Need some advice on feeding my newborn son. He's just not interested at all.

Casey - posted on 05/14/2011 ( 8 moms have responded )




Hey Ladies,

I finally had my baby boy on Wednesday the 11th of May. We named him Dustin and he was born via planned c-section and weighed 8lb even and 52cm long. Everything went very well with the c-section, however Dustin was born with fluid in his lungs, so he had to spend the first 48 hours in a humidicrib in the special care nursery. He was tube-fed for the first 24 hours too.

We're finally home from the hospital and he's doing really well, but I am having trouble getting him to feed. He's just not interested. I have left him on the formula that they had him on in the hospital 'cause my breast milk hasn't come in at all. But he won't even suck on the bottle, he just falls asleep again. I am really struggling to even get 20mls into him when he should probably be on about 60mls. I have tried unwrapping him and making him less comfy, but it doesn't seem to work. He just clamps his mouth shut and i have to pry it open and stuff the bottle in. But once it's in he won't suck it. I'm not sure what to do 'cause he is loosing weight fairly quickly. He won't even wake up for a feed. I usually try and wake him up for one every 4 hours, but he's still not interested. He's barely had anything all day so any advice you can give me would be greatly appreciated! Thanks. :)


Jodi - posted on 05/15/2011




I am surprised they sent him home from hospital feeding like this. My daughter wouldn't feed properly, and when she would breasfeed or wouldn't bottle feed - she would fall asleep from exhaustion when she was part way through. It is a LOT of hard work for a newborn to feed. They had to tube feed her, and they would NOT let her go home until she was feeding and gaining weight (both). It took 10 days - she was in the special care nursery all that time.

I think you need to take him back to the pediatrician. Given them a call. At this age, you can't risk the weight loss. I would definitely want to attend to this immediately.

Nikki - posted on 05/15/2011




Congrats on your new baby!

Do you want to breast feed? if so you need to get rid of the bottle and keep putting him on the breast. It's important to continue nursing to stimulate your supply. It's normal for babies not to eat much at all in the first few days as our milk to takes a few days to come in. Well at least it is for a breast fed baby because the colostrum provides enough nutrition to get through those few days. Not sure if they have been exclusively bottle fed from birth?

I would visit your health care nurse and have a chat to see what they recommend if you are really worried. Good luck

Jodi - posted on 05/16/2011




Casey, I forgot to mention the pacifier. It's been a long time, LOL. The nurses in the SCN did send us out to buy one for her to help develop her sucking reflex, which was very weak. I also spent a lot of time expressing to get her fed, and then gradually transitioned to the breast as she strengthened. Glad to hear he is feeding more now, I am sure he will improve, and your milk will come in greater supply. Just keep feeding/pumping as frequently as you can, because I found that the more milk I had, the less hard she had to work for it, so it really helped to build my supply.

Good luck!!

Stifler's - posted on 05/15/2011




I would take him back to the hospital/ a paediatrician too if he's had problems like that and won't feed.


View replies by

Kate CP - posted on 05/19/2011




No, they won't try to suck air through their mouths. Babies don't know HOW to breathe through their mouths. If you pinch their nose closed they just CAN'T BREATHE.

Amber - posted on 05/19/2011




I am glad to hear that your baby is doing better but I thought I would add a little input incase someone else has this problem and reads daughter was born by emergency c-section at 36 wks. She was a preemie and did not want to latch at times. A home remedy that some drs might not like (but it works) is to GENTLY pinch your babys nose repeatedly...DO NOT HOLD THE BABY'S NOSE!!! however, if you pinch it they will try to suck air in throught thier mouth and get the milk/formula on their tounge and regain interest. then the realize that sucking in with their mouth is how to get it. just a suggestion.

Casey - posted on 05/16/2011




Thanks everyone for your advice I think I was just freaking out a bit to much over it cause the nurses and doctor kept saying that he should be drinking a certain amount but I guess every baby is different, I actually started giving a pacifier every now and then in the hope that it would help to stimulate his sucking reflex and I am pleased to report it has helped his now drinking 50mls without a struggle so I'm happy with that and I guess it will just increase over time. I'm still bottle feeding him at the moment but I am expressing breast milk for him cause I can't get him to latch on and stay on but the health nurse is coming to see me on wednesday so hopefully she can help me out, thanks again for the advice :)

Karen - posted on 05/15/2011




My LO was born with a cleft lip/palate and we weren't able to Breastfeed. :( Anyways, at the Nicu the nurses said that he was suppose to take a certain amount of mls to eat. He didn't take anywhere near that. Yes, he did lose a bit of weight (which is normal), but he wouldn't eat any more...he wasn't hungry. The health nurses would come out to weigh him every other day, but basically said, 'he'll eat what he'll eat, and eat when he's hungry'. As long as he pooing and has wet diapers, Don't freak out about the 'numbers'.

Jenni - posted on 05/15/2011




Congrats! Awww that's my 1 year old daughter's birthday!

If you want to breastfeed, try to suppliment as little as possible. If your milk hasn't come in yet then this is all the more reason to feed at the breast as much as possible!!! My children were almost permanently latched the first few days in the hospital and my milk came in within the first 24 hours. It is very helpful to breastfeed as much as possible in the beginning until your milk is established.

Also, if he seems satisfied and has 5-6 heavy wet diapers in a 24 hour period then he is getting enough to eat.

I recommend not going by the clock when bfing. Some babies are more efficient feeders than others or you may have strong let down. But since you weren't able to breastfeed immediately and your milk hasn't come in yet. I would recommend laying in bed with him for the next 72 hours and nursing as much as possible (or until your milk comes in).

"Here are some tips on how to encourage a sleepy baby to nurse:

Look for signs that he is entering a 'light sleep cycle'. Babies cycle in and out of light and deep sleep more frequently than adults, and your efforts to wake him will be more successful if you catch him during the light sleep stage. Signs of light sleep include: rapid eye movements (REM) even though his eyes are closed; changes in facial expression; involuntary movements of arms, legs, or mouth (sucking motions). You may be unsuccessful at waking him during a deep sleep cycle, but have good results just a few minutes later if you catch him during a light sleep cycle.

Loosen or remove his coverings. Undress him down to his diaper, and get some skin-to-skin contact. Try taking a warm bath with him.

Dim the lights in the room. Newborn's eyes are sensitive to light, and bright lights may make him want to keep his eyes closed.

Talk to him and try to make eye contact.

Hold him upright. Try the 'doll's eye' technique. Remember the dolls we had as little girls who closed their eyes when you laid them down, and opened them when you sat them up? Gently bend him into sit-ups in your lap by raising his shoulders, legs, and torso, then lowering him back down. Don't raise his legs up when he's sitting, though - this could cause internal damage. Be gentle�

Increase stimulation. Rub his back in a circular motion from the shoulder blades down and back up; stroke his scalp in gentle but firm circles, squeeze gently in the cavity between his neck and collarbone (remember in grade school when someone wanted to get your attention, and they snuck up from behind and grabbed your shoulder-blade? Remember how you jumped out of your chair? This is effective, but do it gently); rub his hands or feet by applying pressure with your thumb (your partner can do this while you are nursing to help keep him stimulated); walk your fingers up his spine; move his arms and legs in a bicycling motion, play pat-a-cake; or circle his lips with your fingertip. Keep talking to him and trying to establish eye contact.

Change his diaper and burp him before offering the other breast. Most newborns hate this, and it may make him mad enough to wake up and nurse. Try switching breasts as soon as his sucking slows down, even if it has only been a few minutes. Then go back to the other breast and let him fall asleep on that side if he wants to.

Wipe his face with a cool, damp cloth.

Try nursing in the football hold rather than the cradle hold. Babies cuddled in the cradle hold tend to fall asleep more readily.

Support your breast while nursing so the weight of it isn't on the baby's chin.

Express milk onto his lips or dribble milk into his mouth with a dropper or syringe to keep him swallowing while feeding."

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