4 month old cries and pulls of when bf(20 Posts)
Hi, this is my first post on here and im hoping someone will be able to help!
Im am ebf my 4 month old but for the last month or so he has been very fussy when feeding and it is gradually getting worse. He latches on ok and drinks for a few minutes but then he pulls off, cries, arches his back and kicks his legs. He will usually then take the other side for a few minutes before doing this again. I try to switch sides again which sometimes works but sometimes he continues to cry.
I am worrried that he is not getting anywhere near enough milk and that my supply is suffering. I have been expressing a few times a day and giving this in a bottle to try and help this. I have seen lots of different bfc and spoken to the health visitor and the doctor. We have been given infant gaviscon in case it was reflux but it has made no difference.
Has anyone else experienced this and found out what was wrong or come out of the other side?
I am happy to give formula to make sure he is eating enough but on the few occasions i have tried it he has been very very sick and then slept for hours.
hi, my ds2 did this too at about 4 months. i wondered whether it might be a strong/fast let down. if you hand express some off first and then latch him on is that better? Also have you tried lying on your back propped up abit and getting him to feed that way?
could it be teething? have you tried diff positions? I was advised on here to try lying him on the floor and then 'dangling' boobs above his mouth for him to latch on (so me kneeling over him) as if teething this shouldnt put pressure on his gums.
i remember mine did this at every feed (apart from the night ones where he was sleepy!) for a couple of weeks and it was really hard. it did pass though.
im still not sure if it was fast let down, teething or what but we did come out of the other side and continued bf till 1yr old.
the only thing with giving a bottle (ff or bm) is that if its too often they might start refusing bf as a bottle is easier.
When we were going through it i dicided that i would only give 1-2 bottle a day.
hope this helps somewhat.
You will come out the other side!
Hi one of my twins did this from about 14 to 16 weeks. She started feeding again normally a few days ago. I couldn't supplement her with a bottle cos she refuses it but she was still having wet nappies and putting on weight so she must have been getting something.
I didn't pump to maintain supply either but it doesn't seem to have affected it.
Was v odd though!
Thanks Flo its reassuring that others have gone through the same! Yeah i have tried different positions, sometimes it seems to help, others times it makes no difference. I though it might be teething so put some calgel on gums a few times but that didnt help either but will try the 'dangling boob' approach!! He only has a few ounces from a bottle a couple of times a day, just so i feel better that he has had some. It does seem that night feeds are better so i have been feeding more at night. It is really hard to cope with as he has slow weight gain, so im desperate for him to eat!
Nancy thanks for letting me know it didn't affect your supply, im finding pumping so time consuming. Glad yor little one is feeding normally again.
Jilted, he had a tongue tie cut at 10 weeks,Ii as wondering if it could have reformed but we have none of the pain or clicking that we had before and he seems to be able to move his tongue well. Do you think that maybe the problem?
My friend's lo is going through this at 14 weeks and it just reminded me that DS used to do the same, I tried lots of different feeding positions etc but he just gradually stopped doing it and fed better after a few weeks. I think one bf counsellor said it was a developmental thing to do with their teeth. I think it'll pass, as long as you're getting plenty of wet nappies it's probably fine
When mine did this it was I think because he had wind - I used to let him pull off, sit him up till he did a burp, then put him back on quite happily. That was all it was - it revolutionised his feeds! He was thirsty but didn't have enough room till he had got rid of some air.
We had similar to this, I ended up calling it the four month fussies, lasted a few weeks and then seemed to pass. My Ds was really easily distracted and constantly pulling off, seemed to feed much better at night when less distractions and he was sleepier. Seemed awful at the time (he's 6mo now) and I constantly worried he wasn't getting enough milk but I think he also got super efficient at feeding. Hope it passes for you too.
So reassuring that others have gone thorugh the same thing. Thank you all for your replies. I do sometimes sit him up to wind him and let him calm down, but will try to do more in case it is that. Interesting that it could just be a developmental thing. We have lots of wet nappies, not many dirty ones at all. I just really hope it passes soon, the pressure of the next weigh in is looming : (
My DS did this too and it turned out to be a cow's milk intolerance. I was breastfeeding and had to exclude all dairy from my diet. My DS was also very sick when I once gave him formula which I did before I realised about the intolerence. He also had mild eczema which I noticed got much better once I went dairy free.
CareFactor, thank you for your reply. It has been in the back of my mind that he has cow's mik intolerance since his reaction to formula. I have asked about it with HVs and doctors but keep being brushed off. I have cut down on dairy which hasmade him less sick after feeds but havenot noticed the fussiness getting any better. How long did i take for Feeds to get better and did you cut out all dairy including 'hidden'?
I think it can take over a week to get the dairy completely out of your system and yes I had to cut out hidden dairy too. A lot of cow's milk intolerant babies also react to soya and mine DS did. The feeds did get better after about a week. I found the allergy board really helpful, infact without MN I would probably never have realised what was wrong with my DS! I had similar experiences with my doctor who clearly thought I was mad but my HV was luckily very supportive and eventually we got a referral to a paediatrician who confirmed the dairy intolerance.
Both mine did the same at four months and it lasted weeks (sorry). I have a fast let down and my milk would spray the baby in the face when he pulled away. When this happened I did the following. Expressed first thing so the milk wasn't as fast, and any time I felt engorged. This meant when the baby latched on it was easier for him to cope with. Lots of winding, both mine have been very windy so I always made sure I got a burp before putting him back to the breast. I also block fed, offering the same side each time until my b
Oops! Until my boob felt soft. Then switch to other side.
I also found in the evenings he'd cry and pull away if the milk wasn't coming fast enough ( after a day of frequent feeding I'd often feel quite empty). So I would just keep putting him back on until I felt the key down
So it might be different reasons at different times of day. I think I was looking for one 'thing' that I could fix but breast feeding was not that simple for me
Anyhow it all settled down after a few weeks and now at six months old he's an expert breast feeder.
Hope this helps
Thank you Snug, at least you got through it!!! I am cutting dairy out of my diet to see if that helps but have also started wondering if it is just his way of telling me that he has had enough. I have thought this before but was so worried about his weight gain that I was kinda trying to force feed him a bit (in the nicest possible way!). Just hope it sorts itself out soon!
I have a 14 week old and having the exact same problem now. So far it's been going on for about 3 or 4 weeks. Before we breast fed fine. My son will latch, feed for under a minute and then start crying and pull away, then latch and re-latch and cry. Sometimes he will take the other boob (and do the same) sometimes not. We only feed for a few minutes tops and feed every 3 to 4 hours on demand. I find that he settles when I sit him up then we'll try again after a few mins with varying success. He feeds OK most evenings before bed and first thing in the morning when he wakes but once the sun is up thats when the fun and games start.
He was very slightly under the ideal weight on the chart and the HV said to up the feeds. Looking back, doing this definitely made me stressed worried he wasn't getting enough and my son stressed trying to make him feed when he didn't want to and made it worse. So instead I now try to go with it and take my feeding cues from him and we have a much better day, more pleasant and relaxed time together.
I hear this is common for this age. From reading around I think our 'hiccups' are for a few reasons.
1. He's at a crucial developmental age and gets easily distracted. We have the best feeds in a dark room or when he's sleepy (but not over tired or that is difficult too).
2. He is a much more efficient feeder and will take what he needs in a few minutes and is telling me he's had enough/ or wants a little rest and look around. So I stop when he wants to and try again a bit later. (I know my supply is fine as sometimes I pump an 11pm/12am feed that my son has dropped). My son is fine in himself, sleeps well and has all the expected wet nappies so I'm trying not to worry and he must be getting what he needs.
3. I think I have an over active let down in one boob as when he pulls away it squirts him quite forcefully in the face and he's the most uncomfortable on this boob. We've had some success switching breasts repeatedly during feeds but I was concerned he wasn't getting enough hindmilk. So I am now trying 'block feeding' on one boob for a day to try and slow the supply in the other boob.
4. He could be growing teeth which is just making him uncomfortable feeding.
It's frustrating because feeding isn't always the enjoyable experience it was and sometimes its like he doesn't like me, but I am trying to stay rational and just work on the above with my son. I am sure its just a phase. I am not looking forward to him being weighed again on Monday but just hoping he has not lost weight. Slow gain I know can be normal for BF babies. He's fine and wetting nappies so I am trying not to worry. Hang on in there as we are doing the best thing for our babies! At least I hope some of the things in my post are ideas for you.
I had the same problem with DS and agree with FloJo151 and Snugabugz it sounds very much like a strong let down reflex. Like snugabugz i would block feed (but not till i was sore). I would feed on say the left side for first feed, then next feed i would put back on left until lo wasn't guzzling like a lunatic then i would switch to the right, next feed i would start right and then switch to left etc (i hope i've explained that properly). My let down was so strong and DS was such a feeding monster that he would rather it came out of his nose then latch off. He would gulp so quickly trying to keep up with the flow of the milk that he'd get dreadful wind and it was a nightmare trying to get rid of it. Once i switched to block feeding it was a breeze and everything settled down. it's definately worth a try! Good luck
DS did a similar thing. Seemed desperate to feed, but after a couple of sucks would yank off. Made me really quite sore. I never fixed it, but he did just stop on his own eventually. He's now 5.5 months. It will hopefully pass for you after a couple of weeks even if you do nothing different.
I also have a strong let down but I came to the conclusion he was getting frustrated when the flow wasn't instant enough. He still occasionally does it, but it's pretty rare.
We also were prescribed infant gaviscon which made little difference (except to constipate him!) and he is now a bit sicky which he never used to be. In the meantime lansinoh is your friend.
Thank you for your replies. I thought we had cracked it with the dairy free and being more chilled out and just letting him stop when he wanted to, feeding was going much better and a nicer experience. But, got him weighed today and hasn't gained in the past three weeks, so obviously not cracked it! Will try the block feeding!
Gosh I don't want to frighten you as my circumstances are very unusual! But since my post I continued to have difficulty getting him to feed and it got worse. He noticeably lost weight but still seemed OK in himself but i was getting concerned. When I took him to be weighed he had lost 6oz in 2 weeks. The health visitor didn't seem concerned & said to return in two weeks. From that moment on though he seemed less energetic, I thought this could be explained because he wasn't feeding and I took him straight to the GP who referred us to outpatients. I went that day and had a consultant tell me he wasn't getting enough and I should wean him!! (Another story) I told her this wasn't right as I could express 5oz! He also vomited in the assessment centre for the first time which they didnt seem to think much of. Anyway they took some bloods and sent us home cup feeding (which he refused also as we'd tried bottles & everything previously and it was food he wasn't taking regardless of how it was given) They called us straight back in that night as his sodium levels were dangerously low. They suspected a UTI, but it wasnt, anyway after a week in hospital my son was diagnosed with a rare genetic condition called CAH. We caught it just in time as he was starting to go into shock (hence the vomiting). Babies are usually diagnosed with this condition after 1 to 2 weeks of life, my son was 4 months old! He's a little fighter. He is absolutely fine on medicine and completely normal but it was a shock and a roller coaster for all of us. He's 7 months now, eating loads & weighing a lot and a beautiful, smiley happy baby!
I guess the moral of the story is, if you are concerned ( and you know in your heart) take them to the GP or hospital!
I hope things are fantastic with your babies. X
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