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How do I get my 3 week old to latch on for more than 10mins?????

(12 Posts)
trell Thu 16-Oct-08 12:44:02

She seems to be permanently hungry. Latching on is fine and the first 3-4 minutes is great but after that dd tends to drop off to sleep and just suckles like on a dummy but without swallowing. Consequently she wants feeding pretty much every hour which is very restrictive and exhausting. Am worried my milk production is slowing in response to her minimal demands as sometimes she seems to not get enough and gets very unsettled. She did gain about 6oz in first 2 weeks so at least that's one good thing but she also gets a lot of griping wind so I'm using Infacol. Midwives/health visitor don't seem to have any answers only suggesting it'll improve in time. I really do want to carry on b/f but bottle feeding is looking increasingly attractive, for all the wrong, selfish reasons. Sorry for rambling - any advice please?

Horton Thu 16-Oct-08 12:48:33

Hi, if she is gaining weight there probably isn't anything to worry about (apart from the fact that it's very boring for you). My DD never fed for longer than ten minutes at a time and was and is perfectly okay. My HV told me to make her take more at a time but I ignored her as I couldn't see any practical way to do that! Daughter is just the kind of person who prefers small frequent meals to large widely-spaced ones and still is. Hope this helps a bit. Oh, and she did feed about every hour at first but this settled down after a while and the spaces between feeds became longer in time. 3 weeks is still very little! Her stomach is only the size of a walnut so it fills and empties very quickly!

Dragonbutter Thu 16-Oct-08 12:51:12

can you tickle her feet to keep her awake?

sunshine75 Thu 16-Oct-08 12:52:54

My dd was exactly the same. I would change her nappy , blow on her face etc to wake her up. It didn't really help.

She gradually just spent longer and longer - up to about 45 mins and then as she got more and more efficeint spent less and less time. Now at 5.5 months she spends about 5 mins on each breast again.

Don't give up. I felt eaxctly the same at first. By about 5 weeks it was loads better and after a couple of months it became really easy.

Bubbaluv Thu 16-Oct-08 12:53:32

Clothing removal, blow in face, cool DS was exactly the same and I just had to unlatch him and wake him up and start again. Such hard work, but it DID get better with time.

trell Thu 16-Oct-08 12:55:23

Hi Horton. Think I'm worrying because the initial few minutes are so great and after that I just seem to be a dummy. You're right though, her tummy is still so little which I do forget. Will keep trying.

trell Thu 16-Oct-08 13:03:26

Thanks everyone for all the tips. I've tried feet tickling, face blowing, stripping off and now when she falls asleep, I change her nappy which wakes her up but then she falls asleep again after 1 or 2 minutes back on the breast.

mytetherisending Thu 16-Oct-08 13:15:26

It sounds bizarre but I used to say 'feed or get off, suck' and she started to realise that if she didn't suck i.e. feed that she got removed iyswim. I know lots of people say feed every time baby shows the slightest sign of wanting to go on, but I always tried to distract a bit with play, singing before feeding to try to space feeds a bit more and encourage her to feed for longer at a go. I don't mean until she cried though, just until the head bobbing got a bit more determined iyswim.

mytetherisending Thu 16-Oct-08 13:19:07

TBH though I hadn't realised that your LO was only 3wks. At this age if they want to sleep no amount of doing things works to wake them. It gets better from about 5-6wks ime. smile Just think it won't last long.

cazzzz Thu 16-Oct-08 13:41:10

Hi there

Breastfeeding is an art for mum and babe to master.. lots of people take the first 6 weeks to crack it each time they have a baby. (The first 3 weeks can be particularly crazy).

**The most important thing is that your baby is putting on weight well. Get her weighed every week.**

If she is not steadily putting on weight (and in my experience this is most commonly associated with lack of maternal milk), then formula is useful.

If she is putting on weight well, then it's probably more a question of style and routine, which you will both eventually settle in to.
My second baby was a "dopey" feeder initially - it just took time to sort ourselves out. However you don't necessarily have to feed for a long time - it depends on your milk let down speed and milk production. 10 mins per feed can be fine (it was for me).

Feeding frequency is a very personal thing, but how about every 2 hours for 10 mins at the moment during the day (maybe every 3 hours at night?) I alternated boobs each feed. This will give your boobs time to refill, your sore nipples time to rest, and your baby sufficient opportunities to feed. In between times, jiggle her or carry her around in a sling if she's fretting?

After 6- 9 weeks you could then go to every 2.5 hours in the day (and as few as you can get away with at night... allowing your baby to "stretch out" between nightly feeds, only feeding when they wake up and cry).

Again, the most important thing is that she steadily puts on weight. Keep getting her weighed every week until approx 12 weeks (if you are then confident).

Eat and drink heaps yourself (not alcohol!) and sleep when the baby sleeps - this should all help with milk production.

Wishing you all the very best

LadySanders Thu 16-Oct-08 13:42:34

all sounds normal to me...

Sassyfrassy Thu 16-Oct-08 14:20:52

You could try compression, where you compress the breast making the milk come faster, this always wakes dd up and makes her suck actively again. There's a good website that shows how it's done but don't have a link. But try doing a search for breast compresssion.

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