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Baby won't feed and I make him cry

(46 Posts)
hamncheese Mon 03-Dec-12 07:49:21

Don't really know what to do anymore. My DS is 17 weeks and has been doing nursing strikes since week 8. It's so on and off and we have tried everything. He feeds well at night mostly but during the day won't. He wakes up happy then as soon as he does feeding cues I try to feed him and he sucks for a few minutes then cries until I go away from him. He's lying on my bed alone just now because if I go to him he cries. I can't be with him anymore because it hurts so much that I am making him cry. I can't go out anymore because as soon as we get anywhere he cries for food then won't feed and I end up sitting somewhere within other mums having blissful feeds with their babies like I used to have with DS and I'm there with him screaming at me for trying to feed him and crying on and off the rest of the time with Hunger and they look sad and say oh is he ok and all I can say is he's hungry but won't eat. And there is nothing I can do I have tried the dark room, all the feeding positions I can think of, when he's just woken, when he's sleepy but he's never sleepy because he is too hungry to sleep. I've just called my dad to take him. It breaks my heart to send him off with my dad, hungry and upset, but I can't do it anymore. I can't do anything any more. Don't even know why I'm posting, I just don't have anyone else to tell who won't try and tell me its ok because it's not,

Daisy17 Mon 03-Dec-12 21:17:57

My little one did this for an extended period of time around the same age, it used to leave me in tears every day as I tried to wrestle with him to get him to feed and he arched away. Nights were fine for us, too. He was an early teether - any chance that could be it? Hugs. X.

TrickyBiscuits Mon 03-Dec-12 21:33:54

I don't often comment on serious threads but I really had to for this.

About 4 months ago, I was pretty much in your position, with a same age DS and feeling like you are now. It's horrible- I totally get it.

My baby would regularly wriggle, scream and kick through his feedings (especially when we were out and about sad) and always seemed so unhappy with me, it's so hard not to take it personally.

In DS's case (and I accept this is quite rare) it turned out he'd been suffering from multiple allergies through my breast milk (diary, soya, wheat, cocoa). Once these foods had been isolated and eliminated from my diet this type of feeding behaviour all but stopped. I did ask DS's gastroenterologist whether this would have been the cause of his feeding problems (this wasn't a main symptom of course) and I didn't get a straight answer hmm... it does seem as if the two things were linked in some way though?

I'm not suggesting that your DS has the same problems, I just wanted to say that I've been through similar and come out the other side: I now have a very happy, cuddly, 7 month old DS, who only wants my milk and is refusing solids grin. We really had to push our community paediatrician for a referral (not in UK) and I wish I had been firmer earlier as I just KNEW that DS's problems were not normal. I really think you should go back to your GP and stand your ground, stamp your feet, change your HV, ANYTHING but don't put up with the crappy treatment you've been given so far.

BonzoDooDah Mon 03-Dec-12 21:44:25

Yes - that reminds me - I used my phone and recorded DS feeding/ screaming on my phone. HV and Nurse were both surprised to see it as he was always placid when they were there. They also reassured me that it was not normal behaviour and to see the Dr.

leeloo1 Mon 03-Dec-12 22:43:09

I've no experience with this, but could you comfort yourself/be reassured by the fact that your DS is feeding well at night. Sure he's not feeding when it'd be more convenient during the day, but you, and he, are doing something right if its going well then.

Another posted mentioned let-down. Could you try to stimulate that before you feed? So when he tries to latch on there's already some milk there, so he'll taste that and it'll 'remind' him what to do? Just a thought.

I'd second the suggestion to contact the La Leche League, or a Breastfeeding counsellor, who is more experienced with these problems than many GPs and HVs will be.

Good luck with it all!

Amelia0 Tue 04-Dec-12 15:33:31

Hi, maybe your baby has silent reflux? My baby was like that, always screaming at the breast (worse at sometimes than others). HV and GP kept saying latch problem blah blah blah. I knew they were talking rubbish.
I advise you to go to your childrens A&E . Thats what i had to do. My baby was diagnosed with reflux, given renitedine and is now a happy baby on the breast!(it can take 2 days or so to work though) .

Keep smiling smile

hamncheese Wed 05-Dec-12 13:31:01

Thanks for all the comments and sorry not to reply til now.

I've been off dairy and soya for two months and thought it was working but then mucousy poo again so slowly reintroducing and seeing no difference.

We've been tried on gaviscon it caused projectile vomit. As for reflux he doesn't hate lying down, is sick in the day not at night, feeds fine all night, basically is inconsistent in crying. He cries before feeding so I don't know that it could be...

He's been teething for ages but when its there (drool, flushed cheeks, nappy rash) he isn't worse and when it isn't he still won't feed.

So in the last day I decided to only feed him three hourly. And he has fed every time. No refusal at all. I've tried adding more routine so awake time then sleep or quiet time then feed. I'm beginning to think he cries not because he is hungry, ie if he is tired, frustrated etc, then I try to feed and he gets more annoyed as he isn't hungry then every time I offer he just refuses. Now I feed when I know he IS def hungry and after a nap or quiet time seems to help. He is a very bright thing and quite ahead of his age developmentally it seems, he wants to do it all then gets over stimulated and won't concentrate to feed.

I've not been out yet since this change will go tomorrow and hope its still good. Really appreciate the support everyone... Plodding on and getting success I am quietly happy about...

IceNoSlice Wed 05-Dec-12 22:55:23

Ham, I've just started really a book called the Baby Whisperer. Up till now, I've resisted the books and tried to do the baby led thing, but I really feel my little one wants some kind of routine. And being up every 2 hours at night is awful, especially when I keep hearing people talk about how theirs are sleeping through. Anyway, this book talks about the EASY routine (eat, activity, sleep/you time) which sounds like your description.

I can't say more (only just started the book) but maybe ir's worth checking it out?

tiktok Wed 05-Dec-12 23:33:32

Ice, please look up the Baby Whisperer in the mumsnet archives.

You will see many strong opinions.

IceNoSlice Thu 06-Dec-12 01:12:08

Hi tiktok, I just did as you suggested. Not too sure what you meant by archives, so just searched for 'baby whisperer' and 'Tracy Hogg'.

Indeed there were many hits. I have now read quite a lot of them, and about 95% were positive. This surprised me, from the tone of your post, I was expecting outright MN hatred... As though you were saying 'baby whisperer, Ice! Don't be daft. Utter rubbish! And MN agrees with me, she's evil!'

So have I missed something tiktok?

tiktok Thu 06-Dec-12 08:55:55

Ice, read the mentions of Baby Whisperer in this folder (breast and bottle feeding) for many negative opinions on the author's knowledge of how bf works.

She does not have the first idea and makes elementary errors of understanding.

Many women have posted on MN because the book has made them miserable.

Clearly some people have found it helpful, but on the whole, they have not been breastfeeding.

hamncheese Thu 06-Dec-12 09:17:10

Yeah I'm aware of the easy routine thing. I suppose we are doing a v v v loose version of it. I don't want to go on some mega strict routine because then it stops working if something is up with LO or they just happen to not want to eat at that time or are hungrier earlier. For example today he fed at 6 as planned but then we went back to bed (v unusual) and he has fed at 7.30 and 8.30. I was scared he would refuse but he was really hungry. Think he's on a growth spurt. Anyway, weird thing is I though oh well if he fed at 730 we will do awake time til 9 ish then quiet time and feed again at 10.30 but he is asleep now as if he knows the last two days he was to rest up to 9 so that's brilliant.

<checking to see if he's wearing a watch>

I get the feeling if this pans out maybe I was just totally misreading his cries. He doesn't seem to have a hungry cry so I would try to feed every time in case he was... Can see how frustrating that would be for him. Still need to see if this all works when out and about as historically his worst feeding is when out the house. Going out today so will see.

hamncheese Sun 09-Dec-12 09:31:33

Just to update we have had two successful feeds in public. At one he went to cry then realised he hadn't been crying at feeds recently and fed fine smile

Thanks again for all help

tiktok Sun 09-Dec-12 17:17:46

That's all looking good, ham smile

eatssleepsfeeds Sun 09-Dec-12 18:15:40

My baby was like this re the feeding. Really hard work and v difficult to manage when out and about.

I think it was 2 things. I was trying to feed her all the time. She just wasn't hungry enough for it and I honestly think I was annoying her. Over time it became obvious to me that she was far far worse when she was tired. For some silly reason she would just fight me instead of having a nice sleepy feed. When I became confident of the latter tired issue I would just pretty much wrestle her into a feed and she'd relent in the end and relax.

They are funny little buggers with minds of their own. I can't help you with the reflux or intolerance issues discussed. Sounds like you do need medical help with that.

Just try your best not to get too down about this. Before you know it, the weeks and months will have passed, milk won't be your baby's sole source of nutrition and he'll be talking - telling you how he feels instead of you having to guess. Time really does fly.

All the best. X

hamncheese Mon 10-Dec-12 09:01:24

Thanks eatssleeps I think our issues are very similar and focusing in getting him into a bit more structure in terms of day sleep and not trying to feed is really helping smile

eatssleepsfeeds Tue 11-Dec-12 11:46:31

I'm glad. I definitely found going longer without a feed just made her get on with it. Mine is 10 mths now and is doing brilliantly. Likes solids. Still a bit of a weirdo when it comes to her milk. Gets distracted from her feed incredibly easily. She never cries at the breast though - just pushes me away and attempts to do something else! It doesn't upset me anymore and I just respect her decision not to drink! Bit different for you as yours is younger but same principle on a snaller scale iyswim?! Unfortunatly, she has decided over past few mths to have her daily milk intake during the night hours. She is really not helping those grey circles under my eyes...

eragon Tue 11-Dec-12 11:55:45

if your baby passes a mucous filled nappy again, that doesnt look normal, take that to the gp and show him/her.

that is proof that something is not right.

keep on plugging with the medical proffession, ask to be reffered to a pead .
if your gp doenst help, fine, ask for appointment with other doc in practice.

good luck.

Viviennemary Tue 11-Dec-12 11:57:09

I'd certainly get him checked out by your GP. My DD had very bad colic and nothing seemed to work. She was a difficult feeder and I was frantic as she wasn't putting on enough weight. I did move reluctantly to formula in the end and she was a bit better. But it was the last resort. And she did the projectile vomitting a few times. Hope your little one is sorted out soon.

eatssleepsfeeds Tue 11-Dec-12 13:31:46

Yes, I would add that my baby has pretty much never been sick in her life, has always put on normal weight and has never shown any signs of illness at all - she is just a mardy little feeder. If you see signs of illness, of course, pursue your GP. X

hamncheese Tue 11-Dec-12 15:27:33

Well the HV dismissed the mucous nappies, saying only to be concerned if there was blood, which I find a bit remiss. But trying to get what you want from anyone at the health centre is pointless the stress and trips would be worse than solving the problem IYSWIM. Ugh.

Hersch Thu 13-Dec-12 22:06:23

It broke my heart when I started to read this thread, no new mum should be made to feel so stressed about feeding that you feel your baby is better off with other people - so glad that things have started to improve hamncheese.

My son is 7 months and BF. Not had any issues with his milk feeding but when he was about 4 months old he got mucousy nappies which were a whole range of shades of green! I was really concerned he had a food allergy and cut various things out of my diet which didn't make any difference. I read that if BF babies feed little and often they tend to get more of the fore milk which is high in sugary lactose rather than the fat rich hind milk which comes later in the feed. The high levels of lactose can cause mucous. The green nappies did seem to correlate with DS feeding more frequently (warm weather made him thirsty). When feeding pattern went back to normal (every 3-4 hours during the day) the green mucous stopped.

Also, don't worry too much about your LO being happy by himself. Our son won't sleep when held/cuddled/rocked and is much more contented in his cot where he can stretch out and roll over. He will also play quite happily by himself and isn't bothered if it's mummy, daddy or ANother who picks him up. I am the envy of many of my friends to have such an independent baby - it seems like the grass is always greener!!

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