Breastfeeding Help

Pam - posted on 10/28/2009 ( 33 moms have responded )

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My four month old daughter still seems to want to feed every hour sometimes and normally every two hours. My husband encourages this so it will stop her from screaming. I don't think she needs to be eating this often.... what can I do???

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Kristin - posted on 10/31/2009

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breast milk digests faster so your baby will feel fuller faster than w/ formula. However an hour apart doesn't give you much rest. If you are exhausted you could alternate breast w/ bottle and if you want to use breast milk in the bottle from pumping you will still have the effects of breast milk. It's easier for them to get it out of the bottle so they will eat more and last longer.

Minnie - posted on 10/29/2009

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Best way to ensure an adequate milk supply is to nurse your baby whenever she wants it- even if it was half an hour ago.



Human milk is low in fat and protein. This necessitates frequent feedings.



Understand as well that nursing is not just about nutrition but is a very important source of comfort for your baby. Please don't deny your daughter the comfort and stability she receives at your breast.



My own 12 month old has never gone an hour without nursing. When she was younger it was typically 3-4 times an hour.

Marie - posted on 10/29/2009

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I agree with the remarks, but also with a reminder that some babies indicate they want to nurse but really what they want is cuddles and comfort and they just want to suck - that doesn't mean they are hungry. Some babies will take a pacifier, some won't. Entirely up to you.

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Pam - posted on 11/01/2009

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Ya she's definitely not going hungry and she seems to have stopped so it appears that it was just a growth spurt. Her other growth spurts weren't like that... they only lasted a day or two and this one seemed to last longer!



Thanks for everyones help! I really appreciate it.

Lucy - posted on 11/01/2009

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Quoting kristin:

breast milk digests faster so your baby will feel fuller faster than w/ formula. However an hour apart doesn't give you much rest. If you are exhausted you could alternate breast w/ bottle and if you want to use breast milk in the bottle from pumping you will still have the effects of breast milk. It's easier for them to get it out of the bottle so they will eat more and last longer.


 



The breastmilk in a bottle is a good idea, however I have to disagree with the strange statement that it's easier for them to get it out of the bottle, or even that they will eat more and last longer. Breasts are the most natural way for a baby to receive milk, and contrary to what bottle manufacturers might claim, the easiest way for babies to feed. Also I would only put what you've pumped into each bottle, it is easy to overfeed babies with a bottle and they will most likely sick it up.  Breastmilk is designed to be digested easily and that's why babies will feed more often. Babies stomachs are only the size of their fist, so formula stretches out their tummies and that's why they "last longer" between feeds. She's obviously craving you and your milk, I agree with the other mums to just go with it and it will probably just be a phase. At least you know she's not going hungry! xx

Tonia - posted on 11/01/2009

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Actually it's not recommended from the WHO and other health organizations to start solids prior to 6 months because of health issues that could be caused like allergies.

Michelle - posted on 11/01/2009

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Have you considered starting her on cereal? She is probably going through a growth spurt but the cereal may help.

Mattee - posted on 11/01/2009

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I have heard that around this time babies hit a growth spurt. So she may actually need to eat!

Tonia - posted on 10/31/2009

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Please, Please Please, and another Please stay away from Babywise or anything Ezzo! It has been linked to failure to thrive babies, and interruption of the breastfeeding relationship. Your baby is normal, doing things normal. Your baby will tell you when it's time to eat. My daughter still to this day at 2.5 will have moments when she all of a sudden nurses contently and it never fails in about a week or two I find she is getting sick, another tooth is coming, I noticed something new that set her off ect. There is always a reason and a need. She is only telling your body to make more milk for the next stage. If things get a bit much and you need two hands I would recommend a carrier (I have the Moby Wrap).



Here is some links for the Ezzo crud!

http://www.ezzo.info/

http://www.nospank.net/granju2.htm

http://www.ezzo.info/Aney/letterofconcer...



I would also like to add that offering expressed milk is good every so often, but try doing so from other means rather then a bottle. Like a cup, or dropper. This will help not to create nipple confusion (some would say that this only happens in the first months, but it can happen at anytime). I would also like to remind that Suckies/pacis and bottles are artificially breasts, made to replace the breasts. Therefore, I find it amusing that one would say things like "don't let baby use you as a paci"... Ummm you are the original paci... So don't worry about comfort sucking.

Chelseaszidik - posted on 10/31/2009

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An infant only has so much room in their stomach so feeding a bottle of breastmilk in hopes of filling the baby up more will only result in have a baby that is spitting up. They can't be filled past their capacity and it's not recommended to try to over fill an infant.

Pam - posted on 10/31/2009

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She won't take a bottle for some reason. not sure if it's the type we have or what.

Wendi - posted on 10/31/2009

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My baby wanted to nurse all the time like this. It was his sucking reflex. He just wanted to use me to go back to sleep. I started pumping instead of letting him feed during the day and now he goes 3 or 4 hours in between feedings. I still bf him at night but during the day I pump and give him a bottle. It has been a life saver.

Elizabeth - posted on 10/30/2009

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My little near-4 month old was taking feeds every one-two hours until recently. At the moment she's got sore gums and is actually wanting to feed less than she's wanting to chew on my/her fingers (although I continue to offer the breast first). I think I'm more upset about this than she is, so I envy you your frequent feeds!

Karina - posted on 10/29/2009

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I would think that if she's keeping it down, then she must need it - the only thing to check is that she is actually feeding and you can see her drawing back, and not just having a bit of a fiddle around for comfort. You can encourage her to have a proper feed by running your finger back towards her ear along the jaw line if she's just messing around.

Kathryn - posted on 10/29/2009

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ive been there. Its probably just a growth spurt. My daughter was constantly growing and it was really hard but eventually it does pass. Good luck :)

User - posted on 10/29/2009

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If it lasts longer then a wk go consult but if after the wk it is over then it must be a growth spurt, it happened with my son too at around 5 months

Megan - posted on 10/29/2009

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alot of babies do this, you never can really know what is wrong but nursing is comforting for babies no matter what is wrong, she could be having a growth spurt or a number of things. I agree with April, i'd just ride it out. Your baby knows what she needs, if she didnt need to eat that often she wouuldnt be. And that won't last too much longer. just keep doing what your doing :)

Pam - posted on 10/29/2009

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Hey! Thanks for all your help! Sometimes I do try to hold her off to see if she wants to suck or if it is teething. She doesn't normally take a soother... she'll spit it out after awhile and she doesn't seem to want teething rings either.



Thanks again!

Sandi - posted on 10/29/2009

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if there is no medical problem causing this you can try teething rings for her to chew on she may be beginning to cut teeth. they can start this early and it can last a long time sometimes.

Christine - posted on 10/29/2009

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I would continue to feed her on demand like you have been. Growth spurts can seem to last forever sometimes, but you are giving her everything she needs...your love, attention and breastmilk.

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I agree with nursing on demand too, BUT on the other hand, if you know she is getting plenty to eat and you want to get on a feeding schedule, (babies thrive on routine) I have a couple ideas on things you can try.
I kept a little log book of or on demand feeding times until I noticed a pattern. Then I made our "schedule around his "pattern" It won't hurt her to make her wait an extra five or ten minutes each time, I would walk my son around the house naming every object and color in sight when he showed feeding ques but it was too early to nurse again, of course he wasn't screaming or anything, this usually held him off. Hang in there, and remember its good to follow her lead but Mom knows best too.

Marcy - posted on 10/29/2009

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Using my husbands words "Give her the boob". Unless you absolutely must put yourself on some kind of schedule letting your kiddo do it is the best thing for both of you.

Jodi - posted on 10/29/2009

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My daughter was the exact same way, and still is on some days. What I found out was that she wasn't actually hungry, she just wanted cuddle time. She is no w nearly 8 months old and we spend at least an hour or two in bed just cuddling and talking and tickling and what not every morning. She does nurse a little bit, but it's mostly just Mommy time she needed. But I do believe in feeding on demand, it's just a tthought to see if she just wants some cuddle time. Good luck!

Geralyn - posted on 10/29/2009

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My ped said to wait at least two hours before feeding again... not sure why. Growth spurts do and can go on for a few days. I agree with the moms that say feed when she is indicating that she wants to feed. We forget sometimes that we are also their source of water, and it may be that she is wanting to nurse to drink.... Or just needs that extra mommy time... It'll pass....

Suzi - posted on 10/29/2009

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My little girl is 3 months old and feeds nearly every two hours or less, (unless she has big sleeps, then she goes for longer...at Night she'll go 5 or 6 hours) sometimes I feel like we're feeding all day but I think that is the whole point of demand feeding, its really hard to tell how much they are getting when you breast feed and some babies just are that hungry...its like some people prefer to graze or snack all day while others only eat three solid meals. Just enjoy it and take the chance to stare at your beautiful little girl and take in just how amazing it is that you alone are nurturing this little person, before you know it she'll be rejecting your milk for big girl food!

Christine - posted on 10/29/2009

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I'm afraid I'm going to be the differing opinion in the group:) I have four sons, the littlest one being six months, and with each of them we were on a three-hour schedule from the first week on. It was my experience that if their digestion is regulated they are happier babies that sleep through the night sooner. My best resource was the book "Babywise". Of course you have to be flexible to adjust for illness, growth spurts, or just some mommy and baby time! Whatever advice you take good luck and keep up the great work!!

Tammy - posted on 10/28/2009

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I agree with everyone else, its just a phase, feed her when she wants it. this seems pretty normal. My son is also 4 months old and he recently went from one feed at night back to two. During the day my son eats every hour and a half, sometimes sooner.

Pam - posted on 10/28/2009

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My milk supply is great and she's growing like a weed which is why I didn't think she needed to eat that often. I do feed her everytime she wants it... and at first I thought it was a growth spurt as well but it's gone on for a few days but it sounds like this is normal.

Lisa - posted on 10/28/2009

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nurse on demand. it's your baby's way to encourage you to produce more milk, and as they go through growth spurts they need the extra food. besides that it will strengthen the bond between you--she will learn that you are there for her and will meet her needs.

Cori - posted on 10/28/2009

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let her nurse as much as she wants, whenever she wants.. she is going through a growth spurt probably and is feeling that need to eat more often.. even if she is just nursing for comfort let her.. my husband was the same way to though, sometimes i felt like he just wanted me to nurse my son because it was easier than trying to calm him down.. but i gave in to it all the time and its what he needed so its not bad!

Chelseaszidik - posted on 10/28/2009

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I second Aprils information. In cultures where infants and children have unlimited acces to breasts they nurse on average a totall of 5 minutes every hour (not continuous). This could mean 1 minute one hour, 2 minutes then 3 another hour etc. It is completely normal and healthy to feed often. I would suggest that you wear your infant and you can nurse while using the carrier so you don't have to slow down to nurse. I use the ergo baby carrier that has a nursing hood on it and it's WONDERFUL!!

April - posted on 10/28/2009

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it is just a phase...she will grow out of it. they tend to do that when they are in a growth spurt too. also, it is normal for babies that young to bf several times an hour. if you want to continue bfing, my advice is to ride it out.

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