Author Topic: 7 months Broken Feeds  (Read 437 times)

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Offline Tabyria

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7 months Broken Feeds
« on: June 11, 2018, 12:38:50 pm »
Hi there, my little one is EBF and is an efficient feeder. She can drain a breast in less than 5min (and I can easily pump 3-4oz in 5min so I imagine she gets more than that in that time). We've never had any issue and breastfeeding has been a real pleasure. But it's been getting progressively more of a battle since she started getting distracted around 4month and it's now becoming tricky to feed her properly. She's still healthy (staying on her curve etc.) but it's just a pain and there's lot of crying involved.

Basically, she will look very hungry and eat avidly for 2-3min but then she unlatches and is totally uninterested. She pushes the breast and gets upset if I keep offering. But if I stop there, she'll cry for more within about 15min and the cycle repeats itself. During the day, I ended up going back to feeding her tiny feeds every 2h which is driving me nuts. So I'm now making a real effort to go back to 3-4h and it's working ok-ish during the day. I feed in her darkened bedroom and create little breaks and put her back on. If we go out, she won't eat at all or the bare minimum.

But in the evening it's still a nightmare. She'll feed very well for 2-3min and then stop. if I put her to bed, she'll start crying and if I come back after 5min to put her to the breast, she'll act as if she was starving, but only eat for 1-2min and then the whole cycle begins. Now that I've understood that, I do little pauses during the feed (with basically no light, in her bedroom), to have a cuddle, then read a book, then sing a lullaby. Every time I put her back on and she eats happily for another minute or so. It took 1h yesterday. I thought I had nailed it but nope. She still cried.
There's teething going on at the moment (first tooth poking out) so we gave her calpol. After 20min she wasn't calming down so I tried just in case and she finally had a massive feed, falling asleep at the breast!

As I said, this has been going on for weeks so I don't think it's (solely) linked to teething making sucking uncomfortable. And she falls asleep on her own (I managed to wake her up gently yesterday before putting her back into bed) so it's not that she needs the association in the evening. I wish I understood why to avoid all the crying in the evening!

She doesn't like bottles and has always refused to take more than 3oz from them so that wouldn't really help.

Any tip????

Offline deb

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Re: 7 months Broken Feeds
« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2018, 17:15:01 pm »
Have you started solids? If so, how much is she getting? If not, might be time.

Offline *Ali*

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Re: 7 months Broken Feeds
« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2018, 08:31:42 am »
The world is just too exciting right now and coupled with the teeth it's very distracting.
You could dry giving a frozen wash cloth or teething toy to bite on for a bit before feeds.
It's a normal phase and she'll grow out of it eventually.  I think the pauses you are doing are a good way to deal with it.  I know it's very frustrating though.
Cadan Dec 2009 and Colby Aug 2011


Offline Tabyria

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Re: 7 months Broken Feeds
« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2018, 16:10:33 pm »
Thanks Ali! I'll try the teether/wash cloth before feeds to see if it helps.

Deb, yes we've started solids a few weeks ago. She's still figuring out that she needs to swallow and not play with it on her tongue though  so I don't think it's doing much in terms of filling her up, although there is progress. I've kept it only at lunchtime so far and I've even skipped it a couple of times last week because it's hard to leave enough of a gap between milk and solids when she snacks every two hours. And as milk is the main source of calories I'm worried we'll lose it over solids if she's too full.

Yesterday and today, the only way to get her to take a full feed is at naptime: she will refuse the feeds or snack until she's in her sleeping bag and I leave the room. Then she'll start crying and realise she's hungry  ::) 

I'm also wondering if it's linked to flow. I have a pretty strong flow and I have the feeling she gets frustrated when it slows down. Switching sometimes makes her continue, although not for very long and she doesn't want to go back to the other one. I've tried compression but she immediately unlatches so maybe it isn't it  ??? Might try breastfeeding tea to increase supply to see if that makes any difference.

I really hope this phase ends soon. I'm not worried for her health so in a way it's ok, but as you say it's frustrating and that makes me less confident about upping the solids.
« Last Edit: June 12, 2018, 16:14:03 pm by Tabyria »

Offline becj86

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Re: 7 months Broken Feeds
« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2018, 20:51:43 pm »
I'm also wondering if it's linked to flow. I have a pretty strong flow and I have the feeling she gets frustrated when it slows down. Switching sometimes makes her continue, although not for very long and she doesn't want to go back to the other one. I've tried compression but she immediately unlatches so maybe it isn't it   Might try breastfeeding tea to increase supply to see if that makes any difference.
I had an issue with DS not liking the second letdown because he'd become used to sucking and didn't want another lot of milk just thrown at him. Its a bit like drinking from a hose, initially it feels tricky when the tap is first turned on then you get used to it but if someone turns the tap on further, its hard to cope with the increased flow. I found feesing in a recliner helped as I could lie back when that behaviour started and just having gravity working against the flow of milk was eniugh to keep him feeding.

Offline *Ali*

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Re: 7 months Broken Feeds
« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2018, 22:31:43 pm »
What we mainly do with BFs (my DD2 is 6.5mo) is have breast milk then a bit later we eat the solid foods, then after we clean her up from eating the solids I offer the breast again. She normally takes some. This is actually what Tracy suggested doing. Breast milk helps digest solid foods as well as milk washing the food down so it makes sense to have a second feed. Also, the idea is that eventually she will  naturally take less at the second feed as she'll be full from the solids. We do also offer water in a sippy at most solid food meals but she doesn't take much yet.

Do you do laid back nursing to counter the fast flow?
Cadan Dec 2009 and Colby Aug 2011


Offline Tabyria

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Re: 7 months Broken Feeds
« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2018, 13:29:53 pm »
Thanks for the advice. Ali, that's exactly what I do (although I hadn't realised Tracy suggested a second feed). I've found that she's sometimes keen to have a bit of milk to wash down the food she's just had. Although, the last few days she's not interested. I offer a doidy cup with water too, just a little bit, during meals and she loves playing with it.

I don't think the fast flow in itself is an issue anymore. I tried laid back nursing when she was small but I don't think I did it properly and she never liked it. Instead she got used to guzzling it down (and developed, I think, a narrower latch to pinch and control the flow. It doesn't hurt so I've let her do it). I was just wondering if she was getting annoyed at the flow being too slow these days but again, in that case, she would be ok when I try compression  ::)

Things have gotten worse since my last message. I think she's properly reverse cycling. We're now back to 3 feeds a night, every 3h, which she hadn't done since she was 2months old. And snacking during the day. Today it's even worse: she's refused all food since she woke up. Her last feed was 3am and it's now 2.30pm! The weird thing is that she sometimes get very whingey and latches on immediately when I put her on but only sucks for 1min and then won't have any more. She did the same with her dad and a bottle of expressed milk at bedtime yesterday: acted super hungry, jumped on the bottle and avidly took 2.5oz (70ml) but then refused to have more.  :-[  What to do??
The health visitor told me I urgently needed to teach her that food is for the day (felt slightly judged by that sentence) and that I should gently and progressively cut the feeds shorter at night. I've tried but then she either cries or goes back to sleep only to wake up an hour later.  Should I just push through? I do not want to let her go hungry at night as I think she wouldn't understand and would get scared/upset.
I'm thinking of trying to do "dream-feeds" during her naps during the day... that might sound weird and I know she's too old for DF (7.5months) but I'm thinking it might be a gentle way to bring the calories back onto daytime and get out of that vicious circle? What do you think?? She'd need to sleep on her back though for that, and willing to open her lips...will report back.

I just want to make clear I'm not trying to make her STTN. I'm still on leave so I'm fine with feeding at night. Just not 3 or 4 times! My return to work date is approaching (in two months) and one feed will be manageable, but cosleeping in order to feed all night is not something I'm comfortable with so I'm seeing this as a slightly stressful deadline.

Offline eva026

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Re: 7 months Broken Feeds
« Reply #7 on: June 28, 2018, 15:20:12 pm »
Could she be teething? That always makes my lo refuse to nurse.
Will she have solids but not the milk? Maybe cut back on the solids?
Donít stress about the hv, just go by your instincts. Things will definitely straighten themselves out soon, you just have to hang in there.
One more thing that comes to mind - could you be getting your period? My lo doesnít like the taste of the milk then and I see I decrease in her nursing.
Nursing necklace to keep her at the breast for a longer feed? I nurse dd walking around when sheís super annoying 😜. You can also try pump till letdown and the latch on do the milk is ready to go for her.
Hmm nothing else comes to mind at the moment.





Offline Tabyria

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Re: 7 months Broken Feeds
« Reply #8 on: June 28, 2018, 18:48:53 pm »
Thanks Eva.
Quote (selected)
Could she be teething? could you be getting your period?
I wondered about both but it's been going on for two months so I don't think that's that. She cut two teeth in the meantime but nothing changed during or after.

Quote (selected)
Nursing necklace to keep her at the breast
Doesn't really work  ::) I've tried a toy, humming, moving my fingers on my breasts. It's hard work and that buys me one minute at most.

Quote (selected)
Will she have solids but not the milk? Maybe cut back on the solids?
She has an icecub of solids at lunchtime at most (when she knows the taste. Otherwise, if it's new, she's happy to explore but blows raspberries and generally just plays with it in her mouth instead of swallowing) so I don't think that's what it is.

Quote (selected)
I nurse dd walking around when sheís super annoying 😜.
 
Ooh I can try that. Don't imagine it will be miraculous though. And she's 10kg, that's gonna be fun  :D ;)

Quote (selected)
Donít stress about the hv, just go by your instincts. Things will definitely straighten themselves out soon, you just have to hang in there.
Thanks for that, it helps. After two months and things getting worse I've started doubting myself. But I'll hang in there a bit more.

Today she only ate 3oz in total, from an expressed bottle, at 4.30pm. She finally accepted a big feed (5oz + I guess 2oz breast) at bedtime but she projectile vomited it all!  :o :-[  And didn't want to eat again afterwards. So she's gone to bed on an empty stomach. She did the same two days ago with the only big feed of the day in the morning. I suddenly got worried about a bug or her stomach having shrunk because of the tiny feeds but I've just reassured myself remembering she eats very well at night so... I guess she's fine  ::)

Offline eva026

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Re: 7 months Broken Feeds
« Reply #9 on: June 28, 2018, 19:20:46 pm »
Wow 7oz is a lot. My dd is almost 12 mo and her usual for a bottle is 5oz for her df.
Iím wondering if just biting the bullet and trying to reduce her nighttime calories might be a good idea? Got no clue what Iím taking about with this though. My lo did some reverse cycling but she sorted herself within a few days.
Iím assuming you have tried teething gel before her feeds?
I was wondering if maybe itís a bottle preference but she wonít drink from a bottle during the day either?





Offline Tabyria

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Re: 7 months Broken Feeds
« Reply #10 on: June 30, 2018, 06:26:48 am »
I haven't tried teething gel before feeds actually. Will do but suspect it's not related to discomfort.

Nope, it's not bottle preference. We have the same issue with bottle and we've only started using them in the last couple of weeks to check if they would make a difference.

Good to know that 7Oz is a lot. All the other mums in my baby group have their babies on 6-7oz bottles 4times a day so I was under the impression it was normal. Anyway, 1 or 2Oz is too little.

Yes, I think the key is indeed to lower her calories intake at night so that she's hungry during the day. But I dread the screaming and loss of sleep for both of us. Also, if she's that distractable, she'll certainly slip back into that pattern unless I keep fighting it and refusing regular feeds at night. Quite a departure from the responsive feeding we've been following... I'm worried it will harm her trust in me, and my supply. I'll give it a bit more time

Offline becj86

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Re: 7 months Broken Feeds
« Reply #11 on: June 30, 2018, 07:27:30 am »
The amount of formula milk babies need increases with age, not so much with breastmilk - here's a calculator you can use. You may be surprised by how relatively little BF babies need.  https://kellymom.com/bf/pumpingmoms/pumping/milkcalc/

Taking too much milk in one go can result in vomiting it all back up, so worth following her cues re: when she's had enough.


Certainly it is important that she trusts you to feed her when she needs it but I think you may be stuck in that trap of her thinking she needs you to feed her so she can sleep so when she wakes at night, she gets fed then she doesn't need to eat in the day. Providing she is getting sufficient milk and is growing, etc, that's great however that arrangement of eating through the night and not in the day may not be best for you and in the end, you have to find a balance because your baby actually depends quite a lot upon you and your capacity to meet her needs and to do that, you do have to look after you too.

Have you tried feeding her when she wakes from naps but whilst she is still drowsy? That can help. Also, your idea of feeding her in the middle of a nap is not a bad one. I think as you get more calories into the day, she will take less at night but you will likely have to work on other sleep cues and getting her to sleep without feeding to keep any progress that you make.

Hugs xx

Offline *Ali*

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Re: 7 months Broken Feeds
« Reply #12 on: July 02, 2018, 21:31:12 pm »
I'd work on increasing milk intake in the day so that better nights will follow rather than withholding night feeds. The WHO recommend feeding on demand day and night for 2yrs or more. 7mo is so very young to actively wean night feeds IMO.

One option Tracy recommended is to put baby to the breast every chance you get to increase milk intake in the day. I'd try that before anything else.
Cadan Dec 2009 and Colby Aug 2011


Offline Tabyria

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Re: 7 months Broken Feeds
« Reply #13 on: July 08, 2018, 15:23:27 pm »
Thanks both. She can go back to sleep on her own, with just a few words from me on the video monitor or a bit of susshing depending on how awake she is at night, so I don't think we have an association (I've worked hard to avoid that since birth).

We've been going through a heatwave for the last three weeks (up to 32C outside, 30C in her room  :o ) so this is also now certainly playing a part and it's hard to know what's down to the heat and what's down to distraction. I keep offering the breast during the day but that's clearly sweaty and uncomfortable so she takes maybe 1-2min drinks every 3h and that's it. We still have three feeds at night (one hour after bedtime, which replaces the bedtime feed that never really happens + every 3/4h after that). I have various degrees of success with feeding her straight before/after naps as she's only drowsy if overtired ( ::)) and have given up trying to dreamfeed during the naps as picking her up wakes her up  :-\  We'll wait until the end of the heatwave and reassess!

Her fontanelle is ok but we have less wet nappies during the day so I keep a close eye on her during the day. I offer water too in case it's easier that sweating in my arms.

Thanks for the advice! It's such a long phase...

Offline becj86

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Re: 7 months Broken Feeds
« Reply #14 on: July 08, 2018, 21:28:25 pm »
I keep offering the breast during the day but that's clearly sweaty and uncomfortable so she takes maybe 1-2min drinks every 3h and that's it.
A dry or cool washcloth between you can help with this, as can you wearing a cool cotton long sleeved shirt while feeding. Just minimising skin to skin contact helps with the sweat situation. If you can pump and feed bottled EBM, she may take that as is or even cold (DS didn't mind it straight from the fridge once he was big enough that it didn't affect his temperature too much).