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A little help/advice?

(21 Posts)
tickleme63 Wed 21-Sep-11 18:39:52

So I guess I'm just looking for a little advice about my 10-week old baby. He is gaining weight really well, so I know he is getting enough milk.

I spend the vast majority of my time during the day with him on the boob. He only seems to have actual distinct feeds that I can count at night.

During the day, I honestly sometimes cannot leave the sofa.

He 'woodpeckers' constantly on my chest when I'm holding him, even when he's literally just been fed. I can't hold him without him deciding he wants to suckle. Then, at times, he is so fussy, pulling off the breast, relatching, squirming, crying.

I know babies love to suck, but he won't take a dummy. And I'm all for comfort sucking. But should he be feeding like this still, at 10 weeks? I thought the number of feeds was meant to drop as he gets older, but it seems like he is never off the breast.

Forgive if this post is a bit terse. I'm having a day when I'm getting a little short of patience. I feel awful about that - he is currently being held by DH, and is still fussing for the breast.

Thanks in advance...

kimberlina Wed 21-Sep-11 19:11:08

It does sound like a comfort thing but I feel your anguish! What helped us was taking DD out for walks in the pram (the dog was a life saver in that respect as she still expected her walks). DD would settle, I'd get a moment to be something other than milk provider and felt more sane. Or even better - DH take your son out and you have some me time.

It does get better as they start being more intersted in their surroundings

mummy22gorgeousboys Wed 21-Sep-11 19:19:37

It certainly sounds like he's comforting rather than feeding. I'm afraid unless you want him to suckle constantly you will have to refuse and teach him to comfort another way. And just offer boob when he's due a feed, or take him off if he isn't feeding. I have to say though I do understand you want to comfort him as he is still only a tiny baby - not like he's 12 months old!

My DS1 BF every 2 hours for months, but it was a feed rather than a suckle.

My DS2 is 11 weeks now and he constantly mouths his fists, not because he's hungry because even if I offer the bottle he won't have it, he won't take a dummy like your LO and he's bottle fed so he's used to the texture. I think it must be the time they start to mouthe for comfort.

Maybe see if he'll suckle on his fists?? It will take some time though I think, but he's bound to want breast as it's the most comforting thing for a baby.

Just a thought - maybe he's having a growth spurt and the more he suckles the more milk you'll produce?

mummy22gorgeousboys Wed 21-Sep-11 19:20:57

I definitely second what kimberlina said about a buggy - fresh air knocks babies out!!

EauRouge Wed 21-Sep-11 20:36:43

It could be a growth spurt. Is he gaining weight OK? Does he seem happy and healthy?

It's been well established that breastfeeding works best if done on cue, it could be that he's growing and needs to stimulate your supply more. Trying to space out feeds can lead to problems like low supply, blocked ducts or mastitis.

organiccarrotcake Wed 21-Sep-11 20:55:06

Gosh mummy2 you could really scare someone with "I'm afraid unless you want him to suckle constantly you will have to refuse and teach him to comfort another way." It sounds like if the OP doesn't start to refuse to BF she'll be stuck to him forever confused.

This is a very young baby who clearly wants to be suckling and close to his mamma. It WILL get better, OP. You can certainly try to see if he will enjoy a trip out in a sling or pram, maybe a bath, a bit of a kick without his nappy, maybe some music and a dance around the sitting room. But if he really needs the boob you're probably best just going with it, if nothing else as eau says, you're potentially going to risk blocked ducts etc if you try to refuse his feeds (although I don't think you sound like you want to do this).

Often the constant feeding does settle down by 10 weeks, but not always. Sometimes it just takes a bit longer because some babies just need that constant closeness longer than you'd expect because that's just who they are. It's been found that these babies become much more confident and independent than the high needs babies whose needs are not met, so hard as it can be (and I've been there personally with an ultra-high needs bub) it's worth hanging in there if you can. If you need a break don't hesitate to have one, as much as you can.

This too will pass smile

AJH2007 Wed 21-Sep-11 20:57:30

This sounds very similar to my DS, also ten weeks, though I have had a little success spacing out feeds recently. I let DS feed for a good couple of hours (or until he is possetting milk / fussing and indicating he is full) and then I'll put him in the sling or the buggy and go for a walk. In the sling he always falls asleep - can't help himself - and though he will wail for a bit in the buggy it's tiredness not hunger and he does drop off after a bit. Obviously if he is inconsolable or does look hungry/thirsty then I do put him back on the boob. I cannot recommend the sling highly enough; it's a real life saver.
One caveat to the above; in the evenings I still have to bf as much as DS wants.

RitaMorgan Wed 21-Sep-11 21:13:12

Have you tried a different type of dummy? My ds would only entertain the old fashioned cherry latex types, not the silicone orthodontic ones!

I wouldn't refuse feeds for such a little baby, but I did find at that age that if we were just hanging around at home ds wanted to feed all the time - if we were busy and he was in the sling or buggy he would go a couple of hours between feeds.

kalo12 Wed 21-Sep-11 21:21:32

my first ds was like this, but with my second he seems to want feeding all the time then sometimes when i feed him he doesn'tr want it. i think he has a bit of wind and suckling helps to ease it but then he doesn't want the milk. could this be the case.

also mine is 10 weeks too and really likes looking at books / toys etc now. could you try stimulating him in otherr ways to space out feeds a bit?

tickleme63 Wed 21-Sep-11 21:52:19

Thank you all for your responses.

Thanks Kimber, AJH2007 and Mummy2 - I will have to start getting out for walks with the buggy more, for sure. We have a Moby wrap, but I've not yet mastered getting him in and out of it on my own. He does suck his fist, but loses interest pretty fast.

Thank you Rita, I think you're right, when DH and I go out with DS to Ikea or wherever, he does tend to last longer between feeds. We've only tried him on a Tommee Tippee dummy and a MAM one so far - perhaps we should give the old fashioned ones a try. We went to Mothercare to find different shapes, etc, to what we already had, but they all looked the same pretty much.

Thanks Eau - yes, he is gaining weight nicely - was less than 5lb when he was born, and at the last weigh on Monday this week, he was 12lb 11oz smile And indeed - I've been feeding on cue with him since he came home from the hospital.

Thanks organic - it's lovely to think of it that way. Rather than be impatient, I need to remember that it's because he needs/wants his mum. I'm going to let him have a little kick about tomorrow without his nappy; we had a sing and a dance today to Phantom of the Opera songs, but he still had to have the boobie... smile

Thank you Kalo - we had some books out today and sang some nursery rhymes and had a play on his playmat, but nothing seems to distract him for long!

I wouldn't ever refuse him feeds and sitting here now that he has gone up to bed I feel awful that I could ever lose my patience with him. Welled up at the picture of him on my desktop...

RitaMorgan Wed 21-Sep-11 21:59:24

There seem to be two types of dummy - ones that are flat on one side (advertised as orthodontic) and rounded ones (cherry). Most of the cheap own brand ones are cherry latex.

lilham Wed 21-Sep-11 22:04:56

With the moby have you look on YouTube on how to use it? There are some really good videos. Its easier to put the baby in without help if you are doing tummy to tummy. I used to place DD over my shoulder and slowly put her legs and bum into the fabric. I never figured out how to do it with baby facing outwards though.

tickleme63 Thu 22-Sep-11 06:57:52

Yes, I learned the newborn hug hold from a YouTube video, which is the one we've used. I think it is a matter of practice and catching DS in an accommodating mood while I tie him in knots smile

Thank you again.

theboobmeister Thu 22-Sep-11 07:14:25

I think it is excellent to keep his comfort needs at the forefront. But you know there may be practical BF issues to consider here too, not only emotional/behavioural ones.

Some healthy babies genuinely need to be fed much more often than others - they may be slow feeders, or have an inefficient latch, or mum's milk supply might need more frequent stimulation to keep up with his needs.

These babies will be getting all the milk they need when allowed to feed on cue, but the trouble sets in when some 'helpful' MIL or HV suggests a routine, or a dummy to distract them, or something else that will prevent him feeding as often as he would like. Cue a plunging milk supply and misery all round.

I don't want to panic anyone by suggesting that this is definitely the case, but it is a possibility to keep in mind. Some babies need very frequent feeds to meet their individual growth needs, and - from a health POV - it's usually not a good idea to try to persuade them otherwise!!

tickleme63 Thu 22-Sep-11 07:31:08

Thank you Boob. I have a forceful letdown and baby has always been a fast feeder (guess he hasn't had much of a choice). His latch isn't textbook, but it doesn't hurt me and he gets plenty of milk, but it is something we can work on.

theboobmeister Thu 22-Sep-11 07:46:23

So it sounds like he is doing well in all the essentials - he's growing well, he's getting plenty of milk, plenty of comfort - the only fly in the ointment is that it's pretty draining on you meeting all his needs!!!

Guess I just wanted to reinforce what you are doing already, and to say that - from the POV of baby's wellbeing - you're doing all the right things. And it can be exhausting, especially when it feels that (at this stage, anyway) you are the only one who can meet his needs.

My point about frequent feeding above was meant as ammo - should you need it - to defend what you're doing against anyone who wants to tell you that you're doing the wrong thing. Hope that makes sense confused

tickleme63 Thu 22-Sep-11 08:20:55

It does, thank you Boob.

I think that's it - just the fact that it all seems pretty relentless. I love that I can comfort him, but it's so draining sometimes I get quite tearful.

lilham Thu 22-Sep-11 09:24:03

Has he found his hand yet? I think it's about 11 weeks when my DD found her fist to suck. She started sleeping through at the same time. (replaced me with very noisy rhumb sucking in her dreams). Thinks will really change when they learn to suck on their hands or comfort blankets.

tickleme63 Thu 22-Sep-11 09:51:10

When he's up against my chest he sucks his fist/forearm, but that's most likely because it's right up against his mouth - he's not quite 'found' it on his own yet, if that makes sense.

We've had a better morning - nice feed upstairs, continued downstairs, lots of play (with lots of smiles, which rules) and he's napping on my chest now, and hasn't needed to suckle to sleep smile

While I'm really looking forward to the day when he can sometimes soothe himself (and help me understand what it is he wants when he's upset), I know I will look back on these days with such joy, despite how frustrating things can get. He's already changing so quickly...

curlykate99 Thu 22-Sep-11 11:43:09

Second what lilham says about thumb sucking - everything got a lot easier for me at about 12 weeks when my DS found his thumb, both feed and sleep wise, so just to say that there is hope, sounds like you're doing a great job and hope things pick up for you soon smile

Quenelle Thu 22-Sep-11 12:03:19

I sat cross-legged in the middle of our double bed the first time I tried putting DS in the sling on my own, so I didn't have to worry about dropping him.

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