We've spent weeks researching and testing breast pumps and bottles in real homes with real families. Read our baby feeding bottle and breast pump reviews to find out which ones were awarded Mumsnet Best.
This is a Premium feature
To use this feature subscribe to Mumsnet Premium - get first access to new features see fewer ads, and support Mumsnet.Start using Mumsnet Premium
Baby refusing to feed during day please help!(27 Posts)
I have a 4 month old who has been refusing to feed during the day for the past 2 weeks (we're in the third week now). At night time she has 3-4 feeds (11, 2, 4 and 5.30 generally), so this is when she's getting her food. I can usually get her to feed at 7am but it then just gets worse and worse throughout the day, to the point where if I put her anywhere near the breast she becomes hysterical.
I have seen a lactation consultant who said she has a posterior tongue tie. Went to another LC for a second opinion and potentially get it snipped but she thought snipping it would make it worse, so suggested we go to an osteopath. 2 osteopathy sessions later and there is no change, in fact she seems worse. Her latch is very shallow, I have tried the 'flipple' technique and she does latch on better but will still pull off after 30 seconds as if she's in pain. I have tried laid back bfeeding but she just gets frantic and can't latch on properly that way. I have also cut out dairy since last week to see if that helps (but wouldn't see a change from that yet).
I just don't know what to do now. She won't take a bottle so can't 'top her up' that way, and it is making our bfeeding relationship really stressful. When she feeds during the day she has 30secs-1 minute then pulls off screaming. I then can't get her back on to the breast. I don't understand why she is fine feeding at night but seems to find it distressing during the day. I've tried feeding her more often, less often, very short frequent feeds, but nothing has made any difference.
It's getting to the point where I am dreading feeding her and it's making me (and her!) really miserable. I feel like I'm failing to feed her properly and am so tired from waking up all night. If she would take a bottle I would've stopped bfeeding her by now. I also have an older DD so just hunkering down and getting on with isn't an option.
I'd be really grateful if anyone has any advice or has experienced this? I can't see an end in sight at the moment and it's having a huge negative effect. Thanks in advance x
Sorry things sound tough at the moment. Presumably your LO has been feeding well and gaining weight fine up til recently? If so it's possibly just a fussy stage. I have a 4 month old too and she was like this for a few weeks (still is a fair bit) but it is calming slightly. I could tell she was hungry but she just kept rooting right past my nipple despite my best 'hamburger' attempts, and when she did feed she pulled off screaming after about 30 seconds as if my milk were burning her (only way I can describe it!!) She sometimes started screaming at the mere sight of my boobs - not great for the self esteem. But, like yours, she was feeding frequently and very efficiently through the night. I was worried I would have a full on nursing strike on my hands but thankfully she is becoming happier to feed through the day again, pity the night feeds aren't reducing much... It is quite soul destroying. I'm sorry I don't have any advice as such but I know exactly how it feels, hopefully it will improve a bit like it is for me, and hopefully someone will come along with a few suggestons!
That does sound very stressful. I'm sure yiu will have read up on tt, but here is some information from Milk Matters which yiu may find helpful.
Are you in the U.K. River? If so, it might be worth ringing one of the Breastfeeding Helplines this evening. A BFC may be able to give you some support
As she is crying after a minute, has anyone suggested trying Breast Compressions to you? There is some information on how they work here. .
As for the bottle refusing, if yiu search the MN site, there will be literally hundreds of threads on bottle refusing. There is some info here on alternative feeding methods. The tips for 4 months plus is towards the end of the page and there are some tips here on bottlefeeding a bf baby.
Thank you so much for your replies, it's good to know I'm not alone!
I haven't tried breast compressions, will definitely give that a go. I have tried the bf helplines but I can never get through. I'm thinking of possibly getting a third opinion re the tongue tie but at £75 a go it's not cheap!
If you can't get through on the Bfing Lines, could you leave a message? Some also offer email help. Alternatively, could you call your local Leche League Leader. Milk Matters do virtual diagnosis of tongue tie too but I'm not sure how much it is.
Given everything you describe, I'd be tempted to go with the recommendations of the first Lactation Consultant though and see about getting it snipped, but that's just my, untrained, opinion .
This happened to me around DS being the 4-5 months. Does your baby nap during the day? If so, just when they're about to nod off before each nap, dreamfeed them. This helped sort it for me at least until he was weaned onto solids, which is when all the night feeds started dropping.
He is 8 months now, I still have to dreamfeed during the day for him to take milk but I also mix milk into his 3 meals so it's not as stressful now
River I feel your pain, my dd has been just like this, started at about 6 weeks. We got her tongue tie snipped but to be honest it didn't make any real difference. I also took fenugreek domperidone to boost supply, saw a lactation consultant and tried dairy free. It is utterly soul destroying, what you said about the stress and stopping if you could is just how I have felt.
I did find feeding while sleepy helped, just before nap or just as waking up, also using white noise and feeding lying down if at home was helpful.
She seems to be slowly growing out of it, although we now have the distract ability to deal with too! If out I try to feed her under a muzzi or scarf otherwise she's just too nosey. Her weight gain faltered a bit so we started solids early and I put formula in her food to boost her calories. she ( touch wood) does seem to be reducing her night feeding a bit, waking 2-3times instead of at least 4.
I've tried offering the bottle at times when she is fussing on the breast and she won't take it. She does suck on a mam teat and will take 1-2 oz so I am starting to think she can do it if she really wanted / needed tombut that maybe she just doesn't like drinking milk of any sort???
It's interesting what you said about osteopath as that was the one thing I was thinking of trying as a last resort. My last dd was like this too only not as bad and I had taken her to one, at the time I thought it made no difference but because now lo is worse I am wondering if actually it did iyswim??? How do you think it made it worse???
It will get better, I am holding out for starting meat and dairy in her solids so her not taking much milk will matter less. Have you tried white noise?? It was probably the most helpful for me, had to have it quite loud
Hi, haven't read all replies so sorry for any repetition
Could it be silent reflux? Our son would scream during day feeds but be ok when very tired / at night and this turned out to be the problem. It's because they develop a feeding aversion from the pain, but when tired they forget about it a bit.
Could be worth asking your doc to try some ranitidine (Zantac)
I should add, other symptoms to watch for include:
- acidic smelling breath
- gurgling tummy / sound of milk coming back up
- frequent hiccups
There are more but this is what our son exhibited
I have been so desperate (my baby boy doesn't want to feed during the day) so I googled it hoping that someone has a similar issue.
Your post came up and when I read it I could not believe that you were having exactly the same problem with your little one.
It started just after 6 weeks and he has been acting exactly the same as you described (eating perfectly fine during the night, but during the day: 30 sec top 1 minute on the breast and screaming after, try to calm him down but as soon as i put him in a feeding position he screams and wants to have none of it). I went to the GP and got ranitidine for silent reflux. It seemed to be working for a little while but today was the worst day ever. Refusing to eat and screaming. We were so desperate with my husband that we took him for a drive to calm him down and I managed to feed him in the car...
I feel really hopeless... Breastfeeding should be an enjoyable bonding experience but all it gives just stress.
My boy is now 10 weeks old (so this has been going on for 3.5 weeks now). I know your little one was a bit older.
Could you please let me know what happened to your baby? When did she grown out of it?
My baby refusing to take bottle too so I'm very worried about my milk supply. Since he is not taking any (or just little amount) I'm really worried that I will not produce enough for him.
Please, please let me know what I can do or how long it is going to last...
I have the same problem with my 4 month old. He feeds really well at night but often arches off the breast screaming early into day time feeds. I can sometimes settle him quite quickly (often not!) but he’ll scream if I put him back on the boob. I know he’s still hungry as I’ve tested it by offering a bottle of expressed and he guzzles it down. He’s a very windy baby and I think wind pain is the cause as he’ll often fart (really smelly sometimes) when he comes off the boob and he has wind pain/farts other times of day as well, not just during feeds.
I’m wondering if silent reflux is the problem and the wind a symptom...How is the ranitidine going? Have you noticed any wind issues? We’re seeing a paediatrician next week so might get some answers.
Sorry that you’re having such a hard time - it’s so awful when they won’t feed. Really hard if he won’t take the bottle. I try to feed him up at night, offering both sides even if he looks full and sleepy after one side.
I'm having the same problem too and have been since about 3 weeks old (now 16 weeks)
I dream feed when I can and she feeds a lot in the night. Tongue tie was cut 3 times and on omeprazole for silent reflux plus I'm dairy free. I don't know what else to try but it's driving me mad!!!
She whines all day because she is hungry (I assume) and won't feed, won't take a bottle either!
I keep telling myself it's not forever and I just need to do another few months but it's killing me!
I'm really sorry to hear that you are having difficult times with your little one too.
Silent reflux and wind are connected. I noticed that my little one farts more since we started to use ranitidine. I would say the medication has definitely helped but as I said in the previous post we still have issues.
He clicks a lot when he is on the breast (and takes so much air) which then builds up and it becomes painful for him hence starts to cry during feeding 😔
I went to our breastfeeding clinic yesterday and one of the lactation consultant asked me to feed him in front of her. And guess what he was feeding absolutely fine for 10 min. No issues or drama. Then she said he might have done it because he was completely calm (and the room was full of oxitocin from all the breastfeeding mums). When I'm at home I'm dreading every feeding and constantly thinking about how to feed him and I would get really upset if he doesn't eat. The woman said just go with the flow and try to be calm as the baby can sense our mood and when we are stressed they become stressed too.
Obviously, this won't help if the baby is in real pain, but I think it's true.
I don't know if you have any breastfeeding clinic close to you but I would definitely give it a try. It would be beneficial for you and your baby to get out of the house and meet with other mums.
It sounds horrible but seeing that other mums are struggling makes me feel less stressed as I know I'm not alone.
I really hope the pediatrician will be able to help.
Silent reflux have other symptoms as well not just the pain during feeding for example: frequent hiccups, acidy breath (acid from the stomach), cough during or after feed.
The only problem with ranitidine is that it cause constipation. My little one hasn't had a poo for 3 days and it really bothering him now.
Please, let me know what the pediatrician said and in the main time just remember you are doing an amazing job 😘
Thanks Kickencs - our babies sound very similar. My little one clicks and coughs but the wind seems to be the main problem. I’ve seen a lactation consultant and go to a support group. His latch is good when it’s a good feed but when he’s uncomfortable he’ll bounce on and off a lot. Will let you know what the dr says. Hope things get better for you.
Jpeg - keep going, sounds like you’re doing an amazing job. I’m cutting out dairy too but I think it can take a few weeks to clear out from our systems? A really good lactation consultant told me that babies can get a lot of what they need from night feeds so all might be ok if she’s putting on weight ok
You have been doing an amazing job never forget it!
Have you given a thought to go to a cranial osteopathy treatment?
Your baby might have some tension in her body which could make her uncomfortable. I'm not saying it will definitely help, but it might worth a try... We went for a treatment and it helped a slightly bit.
Hi both, thought I would add my two pence in since I went through the same. My lb is coming up 6 months, he would do the same when I tried to bf, arched and started crying. Also very windy smelly farts. My first lb was also exactly like this. The arching was due to silent reflux, and the smelly farts were due to intolerance to what I was eating. Their body can’t break down certain proteins if they have an intolerance so it ferments in their gut causing really stinky wind. Both my boys have cows milk intolerance aswell as wheat, egg, soya and some others. I gave up bf this time at 4.5 months because it wasn’t enjoyable for either of us, I did eliminate dairy from my diet for 6 weeks to see if things improved but he was still reacting so I knew he had multiple intolerances like my eldest son. He is now on a specialist dairy free formula and omeprazole for the reflux (ranitidine has been recalled due to suspected cancer links in some manufacturers, so they have recalled all ranitidine whilst they are investigating). Just thought I would mention it because I’ve done so much research around it so may worth be investigating the intolerance side of things, that’s a big cause of stinky wind. And arching is very likely silent reflux.
Hi KM - thanks for posting, this all sounds very familiar. He's been diagnosed with reflux plus lactose intolerance and possibly also food intolerances. I've not been eating dairy for about 3 weeks but haven't noticed any difference. Colief for the lactose has made an immediate difference. We started omeprazole a few days ago. I'd be interested to get your views - atm it seems to have made his reflux worse and also seems to be making him very uncomfortable again with tummy ache/smelly farts - this had stopped with colief and started again with omeprazole so I assumed it was that but it may be underlying food intolerances like your lbs. He's always been a good sleeper but is very jittery and restless - lots of crying and legs in the air since the omeprazole. Not enjoying giving it to him at all!
Has your first lb grown out of the reflux/intolerances - just wondering if they're here to stay or not...
Just a quick update... still challenging here! I've been dairy free since 5 months pg so I knew it was out of my system, introduced it for a week and 💩 turned totally green so I've cut out again. I think I need to cut other things out but I just don't have it in me 🤦🏼♀️ she does feed and she is gaining weight but it's just a battle, if I catch her after a nap or before it's ok but otherwise she just refuses and then feeds all night.
We are on omeprazole now too. I feel like I want to give up bf but she won't even take a bottle.
Fingers crossed it gets easier for everyone else soon too!
Hi my baby did this too... refused to feed for a week period unless dream feeding. In the end it turned out to be because I had been having cinnamon. It can make your breast milk taste funny hence they dont want to feed.
But there are still times now when he refuses to feed because he is so windy. I found that giving him a little gripe water helped settle his tummy and wind between feeds. With regards to reflux my little one suffers from this too. Its horrible to see them go through the pain of it. We have tried gaviscon which caused constipation, we then tried ranitidine which had the same effect. We are combination feeding because of my low milk supply. So we theb tried anti reflux formula but this is so thick he takes in alot of air!
With regards to alergies as a first time mom I have a question. If your baby was breastfeed exclusively for first 6 weeks and not having any tummy problems would this indicate that there arent any allergies from my diet?
When he was born I went cheese crazy after limiting myself in pregnancy from unpasteurized dairy. In those 6 weeks he was fine. The 2 weeks after where we combination fed he was fine too. So I dont think my little one has allergies. This post has got me thinking
Allergies are so hard to diagnose I think until weaning. I have a friend whose baby was combination fed and then when he started on solids it was evident he had a milk allergy. But just severe. Where as both my children have reacted to it through my milk. 🤷🏼♀️
I know this thread is now a year old but did anyone have a solution or outcome for the situation where a baby feeds more frequently at night but basically refuses and cries when attempting to feed during the day?
This has been going on for 10 weeks for me (now 16 weeks) and I’m now at the stage where my son just won’t feed in the day at all.
I don’t think this is reflux because the other symptoms aren’t there.
Did your babies grow out of it @jpeg32 @Riversid3 @Skywalker51 or anyone else?
I’d be grateful to hear of anyone’s experiences!
Update from us is that it was mainly silent reflux rather than allergies. We stopped the omeprazole after about a week as it just wasn’t agreeing with him (a dietician has warned us that it was very strong). From that point it was just a daily slog to get enough milk down him. Silent reflux is such a hard one as they’re not sick that much - the milk just comes back up in their throats. I still don’t really understand why breastfeeding was easier at night but it was.
I started giving him a formula bottle as the last evening feed from 4.5 months as bottles always went down more easily (although reflux still very much there with bottles) and I couldn’t keep up with the expressing. That worked well for a few months until he refused the boob over the course of about a month until I gave up at 9 months. I know it wasn’t serious allergies with him as we (against advice of the specialist) gave him normal cow’s milk formula (Hipp organic) after he rejected the allergy formula (which smelt so rancid to be fair!). It may have been an intolerance that caused the reflux - we never got the answer to that. The specialist we saw said that it would take 9-12 months for him to grow out of it. He was pretty bang on. It did become a lot easier around 10 months. I don’t think it was just because he was only on bottles/formula by then as we still had problems before that with bottles.
On medical advice we started solids early at 4.5 months and that helped a lot. He’s still a reflux baby/toddler. We have to hold or sit him up after his evening milk - it still all comes up in his throat.
All I can say is keep going - it’s so hard. Whatever the problem is with your LO it will change eventually. If you’re breast feeding can you go to online support groups if the real life ones aren’t happening? Pre Covid I found them so helpful. The advice I got there was that if they are putting on enough weight (even if they’re low weight - my LO was skimming the 2nd percentile for a while - I haven’t had him weighed since Covid but I’m less worried now - he’s still a skinny minny compared to other babies but i think that’s just how he is) it’s fine. If your LO is making up for feeds in the night then he’s probably getting enough milk. Speak to your GP though if you’re worried - trust your gut.
I hope things settle down - it’s the hardest, I really feel for you but it does change x
I’m sorry you’re going through this.
My daughter eventually got much better, when she was 6 months and started weaning we introduced dairy and it wasn’t an allergy (unlike my son)
She was hideous at feeding for a long time. I used to bf her bouncing on a ball or standing up until she was 5 months old. But of course she fed perfectly every hour of the night!!
We went to a cranial osteopath which worked wonder helping her muscles in her mouth (she had a tongue tie cut 3 times so lots of damage)
My only advice in terms of feeding in the day is keep going, try feeding to sleep/when asleep as dream feeds did work sometimes for me. Try bouncing/rocking/sling feeds.
For me it all got better over time. But with my son it didn’t so I really really hope it does for you.
Keep going you’re doing amazingly!! Xx
Thank you both so much for your replies and the encouragement. It is exactly what I need to try and keep going today. It’s so tough isn’t it!?
I don’t think it’s reflux but the dr has given me omeprazole to try just in case - however it just doesn’t add up for me as the nights he is not fussy or seemingly in any pain at all!
I will just march on and hopefully with time he improves!
It was definitely reflux with us (silent) and night feeds were fine. No idea why. I should have said that we used gaviscon after giving up omeprazole and I think it helped a bit.
Keep going - it will get better x
Please login first.