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Nipple confusion in a 7mo? We're both miserable...

(7 Posts)
feralgirl Sun 05-Jul-09 10:59:21

Hi all. Please help as this is making me so sad

DS was 7mo this week and I had to go back to my job. I knew it was coming so have worked hard to get him to take bottles and, just over a month ago, I cut down and then stopped the BFing during the day. From 8am - 4pm he has a couple of bottles of EBM and is topped up with a bit of formula if necessary (also BLWing).

I BF once during the night, at 6.30am when he wakes up and at 7.30ish before I leave for work. I then BF as soon as I walk in through the door at 4pm and last thing before he goes to bed at 7pm. I express in the morning and at lunch time and my supply is still fine.

The problem is that DS has started to refuse the boob. His last feed always used to be a lovely relaxing cuddly time for us and now he just screams and screams. He'll latch on, then drop off again and scream, then repeat for up to 20 mins before finally feeding properly. I know he's hungry for it because when I hold him to me he latches onto my neck and suckles and if I put him in his bed to go to sleep he carries on screaming until I pick him up and offer him boob again when he usually takes it. I thought it was wind but it's not. He feeds fine in the night when he's all dozy and fine at 4pm when I get home but he's also started screaming in the morning too.

I've tried lying down to feed and lots of skin to skin and he'll only BF in his room with the lights off but this has been going on for about a month, ever since I started bottle feeding during the day.

I'm so miserable about this, it's making me feel even worse about going back to work and I desperately don't want to give up BFing as I love it and so did DS until recently. DH doesn't understand at all and says "you'll just have to stop BFing then won't you?"

whomovedmychocolate Sun 05-Jul-09 12:03:59

Sounds more likely that he's teething to me - it's possible it's the bottles but unlikely. Have you tried giving him teething gel first? It's causing him pain to suckle that's all - it will pass. Just keep going

feralgirl Sun 05-Jul-09 12:55:43

oh yeah, i spose that could be it. His bottom teeth are through but it could be his top. Not sure why that wouldn't affect all his feeds though? Babies are funny people i guess...

weasle Sun 05-Jul-09 13:09:10

feralgirl, sorry to read about your problems.
i too went back to work at 7 months with my ds2.

with ds1 he had refused breast a couple of weeks after introducing bottles, so i didn't give ds2 a bottle at all as i thought we would be in a similar situation.

he had EBM/formula in a tommee tippee first cup, the kind with no valve during the day. and he likes yoghurt and cheese. i used to bf him a similar number of times as you are - morning before work, after work and then before bed and also 1-2 in night. i think he got adequate milk with the cup and a yogurt.

i only worked 3days/week, but quite long days (left him from 715 to about 6/630). the days i was at home i fed him on demand all day.

I think my problem is that i have a slow let down, so he has to suck for quite a long time before getting any milk, with a bottle of course, they get the milk straight away. so with bf, they get frustrated and cry when no milk is coming and repeatedly latch on and off. could this be a factor for you do you think? at 4pm after not feeding all day you probably have a faster let down and he is keen to see you too.

my ds does sometimes do the latching on and off, and screaming, despite not having a bottle, as my let dwon is very very slow! now (18mo) he shakes his head, does the 'all gone' sign and points to the other breast if he has waited ages and still no milk coming!

my dh is not supportive either, and has been asking when i am going to stop since ds was about 6 weeks grin

so, try a cup instead? Or a bottle with a slower flow teat? so that you are not 'competing' with such a fast, consistent flow.

it is possible to get through this. I also found bf a wonderful way of rebonding after work, i hope it works out for you.

whomovedmychocolate Sun 05-Jul-09 13:49:47

Teething hurts more before the teeth break through so often there is nothing to see yet they are really suffering - poor little things. You need to hold your mouth in a different position to bottle feed as to breastfeed, the latter uses the gums more.

mama01 Sun 05-Jul-09 13:58:35

I agree it could be teething. As well as the teething gel try him on the other boob - sometime it hurts more to be leaning on the side where the teeth hurt. My 6mo had a week of not wanting the right boob first. Once he did start feeding though I could swap over half way through.

When my DS won't feed before bedtime I just take him for a walk in the garden - it distracts him even if he's not teething and then when he's calmer we just try again.

feralgirl Sun 05-Jul-09 19:48:29

Thanks so much for sympathy and advice! mama01, what you say makes sense actually because he does seem to want to switch sides a lot. As per whomoved's suggestion, tonight I gave him some teething powder before feeding and it went a lot better. I was also absolutely determined to relax and take my time so we were at it for nearly an hour but with barely any screaming.

Weasle, I have a pretty quick let down I think so DS doesn't have to suck for long and we have tried giving him milk from a cup but it hasn't been successful up to now. I'm a teacher though so I've got the whole of the summer hols soon to work on it and it'd be good if we could master it before September as I like your idea. Also love your DS's "all gone" sign!

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