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Husband thinks our 3 month baby is always hungry, advice please?

(27 Posts)
Phoenix67 Fri 31-Jul-15 23:49:57

I'm a first time mother of a lovely 3 month DD. I have been exclusively breastfeeding on demand since birth. She's been doing really well, having initially been born on the 9th centile, she's put on weight and has been tracking along the 25th centile since. At no point has she lost any weight and is generally a happy baby, unless she's hungry then she definitely lets us know! So what's the problem?

Well when she was born, there were complications and she got some meconium on to her chest. She was in NICU/SCUBU for 18 days recovering from inflammation to her lungs and was on oxygen for this time. Whilst she was in NICU/SCUBU she managed to latch on pretty much straight away and we didn't have any difficulties with breastfeeding. She was demanding a feed roughly every 3-4 hours. Towards the end of her stay in NICU it was starting to become more frequent roughly every 1-2 hours. The nurses in the unit were becoming concerned as they felt she should have been going for longer between feeds. They checked us during our feed and I was reassured that all was ok.

Since she's been home with us she has continued to feed roughly every 2 hours but has recently started to extend to three hours, although this is not consistent yet. I've been doing all of the feeds including at night and looking after her in the day as my husband is self-employed and working long hours at the moment. This isn't a situation I have been 100% happy with (I am currently on mat leave from my own busy job) - he is aware and we are trying to balance things out a bit more.

My husband tries to spend time with her when he can, but this can be at sporadically. Sometimes when he has spent time with her, she becomes hungry and cries quite loudly and can be difficult to settle with him. At times I have expressed in to a bottle and he's fed her with that. I can generally express 90-125mls per session.

Sometimes she sleeps quite soundly afterwards, sometimes she doesn't. Because of this my husband has it in his head that because she's been hungry the times he has spent with her, and that because she does feed quite frequently she must be constantly hungry. His theory is that she isn't hungry after she is bottle fed with my milk but is hungry after feeding with me therefore there must be a problem with the way she feeds from me.

I have spoken to our HV who thinks DD is progressing normally and since she is producing enough nappies, isn't losing weight etc that there isn't anything to be overly concerned about. The HV also noticed that she is starting to teeth early (lots of drooling, wanting to bite down on everything, crying in the evenings occasionally) I've also had my latch checked again and been given the ok. I've also read up on lots of different websites e.g. Kelly Mom and most seem to suggest that breastfed babies will feed more frequently and that they will settle in to their own pattern when they are ready.

He's tried to discuss it a few times since but we've always ended up in an argument over it. I work in healthcare and he thinks because of this I'm blind to what is quite clearly a hungry baby. He also thinks that I'm insecure (yawn) and taking his comments too personally.

I think he's being unfair because I have gotten advice where I can, our baby isn't constantly crying and tbh he would know that if he actually spent more time with her so he could a) see her different moods throughout the day and b) get used to her different sounds/cries and what they could mean. I also think she has been struggling to nap in the day (I'm working on sleep routine now) which can sometimes make her irritable but she definitely doesn't cry 24/7.

Admittedly his comments also do irritate a little bit as I'm exhausted and have been doing the lion's share of raising her currently with not much help. The feedback I've gotten from friends/family is that she's a happy and content baby. It feels like he's nitpicking at me when he should be providing a bit more help. He's also not making any other suggestions to solve what he perceives is a problem, which I personally find really annoying.

I guess what I'm really asking for is some reassurance? I'm still new to this and it has crossed my mind tonight that maybe I am being a little stubborn and I don't want my DD to be hungry. If there's something else I'm missing then I'd rather know, or should I tell my husband to be a bit more supportive?

KikiShack Sat 01-Aug-15 00:03:07

I have only scanned this because I too am exhausted and should be sleeping but it sounds like you're doing amazingly well!
- Babies have growth spurts. Feed times etc do not progress in a nice neat line
- Your babe might be nuzzling at you because it is comfy and nice rather than feeding the whole time
- Babe might not be as happy cuddling daddy, perhaps because he doesn't have comfy warm boobs or perhaps because he is giving out some small impatient vibe to babe
- I fed my DD every HOUR until she was about 8 months old!

Good luck. Follow your instincts and you'll be fine. Tell daddy to wind his neck in if his comments are getting you down

domesticslattern Sat 01-Aug-15 00:04:22

Your baby sounds like she is doing all the right things. Her tummy is still little and she has a lot of growing to do! It is totally sensible for her to feed often, and to settle into her own pattern when she is ready. A recent move to 3 hourly feeds sounds in the right direction but you can expect occasional growth spurts when it all changes anyway!
The issue here is your DH and his confidence with a very normal sounding baby. Is there any way the time he spends with her can be less "sporadic"?
Hang on in there, sounds like you are doing a great job after a tricky start flowers

Hellion7433 Sat 01-Aug-15 00:06:57

Your DD is thriving! She is even moving up percentiles! What more do you want?!

Basically he's blaming you/your milk supply because he can't calm his baby. Instead of pointing the finger at you, he needs to reflect on how he soothes, how well he's bonded and if his techniques can be improved. Sometimes babies are just crabby though particularly if they are tired.

What horrid is that his harsh words totally undermine all the brilliant feeding you've been doing. Does he usually put you down and try and make you feel rubbish?

I have known lots if babies (200 or so) and yes some babies fed every three hours, most fed more often, a handful fed hourly even through the night. All babies have different feeding habits. Some are more snacky, others massive guzzlers.

Some babies like breast feeding if their teeth hurt or they feel under the weather.

It does sound to me that you and your husband are a bit routine obsessed. I hardly know anyone who does all the gina ford stuff these days, people tend to be more baby led.

Hellion7433 Sat 01-Aug-15 00:09:19

Also babies will feed more to increase milk supply when they are having a growth spurt. It's normal.

Phoenix67 Sat 01-Aug-15 00:17:23

Thanks for the reassurances domestic, Kiki and Hellion...I do agree I don't think my husband is being completely fair and I do think every baby is different but just wanted to make sure I'm not putting our DD in harms way....

Hellion in regards to routine, trust me when I say we are not in any meaningful routine. I'm quite happy feeding on demand but I think husband is expecting/wanting some form of routine by now. I'm not happy to force anything on her though. I think he's still thinking that what was suggested to us whilst she was in NICU is the ideal rather than just a passing moment?

TheGirlAtTheRockShow Sat 01-Aug-15 07:08:13

My DH went through a phase of constantly thinking DD was hungry when she wasn't.
We also BF on demand, and around 3 months was when DD started to cry for other reasons than hunger and DH just didn't get it! Up till then when she cried she was hungry. I think, in general, men find it more difficult to tune in to babies. This is made harder when they aren't around much. That's not true of every man, but may be the case for you guys.
You are doing all the right things re feeding. Keep following babies cues. As others have said though, growth spurts mess everything up occasionally.
We didn't get a sleep routine till about 6 months, then it changed every month or two! (Totally baby led).

Booboostwo Sat 01-Aug-15 08:13:06

I think this is more about your DH finding his feet as a dad rather than anything else.you spend most of your time with the baby so you are more used to her, can interpret her cries and moods better, and you have the ultimate settling 'weapon', the breast! He may be feeling a bit unsure which it turn makes him worried.

lexyloub Sat 01-Aug-15 08:52:14

Your baby sounds absolutely fine if your happy and she's happy there's no problem. I agree he's finding his feet as a Dad and maybe is a little unsure. Bf babies do tend to feed more often as they digest it quicker if your happy to feed her every 2-3 hrs then that's fine she's only tiny and it won't last forever. You sound like your doing an amazing job smile

Etak15 Sat 01-Aug-15 11:44:11

I agree with All other posts your baby & milk supply sounds fine, I think breastfeeding babys just like there mummy's!! And people that haven't breastfed think it's abnormal that a baby wants to feed all the time my mil has been telling me to give all my four a bottle because she thinks they must be starving! ( i never did!)I think the newborn feedy fussy stage does seem to quickly lead into the fussy teething stage or maybe a bit windy/colicky? You never really know what it is there's always something! In a few months when they become more interested in surroundings she will probs happily play with her daddy - he's probably feeling a bit left out maybe I think men do esp if it's your first and he's been used to being your number 1!

Etak15 Sat 01-Aug-15 11:55:02

Also meant to say have you tried a dummy? I was always very anti dummy's with my 1st 3 but I gave in with dc4 and gave it when he was about 3/4 months it he really likes a and I've found it a big help means I could leave him happy sitting with his dad or big sis for 10-15 mins while I did bits n bobs! He is 8 months now and loves his food and so going longer inbetween feeds and will sit and play happily as long as I'm in sight so there is light at the end of the tunnel!!

3littlefrogs Sat 01-Aug-15 12:03:34

She sounds like a perfectly normal breast fed baby.
They go through phases of feeding more frequently because they are growing and this is how they increase your milk supply.
Your husband needs to educate himself about breast feeding.
Your milk supply will increase more efficiently if he helps you by making sure you get plenty of rest and adequate nutrition and NO STRESS.
His nitpicking is completely counterproductive.
He is the problem, not you and not your baby.

prettywhiteguitar Sat 01-Aug-15 12:41:09

Just a quick reply as I'm feeding baby and supposed to be eating but I had the same problem with dp, this iS our third and he was insisting ds was hungry and should have a bottle before bed, well it didn't make him sleep any longer.

Your routine is fine and your instincts are right I think your dh is ruining it for you with his inscecurities. However it is a very common problem you just have to tell him he's wrong and you are right regarding this specific issue.

prettywhiteguitar Sat 01-Aug-15 12:42:25

I should elaborate that I gave ds a bottle and he didn't sleep any longer still woke up two hours later for a feed and he's. 4 months old

DanyStormborn Sat 01-Aug-15 18:42:44

If you are feeding in demand and she's having plenty of wet nappies and gaining weight then she isn't hungry, especially as you have also had your latch checked. My baby goes brought phases of feeding more often and cluster feeding and it is totally normal.

ispyfispi Sat 01-Aug-15 18:53:28

Your baby will want to feed more frequently with you because breastfeeding is her favourite thing in the world! Your dh will get more and more quality time with her as she gets a little older and you will one day get some time to yourself, really. It sounds like you are doing fab.

I have a 3 month old too. She has bottles at times (I was poorly so had low supply when she was 3-4 weeks so we did a couple of formula top ups as she was starving). Sometimes she cries, refuses a bottle, then takes the breast. She isn't hungry, she's after comfort! I'm lucky that my DH gets this (although he's a bit jealous). That's probably just want your DH doesn't get yet.

Phoenix67 Sat 01-Aug-15 20:43:18

Thanks everyone for your messages of support, it's actually very helpful and stopping me from doubting myself. Etak we haven't tried a dummy yet as we weren't very keen on them but I will keep it in mind if she seems particularly unsettled.

I guess I wish I could get the fact that DD is young, not all babies feed to a set clock etc through to DH as he can be very stubborn. I'm thinking of getting him to speak to the HV with me next time I pop down...other than that I don't really know what else to do!

Diggum Sat 01-Aug-15 20:43:33

Agree with all PPs. Mine fed 2 hourly till she was 6 months old. Sometimes grazing more or less continuously if there was a growth spurt or grumpy day.

Your DH probably feels like a bit of a spare tool as a result but he is being a bit of an arse about it. BF babies are all about mummy for the first few months. The dads come into their own a bit later. It was the same for my DH but he got it and was cool and supportive about it- taking her for walks, changing nappies, chatting to her between feeds. But realising that she was essentially a boob monster, and that his time would come later. (Which it did and they now have the best fun together.)

You're right, baby's happy, your DH just needs to let nature take its course and fit himself in as best he can till your DD starts coming up for air/fun.

Newlywed56 Sat 01-Aug-15 20:46:45

I used to get the exact same chat from members of my family when dd was born , she fed sometimes every hour, sometimes every two hours and sometimes 3, it was completely random, looking back it the close ones were probably growth spurts. Anyway I was ill after the birth so couldn't go to weekly weigh ins at local healthcare centre and it was only once they knew she was gaining lots of weight every week (typical 7oz a week) that they eased off saying this. But I feel for you because it's incredibly disheartening when you know you are doing a good job at something that takes a lot of dedication and hard work on your part. Just keep going with your instinct!

puddleduck16 Sat 01-Aug-15 20:53:20

I would agree with what a pp said about it being their favorite place to be!!! Even at 18 months if there is something up with my dd she will have a snuggle and a boob. I'm not convinced at how much she takes tho!!!

Someone else once said to me about breastfeeding, relate it to what you have. Sometimes it's a meal, sometimes just a wee drink, and sometimes it's tea and a biscuit. Even for us 3-4 hours is a long time to go without a drink.

Littlef00t Sat 01-Aug-15 21:09:14

My DH was the same in the beginning, thinking crying always = hungry. Dd was naturally a routine baby and was going 2.5 hours quite early between feeds. DH used to think that she was hungry whenever she cried, so I used to encourage him to try and settle her any other way, depending on what was most likely and food was a last resort. It usually worked.

LMonkey Sat 01-Aug-15 23:15:40

Sounds perfectly normal to me and very familiar! My DD (5 months) feeds at least every 2 hours, unless we are out and she's in the carrier and she can go quite a bit longer. I don't know if its my milk supply, the quality of my milk or if she just likes feeding little and often, but my son was also the same.

Yes your OH does need to be more supportive, and trust your motherly instincts. She's probably less hungry after the bottle because they tend to guzzle it down a lot quicker. My dd just loves being on my boob, its not always proper feeding. She may scream inconsolably for me after DP has been holding her for a few minutes, then when she's in my arms she's searching for a nipple, then after she's been suckling for few seconds will come off and start gazing around the room happily.

It really sounds like you're doing great, please don't let your dh bring you down! It probably would be a good idea to bring him along to see the HV when you next go to clinic, as at least that way they will reassure you in front of him and he may finally get the idea.

whatsoever Sun 02-Aug-15 23:55:16

Sounds normal to me. My DS was EBF to 6.5m when I started slowly adding formula. Until the bottles were introduced he was an every 2 hour feeder & he was very chubby.

I say this not to encourage you to add formula (far from it) but to say I worried a lot about hunger in the early days when he would sometimes demand a feed less than an hour after the last one.

It's just the way some babies are and you're doing great.

MrsCK Tue 04-Aug-15 17:05:24

DS is 6mo and if we get to 2 hours between feeds we are lucky...it's normally 1 1/2 hours.

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