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9 week old ebf always hungry

(24 Posts)
LooeyLou Mon 10-Feb-14 14:00:45

My 9 week old ds is ebf and gaining weight and doing well with breastfeeding. He has lots of wet and dry nappies but never seems content. He will have a good feed but then seems hungry within half an hour/45 minutes at the most. I find it really difficult to go out I'll feed him before we go and then within half an hour/45 minutes he's screaming again for food. He's quite unsettled in himself won't really sleep in the day, he falls asleep on me I put him down and he's awake crying again within ten minutes. Is this normal? I feel like I'm doing it all wrong?

tiktok Mon 10-Feb-14 14:31:32

(Presume you mean 'dirty' not 'dry' nappies? smile )

The pattern you describe - healthy, thriving baby who feeds often and who prefers to sleep very close to mum and only sleeps a short time when not close to her - is on the normal spectrum. It does not last forever smile

Is there a bf support group near you? This might help with your confidence.

TinyTear Mon 10-Feb-14 14:33:01

Seems normal...

Feeds every hour... check
naps on mummy... check

enjoy the sofa time, with chocolate and TV

TheScience Mon 10-Feb-14 14:37:31

Do you give him both sides at every feed?

I found putting DS in a sling with a dummy after a big feed and then going straight out meant we got a 2-3 hour gap.

Also, we napped together at least once a day - I could just stick a nipple back in his mouth if he stirred and it meant we both got at least one good sleep in the day.

quackojuliet Mon 10-Feb-14 15:05:26

Sorry to hijack but why o why was I told 'if baby feeding more often than 2-3 hrs thesis not feeding effectively'??? By 2 different women on breastfeeding helplines
My la leche book and kellymom say more often is normal, snacking is normal, sometimes 5 minsid all they want...

tiktok Mon 10-Feb-14 15:44:30

quackojuliet, which helplines were these? It's utterly wrong to be dogmatic like that...the vast majority of babies will have phases (at the very least) where they feed more often than 2-3 hours.

I am an NCT breastfeeding counsellor and work the helpline sometimes - I can't think any of my colleagues would say this, and in fact I know what we learn and say, and it ain't that smile

I'd be surprised - very surprised - if any of the national helplines said anything different. Perhaps this is a local service you accessed???

LooeyLou Mon 10-Feb-14 16:18:13

Thank you for the replies, yes I did mean dirty!
sounds like it's normal then! It's just exhausting, he's only really happy when feeding or being held and I can't get anything done or go anywhere! Feel a bit chained to the house at the moment and a crying baby can get you down after a while and I start to doubt myself.

I have a sling which works for a while but he's getting heavy smile

Does the amount they feed ever slow down and become less constant?

TheScience Mon 10-Feb-14 16:21:42

What kind of sling do you have? With a good one you'll be able to carry your baby all day.

DS's feeds definitely spread out to about 2.5 hourly at some point - I did have to make sure he really tanked up with a good feed off both sides though.

quackojuliet Mon 10-Feb-14 16:55:47

tiktok in fact the most dogmatic was the natiomal breastfeeding helpline. She told me if feeding for less than 20minutes it was not a good feed and baby would need to feed more regularly - I should 'ensure' baby feeds for longer. Forcing my baby to. Feed more has never had positive effects! The nct helpline said similar but that I shouldn't face as could cause breast refusal. Maybe I was unlucky in who I spoke to...

looey I highly recommend the ergo! it's pricey but has changed my life! 6 week old dd naps in there in the daytime and really allows us to get out and about. I do find she will sleep in there for longer when dh carries her though as when she wakes she doesn't smell milk and isn't as temped (I imagine)

Swannykazoo Mon 10-Feb-14 17:07:31

Hey looey is he less hungry if he's slept? My LO us 7 weeks and sounds very similar. If I carry him in the sling or sit letting him sleep on me (kindle, food, radio, paper,feet up) he'll kip for a decent hour or two but will detect being put down in a moses bsket in about 5 min. He is very very sucky if he's overtired and not slept-I assume its a comfort thing.

You're definitely not alone with feeding more often though

GlitzAndGiggles Mon 10-Feb-14 17:16:07

Are you eating well yourself op? I wasn't at first so dd wanted feeding more and I finally had proper meals and she fed a bit less but seemed full after a feed

TheScience Mon 10-Feb-14 17:54:17

The amount you eat won't effect the milk really unless you are very deficient in something. If you don't eat enough it might make you feel dodgy of course.

atthestrokeoftwelve Mon 10-Feb-14 17:58:09

I do see where the NCT counsellor may have been coming from.

Some babies are snackers, they will feed just enough to take the edge off their hunger and either fall asleep or become distracted.

While I would never advocate forcing a baby to feed there are gentle ways to remind baby to get on with the task in hand and focus on more active feeding.
This may then mean the time between feeds is extended as baby has a fuller tummy.

GlitzAndGiggles Mon 10-Feb-14 17:59:53

I had iron deficiency so it affected my dd's weight and the milk I was producing

tiktok Mon 10-Feb-14 18:36:03

Iron deficiency - when it's severe enough to cause illness in the mother - can make it more difficult to produce a full supply. Mild iron deficiency has no effect.

juliet, you said you were told that feeding 2-3 hourly was not normal - but your example of what was said related to length of feed, not frequency.

If a baby is not gaining weight* and falls asleep after a few minutes, then yes, it is sensible to try to encourage the baby to feed for longer at a time. What they have told you is not wrong. The risk with a baby in this situation is that they don't get sufficient calories and don't have the energy to feed for long....dropping off the breast, tired, before they get what they need to grow. Of course you would not force a baby to stay on - but there are a number of things you can do that encourage the baby to stay 'active' (breast compression, switch nursing, for two examples).

Babies who are thriving and gaining weight well may only need a few minutes at the breast. But the ones who are not thriving may need more.

atthestrokeoftwelve Mon 10-Feb-14 18:41:45

Yes tiktok, but the OPs baby is feeding every 45 minutes or so- I would suggest that even if weight gain is good encouragement to actively feed may space out feeds.

LooeyLou Mon 10-Feb-14 20:02:33

TheScience I have a caboo carrier, watched some videos on YouTube about how to make sure your using it properly so will have another go tomorro!

puggle01 yes that's exactly it he seems so overtired and at times uses me to suck just for comfort! If we've been out and he falls asleep in the car seat or pushchair and we come home he can stay asleep for a good hour or hour and a half so know he can do it or will sleep on me but as soon as I put him down in his Moses basket he's wide awake! Drives me mad! I'm sure he's partly feeding as a source of comfort as he will feed on both sides and finish on his own so he's not hungry but will then want more once he's woken himself up!

GlitzandGiggles yes I am thank you I do nothing but eat! And also on iron tablets

tiktok Mon 10-Feb-14 20:04:34

Ops baby wakes again after 30 to 45 mins if separated from mum. Sleeps longer when held.

GlitzAndGiggles Mon 10-Feb-14 20:06:58

I hope I didn't come across in a rude tone op. I'm just stating from my experience I'm anaemic so struggle with an appetite and found it to be worse when I was bfing

TheScience Mon 10-Feb-14 20:09:57

Maybe it's more of a sleep issue than a feeding issue? 45 minutes is about one sleep cycle for a small baby - DS used to only nap for 45 minutes at a time (unless held/on the breast/in the sling) until he was about 7 months old!

I know it's controversial, but I used a dummy and didn't find it impacted on breastfeeding at all. It was very useful for times I couldn't/didn't want to comfort feed - trying to get somewhere, getting him dressed after a bath, in the car/pram.

atthestrokeoftwelve Mon 10-Feb-14 20:11:51

At nine weeks my babies were pretty much attached to me constantly. my slig was a godsend.

Wisteria36 Wed 12-Feb-14 20:13:48

Sitting here with my 8.5 year old draped across me after carrying him around in the sling all day. Some days he will lie on his play mat or have short sleeps in his basket but others like today he just wants to be carried. If we go out he's ok as long as I keep moving with the sling on! His 4 year old brother is reading in bed by himself till he goes to sleep, so it does improve with age wink

Wisteria36 Wed 12-Feb-14 20:14:38

8.5 week, not years, now that really would be exhausting!!!

CuteLittleToes Thu 13-Feb-14 04:21:13

I would second a dummy if he's sucking for comfort. Try putting him into the pram and move the pram until he falls asleep. Then whenever he stirs move the pram again. Even if he stirs every 20 mins it means you have 20 mins of hands free time. It really helped me and I hope it helps you too.

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