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BF 'on demand' and managing wind

(8 Posts)
lilysma Wed 03-Aug-11 14:57:09

I'm sure this has been done a million times but...

DS (1 week) is BFing really well, BUT is having prolonged attacks of what seems to be wind/straining to do a poo - these are keeping him awake from about 10 pm to about 2-3 am crying sporadically. He clearly wants to sleep and does drop off between spasms, only to wake up again kicking his legs and grimacing and crying. He does seem to want to nurse constantly during these episodes (lots of finger sucking and desperately trying to get onto the breast) but I'm not sure whether nursing actually makes it worse and prolongs the pain. It does stop him crying for a bit but when he's finished he's back to the kicking etc.

DH thinks feeding him makes it worse and I should only feed him when a feed is 'due' i.e. every 3 hours. But I know that this is not the advice in the first few weeks - i.e. a newborn probably needs feeding more than this and should feed on demand. The question is whether his 'demand' during these episodes is because he's hungry or whether he's just sucking for comfort and it actually makes it worse.

As a result of being awake so much at night he's trying to sleep all day and it's a struggle to wake him up for feeds - I am getting a reasonable feed in him every 3 hours but again he should probably have a bit more than that at this stage...?

So far he's gaining weight well and doing enough wees and poos. The poos are quite small and frequent though.

This is my second baby and I BF the first one for 3.5 years so you'd think I'd have more of a clue but it doesn't seem to get any easier!

Any ideas??

WalterFlipschicks Wed 03-Aug-11 15:03:40

I have just had this exact problem with my DTs (6 weeks now) They seemed to be struggling terribly with wind and feeding constantly, I just fed them to stop them screaming which worked, and in the middle of the night it's whatever works isn't it! blush
We used infacol and this seemed to work most of the time, my DTs were born at 36 weeks so I put it down to immature digestive systems, could this be the case with your DS was he early/small?
They thankfully seem to be a lot better now, but in the first few weeks I fed them constantly, one night I fed them til 5am... god that night was hell! sad
I hope it gets easier for you soon, and I know my post hasn't been of much use, but maybe infacol could help, it's suggested to use before every feed as it takes time to build up, but it definitely helped my two

tiktok Wed 03-Aug-11 18:19:47

He's a week old....perfectly normal and lovely for him to be near or on the breast most of the time. His distress, wriggling and crying are almost certainly not signs of wind but of a need to be close to you - the fact holding him and feeding him stops the crying is a Big Clue smile

Just hold him close and feed him whenever he twitches and forget the clock. Sucking for comfort is part of being a newborn smile

lilysma Wed 03-Aug-11 18:34:23

Thanks both. I had forgotten about infacol Flipschicks and will get some if this goes on. Used it with DD - not sure how much it helped but it's always good to feel you're doing something isn't it? wink

Tiktok I don't think this is normal 'fussiness' as it definitely seems to come in spasms and be relieved by a burp or fart. He seems to really want to go to sleep but be disturbed by something - his whole body goes rigid and he kicks and flails about even when being held, but then it seems to pass (often if he manages to burp or fart) and he'll go to sleep just like that, only to be woken up 10 mins later by the same thing. TBH I'm quite happy to feed him on and off through the night (we are co-sleeping so he is always close to me anyway) but he is clearly exhausted by not sleeping in between the feeds. I just don't want to make it worse!

WalterFlipschicks Wed 03-Aug-11 19:04:56

Bless him, honestly I could have written your OP, I agree I'm not sure if Infacol helps all the time, but it does seem to help them do enormous burps and farts, I would think it was DH if my chest/arm wasn't in the firing line!
It's so frustrating isn't it when they go rigid and there seems to be nothing you can do, booby is the answer for everything! grin

DocDuck Thu 04-Aug-11 00:42:01

I have been experiencing exactly the same thing with my newborn; he seems happy after a feed and usually drifts to sleep but then wakes up with a start and begins to cry. Burping him helps temporarily but there is no settling him - he usually ends up in a state at some point in the day and cries uncontrollably for a few hours with feeds in between. He manages one longer (4 hour) sleep every 24 hours but other than that he seems to sleep for 10 minute periods and need feeding in between! Not easy when demanding relatives are visiting every day.
I'm worried it might be colic and therefore last for months sad

HappyAsASandboy Thu 04-Aug-11 08:05:16

My DT were the same - it was like being in an army barrack at times with all the farting!

I can't really help though. I did eventually learn to telling whether they were struggling with a burp or a fart, and used Dentinox Colic Drops if thought it was a burp and normal holding upright and back rubbing wasn't helping. I didnt want to use infacol as it has to be used before a feed, and I didn't know if there was going to be a problem until after a feed! I didn't want to use it everytime just in case. Dentinox can be used after, so only when necessary, and almost always resulted in a good burp within about 30 seconds smile

I have to say I just kept going. By the time I finished fretting about the length/windiness of one feed, it was time to fetch the second twin for feeding (2 hours to nappy-feed-wind, starting every 2.5 hours ish! With the odd extra feed thrown in!). By about 6 weeks, the winding had improved. My DT are 9 months now - it does get easier, I promise smile

So, not much advice apart from D

HappyAsASandboy Thu 04-Aug-11 08:11:06

Just read the last bit of the previous post - SEND DEMANDING RELATIVES AWAY. Visitors should be helpful or absent. No other options. Seriously.

If you run around after relatives now, you'll eventually feel sad that you mde this time harder for yourself or angry at them for intruding. Seriously, it is better to sort it now than fret later. You should be St down with the baby - they should be making the tea/sandwiches, and DH can clean up after they've gone (I was never brave enough to ask visitors to clean, but they can certainly make everyone some sandwiches).

Enjoy these newborn snuggles. I miss them smile

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