is he turning into a snacker ?

Carolyn - posted on 11/11/2010 ( 6 moms have responded )

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my son Logan , now 5 mths, is spending less and less time at the breast. I know babies learn to feed quicker and more efficiently as they age. but this is more than that. until last week, he would nurse steadily for 15 minutes combined ( he would nurse both breasts) getting a good feed, i have a great supply and am not worried about that. But now seems he is on there for about 5 minutes of active sucking, with no interest of the second breast. we nurse in the same spot everytime, and its just us for most of the day so distractions are minimal.



he latches, i can feel the let down, he eats a bit and then pulls off, i can get him back on, he its for another minute or 2 then looks at me and just starts babbling away, turning away. His cues tell me he's good, the length of time between feeds remain the same. Ive started pumping after feeds to ball park his intake and keep my supply up since i feel he is not emptying the breast. I bottle feed him the hindemilk i am getting from the side he is nursing on to make sure he is altleast getting as much of that as possible, which he will take happily. about an extra ounce or 2. i know its hindemilk due to its appearance.



I have backed off the amount of cereal he usually gets hoping to get him nursing longer, (he only eats after the breast )but its not helping. he is now waking at night, where he has been sleeping through since about 8 weeks. Ive ruled out a growth spurt, im sure we had one just a few weeks ago. His sudden night waking to me seems to be out of hunger, as it is irratic and he will feed and go back to sleep, ( usually).



im tempted to just start exclusively pumping to make sure he is drinking to meet his needs, and sleeping through the night again. i was aiming for atleast another month of breastfeed before turning it over to the pump.



I will admit i am easily frustrated when he is not nursing well, because i have to try and nurse him for so long, then turn around and pump and then feed him ( like during my period when he screams at the sight of a boob, or when teething, i always offer the breast first) and it seems it would be easier on both of us if i could just pump while he napped and bottle fed him. less frustration for both of us, and he can get to learning and playing sooner rather than it taking 2x as long to get him fed.



im not looking to have APA and WHO guildelines regurgitated to me, or opinions about the cereal etc. i dont need to hear how i should nurse my baby till 2 years and that solids before the age of 6 months are a bad idea .



im looking for ideas, other women with this experience and suggestions on how to overcome it or even just some reassurance that its a phase, other babies have gone through it etc.

6 Comments

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Vicki - posted on 11/12/2010

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Honestly, I would just go with the flow and not even pump. Your supply will meet the needs of your baby. It's probably just a stage. Personally I don't see snacking as a problem. I just let my boy feed whenever, some days it's 4 big feeds, some days 15 short feeds. As long as the solids are kept to a minimum at the age your baby is at then he should feed to need the rest of the time.

Emily - posted on 11/12/2010

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My daughter went through the same thing. It's perfectly normal and not really something that needs to be changed. It's just another of the endless baby stages. :) You definitely don't need to start pumping exclusively.. that will just make you crazy. Just keep feeding on demand, and nurse at night when he needs it. You will likely not be able to get him to nurse longer. Long nursing sessions are typically a newborn thing. I'd say it was around your baby's age when my daughter cut her nursings down to about 5 minutes, one breast. Ever since then she's just cut that time down even more. She has way too many other things she wants to do. Try not to stress about the sleep right now. It will work itself out in time.

Carolyn - posted on 11/12/2010

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im really surprised to see so little suggestions/ posts or personal experiences on this.

:(

Carolyn - posted on 11/11/2010

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im sure the sleep issue is directly correlated with the nursing issue. as they have both occured at the same time. he is eating less during the day it seems and wants to make up for it at night. im aiming to get him to nurse enough during the day so he will go back to sleeping well at night.



im only pumping to maintain my supply, im storing all the additional milk. i would hate for this to be a short term thing then have to work to rebuild it. so i pump after 3 of 4 nursing feeds of the day,( we are on a 3 1/2 - 4 hour routine) and then pump for his dream feed at night. freezing all extra. also he was 20lbs at 4 months, and im sure he has gained an extra pound or so this last month as his clothes are fitting noticeably tighter



we arent having any issues associated with too much foremilk or a milk imbalance.



just really want to keep up the good eating habits we established early on.



neither of us are comfortable nursing laying down, i feel akward and he looks like he feels akward. and where we nurse is pretty distraction free and uninteresting.

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When my baby started doing that I just went with it. No choice really, she is pretty head-strong. I was really worried at the beginning too, wondering if she was getting enough, particularly the hindmilk, but she is 14 months old now, only really started being interested into her solids since 10 months old and she is MASSIVE for her age. Very healthy, active and alert. I just had to learn to trust that she knows best how much milk she needs. The downside to that is of course that you'd have two minutes here and there scattered throughout the day. I wouldn't really pump if your supply is good though. I had an overproduction due to pumping too much, so my baby at some stage did get too much foremilk. It kind of creates its own problems.
I'm afraid I can't help you with the sleeping though. My baby is a terrible sleeper - still.

Minnie - posted on 11/11/2010

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Aahhh, you are entering the distractibility period of that first year. Frustrating, indeed.

Everything is just so interesting to your recently more aware baby so focusing on nursing is really hard for him. Many mothers find that going to a dark quiet room helps- maybe lie down in bed with a fan on and the shades closed.

Others choose to just go with the flow- babies know their needs and despite 'snacking' will get the milk they need in an accumulative way.

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