Advanced search

What's for lunch today? Take inspiration from Mumsnetters' tried-and-tested recipes in our Top Bananas! cookbook - now under £10

Find out more

RAVENOUS 4 month old

(27 Posts)
Lemondrop99 Sat 17-Feb-18 16:55:21

My 4 month old is SO hungry. I really feel like I can't keep up with him. It's impacting on his ability to go to sleep and stay asleep.

He's breastfed, although we do supplement with the occasional bottle of formula (literally a couple a week max). He's growing fine (75th centile) and I have no reason to doubt my milk supply - I don't have any problems pumping and can only assume it's the same, if not better, when DS feeds.

I thought he was going through a growth spurt, but this started around 3.5 months and has been going on for 3+ weeks now. He's feeding every 2 hours or less. Thing is, he still seems hungry despite this.

He absolutely loses it if you try to put him down for a nap and he's still hungry. For example, I breastfed him today before his lunch nap and he point blank refused to go down. We offered him 100ml of formula which he demolished then cried, so he drank another 100ml. We gave up on the nap and put him down again 45 mins later and he settled beautifully and slept for 2 hours.

He's demolished 350ml of expressed breastmilk one night! I have no idea what he gets at the beast but he never turns down a feed and he never pulls himself off, no matter how long I sit there. I know he's getting milk because I have a fast let down and can see it. I leave him on there long enough to get to the hind milk, I end up feeding both breasts at most feeds now. He's feeding so frequently that I don't feel like I have time to "fill up" between and he obviously is still hungry if he's taking a full bottle on top.

We went through a few weeks of him feeding every 2 hours overnight. I was getting worried he was developing a feed to sleep association (which we've never had) but it does seem to be genuine hunger.

I'm hoping that weaning might help make him feel fuller (I'm aware there's less calories in food than milk, just hoped the bulk might help). But any ideas how I can get through to 6 months?? I don't like to give him too much formula but feel like I'm using more and more lately as no matter how much I nurse, it never seems enough.

TittyGolightly Sat 17-Feb-18 16:56:21

4 month development leap. Can last 2 months.

TittyGolightly Sat 17-Feb-18 16:56:55

Weaning doesn’t help. Far fewer calories in food than milk.

Psychobabble123 Sat 17-Feb-18 16:58:59

All of my 3 fed 2 hourly day and night until 6/7 months, he is growing rapidly and needs the calories. Absolutely normal and nothing to worry about OP smile

TeddyIsaHe Sat 17-Feb-18 17:00:54

Just keep feeding on demand, it’s the 4 month developmental leap. Sounds like yours started a bit earlier so will finish earlier as well (every cloud).

Babies are entirely fickle as well, as soon as you think ah! Why won’t he stop eating! One day he will just suddenly want less.

Weaning now is not a good idea, typical weaning foods (baby rice, veggies) are very low in calories and in the case of baby rice, completely nutritionally devoid. Keep feeding, top up with formula if you feel the need to, but don’t wean yet,

Lemondrop99 Sat 17-Feb-18 17:17:27

I'm not going to wean yet smile I'm just hanging onto the hope it will help in 6 weeks (even if it doesn't, the hope is keeping me sane right now!)

I'm not sure what I'm supposed to do when he has fed off both breasts and is refusing to sleep because he's still hungry 😕

He's definitely developing hugely at the moment, you can see from the way he's interacting with toys plus he's obsessed with rolling. Two months though! Bloody hell

Nousernameforme Sat 17-Feb-18 17:23:44

Put him back to the breast the more he feeds the more your supply will increase. Sofa Netflix snacks and drinks within reach and settle in for the long haul.

TeddyIsaHe Sat 17-Feb-18 17:24:13

What’s his daily schedule like? Is it possible he’s over-stimulated or over tired and using feeding to calm down rather than it being hunger?

TeddyIsaHe Sat 17-Feb-18 17:25:15

And yes, he might be feeding lots to stimulate your milk supply. That only takes a couple of days usually.

notPossible Sat 17-Feb-18 17:25:53

Can I ask OP what bottles you use ? You sound like combination feedings going well and I’m struggling to find a bottle that is any good so thought I’d ask ! x

Lemondrop99 Sat 17-Feb-18 17:30:04

I'm really hot on his awake windows as he's not good when he's tired, so I'm fairly sure he's not overtired. He's usually only awake for 2 hrs at a time.

7am up
9am 45 mins - 1.5hr nap
12ish 1.5-2hr nap
4ish catnap
6.30/7pm bed

He's only just started linking his sleep cycles and refuses to nap on the go so we spend most days at home sad On the plus side, that does mean I can put a lot of attention into his feeding an sleeping. So yes, maybe a few boxsets are in order.

TheNecroscope Sat 17-Feb-18 17:34:19

Yep, just keep feeding. They do tend to have a huge growth spurt at this age (which is why many people think they are ready to wean - they're not). The more you feed him the more you will produce so keep putting him on there. He's creating more demand so your supply will increase so try to keep off the formula as much as possible as that will increase your supply quickest. My DS was a very very hungry (and big!) baby and would feed every 45 minutes during growth spurts, once his growth had stabilised, he was fine again.

Fannyfanakerpants Sat 17-Feb-18 17:36:27

I wish healthcare workers would warn new mums of this stage. Its totally normal and exhausting. Baby's have a massive developmental leap and growth spurt at 4 months, feed constantly and turn to Velcro. There are so many people who advise to give formula or wean at 4 months because of this but I'd really try to resist. Eat lots yourself, rest and go with it. It doesn't seem like it now but it's a short phase. Kellymom website will probably have some great advice.

PiggyGoesToMarket Sat 17-Feb-18 17:39:43

Nearly 7mo ds still feeds less than 2 hourly during the day and 2-3 hours at night, solids & 2 bottles of formula a day have made no difference. Although I think now it’s habit tbh rather than hunger.

Sorry - not helpful...

Lemondrop99 Sat 17-Feb-18 17:42:31

We're using Mam bottles. He accepted them straight away. We've kept him on a small teat so it flows slowly (trying to avoid bottle preference).

notPossible Sat 17-Feb-18 19:30:32

We are trying minbie currently but he’s not sure.....I got a free mam self sterilising anti colic bottle a while ago it has a ‘1’ teat i May give that a go and see if he prefers it. He’s just 5 w though I was going to start trying a bottle sooner but was told 4 weeks earliest
Hoping to get him used to a bottle with ebm the try formula (that’s a whole other decision which formula tastes most like bm as want him to accept it!)
Hope your little one settles soon OP he must be having a growth spurt I would imagine x

Smurfy23 Sat 17-Feb-18 20:59:37

It really is just a thing. Dd was drinking an eyewatering amount of milk at that age- lasted about a month. I took her to be weighed after about 3 weeks and she had stayed on the 50th percentile. She was ff by then thank god as there was no way I could have produced the amount of milk she was demolishing.

I guess try and keep your supply up as much as possible.

TittyGolightly Sat 17-Feb-18 22:48:04

She was ff by then thank god as there was no way I could have produced the amount of milk she was demolishing.

The human race wouldn’t be around today if that were true.

Smurfy23 Sat 17-Feb-18 23:12:55

Perhaps but if I had been producing the 47oz of milk she was drinking a day I wouldn't have cared if the human race survived or not.

Lemondrop99 Sun 18-Feb-18 00:03:07

Not, I hope you find something that works. My DS is a bit of a gannet, which I suppose helps. He doesn't seem to care what type of milk he's given or how it's delivered!! If you have a Mam bottle, no harm in trying it. We've stuck with the 1 teat for now.

Thanks all for the advice. I guess I'll just keep on truckin'! Feels like having a newborn again. All the books are like "oh your baby should be going 3-4 hrs between feeds during the day, and 8 hrs overnight". Yeah, clearly DS hasn't read that book.....

TeddyIsaHe Sun 18-Feb-18 03:56:40

Smurfy 47oz over 24 hours is only 7-8 5/6oz feeds. Totally and utterly normal amount. My 13 month old still have 4/5 feeds a day now!

upthewolves Sun 18-Feb-18 05:17:58

OP my DS is 4 months and rarely goes 2 hours without a feed (never has). I feed him pretty much hourly although he does get through the night with one feed which is good. He is 85th centile. I think some babies are just like this.

My DS won't take a bottle at all so it is exhausting!

Lemondrop99 Sun 18-Feb-18 15:00:10

One feed at night, Up!! You're so lucky! Mine does 2 feeds on a good night, 3 on a mediocre night and countless on a bad night. Last night he woke up every blinking hour!! But that was because he was obsessively rolling on his stomach then get stuck and upset about it 🙄

teaandbiscuitsforme Sun 18-Feb-18 16:26:42

I think you need to think about the amount of formula. For every bit of formula you give him, your breasts don't know that he needs that milk. So they're only making enough to supply what you're breastfeeding to him - which is not enough if you're also giving him formula.

Are you timing feeds or letting him naturally come off and then swapping?

If you want him to feed to sleep for a nap, have you tried feeding him lying down in a dark room, either on your bed or a floor bed? IME he's more likely to drop off then if you're feeding him sitting up and then trying to transfer him.

2 wake ups for a 4mo breastfed baby is very very normal. As is 3, 4, 5 plus wake ups at this age. My 13 mo is a complete freak of nature to me as he started sleeping through at 12mo which is not my experience of BF babies at all. (DD was 18mo) However, he woke up last night at 2:30 so feed it was.

Try not to overthink them and just go with it! It sounds to me like your DS is trying to make more milk to increase your supply to match his demands, especially going through this leap.

teaandbiscuitsforme Sun 18-Feb-18 16:28:18

Also most Baby books seem to know virtually nothing about breastfeeding. Try Kelly mom and the milk meg websites for some good realistic advice!

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now