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Should feeding be the answer every time?

(22 Posts)
ENSMUM Thu 13-Jan-11 13:24:59

I am breastfeeding my 6 week old. I find that I end up feeding her every time she cries. I will sometimes try other things - jiggle her, cuddle her, distract her etc, but the only thing that works is feeding, every time. Obviously some of the times she will be hungry, but I expect a lot of it is comfort feeding.

Is it wrong to feed everytime she is upset? Does it matter if she isn't really hungry? Will she be having too much milk? (I really don't know where it all goes to!) Is there anyway to tell whether she is hungry, or just wanting comfort?

lilysmemo Thu 13-Jan-11 13:44:21

Oh I feel your pain- honestly. My DD2 was just the same, I felt like I was a cow for the first 4 months- feed feed feed- you cant overfeed her, she is a growing girl and the confort and joy she gets from your breast is immeasurable. She is more than likely hungry- it will get easier- honest !

rubyslippers Thu 13-Jan-11 13:46:39

At this age it doesn't matter

Your supply should be getting established now but frequent feeding is the norm

Your baby will love the breast for comfort - that's ok too smile

ENSMUM Thu 13-Jan-11 13:49:49

Thank you for your advice. I am happy to do it (although it is slightly inconvenient at times!) I'm just worried that I'm not finding any other ways to sooth her, but perhaps that doesn't matter at this age.

Bramshott Thu 13-Jan-11 13:50:55

It's pretty good as a first response grin! It's when they get a bit older and you offer them a feed and they are still crying that you then think WTF do I do now?!

Montifer Thu 13-Jan-11 13:57:51

DS2 (7 weeks) is the same.

We seem to be in a perpetual cycle of cry, check nappy, jiggle, bf, sleep.

However just when you think you are going to go mad, they add a smile into the mix which is heartmelting grin

TruthSweet Thu 13-Jan-11 13:58:07

The thing is you are soothing her in lots of ways -

as she feeds her body releases oxytocin (the 'love' hormone),

she can hear your heartbeat (memories of the womb),

your body heat will warm her up if she is cold or if she's too hot, you will cool down helping her do so too,

your breathing will help her to regulate her own breathing,

your arms around her will comfort her and make her feel safe,

your gentle touch will calm her if you stroke her skin whilst she feeds,

your voice will soothe her,

and if she's hungry your milk will fill her tummy.

So not just soothing her in one way but lots and lots. When she's older she will be comforted by a cuddle or by you stroking her hair - you are just laying the groundwork now whilst she is tiny to be comforted by you (and others) in many ways. They just happen to occur whilst she is being fed as well.

organiccarrotcake Thu 13-Jan-11 14:44:36

And to add to that gorgeous post from thruthsweet you're also calibrating your body, telling it to produce plenty of milk, which is a good thing!

If you haven't already (and if she's feeding a lot you may have) she'll soon hit the 6 week growth spurt which is where you'll find she hardly comes off and you may feel like you're running out of milk. You're not, and again this is an important calibration point and it passes within a week or so.

MamaChris Thu 13-Jan-11 14:45:33

truthsweet - such a lovely way to explain it

I always try feeding first, since it's the most likely to work. if she doesn't want it, she will soon let you know.

MoonUnitAlpha Thu 13-Jan-11 15:02:56

Nothing wrong with comfort feeding - feed first and then worry about jiggling or distracting if feeding doesn't work. My ds is 5 months and even now feeding fixes non-specific grizzling grin

princessofpersians Thu 13-Jan-11 15:12:19

I did this and dd is now 6 months and is happy to be distracted by tickling, the dog...pretty much anything, One day she was just too busy to spend long on the breast and I really miss our long feeds together. Enjoy it!

ENSMUM Thu 13-Jan-11 15:29:55

Thank you everyone, your comments are reassuring. We'll continue enjoying our feeds.

moonstorm Thu 13-Jan-11 19:16:12

If in doubt, whip one out is my motto.

One day, it won't work, then I'll try something else.

(Well actually, I 'flop one out', but didn't want to offend blush grin

Wallace Thu 13-Jan-11 20:25:48

That's lovely truthsweet - it brought tears to my eyes and milk to my boobs (I have 8 week old baby and my let down reflex!)

catwhiskers10 Fri 14-Jan-11 11:05:21

I must admit I did exactly the same thing. I was feeding up to 12 times a day till DD was about 6.5 months because it was the only thing that stopped her crying. She had a dummy from 12 weeks which helped a bit but I still used "booby" as a pacifier more often than the dummy.
I found that once she was weaned she gradually cut down herself on the breastfeeding and now at nearly 11 months feeds 3 times a day and once at night.
If I went back in time I would still do the same thing although it was tiring at the time and hard to make plans around feeding as it was such a short time in our lives and DD has thrived.

SilverSky Sat 15-Jan-11 21:36:15

truthsweet that is a perfect description.

theboobmeister Sat 15-Jan-11 23:07:32

Oh moonstorm I thought 'wapping' one out was the done thing nowadays? wink

Squitten Sun 16-Jan-11 00:08:46

My DS is 6wks old too and feeding seems to be the answer 99.9% of the time. Very occasionally, he seems to just want to be picked up, moved to a different view or just simply be fussing!

I brush his lips with my fingers and if he tries to chomp on them then he's definitely hungry/wants something to suck on

PenguinArmy Sun 16-Jan-11 05:34:53

Ditto on the just enjoy it.

I think there's a strong old school element that babies should be self sufficient and other people should be able to 'help'. Despite the fact that in order to get a self soothing baby you have to put in loads of work, going completely against the grain of how mothering should feel at times for you to have 'help' a few hours here and there. Then, it doesn't even normally work for that long and you have to start all over for every illness, growth spurt or other upset.

(although I believe that my 'not making a rod for your own back' you actually make a rod for your own back.)

DD BF every 2 hours until she weaned, but she still feeds every 2 hours. Just wait until she starts pulling your top down.

SXMummy Sun 16-Jan-11 20:30:42

What if it dozes off? I've been letting my dd who is 6wks sleep on me while feeding during the day. Beginning to think I shouldn't? Should I begin by putting her in the Moses basket wherever I am (eg lounge) til she wakes or be more strict and move her to her bed upstairs? At night she moves upstairs to bed reasonably well each night and stays in her basket..

Does on demand only cover feeding or sleeping too? How have those on this chain managed? I'm struggling between feeling guilty that I'm spoiling her and that there's something else I should be doing (stronger routine etc). Any thoughts??

SXMummy Sun 16-Jan-11 20:40:29

First baby and clueless.... Sorry :0(

moonstorm Sun 16-Jan-11 22:28:06

I don't think you can spoil a baby.

This time I'm doing whatever happens. You know what? A 'routine' is developing without any pushing.

He sleeps (with feeds and straight back to sleep) from 10pm to 10am.

Doesn't feed much until late afternoon, when things can be a little hazy. But has longer naps in the morning, shorter afternoon/ evening.

I don't think you can 'force' them to sleep anyway. It just gets you stressed about what 'should' be happening.

I also don't mind where he sleeps - pram/ on me/ crib/ our bed etc. It depends what we are doing at the time.

This time I am so much more relaxed. Obviously this is what works for me and my baby. Do what works for YOU and YOUR family.

I bet a routine will develop by itself, which you can then tweak. And don't say sorry!!! smile

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