and sit him in his bouncy chair rather than in our arms then he will feed a lot better. ! Basically, shutting out almost any outside stimulus.

I just don't get it. I don't think it's anything like reflux or lactose intolerance etc because when he's NOT feeding he's perfectly happy. Also, why would he feed okay at night if this was the case?

I'm also finding it really tough emotionally. Firstly, feeding is supposed to be a happy bonding time for mother and child but now I just dread every feed because I know it's going to be a horrible drawn out process and he doesn't seem to like being fed in my arms. Secondly, I have a 2 year old who obviously finds it tough that each feed takes at least an hour and involves an often crying baby and a very stressed mum.

I've seen my GP who was hopeless, didn't know what it might be. I saw a paed at a drop-in clinic who didn't really seem to know what it might be either but tentatively suggested silent reflux but I really don't think this is it as surely with reflux my baby would be uncomfortable AFTER the feed as well as during...?

Any ideas? It's really starting to get me down and I feel like I'm not coping very well with it. Reduces me to tears on countless of occasions.

Would love to hear what some of you think the problem might be. Have any of you experienced anything remotely similar?

foxinsocks Sat 10-May-08 19:54:23

I don't know but it sounds like you are doing all the right things.

I had terrible trouble feeding both of mine (reflux, allergies) and I know what you mean about the bonding. It was painful, awful and I felt like I was hurting both of them and I certainly never felt that close, bonding feeling either. But I wanted to reassure you that it made no difference to my relationship in the end but it DID get me down. I don't know how you stop it getting you down...I think you have to be very strong and share the feeds with dp as much as you can.

Have you tried different flow teats and bottles?

moondog Sat 10-May-08 19:55:17

How about a cranial osteopath?

foxinsocks Sat 10-May-08 19:55:42

I meant the bonding feeling while feeding iyswim

QuintessentialShadows Sat 10-May-08 19:57:49

Where is he during the night feed? Still in his cot, laying down, or in your dhs/your arms?

Have you tried to go and feed him alone in a darkened room in the daytime?

orangehead Sat 10-May-08 19:59:35

not sure but if its only when feeding it may be a problem with the teat, perhaps coming out to fast?

didsnbump Sat 10-May-08 20:18:32

I started to have problems bottle feeding my ds from about that age, but not quite as bad as yours.

With mine its because he is to interested in everything else, sometimes he trying to watch the telly, other times he is pushing the bottle out just because he wants to sit up for a bit. If my dh feeds there are times if i talk while he is doing it my ds just wants to turn and look at me.

Could this be anything to do with it with yours. Far more interested in everything else, hence why the night feed goes fine???

MabelMay Sat 10-May-08 20:22:40

hi - foxinsocks (thanks for kind words btw) and orangehead - I don't think it's anything to do with teat as have tried slower, faster ones - different shapes, different bottles.

Moondog: He saw a cranial osteopath a couple of times, but that was before these problems started so perhaps I'll book another appointment.

QS, during night feed he is in his bedroom, nightlight on, in my or DP's arms. And yes, I've done darkened room during daytime which has helped but it's totally impractical and mostly impossible because I have 2 yo DS1 with me; plus it would just confine me to the house 24/7 which would be miserable!

Please keep coming with your suggestions/advice. thank you. MM

themoon66 Sat 10-May-08 20:22:56

DD used to squirm around and go very red in the face and get herself all distressed. I nearly dropped her a few times - it was almost like she was trying to throw herself out of my arms.

Both the grans and older women all said the classic 'wind' and I thought they were talking daft oldfashioned nonsense. In the end, out of desperation, I gave her gripe water and it made loads of difference.

Hate to admit it, but on that occasion the old fashioned biddies were right!

Thomcat Sat 10-May-08 20:30:26

What's his routine? When does he feed etc?

MabelMay Sat 10-May-08 20:31:12

didsnbump, when did your ds grow out of that phase?

Hi themoon66, I use infacol before every feed. But maybe I should try gripe water. However, I don't think it is wind because if it was, why would covering his eyes with a blanket help? Still, I'm willing to try everything/anything - am desperate to improve the situation.

MabelMay Sat 10-May-08 20:34:16

Thomcat, he is in a pretty good routine. Takes decent daytime naps, feeds every 4 hours (although not if he's had a bad feed previously as he gets hungry sooner), - basically, he's not overtired or overhungry/not hungry enough as he can be like this right after a 2 hour nap... Is that what you were getting at? What do you think? Any ideas?

claireybee Sat 10-May-08 20:40:16

distractible baby

This is for breastfed babies really but I don't see why it shouldn't apply to bottle fed babies too...

Thomcat Sat 10-May-08 20:40:45

Yes that was what I was getting at. Hmmmmm ?????

I can't think of anything you are not already trying.

All I want to say for now is - please, please don't let it get you down. The new baby phase is so teeny tiny, nothing really lasts that long. I know it doesn't feel like it now, but it really won't last long and he'll suddenly be cool with it all.

I was going out of my mind when DD3 was feeding every 2 hours 24 hours a day every day. It felt awful, I was shattered and cranky and miserable etc etc. But she's 7 months now and I can't remember what that part of her life was like already.

I hope you get through this asap.

TC x

didsnbump Sat 10-May-08 20:44:00

He is 17 weeks now, and to be honest can still be like it sometimes. Now he is teething though so its even worse, i gave up on one bottle earlier and tried him on it again 45 mins later and he then finished it off.

I did a baby massage course for 5 weeks which ended this week. It started at his feed time, so used to take his bottle and feed him while everyone got going, on a couple of occasions he was that difficult to feed for being noisy, by the time he had done he dint get a massage as they had finished......

I think if they are hungry enough they will take it reguardless of whats going on around them. But if not try going somewhere quiet, or turning the tv off etc and see if it helps.

Thomcat Sat 10-May-08 20:45:46

I still have to take my 7 month old to a quiet room to feed her. She really only feeds really well when she's tired, so she'll feed then fall asleep in my arms. I struggle with her 3pm feed as she wants something but isn't tired so she keeps breaking off and getting all annoyed and distracted etc. So I've taken to sitting her up and not lying her down for that feed. Quite tricky when your breastfeeding! Can you just get a snuggle taggie blanket and let him cover his face every feed, or let him have a muslin over his head at every feed if that works?

Nappyzone Sat 10-May-08 20:52:46

My ds was very much like this from about 12 weeks - when he woke needing a feed through the night he would feed canny but through the day he was a nightmare - 1oz - 3oz and then a full on radge, some days he would hardly have any milk - i started keeping a chart and it turned out he would have more than i thought which helped ease my stress though i became chart obsessed! If i left longer between feeds instead of trying to instill a routine this helped . I used to get so stressed about it but really the phase soon passses and your soon into weaning etc. I just think my ds didnt like milk a great deal - even now he wont drink any milk through the day and will only have milk at bedtime - food wise he is an animal grin.

MabelMay Sat 10-May-08 21:01:02

didsnbump, Thomcat, and claireybee - thanks all for your suggestions and reassurance etc.
claireybee - that definitely could be it - although sometimes it seems to be more physical than mere distractibility, but it definitely seems to ring most true of all the theories so far.

didsnbump, Thomcat - it's so wearing isn't it? No two feeds are ever the same. I'm never quite sure what I'm going to get. Looks like this could go on for a while then...?

Thomcat, you have other children - what do they do whilst you're feeding DD3?

MabelMay Sat 10-May-08 21:05:12

Nappyzone, sounds v familiar. Actually think when he is finally weaned on to solids (not for a while yet though, sadly) it might make all the difference. Like your ds, he just doesn't seem that into milk either. Strange. Complete opposite to my DS1 who was such a guzzler I started to worry that he fed too quickly and was overfeeding. Complete opposites!

Nappyzone Sat 10-May-08 21:35:50

I wonded if you had another - thats why i was so frustrated with ds as dd guzzled like a dream and was completely diff as a baby. She slipped into a simple clockwork 3hrly-4hrly feed system - ds would go 4-5 if i let him. I was also trying to get himt to sleep thru earlier by filling him through the day as per some barmy routine i read. He had other ideas........ I debated weaning earlier but held out and just learned to chill out and be led by him more. Good luck x

Thomcat Sat 10-May-08 21:41:12

Mabel - yes it is wearing but it does get better. she's 7 months now and on solids and it's only the 3pm feed that is tricky now.

How does it work for me? - well - The first thing in the morning feed - I bring her in with me and lay down and feed her - no problems as she is v hungry after a night without.

Then we all have breakfast and do school run.

Come back and she has a 10am feed. I have finally got it through to DD2 (who is 2yrs old) that she musn't come into nursery so I give her a drink and a biscuit, put cbeebies on and even if she does come up she'll just stand on the landing now bless her. Then DD3 goes down for a sleep and DD2 knows she has my undivided attention.

Then lunch at 12-1ish, no milk just solids.

3pm - well we know this is tricky but we get through it and I just keep offering the breast and she gets enough I guess. I do a bit before and a bit after going to pick DD1 up from school.

Then 5pm is tea and I don't give her any milk

Then 6pm I take girls up, baths, put DD1 & 2 on my bed with milk and cbeebies and go off fand feed DD3 in nursery by 6.45 ish so that she is fed and asleep before cbeebies ends and then I can read girls a story and put them down for the night.

Ebb Sat 10-May-08 22:27:54

Don't be too hasty to discount silent reflux. The baby I used to look after suddenly started screaming and refusing feeds, although she was never a great feeder to start with. Her parents were on holiday and it was the week from hell as she just got so distressed at each feed. Took her to the local GP who said she was fine but to monitor her weight. In between feeds she was absolutely fine, happy and smiley and sleeping through the night from 6.30pm to 7am but I dreaded every feed. Mum came back from her holiday and managed one day of it before whipping her up to London for a private diagnosis. The paediatricain diagnosed silent reflux and prescribed Cow and Gate Pepti junior formula and ranitidine. It made such a huge difference and watching her drink a bottle without all the tears and discomfort was such a relief. She was about 13weeks when she got it.

MabelMay Sun 11-May-08 08:59:37

Hi Ebb - thanks for your post. The only reason I don't think it is silent reflux is because he feeds fine in the night when he wakes for a feed, which wouldn't happen, would it, if it was reflux?
But I'm definitely going back to my GP with a note from the paediatrician I saw, who said I should be prescribed Infamil AR (anti-reflux) milk for ds2 if symptoms continue.

As an aside, I was quite shock about the mum going off on holiday when baby was just 13 weeks. Wow. Maybe I'm just jealous...!

Ebb Sun 11-May-08 13:07:48

Hhmm the nightfeed is interesting but with my little charge there was always one feed she would take at some stage. I just assume she was so hungry she put up with any discomfort!!! It's a really horrible experience when baby doesn't want to feed. I have been a nanny for 15 years and never had any problems before so it really wound me up. I kept thinking I was going to hand back an anorexic bag of bones. Luckily she had a decent reserve of puppy fat to fall back on. grin
As for Mum going on holiday, they went skiing and it was too cold for a baby. Besides I didn't want to fly as I was pregnant and didn't fancy going into premature labour in Switzerland! I've been with the family for 3 years so it's good they can go and enjoy themselves knowing I will take good care of their children. Mind you, one family I worked for went on holiday to SA for 2 weeks when baby was only 4months old. No phone contact, I'd only been in the job 7weeks and as I'd replied to an ad in Horse and Hound, they hadn't checked references or anything.....hmm. Lucky I'm good. wink

MabelMay Sun 11-May-08 19:52:18

Ebb - Stunned by that story about the mum going off to SA and not even calling to check on baby.

Anyway, I've just had another terrible day with my ds2 on the feeding front. We were both reduced to tears tonight trying to get his last feed of the day down him. Eventually I had to get my DP to take over as I was just getting too upset by ds2's obvious discomfort. I think it's more than just being a distractible baby - the covering the eyes thing did not work at all today (gutted about that as thought I'd found the solution). So I'm thinking more and more it might be silent reflux. But who knows. Will call doctors first thing tomorrow morning for an appointment.

But if anyone out there is reading this thread for the first time and this symptoms ring a bell for them, please do let me know.

MM x

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