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Breastfed 3 week old never takes a break!

(12 Posts)
Modestandatinybitsexy Tue 27-Jun-17 19:10:05

This baby is always hungry! We've been combination feeding because of issues with breastfeeding in week 2 and also just so I can get a break to sleep.

I would express the top up feeds but my boobs feel so empty all the time. I know they are never truly empty but I've tried and they take an age to express when I've been non stop feeding him all day.

Today he woke up at 2am, fed and didn't want to be put down until 6am when my husband took him and gave formula. We slept until 9am when the feeding began again with the longest break being an hour.

The feeds started short 10-20mins but have increased throughout the day and are now approaching 40-50mins, he also gets fussy on the boobs in the evenings. I'm swapping boobs about every 40 mins on average.

I feel like I'm following all advice and I've heard of cluster-feeding but this surely can't be normal?!

AssassinatedBeauty Tue 27-Jun-17 23:24:54

It can be normal, especially if it's hot weather. But on the other hand, has he been checked for tongue tie? Are there lots of wet and dirty nappies? How is the weight gain going? Constant feeding could be done to issues with effectively transferring milk, which can be caused by tongue tie.

TittyGolightly Tue 27-Jun-17 23:27:51

It may be as a result of the combination feeding (it's too early for breaks if you want to breastfeed - it can take 6 weeks to establish fully).

Modestandatinybitsexy Wed 28-Jun-17 01:49:02

Thanks for your replies. He has been assessed for tongue tie, there is one but it's not affecting his latch so we've been advised to see how it goes.

Plenty of wet and dirty nappies throughout the day although I'm not sure how much of this is due to those couple of bottles of formula a day. He has about 300ml formula split in the morning and the late evening.

I'm not getting more than 2 hours break from the formula. Surely if a baby can nap up to four hours and I've been feeding on average 7 hours a day this should be enough to establish milk supply?

TittyGolightly Wed 28-Jun-17 06:42:39

Could also be the 2 week growth spurt.

PenelopeParmesan Wed 28-Jun-17 06:51:53

When you say it's not affecting his latch, do you mean it's not causing sore nipples? An untreated tt can certainly cause prolonged, frequent feeds because the baby takes longer to transfer enough milk.

Like using a teaspoon to empty a sink full of water rather than a jug. You'll get the water out eventually but it's slow and hard work.

There's also often a big feeding spurt /growth spurt around 3 weeks. I'd suggest getting another opinion on the tongue before making any big decisions

FenellaMaxwellsPony Wed 28-Jun-17 06:56:21

300ml is a LOT of formula at 3 weeks if you are combo feeding - how much does the baby weigh? The rule of thumb is 150mls formula per kilo in weight when you are exclusively FF.

I hate to say it but max 2 hours break is completely normal for a baby of that age. Things get better at 4-6 weeks generally.

doleritedinosaur Wed 28-Jun-17 07:06:46

It is really normal at that stage, both of mine cluster fed around then for their growth spurt.

Supply can take 6-8 weeks to build up & you're definitely not empty.

& newborn's have a 3 hour cycle usually but it depends on the baby. My eldest when growing would feed every hour regardless of day or night. Once he did a 7 hour stint. So if they're hungry, they're hungry.

Can you get to a breastfeeding group? They can look at latch & talk about cluster feeding.

The formula won't really give you a break as he is trying to build your supply up.

silkpyjamasallday Wed 28-Jun-17 07:11:13

Have the tongue tie checked again, I was told dd didn't have tongue tie, she broke it herself when weaning at 6 months and low and behold feeding became much more efficient after that. Have a lactation consultant check it as it's a relatively new thing and I don't think the checks in the hospital are sufficient.

Unfortunately topping up with formula will also damage your own supply, so if you want to continue bf you should stop giving formula. 300ml is a LOT of milk for such a tiny baby and will make a big difference in how much milk your body is telling you to produce. Try and express whenever the baby naps to try and rebuild your supply, your boobs may feel empty but they are not, milk is made on demand. It will be a bit of a slog at first but once the newborn stage is over bf is an absolute doddle compared to sterilising and making up bottles.

DoubleHelix79 Wed 28-Jun-17 07:14:03

My daughter fed non-stop for probably the first two months. Never went longer than 45 min to an hour between feeds, and often cluster fed for hours at a time. I was really worried, but she put on weight beautifully and went up from 34th percentile to 64th percentile in that time. I reckon she just liked to snack and also comfort fed a lot of the time. She's now 16 weeks and finally starting to go up to 2.5 hours between feeds. I wouldn't worry as long as your DC puts on weight, has plenty of wet and dirty nappies and generally seems happy.

Faithless12 Wed 28-Jun-17 07:16:08

It's normal sadly. I'd get the tongue tie looked at again.

GreenHillsOfHome Fri 30-Jun-17 19:44:22

Hang in there...ds3 is 6 weeks and this was us 3 weeks ago.

He was a big baby, 9lb 6. I just bf until day 3 where he was unable to latch because my milk was in and my boobs changed shape, so we started formula top ups - he's always had 2, one in the afternoon and one before bed.

He started on 2 x 3oz top ups, swiftly increasing to 2 x 5oz top ups by 3 weeks. By the time a top up was 'due' my boobs were empty - he'd be manically rooting and sucking but there was nothing there. Then the top up would give me a 2/3 hour break by which time there'd be milk there. But other than the 2 hours after a top up he would feed near constantly and my boobs seemed to empty quickly so it seemed a lot of the time he was getting just tiny amounts.

He hasn't increased from 2 x 5oz top ups since 3 weeks so in ratio to how much he needs, the formula has decreased iyswim and amount of bm increased.

He's now 6 weeks and 12lbs and the last two days has only taken 4oz of each top up. Literally the last couple of days I feel like my supply has properly at every feed I can hear the big gulps of milk for the majority of it and I'm not feeling empty before a top up, but I've carried on because it gives me a break.

He still feeds a lot but with some gaps now so I can see light at the end of the tunnel! As an indication, this is what he's fed today so far, I've been noting it down:
6am, 30 mins
8.30 15 mins
9.50 30 mins
10.50 30mins
11.40 20 mins
13.10 30mins
15.15 15 mins then 4oz formula
18.30 30 mins

I expect he'll feed another twice tonight, then a 4oz top up at 11pm, then he sleeps from 11.30-5.30 (which he's been doing for a week, it's amazing!).

I'm hoping that over the next few weeks his feeds will regulate more until we're at a more manageable 7/8 bfs instead of 10ish.

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