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Help!! Very odd baby feeding sleeping business

(25 Posts)
funnylittlekaty Thu 16-Jun-11 09:00:18

My lo is 5 weeks old and due to various factors and medical advice we are mixed feeding him, but it only really ever is 1 formula bottle a day. It took him ages to regain his birth weight, and he's still the smallest baby in our nct group. The thing is, he feeds all the time from the breast during the day and barely sleeps at all unless I put him in the sling and take him out. Yesterday he fed from 3-7 when I felt like I was completely spent and then had a bottle. He stayed awake though, very fractious, sucking his hand and still looking hungry. I breast fed him again til half ten when he finally went to sleep. Then he slept til half five! I was horrified and fed him breast milk but he would only take fifteen minutes before he fell asleep. I changed his nappy and everything to wake him up but he still only had another five minutes. He's not woken up yet and it's 9am. He's going to be starving again when he wakes up and I'll have a day of non stop feeding which really exhausts and upsets me because I worry he's not getting enough. Please advise...we're going to in laws this weekend for a wedding and it puts us under more pressure. I thought things would be starting to get easier around now...!

RitaMorgan Thu 16-Jun-11 09:05:36

Are you comfortable when he's feeding? Are your nipples misshapen (lipstick shaped) after a feed, any pain? Do you hear him swallowing?

newbroom Thu 16-Jun-11 09:07:49

Not an expert (they'll be along in a minute! smile) but it sounds like the 4 week growth spurt to me ... (I know he's 5 weeks but these things aren't exact!). Your DS is wanting to suck all the time to stimulate your milk supply, just keep feeding him everytime he asks and your supply will catch up. In a couple of days things should (hopefully!) have settled down. Enjoy the wedding (even if you are mainly sitting down feeding - you can hold court and enjoy being waited on!)

funnylittlekaty Thu 16-Jun-11 09:08:10

I'm comfy during feed and have had my latch checked. I'm going to breast feeding support sessions every week and the lady there said she could see some active swallowing but I'm never that sure. I don't know if I should wake him to feed him now. I'm scared the feeding frenzy will start all over again.

funnylittlekaty Thu 16-Jun-11 09:10:32

Thanks newbroom. The thing is that this mental feeding has been going on for weeks and weeks. Ever since we brought him home and it starts earlier in the day too. Now I'm worried about him being excessively sleepy. Argh this is terrible.

JiltedJohnsJulie Thu 16-Jun-11 10:10:04

Is he having plenty of wet and dirty nappies? Is he bright and alert at times? These are the things that you should be looking for funny. I know its hard not to compare with other babies but people are all different and so are babies.

As for the hand sucking, this might well be a sign of tiredness not hunger. Have you seen this on hunger cues and this on the first 6 weeks?

funnylittlekaty Thu 16-Jun-11 10:42:02

Thank u jjj. That does help. Just hate the thought of him being hungry because I've not got enough milk. He's doing all the hunger cue things Early and middle and he's been feeding for 90 minutes now. Poor little chap. Do you think it's s milk supply issue? X

JiltedJohnsJulie Thu 16-Jun-11 10:48:27

It could just be how he is, but it wouldn't hurt to get in touch with a local BFC and talk to them. Have you got the numbers of any local ones? What happens if you take him off? Would he settle if you put him in the car/pushchair/sling and went out for a bit?

Its good that you are going to the support group and I take it that you are meeting up with your NCT antenatal group. Can really recommend going along to your local nct group too though, many of the Mums who come to ours have said its the best place for getting information and tips.

JiltedJohnsJulie Thu 16-Jun-11 10:50:21

Kellymom has a useful guide to tell if your baby is getting enough milk and this on low supply. The bit on "is your supply really low" is well worth reading.

Yesmynameis Thu 16-Jun-11 11:30:34

What time of day does he have his bottle of formula and how many oz does he drink at this point? Is he then satisfied for a few hours, or is he still very sucky and acting hungry after his bottle?
I say this because if he is still very sucky and acting hungry even when you know he's not really, then you'll know the cause isn't hunger.
Can you use the time of his formula feed (if someone else takes care of that feed) to express some milk as an experiement to see how much is coming out (compared to what he takes from his bottle)?
How is his weight gain generally now? If he is gaining weight and sleeping for one longer period a day, I would say you are not going far wrong and things will get easier. big hugs xxxx

japhrimel Thu 16-Jun-11 11:37:28

Never use expressing as a measure of supply! It just doesn't work that way!

funnylittlekaty Thu 16-Jun-11 11:38:21

Thank you so much...I really appreciate the support. I've just managed to get ten minutes for a shower and now he's asleep after two hours of feeding. Hooray! At least I know he's full for now. He usually has about 150ml when he had his formula feed which his dad tends to govenh

funnylittlekaty Thu 16-Jun-11 11:42:32

Whoops! Tends to give him at 7 ish. I've tried expressing then but get v little as I've been feeding him for ages. We only give him the bottle if he seems really unsatisfied after feeding for quite a while. I've expressed in the morning and got about 40ml in ten mins but he always seems to wake up and want feeding when I do it so I have no milk left. I'm hiring a hospital grade pump from nct to see if that will increase my supply. I'm using an avent manual at the mo.

japhrimel Thu 16-Jun-11 11:49:58

That sounds like a pretty big feed in one go for a 1 month old.

If you are varying the amount or time of the FF, it could be messing up supply as your body won't be getting consistent messages about how much milk to produce.

With growth spurts, it is also extremely important when mix feeding to adjust the bfing, not the FF. Otherwise your supply will drop after the growth spurt.

What you can do is start expressing once a day so that you can gradually transition the bottle feed to EBM. That's what I did when DD was on top-ups. I then gradually dropped the top-ups when I was confident my supply was suited to DD.

I would ask if anyone at clinic, etc has any suggestons for improvements in latch or positioning you could make that may help LO get a deeper latch. Your latch may look fine, but your LO may be struggling to get a deep enough latch to get enough fattier milk for him . Every bfing partnership is different and what is fine for 1 baby may not be the best for another. For DD and I, for example, we had to feed in a firm cradle hold and the cross-cradle with a pillow everyone kept suggesting just didn't work well!

Also, if he settles in the sling or with your OH, he's not likely to be starving. I couldn't settle DD for bed till she was nearly 2 months old as she always wanted booby! With DH she went to sleep fine!

japhrimel Thu 16-Jun-11 11:51:13


You need to express every day to get your supply to adjust - it can take a little while so don't stop if you only get 40ml one day.

BertieBotts Thu 16-Jun-11 11:52:11

You will never have no milk left - even if he's just fed or you've just expressed, milk is made on demand, so as long as he's sucking he will be getting milk. I know it feels like you don't have milk, but what it actually is is that you don't have that reserve of milk which builds up between feeds in the early days. It won't be coming out as fast as it would if he'd just had a long gap without feeding, so he might get frustrated, you can try switching sides (as many times as he seems to want) and/or doing "breast compressions" which is where you put gentle pressure on your breast while he feeds in order to create a faster letdown.

I would also suggest that you keep the bottle at 7 religiously and try not to top up after other feeds - the more you feed, the more milk you will make, especially if it feels like you have "no" milk - him feeding at this time will be sending signals to your brain which will be relayed back to the breast - "More Milk Please!"

Definitely have a look at JJJ's link, it's really helpful.

Are you wanting to keep this regular bottle feed going or cut it out eventually? (Either is doable smile)

BertieBotts Thu 16-Jun-11 11:53:46

xposted with japhrimel smile

funnylittlekaty Thu 16-Jun-11 11:56:22

Japhrimel, the ff is always at 7ish if he has it. He doesn't always seem to need it-last week he put on 7oz after a week of breast and a 130 ish bottle on about 5 days. Part of me thinks he is a sucky sort and wants to be on the boob after he's full just because it's nice. Which I am totally on board with, I just want him to be happy (emotional gulp). I'm going to try and replace formula feed with ebm if poss. I'm so determined to make this work but it's exhausting and I'm getting a bit overwhelmed with feeding for hours on end. Maybe its just a tough couple of days x

BertieBotts Thu 16-Jun-11 12:02:55

It is tough, FLK. Can you have a nice quiet weekend with DH looking after you? smile

BertieBotts Thu 16-Jun-11 12:05:07

And it sounds like you're doing really well x

shuckleberryfinn Thu 16-Jun-11 12:15:07

It is tough, my little one was topped up after every feed for the first 6 weeks, first with formula and then gradually with EBM till we could drop that too. It was so tough but now at 12 weeks its very easy. I'm so glad I didn't give up ( I came very close a few times). Good luck and Enjoy your baby.

funnylittlekaty Thu 16-Jun-11 12:21:59

Thanks botts and huck. It's good to know there's people who understand. Unfortunately got to go to a wedding this weekend so not really able to take it easy or sit on the sofa with my knockers out for hours
On end. Ah well will have to make the best of it.

Yesmynameis Thu 16-Jun-11 12:37:20

Please don't worry; if you are still managing to express any after you've been feeding him for ages I doubt it's your supply. He's gaining weight and I think you're right that he's a sucky baby. My DD was the same, she was born with a sucking blister already on her mouth and latched on like a hoover to anything that came near her!

Really work on the latch, make sure it's perfect every single time and then feed, feed, feed, express, express, express. Keep your baby close to you, sling is great, plenty of skin to skin contact whenever you can, especially when feeding (down to just a nappy or nappy and vest if you can). Eat plenty, drink plenty and rest when you can. As pp have said, look to replace the ff top up with ebm when you can and trust your body, it's designed to adjust automatically to your baby's demands

funnylittlekaty Thu 16-Jun-11 12:43:26

Thanks botts and shuck. It's good to know there's people who understand. Unfortunately got to go to a wedding this weekend so not really able to take it easy or sit on the sofa with my knockers out for hours
On end. Ah well will have to make the best of it. Can you believe he's now woken up and was doing feeding cues again. I'm now feeding him again. I'm just not doing it right I don't think. Sigh.

funnylittlekaty Thu 16-Jun-11 12:45:10

Xpost mynameis, thank you for the advice and support.

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