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Infant feeding

6 days old newborn - constantly feeding??

27 replies

ashaj92 · 08/11/2017 13:24

My baby boy is 6 days old today, first baby and ebf but has also had a tiny top up of formula on the odd desperate occasion, (explanation to follow)
I’ve been breastfeeding from day one, generally been ok but had some major low points which has been really hard especially this early on.
When my milk started coming in (day 3-4), my poor boobs were so full and hard I couldn’t move them or the nipples to get a decent latch. They’ve finally gone down now - such a relief!! But the crap latch has always seemed to be more of a problem at night, and all I can put this down to is us both being so exhausted and getting frustrated with each other, leading to lots of rushed and bad latching in desperation to stop him from screaming. Hence the formula- for my own sanity (and his) when we start getting to this point, and when I haven’t slept ALL NIGHT again, my DH will give him one of the small premade cow&gate bottles so he doesn’t starve and I can get some sleep.

Ultimately, to get to the point, my main concern is he just wants feeding 24/7! Especially at night, he can spend an hour to an hour 1/2 on the boob each feed (normally being offered both), he’ll fall asleep, I put him down then 5-10mins later he’s screaming again as though he’s absolutely starving. This has been every night since he’s been born and it’s driving me crazy. Midwives etc have given me loads of support but have said he’s gaining weight and looks like he’s latching fine so they’re not really concerned. I just feel like I’m not giving him enough, or are babies really just like this and I’m being naive to expect quiet time between feeds?? I know it’s early days yet but would really appreciate a bit of advice?

OP posts:
Passmethecrisps · 08/11/2017 13:28

Congratulations on your baby.

What you have described is quite normal really. Six weeks is a tough time as babies are placing their order for their future milk requirements so some will feed all the time.

If you are concerned what about output - wet and dirty nappies? Is he alert and contented some of the time?

It is likely just a stage and I promise you it does get easier.

KatnissMellark · 08/11/2017 13:31

Sounds pretty normal to me I'm afraid. They don't tell you this, but for everyone I know, breastfeeding has been really fucking hard. My DS fed pretty much constantly for the first 6 weeks then gradually (very gradually) went longer between feeds and ended up every 2-3 hours in the day (with feeds only taking 10 mins) and every 3-4 hours overnight by about 4 moths. Now he's weaning onto solids at 8 months he's sleeping through and having 4-5 boob feeds a day and it is so bloody easy and convenient. I'm glad I pushed through as it's easy, cheap, convenient now (I think the health benefits are overstated to be honest but there are some of those too).

If you want to carry on, you can. Just resign yourself to sitting on the sofa watching boxset and drinking tea for a good few weeks.

There are suitable alternatives though, you can formula feed if you want, or mix feed which a number of my friends have done successfully.

Good luck, in sure you're doing a great job!

LillyBugg · 08/11/2017 13:34

Absolutely normal. It's a total bitch isn't it? It took me a while to grasp it but what saved me was bed sharing and feeding lying down. That way I could doze while my boob was in baby's mouth. All. Night. Long. To be honest he's five months now and this is still the case. My first baby didn't feed quite the same, he was more a feed for half hour have two hours sleep kind of baby. But not this one. He's all about the boob. Persevere if you can, you are doing fabulously!

Passmethecrisps · 08/11/2017 13:38

That is a great tip about feeding lying down. I don’t bedshare but I learned to feed lying down for naps. I would take the wee one off and we would have 1 or 2 hours of snooze feeding which kept her satisfied but got me the rest I needed.

Dd also clusterfed all evening until midnight until she was 12 weeks old. We started and finished game of thrones in this time and it is actually a very happy recollection

I did have issues actually where I thought she was feeding well but it turns out she wasn’t. Indicators were frantic behaviour and poor output.

KalaLaka · 08/11/2017 13:43

Hi op! It's so tough in the first few weeks, you're not alone.

What's your baby's feeding/sleeping like in the daytime? Has he been checked for tongue tie? Any clicking sounds when feeding?

Cracklesfire · 08/11/2017 13:55

Unfortunately this sounds normal but nobody really tells you about it beforehand. I remember my LO going boob to boob for hours at a time til it drove me to tears. It does get hugely better after 6/8 weeks. I found it easier just to focus on one day at a time and eventually days ran into weeks, then months. Take as much help as you can, my mum came over at one point and made me stay in bed all day just bringing DS up to feed & refusing to let me get up. It saved me going crazy!

FV45 · 08/11/2017 14:02

All normal. Your baby is trying to increase your supply. The best way is to feed on demand. There is more prolactin at night (or something) so night feeds are even more beneficial.

By about 6 weeks you may see a pattern (not a routine, but a pattern) emerging and slowly you'll both learn what works.

Lying down saved my life as did Sky True Movies!

Marcine · 08/11/2017 15:53

Newborns don't like to be put down at night. Its not necessarily a feeding issue (it gaining weight, producing nappies, gaps between feeds in the day etc) just protest at being away from you at night.

ashaj92 · 08/11/2017 15:58

Thanks everyone-
He’s been checked and doesn’t have tongue tie, the midwife said his tongue might be a tiny bit short but shouldn’t effect his latch. Weight gain and output is definitely fine lol that we are certain of, loads of heavy wet nappies and frequent dirty nappies.
I’m just so exhausted! I never get the chance to rest because he just wants to be on me all the time. At the moment we’re giving no more than 2 formula feeds a day. Sometimes just the one, at the end of the ‘night shift’ about 7am-ish so I can get an hours kip before the next days antics. If he does have 2 then it’s one early evening/late afternoon (around this sort of time about 4pm ish after I’ve been feeding constantly since midday) and the early morning feed. I then top up with boob after (e.g. whenever he next starts cue-ing like rooting around or sometimes straight after).
People keep telling me not to use the formula because it’ll ruin my milk supply, but I don’t see how it will if I’m still constantly breastfeeding, just hoping the formula might keep him a tiny bit fuller?? Must be horrid for him if he’s feeling constantly hungry.

OP posts:
Marcine · 08/11/2017 16:02

Remember breastfeeding isn't just about hunger - its comfort and safety too. Cosleeping safely and feeding lying down is the only way I got enough sleep in the first few weeks with all of mine.

DC 3 is now 7 weeks and in a cot, feeding once in the night, but for about the first month only slept in the crook of my arm.

Lesley1980 · 08/11/2017 16:09

My second baby fed loads & the midwife said if everything is OK she shouldn't be feeding for longer than 45 minutes. The midwife recommended a dummy & my daughter stopped needing fed so much & became quite content.

silenceisadistantmemory · 08/11/2017 16:10

Do you have a sling?

A co-sleeper cot?

Both of the above saved my sanity. I’ve been where you are and the early days are worth it- if nothing else so you don’t have to make up bottles and carry around a load of stuff.

If your baby is gaining weight and doing wees and poos, you’re doing a good job.

Trust your body- you can do this.

Lilonetwothree · 08/11/2017 16:16

Gosh this sounds hard work. But it does sound normal. My DS1 fed like this for a few weeks but it didn't last long. Luckily it's your first and not your second.

I'm worried about how I'm going to be able to dedicate time to bf mine (due in April) with a 16month old running around.

GherkinSnatch · 08/11/2017 16:18

It does sound very normal based on my experience. As a PP has said, sucking is also to do with comfort as well as creating the demand for your milk. Have you considered giving him a dummy if he's looking for the comfort rather than the milk?

Another thing that saved me, with DD in particular, was baby wearing. A close caboo or a stretchy wrap kept her comforted as she was on me, but I had my hands free and didn't feel like I constantly had my boobs out.

RockinRobinTweets · 08/11/2017 16:21

If he's waking up after both boobs and 5 minutes he's either startling himself awake so try a swaddle or he's got wind - its a myth IME that BF babies don't need to be winded.

RockinRobinTweets · 08/11/2017 16:24

Also, just to add that mixed feeding is great alternative to exclusively breastfeeding. Baby is still getting lots of BM goodness but you can have a little break when needed/wanted

mossycat · 08/11/2017 16:31

Congratulations. As been said by others it's pretty normal. I used the mantra. "If in doubt stick a boob in!" I found it tough the first few weeks but I found a good box set and me baby and my sore boobs camped out on the sofa feeding on and off. I also found a local breast feeding buddy at a children's centre that reassured me on positioning. I didn't follow any routine ( it just stresses me out with my first child) and eventually we got through the first month or so in our new world together. Keep yourself super hydrated and nap when baby does.

Luckyaide · 08/11/2017 16:35

Yes, completely normal. Really narks me that the reality of bf isn't shared more openly. I'm positive this is why so many people give up, they can't see how this can be right and lo is getting enough/shouldn't be constantly hungry. As others have said it's about so much more than milk. Don't let anyone convince you otherwise OP. You should be mega proud of yourself. It really can be a labour of love. I recall feeling a bit duped, that I would get my body and freedom to move freely back post pregnancy. It didn't really work that way!
At least we're at a cooler time of year when you can justifiably hunker down, cosey and warm. You need to drink lots yourself and get as much rest as you can. Congratulations Flowers

Mac12345 · 08/11/2017 16:48

Congratulations! My first was like this too, he was constant on the boob. It does get easier!! I don't think the formula will ruin your supply if it's one bottle at the same time each day, your body will adjust to that routine.

He will get used to settling in his cot eventually. Do you use a Moses basket? A tip I was given is to put the mattress behind my back as I was feeding then it's nice and warm for him when it's time to put him down. It made such a difference!

Hang in there, he will start sleeping better and going longer between feeds. He just wants your comfort and cuddles Smile

ashaj92 · 08/11/2017 19:31

We have a next2me bed in the bedroom and a cot downstairs. The last 2 nights we’ve camped out in the living room just because from midnight til around 8am it’s a constant battle of sleep and boob, and I’m still struggling with a really slow recovery from the labour and birth (major episiotomy and kiwi delivery, still can’t walk or sit comfortably and repositioning in bed was absolute agony 😣). We’re going back into the bedroom tonight though, we need our bed back. Got everything ready and set up in the bedroom, nappies, changing mat, clean baby gro’s, snacks, drinks.. it’s turning into a bit of a military style operation! 😂
Mac I had a similar idea earlier today, as whenever we put him back in the cot it does feel cool to touch, so after having a nice warm cuddle it’s no wonder he isn’t very impressed with me for putting him in there. Might try that idea tonight, wouldn’t hurt for the extra back support either I imagine!
Luckyaide you’re so right. Everyone tells you their childbirth horror stories but never how difficult this part is! I’m planning on sticking with breastfeeding for as long as I can, now I’m passed that awful engorgement stage I really want to persevere now. Plus the bonding when he feeds from me (when he’s not screaming bloody murder) is just the best feeling ❤️

OP posts:
Mac12345 · 09/11/2017 07:28

How did it go last night? I always kept a second changing bag in the bedroom fully stocked, nothing worse than hunting around for nappies and a change of clothes at 3am!

Hope you had a more settled night, the first weeks are hard, but it will get better.

ashaj92 · 10/11/2017 09:46

Mac it’s starting to go slightly better, thank you. Turns out baby has suspected colic/silent reflux, so that explains the CONSTANT need for feeding. He’s actually only been feeding from me for 15-20mins each time, and all that other time he’s latched on is more for comfort because he’s in pain 😞 we’ve started using a dummy to soothe him when he gets restless and got some baby gaviscon from the GP, that seems to have stopped the awful screaming fits but he’s still quite clingy at night.
Really hope it does get better lol.
Just so exhausting, you think you’re starting to get to know your baby after everyone tells you ‘this is just what babies are like’ and we just tried to get on with it.. only took one maternity assistant to look at him (out of all the others who have seen him) and say it’s absolutely not normal and send us to the GP!
Don’t think I could have survived another week going the way we were!! 😣

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HowDoYouWantToDoThis · 13/11/2017 19:11

Mac here, I NC'd.

So glad things are going better and you're getting answers! The first weeks are so exhausting already without all the extra on top! Google the fourth trimester. There's a theory that the first month of birth they're extra clingy because they technically should still be inside. Or something. I don't remember the details but I remember neither of mine wanting to be put down!

Hope you're managing to catch up on some rest!

Oly5 · 13/11/2017 19:21

I have a 5 day old OP and we’re the same. It’s normal, it will get better (been through this before). It all settles down.
During the day, my baby will go long stretches but I’m getting about 1-2 hours sleep in total at night. Last night I fed or winded constantly from 10.30pm to 5.30am. It’s exhaustinf. Stick with bf if you can as it’s so worth it when they’re 6 months old and you’re not faffing with bottles. I’m not using formula but did with my first.. though it led to me stopping bf and I regret it.
But people DO successfully combine formula and bf

ashaj92 · 15/11/2017 11:10

HowDoYouWantToDoThis I’ve never heard of that theory but in a way it kinda makes sense, for instance my baby boy still always sleeps with his legs crossed together, like he would have been when still inside me. He’s so long, I think it’s going to take time for him to realise he has much more room to stretch on the outside lol
Oly5 we’re day 13 now (as if he’s two weeks old tomorrow, it’s such a blur where has that time gone?!) and still not quite ‘there’ yet but some nights are definitely better than others. We’re still getting the screaming fits at the start of every night, last night between midnight and 3am, constant cycle of feeding, winding, cuddling, nappy change, anything!! Then at about 3 he just collapses (presumably from exhaustion lol) and sleeps for a solid 3 hours, wakes for another feed and change then back down again for 3 hours.
Not sure if the baby gaviscon is really working, we reckon he might just have problem getting his bum wind out so might give infacol a try next. Seeing the health visitor today so will run it by her and see what she says x

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