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Infant feeding

16week old dropping through centiles. Please help me move from breast to bottle.

9 replies

worriedmum100 · 12/01/2016 13:38

DS is 16 weeks. Breast feeding had been going really well until about 4-5 weeks ago. Since then he no longer seems satisfied after feeding. He cries and fusses at the breast. Often refuses my right breast. His latch has gone to pot (I've really tried to resolve this with little success) so I'm sore. It's really no longer a happy experience for either of us. He's also stopped sleeping through. To top it all he's now dropped from 50th to below 25th. I'm not sure why things have gone downhill in this way. Perhaps my supply has dropped or he's just not into it any longer. He also got a tummy bug around the same time (4-5weeks ago) so that might be connected.

Anyway my health visitor has advised doing top ups with either formula or expressed bm. I've thought about it long and hard (and cried buckets) but have decided to start making the move to formula. I'd be really grateful to hear any other advice or experiences on how best to do this quickly but without getting mastitis. Is it better to replace whole feeds every few days or to offer breast at each feed to take the edge off any engorgement then move to bottle for the rest of the feed and do this until I dry up completely?


OP posts:
Focusfocus · 12/01/2016 16:48


The sleep disruption at 4 months ish may be unrelated to feeding issues Samantha babies apparently go through a sleep regression about then.

Regarding him dropping centiles - I think what you describe is not of much concern because it's only one grades difference on the line and from what you say it sounds like it's happened over time not suddenly?

Is there any other reason the HV is concerned? His dirty and wet nappies? Skin? General demeanour? Weight is one of many indicators of well being.

You say the latch has deteriorated. Do you think you could op along to your local baby brasserie and have a feed watched? Sometimes positions need adjusting as they grow. Mine has gone from being born 50th centile in height to 98th centile in height and what started as a super comfy position I.e the rugby hold simply doesn't work any more because his legs flail about too much. Side lying has started working like a dream.maybe latch could be an outcome of positioning? Someone observing your feed may help?

It's unlikely your milk isn't enough or drying up on its own if you ha bet hanged anything about his feeds as supply and demand go hand in hand. Some people seem to think oats fenugreek fennel tea and drinking water helps but from what I've gathered mums diet and milk supply or quality do not correlate on a knife edge like that (contrary to popular belief!) if course eating and drinking well will help you feel full and nice. Which always helps any day in life!

Sorry this probably isn't what you asked! You could also figure out exactly when he appears unsettled and maybe begin by offering one full formula feed and see how that goes? If that resolves the issue and he is happy to get some formula Feeds and some breastfeeds (side lying relaxed ones maybe at relaxed times?) then you could continue to get he benefits of BM.

Either way congrats on getting this far with breastfeeding! Someone more knowledgable will be here soon I'm sure!

whatevva · 12/01/2016 17:11

Hi - I had one who dropped to the bottom of the centiles and was difficult to feed. He grew up ok, but was always difficult to feed Grin.

The best advice for supply and not sleeping I can give is to have a good early evening meal, and put your feet up, relax, hot drink and feed as and when over the evening with something good on the television. I found lots of evening feeds worked (and it was what they wanted, so I didn't really have that much of a say in it Hmm )

Phasing out feeds one at a time at particular times of the day works. If you always feed at x o'clock, you will find your breasts swell up just before x o'clock, like magic. So I would start with replacing a feed at a particular time of day and when you are both happy and comfortable, another. Then you can move faster or slower, as it suits you. Or just do half and half for a while longer.

Be kind to yourself. You have given him a good start and it is important you are both happy.

worriedmum100 · 12/01/2016 17:36

Thank you so much for the replies.

Re his latch I've been to breastfeeding clinics changed positions etc but it hasn't really helped. He's just stopped opening his mouth really wide so he tends to just latch on my nipple. If he does open up so that we get a comfortable latch he gradually slips towards my nipple (if that makes sense) so that's he's just on the nipple again. He is also constantly jerking his head up with my nipple in his mouth.

His weight has been declining gradually down from 50th towards 25th but when he was weighed today he had dropped quite sharply to half way between 9th and 25th. He's otherwise healthy apart from this tummy bug that went on for ages - very mucousy green poos streaked with blood on occasion. GP tested stool and nothing showed up and his poos gradually returned to normal.

With the sleep he has a bath at 6.30 then a feed and then he is usually totally zonked until 1am ish then we're up and down all night until his next feed at 5.30-6ish. He's not awake screaming just unsettled. He appeared to drop all night feeds by 10 weeks when he started sleeping through until he regressed. I didn't want to start feeding in the night again as this felt like a backwards step. I suspect he's no longer getting enough calories in the day to sustain him which is why HV suggested topping up I think. I considered expressing but did that for months exclusively with my first DC (wouldn't latch) and it made me ill so I don't really want to go down that route again.

I'm lucky that he will take a bottle relatively happily as DH has given him one bottle a day since birth. I gave him a bottle just now and he wolfed down 6oz with no bother so hopefully the transition won't be too traumatic.

OP posts:
whatevva · 12/01/2016 17:40

6.30pm to 1am is pretty good - just not the most convenient time for you to sleep Grin

My DS was a nuisance feeding at this age. He used to pull, etc. Hopefully someone will have an answer.

worriedmum100 · 12/01/2016 17:53

It's not too bad but I preferred 7-5.30 Wink

OP posts:
Girlfriend36 · 12/01/2016 18:00

I think the advice is to drop one bf a week and to replace with ff, it sounds like you may well be able to combine feed?

Maybe try with a ff at bedtime and then see how you go?

I think that weight loss is a concern and it sounds like it is not enjoyable experience for either of you at the moment, you have done amazing to get to 16 weeks so no need for you to feel anything other than proud.

daluze · 12/01/2016 19:53

It is very common for babies to stop sleeping through and wake up for a feed / feeds around 4 months.
It is not a bad habit to feed a hungry baby - you mau find that his latch at night is better as he is calmer and less distracted.
Of course, it is absolutely fine to move to formula if you prefer! You already gave him a great start.

DrDiva · 12/01/2016 19:59

Not so much to do with the actual feeding, but temporary lactose intolerance is very common in babies after a tummy bug. Might it be worth yOu trying going dairy free, although that might be too much of a long-term solution?

worriedmum100 · 12/01/2016 21:34

Thanks all. Interesting about the temporary lactose intolerance following a tummy bug. Will keep a very close eye on him. I just want him to be content and he definitely hasnt been for the last month or so.Sad

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