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New baby won't feed for long at a time

(9 Posts)
emmyloo2 Sat 27-Nov-10 13:12:44


I have a 3 day old baby boy and am doing quite well with breastfeeding. We started straight away at the hospital where a very attentive midwife spent some time with me showing latching and positions. Straight away he was able to latch and off we went. Problem is he latches on and then sucks on for a minute or so before stopping, falling asleep. He got better last night and he would start sucking again if I shifted him slightly or blew on his face.

This morning my milk has come in and my boobs are very engorged. I have used flannels and massage which does help. He is still latching well but again only sucking for very short periods of time. He is also not settling into his moses basket after I have given him a little feed and he has fallen asleep at my breast. So I end up just holding him on my lap near my breast so he sleeps. If he wakes I feed him again but he just stops sucking very quickly.

I am worried he is not settling because he is hungry but he will only suck for such short times, I will be feeding him every 30 minutes!

Any tips or hints? I have tried blowing on his face, tickling his ears to wake him up. Am I getting it bad habits by letting him "snack" with this mini-feeds? I just don't know how to make him feed for long periods....On the other hand I think he is only 3 days old so I am pretty amazed he is latching like a champion and feeding at all!


Ineedsomesleep Sat 27-Nov-10 13:25:37

Congratulations on your DS and for bfing, sounds like he loves it already smile.

There are some good tips for feeding a sleepy baby here.

If he won't sleep in his moses basket yet, and it is early days so don't worry too much, have you thought about getting a sling? Ones that are easy to get on and off tlike the close are good.

tiktok Sat 27-Nov-10 13:28:57

Hi, emmyloo - hope mumsnet can help I am a breastfeeding counsellor.

Your baby is settling - he's just not that keen on settling in his basket, and that's fantastic in fact. He's making his needs very clear, showing he is normal and that he recognises the safest, lovliest place for him is next to you, and he can express this need to you. He settles near your breast - wonderful. Your taste, your voice, your touch, your nearness are all familiar to him (he was inside you 3 days ago ) and if he feeds every 30 minutes it still might be less often than he fed (taking in amniotic fluid) in the womb. He is, as you say, a newborn and he is not showing 'bad habits' or 'snacking' but the normal needs of a newborn. He will not continue feeding as often as this (of course you need to be looked after as well - stay in bed ).

Short, frequent feeds are normal in these early days. Yes, they have to be effective - he does need to be taking in colostrum/milk. 'Making' him feed for longer is neither necessary nor possible at this stage - fair enough to stimulate him to feed a bit more if he needs, with the blowing and shifting position but it's not essential.

You will be able to assess if the feeding is effective by looking at his nappies - poos should be changing colour, wees should be frequent. He can be weighed in a couple of days, too.

The midwife should be able to reassure you on all this.

emmyloo2 Sat 27-Nov-10 17:49:05

Tiktok and Ineedsomesleep - thank you so much!!

I just actually managed to get a few good feeds with him, by just pausing in between or swapping sides. He sucked for at least minutes non-stop on one breast. After the last feed I settled him to sleep on my breast and just now placed him in his moses basket next to me and he is sound asleep. I think he is just hungry when he is crying in his moses basket, so as my midwife suggested, over the next few days the main aim is just to feed him as much as possible. Her advice was that he was the best pump and this would help with the engorgement so basically feed him as much as possible and wake him every 3 hours at a minimum to feed if he sleeps.

So this afternoon what I did was try and settle him in hisbasket but if he cried, then I just put him back on the boob for another feed and he would latch on straight away and feed well so I guess he was just hungry. Now he has obviously had enough so is happy to sleep.

I am just conscious of old school advice on not getting him in the habit of not being able to settle in his basket and always needing to be held. But I am ignoring that because as you pointed out he is 3 days old and of course he wants to be close to him. I just want to hold him close to me as well (apart from when I need to go to the loo!!)

And I have bought a moby sling so I will give that a shot when I am feeling a little more confident with him I think. He loves just being close so i think the Moby sling will be good.

Thanks again,


tiktok Sat 27-Nov-10 18:15:58

emmyloo - it is indeed old school advice. We now know better. Babies whose needs for closeness and unrestricted breast access are met, gain trust in the world, and confidence that they are loved.

The research shows that these babies cry less when they're followed up at 6-8 mths, compared with babies whose parents have tried to schedule their babies and ignore their needs.

They cry less because they are happier and because they know their needs will be met.

xMrsSx Sat 27-Nov-10 21:12:40

Emmyloo, I can't give such wise advice as titok and the like, and my DS is only 4 weeks old so I am definately no expert, but I just wanted to say he was EXACTLY the same at that age, and I was worried about it too. He soon started feeding for longer, with longer gaps and being more willing to sleep in his basket and is now a big happy chunky monkey grin. So, no helpful advice I'm afraid, but wanted to share my experience and let you know it will get better... and congratulations.

xMrsSx Sat 27-Nov-10 21:13:19

oops, tiktok I mean blush

peppapighastakenovermylife Sat 27-Nov-10 21:16:00

oooh tiktok - do you have a reference for that please? Would love to read - am doing some work on this at the moment and hadnt come across much smile

ninani Sat 27-Nov-10 22:01:36

I also want to reassure you that very young babies can fall asleep after just a few minutes of drinking. It happened with my 1st one They say the 1st is the hardest wink

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