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Not a perfect latch and just snacking?

(12 Posts)
VictoriaMc77 Sun 05-Jun-11 08:57:23

I recently posted a thread re any advice on getting my 8 week old son to go longer than 2 to 3 hours between feeds at night. I'm now beginning to wonder if hes not getting enough milk at each feed and hes got into the habit of just grazing throughout the day and night?

I'm exclusively breastfeeding and he's gained good weight - was 7lb 9oz at birth and at last weigh at 7 weeks was 11lb 11oz (which I'm told is good?). He's not what I would call a contented baby either - wants to be held constantly and during the day can't be left on his own for more than 10 minutes without a crying session! The only way I've found to help with this is to get out and about with him and he usually falls asleep then - if we stay in there's no chance of that!!

The breastfeeding has been going well and I've been feeding on demand however he doesn't feed for longer than 5 to 10 minutes at any one time. His latch isn't perfect and I have a very quick and forceful let down - could this be a reason he isn't latching on perfectly as he doesn't have to work too hard to get the milk?? I'm not at all sore and feeding isn't painful.

Do you think in these circumstances we need "the perfect latch" or can we just carry on as we are? I'm not sure he is actually full each time he feeds although I do try and get him to take more he refuses. Also any advice of how to settle him more during the day/help make him less clingy would be gratefully received ... thanks!

EauRouge Sun 05-Jun-11 10:15:15

What makes you say his latch is not perfect? If he's putting on weight well (and it sounds like he is) then I wouldn't worry about the amount of milk he is getting. Waking every 2 to 3 hours sounds pretty normal (sorry!), some babies tend to sleep longer and some don't. My 13 wo sleeps way better than my 2.8 yo!

have you tried some different positions to help with the forceful let-down? I have the same problem, it's like Niagara falls! grin DD2 seems to cope better with some positions.

What are your sleeping arrangements?

VictoriaMc77 Sun 05-Jun-11 10:35:17

Thanks for that EauRouge - I rarely get the gaping open mouth before he latches on and don't often see the curled back lips .... he does take in more than just my nipple though and I would have thought I'd be sore if things weren't right?? With the forceful let down there always seems to be milk around his mouth and he sometimes slides about on my boob and doesn't have a seal around his lips if that makes sense - I can hear him slurping most of the time. Do you think this sounds like a problem?

Have tried position when he is laid length ways on my tummy but that didn't seem to work ... not tried anything others - any suggestions? HV did suggest expressing off before I feed him but finding that hard to do when hes crying to be fed or in the middle of the night - do you express off before feeding?

Re sleeping - crib at side of my bed and occasionally bring into bed with me if hubbie has gone to work so theres plenty of room.

I'm just finding it very hard not being able to put him down during the day for an hour or so without crying ... when we're out and about its fine.

EauRouge Sun 05-Jun-11 11:25:56

Yes, if your latch feels fine and he's gaining weight then I wouldn't be too worried. Slurping may be related to the fast let down, there's some useful info here. Laying on your side might help because your DS can just let it dribble out if he gets too much. Stick a muslin under him in case it gets messy!

I don't express before feeding but sometimes DD2 will unlatch and let it squirt a bit before she starts feeding properly. My supply has regulated now (she is 13 wo) and so haven't had a problem for the last couple of weeks. This will probably happen for you soon.

How often do you feed? I found my letdown a lot stronger if I went a long time between feeds.

I hear you about the not being able to put him down, my DD1 was the same. They do grow out of it and he's very tiny still. You've got a couple of options, you can either get everyone else to do stuff while you sit with him or you can get a decent sling or carrier that will support his head well (like a structured carrier or stretchy wrap), then you can get on with things. I would sod off the housework for now and just do the bare minimum.

Pesephone Sun 05-Jun-11 11:28:11

Is there a BF support group near you were you could get a BFC to look at his latch? He sounds like a very normal 8 wk old baby to me 2-3 hours between feeds is normal as is crying when put down, babies are programmed to want to stay in contact with their mums it goes against all his instincts to be content away from you. Have you thought about wearing him in a sling at all? I know all mine settled really well in one and it enabled me to get stuff done more easily. As for forcefull let down you could try de-latching him after a you let down and letting the milk spurt out into a muslin then put him back on. I really would reccomend a support group though as a better latch can change things very easily and you'll get far better help with that from a qualified BFC or a Peer supporter than most HV's out there.

Cosmosis Sun 05-Jun-11 12:18:02

I think that in behaviour terms he sounds like an absolutely normal small baby. REmember, their tummies are tiny, and feeding every 2-3 hours is just right for that age. NOt wanting to be left alone is also normal - he's only just come in to this world and you are all he knows - untill very recently he was actually a part of you - of course he wants to be with you and held all the time. Do you have a decent sling? if not, get something like a moby wrap or similar have a look here and then you can get on with what you want to do and he can be with you all the time. (personally I wanted to do a lot of sitting on the sofa at that stage, so DS was happy on my knee a lot!

RitaMorgan Sun 05-Jun-11 12:30:50

2-3 hourly feeds sounds normal to me too - though I'd say you're lucky they are such short feeds, as my ds was on the breast for about 30 minutes at a time at that age! He didn't go 3 hours between feeds in the day til about 6 months, but we got 4 hourly spaces at night at 5 months and at 7 months was just having one night feed.

As for being clingy, there's not much you can do about that - babies need to be held a lot. From 3-4 months, once they can see a bit more and interact a bit more with things around them, babies are often happier to sit in a chair or lie on a playmat for a bit longer. I just went out a lot when ds was tiny too, and when we were at home just fed and held him and watched a lot of TV!

VictoriaMc77 Sun 05-Jun-11 12:59:03

Thank you so much for all your advice - I'm definitely going to invest in a sling today and give it a go - I'll keep you posted!!

I have been to one breast feeding group and got some advice on his latch. He did the typical thing of latching on perfectly when I was there but at home was a different story!! I'm going to give the group another go on Tuesday.

EauRouge - I feed on demand and can be from every hour to at most 3 hourly. I know I shouldnt stress too much as he is gaining weight well but I'm a first time mum and worry too much I think!!! Maybe I should just go with the flow - even if the flow is very fast !!!!

Cosmosis Sun 05-Jun-11 13:04:06

do try to go with the flow, your baby sounds perfect grin do try to enjoy it, mine is 9m now and I miss the tiny snuggly newborn days, even though he's so much fun at the moment.

Pesephone Sun 05-Jun-11 17:31:02

Let us know how you get on with the sling, and keep going to the group, even if the ltach is perfect whilst your there each time you go you'll get support encouragement and reasurance and tips for a better latch to try at home when things are not so spot on with it. smile

VictoriaMc77 Wed 08-Jun-11 18:52:09

Here's an update - went to breastfeeding group yesterday and again latch was observed. He was doing the slurping/clicking thing and HV advised that I get him weighed to make sure he was still gaining etc.

Went to clinic today - he was 11lb 11oz 2 weeks ago and today was 12lb 9oz. He has been dead on the 75th centile at last few weighs but is now ever so slightly under. HV advised not to worry but get him weighed again a week on Monday.

Do you think this sounds like I've got a problem or is it normal for babies' weight sometimes drop a little on the centile graph?

Any thoughts appreciated!!!

BTW waiting for the sling to arrive!!!

RitaMorgan Wed 08-Jun-11 19:06:08

A change of up to 2 centiles is within normal I believe - my ds was born on the 75th and dipped below the 25th by 4 months.

The centile lines are just averages so few babies will follow them exactly.

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