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4mo DS now getting so distracted at breast that he's starting to feed every 2 hours

(14 Posts)
HolidaysQueen Thu 14-Aug-08 19:30:36

My 19 week DS has always been a bit of a nosey boy, but in the last 2 weeks he has started getting so distracted when feeding that he stops feeds before he's had very much and then consequently needs to feed more frequently.

Basically if there is any noise at all now, he pulls off the breast, looks around, screams, needs to sit up and then won't go back onto the breast for at least a few minutes. I can't watch tv, listen to the radio, slurp a drink, talk to DH, let anyone hoover in another room, and I certainly can't sneeze or cough or scratch my arm...In addition he hits me (not hard but if I try to hold his hand to stop him, he stops feeding) and pulls my top up exposing my breasts. I can barely feed in my own house, let alone in public any more

This is starting to upset me - I've always had a fairly fragile confidence in bf for one reason and another (me anaemic so poor supply, and then poor weight gain in DS), and we'd just got to a place where I felt really happy about it and he was feeding really well and now I'm getting anxious again. And I'm finding the subsequently increased number of feeds difficult. He only feeds well if he's really sleepy - before bed and in the night.

Any tips? I used to be able to put a muslin over his head, but his favourite thing now is stroking fabric so he just pulls the muslin and gets distracted by that

twoboots Thu 14-Aug-08 19:42:46

Breast compression may help. The ideas is that the baby will either pull away or fall asleep when the flow slows down, so anything to keep the flow going sill help. Check out this website for videos: http://www.thebirthden.com/Newman.html
It also gives lots of other useful advice, as I have always been concerned about my supply.
I had a friend in canada send me the book.
hang in there!

baltimore97 Thu 14-Aug-08 20:26:07

No advice I'm afraid but just wanted to offer support and let you know you aren't alone. DD1 was like this from 10 weeks old. After weeks of persisting with feeding with noise etc and getting little down her, I just gave in and fed her in a silent darkened room when she was sleepy. If we were out and about, I resigned myself to the fact that she would eat practically nothing. I avoided feeding anywhere than the darkened room as much as possible.

At the time (DD1 is now 2.1) I found her distractability VERY restricting - and for me it cancelled out all the supposed conveniences of breastfeeding. I should also add that I had scratches on my neck where she poked, pinched, and prodded me constantly while feeding....

All I can say is just a year after I stopped feeding her it seems a very long time ago. This too shall pass!!

violeta Thu 14-Aug-08 21:01:58

My dd did exactly the same thing at around the same time, so my word of reassurance is that it will hopefully pass. She's nearly 6 months old now and doesn't get anywhere near as distracted. Well, unless I feed in public that is... Feed in the most boring place you can find, maybe the same place each time so maybe he'll just get on with the task at hand. Make sure he can't see anyone familiar around him and that there aren't any obvious distractions. I used to put a hand behind dd's head actually blush but in the end I just gave in to it, tried not to get too stressed by it and she would eventually go back to the breast from craning her neck around the room!
It could be incidentally that the reason why he's feeding more frequently is because of a growth spurt? Isn't there a big one around this time?
Hope that helps.

gingerolivia Thu 14-Aug-08 21:20:17

Oh how happy am I that I have just stumbled across this!! my DD 17 weeks old today and has been doing exact same thing for 3 weeks ish now (along with turning against bathtimes but thats another thread) I was ready for throwing towel in on BF but the tinker won't have a bottle either. I'm the same don't have a great deal of confidence feeding in public and no way am I venturing out while she is like this, DH now knows not to so much as sniff whilst in room if I am feeding, and yes she punches as well. Why don't people tell you all this b4 you get pregnant!!!!
Have a hug of support and sympathy from me

HolidaysQueen Fri 15-Aug-08 09:41:21

It's nice to know i'm not alone... He slept until 6.15 this morning instead of his usual 3.30 shock so actually had a really good morning feed rather than his usual incredibly faffy one. I doubt it will continue, and we do have to be out today when he is due a feed, but at least he has done it once for me!

I suppose it is kind of sweet that he is so interested in the world now...

Any practical tips gratefully appreciated, but support from people in the same position is just as nice

Greedygirl Fri 15-Aug-08 11:15:46

This happened to me around the 4 month mark! He is 9 months now and we are still going strong. It does calm down. I found once he started to take an interest in the world that I had to (a) wait until he was properly hungry rather than trying to pre-empt him (b) find somewhere quiet with minimal distrations (c) not worry so much if he didn't have a feed when we were out, he would make up for it later. Sorry just realised you said he was feeding more - is he asking for a feed more frequently then squirming or do you feel you have to offer him a feed more regularly cos you are worried about his intake?

frootloop Fri 15-Aug-08 12:12:16

my ds is just the same, i've found that swaddling him stops him hitting me, that used to get him really excited and wound up, which stopped him feeding.

is swaddling a possibility for you?
i also deffo recommend the dark, boring room with no noise.

mears Fri 15-Aug-08 12:24:28

It is something that will pass - it is just part of development. I wouldn't go to a quiet place as you will then feel cooped up. Your baby has just become aware of everything around him. He will settle down again and prefer food.

ILikeToMoveItMoveIt Fri 15-Aug-08 12:29:46

How about wearing a long string beaded necklace? This may distract him, but it may also mean he will feed and fiddle with the necklace at the same time. Worth a try?

naturelover Fri 15-Aug-08 15:34:54

I remember going through this very annoying phase with my DD. I read that at 4 months they are a) more interested in the world around them, b) sometimes starting to teethe a bit and c) reaching some other developmental milestone or other. Oh and the famous 4-month growth spurt. Can't remember the details but there was a good page about it on Kellymom. It WILL pass. Our bad phase lasted a couple of weeks but we are still going strong 6 months later. Best of luck.

sallyforth Fri 15-Aug-08 16:44:50

Hi HQ. What you descibe sounds v familiar. When DS was 4mo I was tearing my hair out with this kind of behaviour. It was always worse when he was tired/overstimulated. Are you sure the wanting to feed every 2 hours is definitely hunger? For my DS there is also a big factor of comfort as well - I think he has learnt that feeding helps him to calm down when he is tired and stressed.

What I found made a difference was feeding him in the sling - he seemed to feel more secure that way and would just get on with the job at hand. And then fall asleep, more often than not.

He still does it now tbh (he is 6mo) but we have both got used to it and I can predict the tiredness a bit better and often take him out for a little break rather than letting him get exhausted and fractious.

monthlymayhem Fri 15-Aug-08 22:34:48

Hello HQ <waves from March thread!>.

My LO is exactly the same - I've been trying to introduce a formula feed for one of his daytime feeds, but he's having none of it and taking 3oz at the most...

LO has also started to nip the back of my arm repeatedly (you know the really sore bit!) with his finger nails which makes me say 'ouch' and results in him pulling away to look at me and usually laugh hmm

I've resorted to holding both of his hands down while he feeds, but he seems to think this is a bit of a game and will wave them up and down....

The most embarrassing thing though is that often he will feed for a few gulps and then break off as if he's coming off for air and shout 'LA, LA, LA!' really loudly before diving back in for more, and this continues throughout the feed blush. Results in lots of strange and bemused looks in M&S cafe...

I'm hoping it's a phase that will pass.

HolidaysQueen Sun 17-Aug-08 18:22:37

Thanks everyone <waves hello to monthlymayhem!>. We've had a slightly better few days here. He is still being really distracted but I've chilled out about it a little more (DH around to help me relax when DS fusses!) and he is having a really really big feed around 5pm which means I feel like he is at least getting something inside him.

Still not sure about the every 2 hour thing - it feels like hunger because he does all his usual hunger things and feeds frantically for 5 mins, but then gets completely distracted and stops.

I'm trying to put it down to him being 20 weeks and at an 'awkward' stage It won't be too long until we wean him and I guess then everything will start to change anyway.

I still wish he wouldn't pull my top up though. It means my huge 36K norks are on display to all and sundry...

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