View Full Version : At wit's end, need BF help for 2-month-old
03-17-2004, 08:56 PM
My son Reese is almost 10 weeks old and from the beginning I have nursed on demand. I keep track of his nursing schedule and he has averaged 10 times a day from about 4 weeks on. He is my first and I guess I was just expecting him to naturally fall into some sort of routine or go longer between feedings. However he is still nursing every hour to two hours during the day and going maybe 3-4 hours between nursings at night. He seems to be a light sleeper and spends all day, every day, taking short little catnaps, wakes up fussing, I nurse, change him, we play or cuddle for a while, I try to put him to sleep again, and the cycle starts all over. Also, during the day I put him in a bouncy seat to sleep (I only use his crib at night). Could this be part of the problem?
Is there anything I can do to get this little guy onto a more reasonable pattern? I guess I have just gotten into the habit of nursing every time he fusses which is probably what caused this, so how do I get out of it? I wonder if he is not getting enough at the breast and if I should supplement with formula, though I would rather not. I don't want to force him onto a rigid schedule but I also want/need for him to learn to go longer between feedings. And lastly, since he is only two months, should I just suck it up and let him lead the way for a while longer? Can you tell I am really confused right now? I need help.
03-17-2004, 09:20 PM
Hmmmm, hopefully some of the BF experts will check in. I'm trying to remember, but I think this still sounds totally normal for this age. As long as he is gaining weight and having enough wet diapers, there is absolutely NO need to supplement with formula. In fact, it takes a few months for your milk supply to be established, so you don't want to supplement and risk having your supply diminish.
I know it's hard, but it's also totally normal -- both the eating 10x day and not being able to take a long nap. The good news is that it will normalize and he will be able to take longer naps and go longer between nursing sessions. The bad news is that it won't happen for awhile. We've all heard stories of the baby who was a sleeper or who was really efficient at BFing, so it's frustrating when YOUR baby isn't one of those! I remember thinking that breastfeeding, etc. had finally gotten easier when Nate was around 3-4-m/o, although I will say that it was more a case of me getting comfortable with him eating every 2-3 hours than him going longer between feedings. (However that largely depends on the baby...one of the babies in our playgroup went to eating every 4-6 hours really early, like at 3 months or so.)
Hang in there. It WILL get better! :)
03-17-2004, 10:47 PM
This is where we were at this stage. I felt like all I did was nurse and then at night we were stuck together like glue until about 10 pm. The reason was is that the little guy was revving up my milk supply and growing a ton. He gained almost 4 pounds one month and just needed a lot to eat to grow. He's a whopping 18+ poundsnow.
He settled into a pretty good pattern around 3 months, just all of a sudden. Brian now nurses about every 3 3 1/2 hrs. during the day and gets up 1-2 times a night (goes to bed at 8 or so and wake up around 6-7). I did nothing to rigidly establish this pattern, it just happened. He naps well now, but did not always in the beginning. I still have to swaddle him, walk him about, but as long as he doesn't get overtired he goes down easily and sleeps in his crib exclusively now. I've pretty much done this since birth since he never was a carseat napper and has a somewhat noisy at times, rambuncious older sister. :)
Keep nursing on demand and don't suppliment unless it's medically necessary. Otherwise your supply may start to go down if you do it too much. A couple of time I let my husband give him 1-2 ounces of EBM at night after he had nursed forever to give me a break. I never saw it affect my supply since we didn't do it too often. I always wondered if Brian was just using me as a pacifier, but it turns out he was just hungry. Now he nurses about 10-15 minutes, yanks himself off and turns his head away. He will not nurse unless he is hungry anymore. Just hang in there. It will magically get better soon.
mom to Meghan 7/13/01
and Brian 11/11/03
03-17-2004, 10:55 PM
I just wanted to offer my support. This sounds exactly like my situation a month or so ago. Hang in there, it will get easier! Continue to let him lead the way--he knows what he needs. If you're not sure if he's getting enough, go to your ped and have him weighed. If he's having enough wet/dirty diapers, etc., he's fine--just growing!!!
BTW--I think napping in the bouncy seat is perfectly normal!
03-17-2004, 11:15 PM
Totally normal! This will pass, and you're doing the right thing by following his lead. He's still a very tiny baby, and he knows when he needs to nurse. Trust him and hang in there. I promise it gets easier.
Mom to Abigail Rose
03-17-2004, 11:17 PM
This is totally normal, and just keep it up!! it will get better! My DS is 8 months old and STILL nurses 12-15 times a day, BUT he now takes longer and more routine naps. Just keep it up and go with your instincts!
03-17-2004, 11:26 PM
I think this is totally normal for babies this age. It took us a long time to get into a "routine". DD went 3 hours between feedings, other days she could barely go 2 hours. Somedays, I felt like all I did was BF. Once he is a little older, he'll drink a bit more at each feeding, so hopefully that will hold him over for a little longer. Right now, let him lead the way, it will get easier.
Mom to Kyleigh Elizabeth 7/19/03
03-18-2004, 11:15 AM
DD went through the same thing. He's too young to be on a schedule, but he will find his own pattern. One thing that helped me was giving EBM in a bottle. We had to start this as DD was going into daycare, but it ended up helping us begin to establish a routine at bedtime. DH would feed her in the evening, which meant that I had a block of time in which I was not feeding! Usually, I would nurse her one more time and then DD would sleep for 5-6 hours. Eventually, DD dropped the feeding after the bottle (although occasionally, she still wants another nursing session) and would sleep longer. BTW, cluster feeding at night is completely normal and is a necessary first step to your baby sleeping for long periods at night. I know every baby is different, but I think that if you watch your DS' cues closely, you will see him start to establish a schedule and then you can help reinforce that. I always fed on demand and DD grew into her own schedule.
Hang in there!
DD born 7/03
03-18-2004, 11:46 AM
I am in the exact same place as you are now. DD is always attached to the boob. I feel like I never have any time to do anything! I also considered giving her some formula just so I can have a few hours without feeding her, but she's just so content nursing I couldn't bring myself to do it. She also does the little cat naps during the day. I never have time to pump since she is eating constantly! You're not alone, and I think this behavior is perfectly normal.
03-18-2004, 12:07 PM
As others said, just hang in there, it will get better. Going 3-4 hours at night is pretty good for that age. Sammy was also nursing every 1 1/2-2 hours at that age, had only one 3-4 hour stretch at night (up every hour or two after that) and didn't start taking regular, long daytime naps until about 5 months. What helped me deal with that was just accepting it, and not putting a lot of effort into putting him down for a nap. The bouncy seat is fine for sleeping at that age, although you might try putting him in the crib for naps if he falls asleep nursing or cuddling, I found Sammy napped better in the crib. Now at 7 months he takes two 1-1/2 to 3 hour naps per day, and sleeps from 8p to 3 am, nurses, then sleeps till 6:30-7:30 am. It took a little effort to get him to that place, but that's another story and we didn't start working on it until after 4 months. A book that helped me understand DS's sleep patterns is "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child" by Weissbluth, although we didn't follow it to the letter. Definitely keep nursing on demand, no need to supplement with formula. If you have introduced a bottle or would like to, and have a pump, you might have someone else give a bottle of EBM sometimes to give you a break.
03-18-2004, 12:20 PM
Thanks to EVERYONE for the reassurance. Yesterday was a bad day and it was so great to come here this morning and see so many replies. Reese and I will just continue to do what we are doing, and learn together.
03-18-2004, 05:13 PM
I will agree that this is normal. BFeeding is tough in the beginning but stick with it and it will pay off! You sound tired and frustrated. We've been there.
My recs are not to supplement. I suggest naps in the crib so he is used to it at night. You might feel better if you try to stretch him a little bit. Distract him from nursing etc.
Another thing I've found helpful for me, I'm not sure if this is for everyone but it really helped me. Nurse only one breast for each feeding. If he is only nursing for say less than 10 min on a side then chances are he is getting too much foremilk and not enough of the rich hindmilk. By nursing only one side he will get more hindmilk and thus be satisfied for longer periods.
Buddy's Mamma 6-10-2003
03-18-2004, 05:34 PM
Late to chime in, but I just have to add like the others "totally normal" behavior - non-stop nursing machines.
FWIW, my lifesaver was my pouch/sling - the only way Neve would settle down for more than a 15 min. catnap. I would also suggest "swaddling". I would swaddle Neve (right up to 6 mos.), nurse her, and then slip her off upstairs for a little nap.
I noticed that Neve became more "manageable" around 4 months.
Hang in there mama,
03-20-2004, 11:52 AM
I'm right there with you. My DS just turned 2 months old (actually 9 weeks now), and I think we're finally starting to get some spacing between feedings. At 5 weeks, he was still nursing every 1-3 hours, with no consistency. He's been doing that since the end of his second week! My ped. told me to start stretching him to at least 1 1/2 hours or more, for both of our benefit. At 6 weeks, my ped. and LC said to start stretching him to 2 hours or more between feedings. Now we have some days where he's every 3 hours, and others when we digress into the 2 or 2 1/2 hour range. Hopefully you'll see the same switch in the near future.
We stretched him mainly through distraction. I found he could easily go 4 hours in his car seat while I was shopping or running around, or even at a new mom's group. I often felt silly at the group complaining about how often he eats, when he was always the one to sleep through the entire meeting without waking to be fed! At home, the swing (after he turned 6 weeks), bouncy seat, and mobile all helped to stretch him. As well, I found if my DH held him instead of me (particularly in the late afternoon when I really smelled like breastmilk because he'd dribbled it on me during earlier feedings) he was less likely to root for food.
03-20-2004, 01:20 PM
I agree with the above poster about "stretching" the feedings a bit. Initially, when DD would fuss a bit, I would mistake it for hunger, just to have her latch on and suck for 2 minutes. It seemed that when I did that it would become a vicious cycle of "snack feeding" all day because each time she would only get foremilk. Then she would be hungrier sooner. She doesn't take a pacifier, so now I often have her suck on my pinky, which satisfies her need to suck. It is also effective at "stretching" the feeding because once she becomes a bit hungrier, she eats better and more efficiently. And I know she is getting the hindmilk, which then allows her to go 3 hours in between feedings. Once in a while, she even pops off, and I think she's done, but when I put her back on she'll eat quite a bit more.
For me, I have come to learn that "nursing on demand" can sometimes be misinterpreted. Yes, absolutely feed the baby when it is hungry, but make sure that it is indeed hunger, and not just overstimulation, overtiredness, or just the desire to satisfy the physiological need to suck.
Hang in there, it gets easier!
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