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Am I demand led feeding or an inefficent breastfeeder?!

(19 Posts)
liney80 Mon 03-Nov-14 11:44:08

Hello, I've got a 3 week old son (my first child). He was 9lbs when born and bf has been going really well. He lost only an ounce in the first 5 days then put 2.5 ounces on in the following 5 days so I think he's getting enough milk - I'm going to have him weighed again this week.

He sleeps well at night feeding at 12/3/6 ish so we're getting sleep in between, though he's really grizzly from about 10pm til midnight and wants to feed almost constantly.

During the day he's started getting a bit patchy in the day and feeding sporadically and not sleeping as much - but I think he looks tired. He usually feeds for 15 mins on one side and falls asleep, sometimes I give him the other breast to try and makes feeds longer. He generally falls asleep on the breast.

Oh, and he's had a horrible cold for the last week...

Should I be doing something to improve each feed so it's a quality one and make sure he can then sleep properly? I suspect he also likes a good comfort suck too!

Does this all sound normal? Grateful for advice for more experienced mums - thanks!

liney80 Mon 03-Nov-14 11:45:27

Oh and I should add lots of wet and poopy nappies!!

hollie84 Mon 03-Nov-14 11:51:06

When he falls asleep on one breast I'd offer the other, but babies are pretty much designed to fall asleep feeding.

At some point newborns do "wake up" a bit and need more help falling and staying asleep, so it might be more of a sleep issue than a feeding one. You could try encouraging good naps by not letting him stay awake more than an hour without trying to get him to sleep, using a swing, a sling or a pram to get longer naps etc.

Artistic Mon 03-Nov-14 12:03:01

Hi! Your story sounds similar to mine. I have a 4 week old DD & am struggling on similar lines. Interested in knowing what other mums have to say.

One thing I have tried & which is working a bit is that after she feeds from one side, I change her nappy which usually wakes her up. Then we try feeding from the other side. She has about half of it before she seems too full. After thing she naps better than what she did with one side feed. I think not feeling full enough is causing less sleep - which in turn is tiring them out & resulting in many small feeds. When she does nap I try keeping the house quiet & stretch her naps to 1-2 hours when possible. All this is definitely helping as am getting some rest when she naps, before it was quite a non stop feed- poop- nap- feed situation!

Also since she only does half feed the second time I use the same side when she takes a full feed after a map, else it causes engorgement as the side doesn't get fully drained.

Hope this helps a bit, and waiting for the wise mums to show up!

Artistic Mon 03-Nov-14 12:04:15

Sorry for the typos, have only 1 hand free

ReallyTired Mon 03-Nov-14 12:07:34

It sounds like you are doing really well. If you over feed your little baby he will just throw up the milk because only so much milk can fit in such a tiny tummy. As your baby grows he will be able to go longer between feeds.

Babies feed more during grow spurts and lot of regular feeds simulate the breasts to produce more milk. Sucesful exclusive breastfeeding requires demand feeding in the early weeks. There will be days when your baby is permament attached to the breast and it is utterly exhausting.

It will get better.

liney80 Mon 03-Nov-14 15:09:42

Thanks so much for the advice. It's taken me three weeks to get used to just going with it (I had a very structured life with a 9-5 job before this so its all a bit bewildering!)

I'll try and help him sleep more to see if that helps. He's just had 2 hours and is having a good feed now.

liney80 Mon 03-Nov-14 15:19:25

Two more questions while I'm here! My sister gave me the baby whisperer (I read a few pages and cried because it made me feel I was doing things wrong so I shut it!) The bit that stuck was knowing what different cries mean and not automatically feeding a baby - is there any truth in this? If he's crying - even different sound cries - offering him a feed always seems to pacify him but I want to make sure I'm tuned in to my baby.

Also, do breast fed babies need burping. I try for a few minutes but nothing comes out - shoukd I stop or keep trying?

Sorry, still quite confused about all this :-)

VioletWillow Mon 03-Nov-14 15:31:08

Winding wise, some babies do, some don't. I leave DD unless she grizzles then I wind her, but she doesn't need it as often as her brother who was FF.
I don't know that book so can't say, I have watched the baby language clip on YouTube which says what cries are which, like neh, hungry, air, windy, etc, but tbh if you're bf, offer the breast first and then see what could be wrong. If they don't want feeding they won't take the breast!
If a book makes you feel bad I'd say use it as a tea/coffee coaster and go with your gut instincts or try a different book. Don't try to squeeze your parenting into a way that doesn't fit. It doesn't helpsmile

hollie84 Mon 03-Nov-14 16:08:01

Baby Whisperer is listed as a "book to avoid" for breastfeeders because her advice can damage a breastfeeding relationship.

I have had 2 babies and don't know what different cries mean, but it doesn't matter - 90% of baby problems are solved with a breast, so if in doubt feed first.

DS1 never needed winding. DS2 has a tongue tie and poor latch and so took in a lot of air and did need winding, but it never took more than a minute or two.

MissYamabuki Mon 03-Nov-14 16:26:11

I can tell different types of cry with DC2 - hungry, tired, pain, pick me up now! smile A cuddle or a feed help with all of the above so the knowledge doesn't mean I do anything differently IYSWIM. With DC1 it all sounded the same to me but she cried a lot less.

Re winding:
DC1: mix fed, never needed winding. Burped occasionally after feeds with or without winding.
DC2: EBF, mild tongue tie, needs gentle patting on my shoulder for about a minute.


liney80 Mon 03-Nov-14 17:24:48

Thanks again everyone! I love this forum - what a great source of support!

squizita Tue 04-Nov-14 01:36:51

You will learn the cries over time - book not needed!
Babies are sleepy to start with. Do what PP advise, also I find feeding with their suit open/rolled up helps keep them awake.

Soon you will have one who you can't get to concentrate for wakeful playfulness! (She says at 1am ...).

ReallyTired Tue 04-Nov-14 14:45:40

I never learnt my children's cries, however I got a better idea of what my children needed to stay happy. If a baby is still crying after a feed, you check their nappy, whether they are warm or cold or simply bored.

Hedgehogging Tue 04-Nov-14 16:04:46

Baby whisperer made me cry too, the bitch!

I never managed to discern different cries in the early days so stuck with my instinct of "if in doubt, boob".

Sounds like you're doing really well thanks.

ReallyTired Tue 04-Nov-14 16:05:59

A lot of baby books are written by people who never had children. I feel that such books set up mothers for unrealisitc expectations.

QuietNinjaTardis Tue 04-Nov-14 16:08:58

Throw the book away! You're doing fab.

ElphabaTheGreen Tue 04-Nov-14 16:22:04

I've found that baby books work brilliantly, providing your baby has also read them wink

I was never much good at differentiating cries - I'm slightly better with DS2 than DS1, but it still all sounds a bit like generic crying to me.

I've half-heartedly burped both of mine (both EBF) , but if nothing's materialised after about 10 seconds of patting, I don't bother. Sometimes I don't do it at all unless they seem particularly fussy after a feed - even then a burp might not stop the fussing. Don't assume it's something you have to do unless you've noticed that burping actually makes a difference to anything.

Artistic Wed 05-Nov-14 23:31:40

Liney - my DD definitely needs to be burped, otherwise she has a painful air bubble in her system which makes her arch & cry in a few minutes. I also use Infacol which helps the burping. If your baby shows no ill effects of not burping then why bother!

Their cries do sound different - it just comes with experience ie if you've fed baby 30 mins ago and he/she cries then possibly it's not hunger, so you listen to the cry & see if it sounds any different. This way you just know the 3-4 different ways in which they cry & you can make a guess next time. It's always a learning process & by the time you've learnt everything they are 20 years old!! grin

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