Author Topic: 16wk old become a snacker  (Read 257 times)

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Offline Hoofbeat

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16wk old become a snacker
« on: April 21, 2017, 10:48:36 am »
My DS is 16wks old and EBF. Just recently he's started to become more of a snacker and I find it very difficult to get him to take a full feed. Part of this is my fault as I only recently started trying to implement an easy routine and I always used to feed him to get him to nap, and now I'm at a loss as to how to break the habit.

I've been using the shush pat techniques with some success and most naps he goes down with success, but our routine is all over the place timewise, because he doesn't take full feeds. Whilst I know that BF babies can typically follow a more EAEASY pattern (and I would be happy with that) the fact that he will only feed for a couple of minutes at time is becoming a practical problem. For example the other day we were travelling home with him and timed our stop at the services with when he should be due a feed, but he'd only take a couple of minutes feed from me (I was feeding him in the car where it was quiet and he's very used to being fed here so it isn't too exciting). Needless to say, 20minutes later in the middle of the motorway he realised he was still hungry!  This morning he woke up and would only feed for 2-3minutes on each breast before he refused. I tried some activity time, and offered him it again maybe 30minutes later and he literally fed for a minute before refusing. However, 15minutes later he was asking for food but then still only fed for a few minutes!

He does suffer with silent reflux, but this is under control with his medication, and I'm fairly sure it's not pain related when he stops. He just unlatches turns his head away as if to say 'Finished' and then if I don't move him away from breast starts to get grizzly. With his reflux I know that they sometimes prefer to take smaller feeds, but he always used to have longer (10-15minute feeds) and he would happily go every 3 hours between feeds, but now he just wants to snack! I really want to get away from so much snacking as it makes it difficult for us to stick to his EASY routine (and sometimes I think he's woken from a nap early because he didn't eat enough before hand!) and also because I don't like feeding him too close to the sleep time because of his reflux.  The only time he usually takes a longer feed is at bedtime and in the middle of the night (usually he only feeds once in the middle of the night and this can be anything from 15-20mins).

A few times I've wondered if it's because he's too distracted by the world, but most of the time I'm feeding him somewhere quiet and its where I've always fed him. I've tried covering him with a muslin when feeding but he just got frustrated by that! However, most of the time I don't think he's doing it because he's particularly distracted.

How can I encourage him to take longer feeds?

Offline becj86

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Re: 16wk old become a snacker
« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2017, 11:15:38 am »
He may be getting more efficient so not need to feed for as long now as he used to.

How recently have you changed his dosage of reflux medications? It is quite sensitive to weight gain as the dosage is calculated by weight and what you're describing with wanting to feed so frequently sounds like he's trying to relieve pain of some kind.

Is he passing wind when he is feeding? Just wondering as they use a reflex that helps their bowels move when they feed to help pass wind more quickly when it is painful. If this is the case, you can do some tummy massage and push his knees up to his tummy to help pass the wind without feeding. Feeding perpetuates the cycle of gulping gas, then getting gas pains and wanting to feed to pass the gas but also gulping a bit more in the process - vicious cycle.

My DS used to get upset with my second letdown - he got comfy and used to post-letdown flow then another one would hit and would be a bit like a hose again...

Are you making sure he's fully drained one breast before offering the other? Just wondering if you have a bit of a 'foremilk overload' issue there?

In terms of getting him to feed longer, I'm not really sure how to do hat if he's refusing. I'd suggest feeding at WU from night/naps and then topping up 30min later then not feeding til next WU. My DS rooted as if hungry when he was tired, so maybe you're picking up tired cues as hunger? I know I did for months before I figured that one out!

Sorry that's mostly questions and not too many answers, just a few things to consider.

Offline Hoofbeat

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Re: 16wk old become a snacker
« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2017, 12:39:01 pm »
Thanks becj86 for taking the time to reply.

His medication was reviewed recently (the paedatrician at the hospital switched him from ranitidine to omeprazole), butshe did say I could increase the dose if required so maybe I will try that. Before he did start medication he used to pull off screaming in pain and Rch his back, neither of which he does now which is why I didn't think the issue was reflux.

I don't think i'm mistaking his hunger and tired cues - he isn't great at showing tired signs but I've also been stretching his awake time to 2hours and since doing that his naps have definitely been improving mostly (he's just had a 2hr nap and just gone and fed for 8minutes on one breast which is a success!).

I did wonder about wind as he isn't the easiest to burp - I use the burping techniques outlined in Tracey's book and do tummy massage and bicycling legs like you suggest.

I often find it hard to tell if he's emptied the breast, as I know longer feel "full". Usually i keep him on one breast until he comes off, change him and then offer the other breast (as that's what the mw suggested to me), but maybe I should put him back on the first one again? I know I have a good supply and quite a fast let down, so maybe he is just very efficient? I was always advised that 5minutes should be the minimum time a feed takes - do some babies just eat much quicker than hat? Maybe I'm worrying too much and shouldn't keep offering him the breast so frequently try as In encouraginghe problem? I worry he isn't getting enough so I offer it to him 30mins later even if he isn't asking for it. I don't often see hunger cues from him at all now as he's always enjoying putting his hands in his mouth so I can't use that to judge when he's hungry.


Offline becj86

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Re: 16wk old become a snacker
« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2017, 22:43:33 pm »
A hungry baby will tell you he's hungry. If you have a good supply and fast letdown 5min may be the max feed he takes. Mine was like that too. He would stop feeding if a second letdown came though, so that meant I did put him back on the same breast. I sometimes if I wasn't sure would just hand express to see what the milk coming out was like - thin and watery, he went back on that same breast again but if it was pretty thick and 'milky', I'd let him have the other (usually only in a growth spurt).

Maybe I'm worrying too much and shouldn't keep offering him the breast so frequently try as In encouraginghe problem? I worry he isn't getting enough so I offer it to him 30mins later even if he isn't asking for it.
You don't need to do this. You can just feed the once when he wakes and go through the EAS routine. If he's waking early from naps screaming hungry, then try introducing a topup feed 30min into his A time but otherwise, be confident that he's taking what he needs. The very short feeds when you're offering when he's not seeming hungry - he's probably not hungry.

The whole point of EAS routine is that LO has predictability as to when things will happen and you can cater to his needs before they become really urgent. He shouldn't be acting as if he's ravenous on EASY unless he's in a growth spurt or he's not getting enough. Sounds like you're worrying a little too much, as is perfectly normal with a little tiny baby to look after xx