Author Topic: 6 week old - keeps falling asleep  (Read 11725 times)

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Offline eva026

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6 week old - keeps falling asleep
« on: April 15, 2012, 08:28:26 am »
My 6 week old DD is constantly falling asleep while nursing. She is a lazy eater and nursing has always taken ages but now its just getting ridiculous. After 5 min of sucking she will fall asleep, I manage to wake her up (diaper change, strip her down a little, burp her), she sucks  a few times and is off to sleep again.... this goes on for an hour. By that time my breasts are hurting and I end up giving her a bottle of BM, which she gulps down so I can see she in hungry. I'm worried that with every bottle she is closer to refusing the breast altogether but the only other alternative is to let her sleep and snack.
This whole process has me in tears.  She got formula for the first few days as my milk was slow to come in after a c-section and getting her to breastfeed was hard work and a lot of stress, now every time I have to give her a bottle it's like all that was for nothing :(
She has a strange way of feeding because she nurses on the breast for 5-10 min and then I have to put on a nipple shield when the flow slows down (same on both sides). It's not the most convenient thing but it works for her so I have adjusted. 
I have no idea what changed because she was doing fine for the last 5 weeks, with 1 bottle at the DF and all the rest of the feeds at the breast.
We have her on a 3h easy, tanking up at 4,6 and 8pm, DF at 11:00 (bottle of breast milk) and she sleeps 5h straight after that. After the 5h break, at 4am she still manages to feed normally but from 7am it's back to the same thing.
It's starting to depress me - all these women all around the world manage to breastfeed and I can't get it right, it makes me feel like such a failure....



Offline Erin M

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Re: 6 week old - keeps falling asleep
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2012, 21:28:23 pm »
Is it possible that she's just become a much more efficient eater and she doesn't need to nurse after 5 minutes?  My first two were super quick eaters, 5 minutes would have. Een plenty to drain a breast.  The bottle thing is tricky - some babies will always take from a bottle regardless of hunger as its just a quicker way of eating for them.  Does she still fall asleep directly after a nap?  There was no keeping my ds awake through a feed for the first bunch of weeks but he was getting plenty from the breast. 
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Offline eva026

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Re: 6 week old - keeps falling asleep
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2012, 07:59:20 am »
I've been observing her and she has become a more efficient eater. When we have a 'normal' feed she needs around 20min now but she has started only taking one side whereas before she would need both. At the same time she is lasting 2h and not 3 like before but she refuses the other side when I try and give it to her. Every second feed is an absolute nightmare! It takes her ages to latch on with me chasing her open mouth around with my nipple and then she unlatches every 30seconds and takes little naps - even when she has just woken up from a 2h sleep. It's driving me crazy! After 40min of this I end up expressing and giving her a bottle because otherwise the fed lasts over an hour and she is overtired and getting her back to sleep is a problem.
My husband keeps telling me that the most important thing is that she is getting the breast milk and not where she is getting it from but I can't help feeling frustrated and guilty for not being patient enough.
Breastfeeding is so not what I expected it to be...



Offline Erin M

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Re: 6 week old - keeps falling asleep
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2012, 18:43:19 pm »
How many days has she been like this?  It is possible that there's a growth spurt going on too that might be throwing her off.  

What sort of nipple do you have on the bottle?  It could also be that she's just realized that she doesn't have to work as hard to get milk out of the bottle and just wanting the easy meal.  

What is your EASY looking like right now?  
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Offline eva026

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Re: 6 week old - keeps falling asleep
« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2012, 19:13:58 pm »
It looks like it's getting better so maybe it was a growth spurt or I just might be calmer about the whole thing and not panicking any more.

She uses a newborn nipple on the bottle and I have almost instant letdown and fast flow - judging from what happens when I express (dont know if it gives an accurate picture though) so I'd say the flow of milk is faster at the breast than at the bottle. This strange eating behaviour has lasted around 5 days now. Before she only got one bottle in her sleep at 11pm, although she would nurse only 10 min on the breast alone and waned the nipple shield to continue another 20min and took both sides at a feed.
She does sleep an awful lot and has short As, so I was wondering if you could tell me if my EASY is ok.


7am feed - one side 20min
Diaper change and 10min later she starts yawning so I put her to sleep

10am feed -  she fed on and off a few min at a time, then started crying and attacking my breast sucking vigorously and crying again. I tried her on both breasts, with and without nipple shields. Finally after 40 min of struggling I expressed milk for a top up which she ate at 11. She calmed down but was over tired and it took her almost hour to get to sleep.

1pm - feed 30min, took both sides
diaper change during which she drifted off

4.30pm - We woke her up to feed with a diaper change
Refused to nurse, kept giving hunger cues and crying so I expressed milk and gave her a bottle.
10min cuddle and 20min to get her to sleep.

6.30pm - tried to wake her to tank up but she was dead to the world - bottle of expressed milk in her sleep.

8pm bath

8:30pm - feed 30min, both sides
Fell asleep on the breast

11pm dream feed expressed milk given by husband

3:30am feed one side, 15min and drifted off to sleep.


Thanks!




Offline Erin M

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Re: 6 week old - keeps falling asleep
« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2012, 04:10:54 am »
I'd say it looks ok -- have you seen this link?  http://babywhispererforums.com/index.php?topic=164027.0
It has some sample routines you might look at.  At her age you do have to expect quite a bit of variation too -- it sounds like you're really watching her cues though which is great!

I have almost instant letdown and fast flow
This jumped out at me -- do you think that maybe your flow is too fast for her right now and she's liking the bottle because it's slower?  You could always try hand expressing a touch before she latches to see if she likes it slower, or feeding in a reclined position so the flow is a little slower?  Perhaps that would help -- I wonder if her preference for the nipple shields sometimes is a sign of this.
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Offline eva026

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Re: 6 week old - keeps falling asleep
« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2012, 04:25:27 am »
Today was a nightmare again:(
Had to give her a bottle at 10, 4, 7 and even at 8.30 when usually she nurses well because she is hungry after her bath, although I may have given her too much at 7 so she wasn't hungry after her bath, hard to say. Add the DF at 11:30 given by DH in a bottle so that makes 5 bottles on a day! Now during her 4am feed she got fussy after 10 min but I didn't want to give her another bottle so I gave her a passi instead and put her to sleep. I guess I will wait and see how long she will last on the short feed.
I can think of only 2 options:

1. she is developing a bottle preference - if so what do I do to stop it before she refuses to nurse altogether? I guess not giving her a bottle at all, even if   she is screaming but I'm not sure I have the heart to do that but I will try if you think it will help. We use the medela bottles that come with the pump and I also have a tomme teepee closer to nature one which I haven't used - maybe a switch will help because the TT one looks more like a breast? I read in previous posts that I can just get the medela calma nipple and use it on the medela pump bottles instead of buying the whole bottle.
I just find it so strange that after 6 weeks she has all of a sudden started to prefer the bottle. Surely she would have shown signs of this earlier?

2. she is nursing super fast now and after the hour long nursing sessions we had before I am misreading her cues and forcing her to feed when she is done, thus frustrating her and making her cry and she she takes the bottle I give her after because she one of those babies who always does.
The question is how do I tell if she is still hungry or done eating? Could coming off the breast after 5 - 10 min and crying be a "i'm full" sign?

My husband still thinks I am overreacting and can't understand why I think switching exclusively to EBM is the end of the world. Maybe it's hormones but I can't help feeling down about it:(

I was also wondering if it's ok to not do the tanking up thing 4-6-bath-8 as she is almost impossible to wake at 6 and keeps falling asleep at the breast.  If I drop the 6pm one and feed her after her bath maybe she will be hungry enough to BF. I just hope she will be able to take her bath without screaming all the way through it...

You reply arrived while I was writing this so I will answer quick:  I pumped myself into oversupply about a week ago and she was nursing super happy with the milk running down her chin and all over her face, I think the problems may have started when I got my supply sorted again. She was always happy to nurse for a while at the start, during the letdown before she demanded the shields so I always assumed she could take the fast letdown as she was bottle fed at the start.

I will take a look at the link you posed, thanks:)







Offline Erin M

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Re: 6 week old - keeps falling asleep
« Reply #7 on: April 20, 2012, 04:31:26 am »
OK, headed to bed, but quickly:
Yes, the cure to bottle preference is to not offer the bottle.  Which would be hard at first, but these LOs forget things so quickly it probably wouldn't take long.  Trying another type of bottle could help as well.

Coming off after 5-10 minutes and crying could definitely mean she's full.  See how she does if you stop then.  Or you might try to give her a good burping then and see if she'll take more. She's at the age where she could definitely just have become more efficient in her eating. 

I was also wondering if it's ok to not do the tanking up thing 4-6-bath-8 as she is almost impossible to wake at 6 and keeps falling asleep at the breast.
Definitely.  Tweak until you find what works.  My dd1 was a great cluster feeder, but it never worked for dd2. 

If she likes the fast flow of milk, you might try some breast compressions too while she's nursing, just to keep it flowing.  Here's a link: http://www.breastfeedinginc.ca/content.php?pagename=doc-BC

((hugs))
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Offline eva026

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Re: 6 week old - keeps falling asleep
« Reply #8 on: April 20, 2012, 18:14:45 pm »
We tried to go cold turkey without the bottle and lasted till 4pm before we caved.
She was nursing for 5-10min on the breast and then crying and refusing more, even though I offered her the other breast full of milk with a faster letdown she wouldn't even try. When we finally got her settled she would be up after an hour of sleep, crying for food again.
Finally at 4pm we gave her a 100ml in a bottle, which she finished and was back to being her normal angel self again.
I will keep trying to breastfeed her as long as I can before giving a bottle but it feels like we are fighting a loosing war:(
Tomorrow dh is going to get the medela calma to see if that helps as the TT closer to nature one may have a breast shape but the milk flows with no effort on her part at all.
Is it true that your milk supply dwindles if you only pump and feed ebm from a bottle?



Offline eva026

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Re: 6 week old - keeps falling asleep
« Reply #9 on: April 21, 2012, 10:43:31 am »
The last bottle was 16h ago, I think we did it!
After an awful day and awful night of her nursing every hour for 5 min and screaming from hunger she nursed 20 min at 7am, slept till 10am, nursed 15min and is sleeping again:)
Thanks so much for your help Erin!

I was wondering when it will be ok to reintroduce he bottle for the DF at 11pm, can't do it by breast as she is too sleepy to suck.



Offline Erin M

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Re: 6 week old - keeps falling asleep
« Reply #10 on: April 21, 2012, 13:02:04 pm »
Yay!  Good work!  I'd wait a few days but not too long as she might forget the bottle (tricky ones these LOs)! 
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Offline eva026

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Re: 6 week old - keeps falling asleep
« Reply #11 on: April 23, 2012, 18:34:16 pm »
I spoke too soon last time. LO went on a total strike and refused to eat at the breast at all:(
We bought the medela calma bottle to force her to work a little and it helped in the say that she is back to nursing at least a little - 2-3min per breast, before she yells the house down for a bottle.
I am now trying to get her to nurse as much as she will and then expressing. I don't know how long I will be able to keep my supply up this way. Are the short bursts of nursing enough stimulation if I try empty the breast after?
From the notes I am keeping, I pump 23oz in 24h with her BF a tiny bit too
Tried cup feeding but that didn't work and will try a syringe too. If that doesn't work I am out of ideas:(



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Re: 6 week old - keeps falling asleep
« Reply #12 on: April 23, 2012, 20:45:30 pm »
I know it's easier said than done, but with a nursing strike it's really important to be relaxed about it and try not to force the issue.  Plenty of skin to skin, try feeding in the bath....have you seen this FAQ too? http://babywhispererforums.com/index.php?topic=89418.0
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Offline eva026

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Re: 6 week old - keeps falling asleep
« Reply #13 on: April 24, 2012, 07:15:11 am »
I looked through the FAQ but assumed it was a weaning post. Will take a look, thanks!



Offline LifeGiver

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Re: 6 week old - keeps falling asleep
« Reply #14 on: April 25, 2012, 14:11:48 pm »
Eva, I can't offer much of an advice because I went through the same thing and ended up giving in. DD1 was a sleepy baby too and I didn't have enough patience, so I know the failure feeling you're talking about... in my case, she'd sleep on the breast, on the bottle and on the cup too :P but she ended up preferring the bottle and I wasn't as bold as you to battle to BF her longer.

I just want to offer you my many HUGS!!
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Offline eva026

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Re: 6 week old - keeps falling asleep
« Reply #15 on: April 26, 2012, 10:21:10 am »
Yeah, mnie is the same:(
The nursing strike post was very helpful though, I was trying to force her to eat so that's where I went wrong.
She has started nursing again using nipple shields and we only use the medela calma bottle for DF, instead of normal ones.
We are however back to square one: feeds last over an hour with her falling asleep all the time grrrrr.
Everyone said she would grow out of it and be eating properly by the end of the first month, well she is 8 weeks old today and no change!
I felt awful and depressed when she refused to nurse and now that she is nursing again I feel frustrated....
Counting down the days till we get to 6 months!



Offline Erin M

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Re: 6 week old - keeps falling asleep
« Reply #16 on: April 27, 2012, 02:09:28 am »
feeds last over an hour with her falling asleep all the time
I'd just stop feeding after a set amount of time (like 15-20 minutes) and then try not to feed her for another 2.5 hours or so and see where that gets you.  It's possible that she may take more that way.
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Offline eva026

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Re: 6 week old - keeps falling asleep
« Reply #17 on: April 27, 2012, 11:12:03 am »
Ok, will give it a try.
I was wondering if a hungry baby is able to go 2-3h between feeds or would she keep waking up? It's a discussion I had with my DH, he said that he thinks even if a baby is hungry it would be able to sleep that long if tired enough and in my opinion not.
Who is right?



Offline Erin M

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Re: 6 week old - keeps falling asleep
« Reply #18 on: April 28, 2012, 01:10:58 am »
I think it delends on your baby!  My ds would never settle when hungry, dd1 was a bit easier in that regard.  But I found with all of mine it would have been pretty difficult fr them to sleep well when hungry (unless they've cried for so long from hunger that they pass out from exhaustion -- something I definitely wouldn't recommend trying!)
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Offline eva026

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Re: 6 week old - keeps falling asleep
« Reply #19 on: April 29, 2012, 21:06:10 pm »
Ok, so she has become a much faster eater 10-20min but everything else has gone all wonky. 
 The last 2 days she has started screaming after her 1pm feed and all the rest of the feeds till 8pm but refuses to nurse more, so it's not hunger. Nothing can calm her down when this happens and it's not a cry but literately a scream.
 She has also started having napping difficulties and spits up a ton more than she used to after feeds. 
What on earth is going on??
Could it be a GS (she will be 9weeks in 3 days) or reflux (if that can come on so late) because it looks like the spitting up hurts her?

Sorry I come "running" here with so many questions all the time, but there is no one else I can ask:(


 



Offline Fiver

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Re: 6 week old - keeps falling asleep
« Reply #20 on: April 29, 2012, 21:17:50 pm »
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Offline MakingMischief

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Re: 6 week old - keeps falling asleep
« Reply #21 on: April 30, 2012, 04:16:10 am »
The preference for the nipple shield might be nipple confusion -- she prefers something firmer than the soft breast. I posted my nipple shield experience in the other nipple shield thread (http://babywhispererforums.com/index.php?topic=229696.0) but basically my LC said it was fine to use it long term as long as she's latching well and stimulating the breast, not just sucking on the shaft of the shield.

I highly recommend the First Years Breastflow bottle:
http://www.diapers.com/p/the-first-years-breastflow-bpa-free-bottle-5-oz-3-pk-30083

The 5oz bottle comes with a slow flow nipple, and the design is meant to mimic the sort of motion she would have to use on the breast. I was struggling to wean my LO off supplements because he was "spoiled" by how quickly he could get food from a bottle, and got impatient with breastfeeding. Switching to those bottles really helped.

*HUGS* Breastfeeding is hard, I've posted my tearful frustration here before. You are not a failure!

(Edited to include link to other nipple shield thread)
« Last Edit: April 30, 2012, 20:11:29 pm by Fiver »

Offline eva026

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Re: 6 week old - keeps falling asleep
« Reply #22 on: May 04, 2012, 04:06:48 am »
Nursing is so much better, thank you all!!!

Great article on nipple shields, it really puts my mind at ease because I can't see them going anywhere any time soon.



Offline Erin M

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Re: 6 week old - keeps falling asleep
« Reply #23 on: May 04, 2012, 13:32:13 pm »
:)
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Offline MakingMischief

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Re: 6 week old - keeps falling asleep
« Reply #24 on: May 10, 2012, 00:01:27 am »
Eva, I've more or less weaned, but I still use the shield occasionally when I'm sore or when he's in a mood and I want to make it easier.

Offline Rubyroo

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Re: 6 week old - keeps falling asleep
« Reply #25 on: April 03, 2017, 21:30:56 pm »
Hi I am facing the exact same thing with my 6 week old son now and I am very depressed about it. I am pumping and giving in a bottle to make sure he is getting enough but that takes so much time and effort and I have 2 other kids one of them is special needs. I need my son to start nursing properly and finishing off the breast without needing to pump.  Can you please tell me how things worked out for you after that and if your daughter eventually started nursing properly?

Offline eva026

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Re: 6 week old - keeps falling asleep
« Reply #26 on: April 04, 2017, 19:34:17 pm »
We nursed till almost a year with nipple shields. It was hard work and took a lot of patience but we survived.
Around the 3 month mark she sarted to be more awake and nurse faster.