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Hungry baby, sad and worried mommy

(23 Posts)
Sazzyall Mon 22-Apr-13 21:16:45

Hi all,

im new to Mumsnet in that i have never posted before... My son will be 6wks this Thursday and is formula fed- I couldn't breast feed due to a traumatic birth and pancreatitis. I managed 10 days of combination feeding but that was all.

He was 9lb7oz when he was born and is nearly 12lb now. He's also quite a long baby. The reason I'm writing is because my boy seems to need more than the recommended formula amount and I'm wondering if I would have a happier baby if I switch to hungry milk OR give more oz of the first milk. He's on cow and gate first milk, about 6-7 oz 7 times a day- over 1000ml!

He's been tracking steadily on the 91st centile so the HV says to keep doing what I'm doing. The problem is that he's never satisfied after feeds. I spend my days distracting him between feeds- every 2.5-3hrs during the day and longer at night. He's always restless, wrestling with me, thrashing about and rooting! He practically bites my finger off if I tickle his cheek and this is after a bottle!

I feel so much pressure from the HV and everything they've suggested is failing ie- give him water, infacol, don't over stimulate, dummy (which he just lets fall out of his mouth)

I dunno, any advice on phrasing my issues to the HV or GP who I'm due to see this week would be very appreciated. I just want my baby to be able to relax and be happy.

Im feeling sad and I blame a lot on the fact I can't BF...Even the what feels like endless housework. It's like I'm a bad mum as a result and how if I could BF he'd be the happiest calmest boy who eats sleeps and poops in a routine that all these books seem to advise.


janey223 Mon 22-Apr-13 21:19:11

Could he have reflux? He may be comfort eating to try and stop the pain, a dummy may help but I'd go to the GP of he seems to be unsettled even with infacol etc. x

glorious Mon 22-Apr-13 21:23:32

I don't know about formula so hopefully someone who does will be along soon. But I wanted to say you are obviously a great mum who cares a lot about making her baby happy.

I don't think many babies are happy all the time or following a routine at 6 weeks, and my breastfed baby is sometimes very hungry and fussy. So it's most likely nothing to do with how you feed him, he'd probably be a hungry breastfed baby too.

Sorry you had a tough birth and pancreatitis, ouch.

BedHanger Mon 22-Apr-13 21:24:22

I don't have any advice on the formula, but wanted to say - please be kind to yourself smile. Six weeks is when fussiness peaks for all babies, no matter how they are fed. It's so common for them to be unsettled and cranky at this age.

My DS1 was the unhappiest baby I've ever met. At six weeks he was a bloody nightmare. He is now a happy, busy, smiley little boy and you'd never know he had such an unsettled start. Remember the old MN mantra - this too shall pass!

kritur Mon 22-Apr-13 21:26:44

I have no idea about the formula I'm afraid... But don't beat yourself up about the breastfeeding. I breastfed my daughter and still do ay 16 months and she has never had a perfect eat, sleep, poop routine (especially sleep!). Could your babba be teething and prefer the shape of a bottle teat to teethe on?

The only thing I would say which might be wrong is feed him on demand, not to a schedule. Feed on demand is recommended both for bfing and ffing these days so if he's showing hunger signs feed him. Not sure about hungry baby milk etc.

My friend runs a bottle feeding group on Facebook that might help you, she had a similar start to feeding and started it to help her come to terms with not being able to bf.

stargirl1701 Mon 22-Apr-13 21:29:13

Could it be silent reflux? Babies with it often comfort eat to get some relief from the symptoms. It is a lot of formula. I ff after bf issues but I just fed on demand as I had with bf.

wiltingfast Mon 22-Apr-13 21:30:11

Fgs, he's a big boy, just feed him til he's happy and doesn't want anymore. The guidelines are just guidelines. Appetite is a very fundamental drive and unless you think there's something else, just feed him!

And totally normal to be upset about the bf'ing but I am gobsmacked you managed it at all with pancreatitis to deal with. That can kill you know. Thank god you got through it. It takes time but you will come to terms about the bf'ing. It does not mean you are failing your baby. You are doing wonders woman smile

I tortured myself and my baby for about 6w on no 1. On no 2 only did it for about 2w. Both kids are perfect. Honestly. Do not worry about it. <makes mental note to take own advice if has 3rd>

wiltingfast Mon 22-Apr-13 21:34:47

Ps my sister stuck to the guidelines on her baby and was convinced he had reflux, kept giving him breaks etc, it was such an ordeal for them both. Then one day my dh said he's feed him and sis was so frazzled she handed her ds over with no instructions and dh just poured the bottle straight in (as he had with our ds) and it was like the miracle cure! Quiet happy baby! So at least try that first before looking for other issues.

Good luck!

sittinginthesun Mon 22-Apr-13 21:44:28

My eldest was FF from 10 days, and was always hungry. I had no option but to feed on demand, because he screamed blue murder if I didn't! He was particularly unsettled at 6 weeks old (Christmas Eve was a particularly stressful day...), but it really took until 12 weeks to really settle.

He took an stupid amount of milk, and has always followed his 91st centile line, for height and weight. He was the same when I weaned him, and even now, aged 9 years, he has a fantastic appetite. But, he has never snacked, never craved sweets or crisps etc, he just likes proper meals.

Maybe you've got one like mine. smile

pmgkt Mon 22-Apr-13 21:46:39

my hv said that if he was emptying his bottles, then up it by an ounce. that said I had a small baby who struggled to gain weight as my milk didnt kick in, but even then he was taking the 4 month recommended ff amount at 6 weeks. what I did find is that rather than him then having 180ml every 3 hours, he started having 210ml every 4 hours so cumulatively he wasn't having any more but just in a way that suited him better. one other thing is that I find that he is crying for sleep just about 40min before each feed, and if I offer a bottle he will take it, but in reality he wanted a little pre feed nap, which is totally different to my first ds. everyone else always assumes he needs a feed, but he doesn't. I would see your gp anyway just so you can have some reassurance, the hv isn't helping you feel comfortable. also if they start to monitor him now, then it starts the process if there is a problem, rather than more weeks of you worrying.

TwitchyTail Mon 22-Apr-13 21:52:47

Can't help with the specifics as know nothing about formula, but just wanted to say: young babies who eat, sleep and poop on routine are fictional entities created by internet trolls and people trying to sell books. I don't know any in real life. Definitely not my own little (breastfed) 8 week old fussy random monster who has no sense of any routine despite my best efforts . Don't feel guilty and don't blame yourself. You sound like you're doing a fabulous job smile

Sazzyall Mon 22-Apr-13 22:07:58

Wow, the response is wonderful- thank you everyone! Plenty advice to try out- I feel reassured that I'm not the only one. I've not heard of 'silent reflux' so will read up. Not sure it's that though because as soon as he's distracted he relaxes but then gets bored and starts fidgeting again- like ants in his pants! Deffo asking the GP about it on Friday!

Kritur- I'd be interested to join the Facebook page you mentioned, thanks

Sittininthesun- so positive, fingers crossed ;)

Pmgkt- I had the whole sleep or feed dilemma today and he dozed off twice with me rocking and pacifying him with a dummy- only for 15-20mins mind you but it was just another tool to get him so that he wasn't feeding before the 3hr mark- trying to stick to this routine is killing me!! He deffo needed the sleep though so I do feel that sometimes it can't always be hunger.

Motherhood is most definitely harder than I thought it would be and looking at some of the other threads I stillmseem to have it easier than some- respect to all you yummy mummies for taking the time to help me

katiecubs Mon 22-Apr-13 22:56:15

Step away from the books - they are usually not achievable and will just make you stressed! I would just feed him what he wants and be done with it - to be honest at 6 weeks baby's only real activity is feeding so its not all that suprising they like to be fed a lot smile

alienbanana Mon 22-Apr-13 23:00:12

At 6 weeks DS was having a bottle every 2 hours - I struggled to encourage him to go that long sometimes! Don't feel like you can't feed more often.

MajaBiene Mon 22-Apr-13 23:00:19

If your baby is hungry I would feed him - he knows his appetite better than the formula carton/HV.

byhec Mon 22-Apr-13 23:01:57

Please just feed him if he's hungry and don't stress yourself out trying to keep to a routine, he's only little and he'll work out his own routine eventually x

Niklepic Mon 22-Apr-13 23:15:07

DD has FF on demand from about a week old and feeds every 2-3 hours. Her record is 19 ounces of milk over a 4 hour period coincidentally when she was 6 weeks old. She's now 15 weeks and is a lovely, happy baby who's following the 75th centile.

Cravingdairy Mon 22-Apr-13 23:28:14

I agree with everyone else. I think the NHS recommends cue feeding for FF as well as BF now, at least it does here in Scotland. Give your baby what he wants for now, and enjoy him.

It must have been horrid to be so ill when your baby was born. He will get lots of ongoing benefits from the breastmilk he has had from you and you have nothing to feel guilty for. Your baby is loved, fed, clothed and sheltered. You are giving him everything he needs. Bother the books.

SomethingOnce Mon 22-Apr-13 23:33:20

I also know nothing about formula, but I do know how to advise you to let your household standards drop a bit while you negotiate this tricky patch.

DD was BF and was a terrible sleeper (didn't sleep through for nearly two years), cried a lot in the first few weeks and was a very random poo-er. So, no guarantees.

I hope you feel a bit brighter soon. Take care of yourself flowers

WouldBeHarrietVane Tue 23-Apr-13 00:49:49

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BedHanger Thu 25-Apr-13 09:41:15

How are you getting on, Sazzy

BedHanger Thu 25-Apr-13 09:41:30


beckslovestimmy Thu 25-Apr-13 16:58:02

My health visitor said not to try the hungry baby milk as she finds the babies who have that go up through the centiles. Feed on demand with his normal milk.

It might be worth keeping track of the exact amount your LO has. My DD was feeding 2hrly in the evening maybe 3-4hrly during the day, I thought she was having loads but it added up to roughly the guidelines on the tin. She was much happier when I fed on demand rather than trying to make her go the recommended time between feeds. Now she packs it in all day but sleeps through the night 8pm-8am. smile

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