Fussy feeder - breast and bottle

(40 Posts)
kayzed Fri 01-Sep-06 12:34:46

DD (8 weeks) was fussing on the breast (needs it's own thread!), but isn't much better on the bottle. She rarely has more than 1oz at a time. While she is feeding she will often have a few sucks then cry / scream, then go back for a few sucks and repeat the cycle. I'm trying to demand feed her, she frequently seems hungry, but seems very unhappy feeding. I stop to burp her but it doesn't seem to help much. She doesn't vomit a great deal anymore. She's doing a few poos a day, nappies fairly wet, gaining weight OK. Sometimes she will settle into sleepiness and feed contentedly, but then often falls asleep on the bottle.

Why is she such an angry feeder? I am loathed to feed her in public for fear of putting people off their lunch it is that distressing!

LaDiDaDi Fri 01-Sep-06 12:52:24

Could it be relux?

kayzed Fri 01-Sep-06 17:41:55

How can I tell? I've tried feeding her almost upright, didn't seem to help much. I think she's unhappy by association now as she screams blue murder when we sit down to feed, even if she starts feeding enthusiastically (for a few sucks that is) only moments later. Am baffled, DS was loads easier to read...

Mum2FunkyDude Fri 01-Sep-06 17:52:47

Is she ear pulling? sometimes if they have an ear infection it hurts to suck as the movement of the jaw makes the pain worse.

kayzed Fri 01-Sep-06 17:58:22

No, but she might be teething? She's biting the teat, also DS got 4 teeth at around 3mo...

Mum2FunkyDude Fri 01-Sep-06 18:02:52

Oh yes, teething is hereditary, early teething runs in families. Try giving Bonjela before a feed, it lasts about 3 hours. I've tried dentinox, but it wears of so quickly. My son would go off milk for 2 weeks just before cutting and then all of a sudden try to catch up. Just keep in mind that if you are bf that you might decrease your milk supply if you are offering formula.

My son tends to pull his ear when teething too, the gp said the nerves in the mouth is connected to the ear and it is painful for them.

babyox Fri 01-Sep-06 20:02:59

Hi kayzed
This has recently started for me too DS is 9 wks today. previously latched on great and fed like a demon. His feeding habits have changed in the last week..dont know if it's because he's now going through from 10.30pm - 7am without feeding...great...but his fussiness during the day cld be due to this change. Dont know but it's driving me nuts. Wriggles and kicks whilst at the breast..latches on a minute then spits it out...gets frustrated as if there isn't enough milk there so i switch to the other after 15 mins and that also doesn't placate him... Have'nt noticed any ear tugging but will look into the teething thing...any other thoughts...? Cld my milk supply be down and causing this frustration??

MatNanPlus Fri 01-Sep-06 20:17:44

I looked after a baby that was bottle fed but at 8 weeks would be hungry and scream just after he started to feed.

I took him to a cranio consult and the nerves running up his neck were trapped due to a delayed birth delivery and as he sucked he got a huge headache, he had 4 sessions, 1 a week and after his first there was a little improvement and by the third he was smiling again and feeding well.

He slept well and she said it hadn't shown up earlier as he hadn't grown enough for the trapping to occur.

Katerina75 Fri 01-Sep-06 20:29:18

when ds was doing this at 10 weeks I changed teat size - now on Avent no 3s. It did the trick

kayzed Fri 01-Sep-06 21:47:12

Feeding her EBM Mum2FunkyDude .

babyox - my sympathies! I had to get her off the boob as my poor nips couldn't hack the pace (first few weeks of BF were lovely though).

Katerina I was thinking that too. I have a very fast let-down so she was used to being sprayed when I put her on the bottle.

May try the cranio actually. She is sleeping well, but feeding has always had its problems. Labour was very fast (less than 2 hours start to finish) but calm and strangely painless (my DS had been ALOT larger) - for me that is. Who can can what the impact was on her?

Thanks for your ideas ladies

liquidclocks Fri 01-Sep-06 22:46:19

hello! great minds an'all then!

The kellymom site often gets referred to by BF mums when reflux is mentioned and it's just a generally great resource for babies - hope it had some useful info for you.

One thing with a reflux baby is that putting the cot mattress on an angle, either by using an intergral tilt mechanism which some cots have or by propping it on books, can help with sleep/naps (don't just suff things under the mattress as it will bend and sag). You also might get advice to let them sleep in a car seat but try not to if you can help it as it's no good for their posture and can make 'flat head syndrome' worse.

Also try not to get over-zealous with burping her as if it is reflux it will just encourage the acid to sit around the top of her tummy and hurt more. (Babywearing is also good for reflux see www.mamatoto.org)

hope this is of help and your DS's mood improves!

kayzed Sun 03-Sep-06 17:59:39

This has really escalated over the weekend - she's refusing pretty much all feeds at the start now! Once she settled down enough this afternoon, she got through over 6oz she was so hungry! Perhaps she is moving from snacking to bigger less frequent feeds and we are offering milk too often (certainly her sleeps are longer now, sleeping though overnight).

I think the reflux symptoms (posseting) she is experiencing are due to her taking in air as she is so upset feeding (choking and gagging, even on newborn teats). My instinct tells me she does not have (even silent) reflux.

What we have learned this weekend is that she hates teats that drip, especially the orthodontic ones (she used to fuss at my let-downs as well). I think she prefers to be in control of milk flow.

She is still doing thick poos instead of the thinner variety with cottage cheese (although colour is still mustard), so she may be unwell. DS has had a cold, although she does not have symptoms. I wonder if something in my diet could be setting her off - have been pigging out on cashews lately .

Will be taking her to the doc in the morning to see if she has some anatomical anomaly in her mouth or any other symptom I've missed.

Any other ideas very welcome - it's very distressing to have a young baby not eating!

kayzed Sun 03-Sep-06 18:24:20

Is it possible for a baby to have thrush in her mouth that would make it sore with no visible symptoms? I wonder if it would be likely in her case as I had BF thrush in the early days. She really seems to be in some sort of )real or associated) pain, either in her mouth or in her tummy (no nappy rash)...

liquidclocks Sun 03-Sep-06 18:57:10

Kayzed I think you're doing exactly the right thing taking her to the doctor - stamp your feet until s/he helps you, if s/he says they can't you need a referral to someone who can.

With oral thrush there are generally little white lumps that develop before the mouth gets sore - have you checked for this.

Also with DS we found that he couldn't form a seal around most teats and therefore he took in too much air and became upset. We ended up using cow and gate disposable ones (though we re-used them) but it can be a trial finding the right teat with the right flow and shape. Have you tried a vari-flow?

liquidclocks Sun 03-Sep-06 19:01:24

PS - do hope your DS is ok too, can't be helping the situation with him having all this going on, poor little guy.

kayzed Sun 03-Sep-06 20:02:19

Thanks for your concern liquidclocks

Yup, the variflow ones (that don't drip) are the ones we are using. We get her to relax on the Nuby, then switch to a Boots to actually drink once she is a bit more settled.

How I would love to know what is wrong! How can a healthy, thriving, hungry baby turn into one that simply refuses to nurse? As this happened after her 2 months jabs, my confidence in vaccinations (of which I was previously a proponent) has been seriously shaken

liquidclocks Sun 03-Sep-06 20:14:55

Aw, poor you and poor DD! When were her jabs? Do you think it's possible they've just upset her status quo a bit? I remember having to give DS some calpol after a roud of injections when he was little. - really hope the visit to your docs tomorrow is useful.

kayzed Sun 03-Sep-06 22:28:06

Her jabs were Tuesday. She screamed like she was being murdered, DS burst into tears. She was pretty grizzly when we got back so I gave her one dose of Calpol. Then she slept continuously, waking only for feeds (or when I woke her for feeds) for a day or two (DS was the same when he got his jabs).

DH has been doing most of the feeding this weekend because I am so stressed after trying all week. He reckons even when she does nurse it's not the usual rhythm. She's doing alot of chewing on the teat and pushing it out with her tongue. She's also sucking and chewing her fingers loads. If her gums showed any change I'd think it was teething, but they still look very newborn.

Has been a rough week! Let's see what the doc says tomorrow - I'm hoping they'll spot something like thrush or a sore throat...

kayzed Mon 04-Sep-06 12:37:57

Doctor was completely useless. Wrote a presciption for nyastin (even though she is symptomless) just because I had thrush around a month ago. Then sent us on our way as I was still trying to describe the situation.

Will be taking her to A&E now if it doesn't improve in a day or two. Is getting ridiculous, she has had 40ml since last night

woozy Mon 04-Sep-06 14:17:09

Hi Kayzed, can sympathise with you as DS (15 weeks) has done exactly the same - started fussing on the breast at 9 weeks (again coincided with jabs), was taking a bottle ok so decided to stop with bf and move onto bottles. Gradually got fussier over last 6 weeks. Wriggles and struggles at every feed. Seems hungry but doesn't enjoy feeding anymore. Have tried every teat/bottle/milk/position/place/temperature to no avail. Seems more unsettled during day. Only when he really calms down or is sleepy will he feed calmly. Takes alot of air in when feeding due to fussing then stomach is gurgling like crazy. Tried Colief and Gaviscon but didn't notice any difference (in fact Colief made him worse) V. distressing! Thought DD was a difficult feeder (reflux) but looking back was a doddle! Am seeing HV again who is referring us to community paediatrician - will let you know if they shed any light ...

kayzed Mon 04-Sep-06 15:00:26

Thanks woozy and sorry you are going through this too! How is your DS's nappies / weight gain?

My DS also went through a fussy stage around this time, I weaned him (onto solids) early at 4 months and he did eventually start enjoying his milk again. I hope it will be the same with DD, although it's a long wait to 4 months from here!

woozy Mon 04-Sep-06 16:17:59

At 9 weeks he was on the 50th centile, where he had been from birth. When we next got him weighed at 12 weeks he had dropped to the 25th although he had put on a small amount of weight. HV coming tomorrow to weigh him. Went on complete hunger strike over the bank holiday w/end so will have to see if he has put any on. Nappies ok. DD was difficult to feed with solids so am nervous about starting all that again although may be the only answer.
Sounds very similar to your situation - funny rhythmn when sucking, chewing on teat.
Thought babies were just born to feed!!
Hope your DD starts to feed again. We went to A&E when DS was taking very little but they couldn't find anything. Suggested saline drops as he sounded congested. Not sure now if it is something medical or just attitude (laziness, stubborness!). going round in circles. Very confused and rather stressed!! Sure it will sort itself out in time and we will probably never know what it was all about!

kayzed Mon 04-Sep-06 18:36:38

Isn't it bizarre woozy. DD was born 50th also but shot up to 75th as she was a VERY hungry baby in the early weeks. That's why what is going on now is so disconcerting! Some of it maybe a bit of bottle rejection, I only tried it on her after 6 weeks - perhaps I should have done so sooner. If only she wasn't rejecting the breast as well!

woozy Mon 04-Sep-06 19:30:07

Hi Kayzed. How has your DD been today? DS refused to take more than 3oz every 4 hours today. Just fed him before bed (sleeps from 6.30pm until 7am! not hungry?) and as he was so tired he nodded off and took 6oz without flinching. That can't be a medical problem. Must just be attitude. Oh no! can't wait for the terrible twos!!!
Been reading thread about HSC (DD has many traits, DS very touchy and sensitive) - could that have something to do with not wanting to feed unless asleep?

kayzed Mon 04-Sep-06 21:25:21

Yup, DS is a pretty hardcore HSC, and I'm already pretty sure DD is too. There is a single teat she will allow into her mouth. Even when she is half asleep and we switch to another one it doesn't take her long to wake up and complain! The teat she will allow is weird - the Tommee Tippee Nuby variable flow. I think she feels in control because it doesn't drip and is a very slow vari.

Have you seen something called lactose overload woozy? I think this may be part of her problem, caused by overfeeding (because we've been reading her other cues as hungry cues e.g. rooting when she it tired). I totally let her call the shots today, she had one 5oz session in the middle of the day but snacks elsewhere. But, she was far less cross.

Have yet another bottle to try on her - will see how that goes at her next feed...

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