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Four month old keeps pulling off the breast

(15 Posts)
Utini Mon 23-Jan-17 13:15:52

DD is now 18 weeks and since around Christmas has become more and more fussy with feedings. She's generally ok during the night, although waking up every couple of hours for a feed.

During the day she'll often latch on, then pull off after a few seconds, turning away and flinging her arm out, then turning back and wanting to go back on. Eventually she gets frustrated and cries, or cries if I stop the feeding. She pecks at me like she's hungry but just won't take it!

I can usually get a feed into her by standing up and rocking her or walking around, sometimes putting the hoover on helps. Other times I have to give up for a while, try and distract her and try again in a bit.

Today has been particularly bad, she wouldn't sleep and was up until 1am, and did the weird feeding thing around 5:30 until I got up and rocked her.

I'm wondering if she's teething as she's always chewing on her hands and drooling, and has started pulling at her ears during feeding. Don't think it's an ear infection as it's gone on too long, no cold symptoms and no sign of fever.

To make matters worse I'm battling yet another blocked duct while still on antibiotics from a bout of mastitis a few days ago, and DP has just come down with a stomach bug so is having to stay well away.

Most feeds are now happening when she's half asleep. She won't starve herself will she?!

ElphabaTheGreen Mon 23-Jan-17 13:21:13

No, she won't smile

She's developmentally leaping, that's all, and it will pass. Just keep doing what you need to do to get her to feed - the walking and white noise are great strategies.

She's probably not teething, so don't be tempted to give Calpol unless pain/fever are patently obvious. The excessive drooling and fist chewing (and associate shit sleep) are routinely mistaken for signs of teething at four months - they're not. The fist chewing is how she imprints the 'map' of her hands onto her brain and the drooling is to wash the associated impurities out of her mouth. The disturbed sleep is typical four-month sleep regression. Pulling her ears can be tired signs or, more likely, she's just discovered her ears!

ElphabaTheGreen Mon 23-Jan-17 13:23:52

Just re-read the blocked duct but.

Have a duvet day. Take her in bed with you, shirt off and her down to a nappy. Free-access to boob and a minimum of distractions in your bedroom should remind her of her feeding priorities, and get her working on that blocked duct.

Kiwi32 Mon 23-Jan-17 13:25:47

I went through this exact same thing! Agree with PP about developmental stuff but just to say don't disregard teething totally as we had first two teeth at 14 weeks...
hang in there, feed when sleepy as you have been and I also found feeding walking around helped a lot. It will get better again.

Utini Thu 26-Jan-17 15:29:31

Thanks! After that one bad day we've gone back to the usual level of fussiness, which I can deal with by walking around feeding. Hope it passes soon.

I saw a lactation consultant who thinks it's probably a combination of developmental stuff and teething. I think teething probably is a part of it, I've noticed that she does the same on and off thing when she needs winding, so it does appear to be a sign of discomfort.

She was weighed yesterday and weight gain is slightly above expected, so no worries there. Just need to wait it out I think.

Kstar8 Thu 26-Jan-17 20:47:54

I did not enjoy BF at 4 months for this reason! DD used to feed to sleep and languish on boobs for ages but at 4 months started being really fussy.
I panicked that I didn't have enough milk and have her bottles of formula. It made no difference. I think it's part distraction and also due to her becoming super efficient at feeding. We used to feed for 45 mins every time and now she can be done in five or ten mins. I worried about this but she is gaining weight brilliantly.

She is 5 months now and still pulls off when she is impatient for the let down as she'll pull of several times at the beginning but stay on and gulp lots soon after.

It was very stressful and I too had to stand and rock to feed. It's much improved at five months although she will not feed to sleep in the day anymore which makes naps hard. But that's another thread 😁

lotbyname Fri 27-Jan-17 18:42:51

My Oct 16 baby group had a thread about this yesterday. It's a thing apparently! Joy :/

AyeAmarok Fri 27-Jan-17 18:47:33

My 9 week old is doing this at the moment. Bloody frustrating.

After about 20 minutes I just take him off and tell him he's blown his chance, then he cries tears of devastation for about 10 seconds grin

GummyGoddess Fri 27-Jan-17 18:53:11

Mine does this because he needs winding, once he's burped he goes back on. It's more painful when he tries to look at me and smile while feeding, he doesn't let go!

AliceThrewTheFookingGlass Fri 27-Jan-17 18:59:11

Could it be wind? Both of my children did the weird pulling back and then pecking thing but only ever when they needed to burp.

Patriciathestripper1 Fri 27-Jan-17 19:01:50

Have you checked for thrush?

Utini Fri 27-Jan-17 21:27:24

She does do it when she needs winding, but usually that's not the issue.

Patricia I don't think it's thrush, I keep checking but I can't see any sign of it in her mouth and this has been going on for a while. I do have some soreness but only since she started being really difficult - she tends to repeatedly rip herself off without unlatching, which is pretty uncomfortable and I think is what's made me a bit sore.

Kstar8 my DD has also gone from spending hours on the boob to becoming a very quick feeder, although still very frequent. Could be part of it I suppose.

Utini Fri 27-Jan-17 21:28:26

I think I can feel something in her gum now so maybe it is teething pain.

sixandoot Fri 27-Jan-17 21:36:03

It's an absolutely normal developmental phase. Does it sound like this Or maybe also this
Hang in there. This, too, shall pass.

MonkeyToucher Sat 28-Jan-17 19:50:10

My 15 week old is exactly the same! Don't dismiss teething as a possibility - my boy had been doing the same with the hand chewing and dribbling and his first tooth broke broke through yesterday so it's not too early. I find putting calgel on his gums before feeding helps a lot!

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