My 4 month old has more then doubled his birth weight (almost tripled it). He's a pretty happy guy most of the time but we have a difficult time when it comes to eating. He seems hungry to me all the time no matter how much he nurses. He's never really been a big nurser, meaning he doesn't ever do it for comfort. He only nurses to eat. This proposes a serious problem when it comes to let down. He won't wait for it. He barely latches on to the breast before he starts screaming. He won't even give it one good suck most of the time. Clearly this proposes a problem because I basically have to force his mouth to the breast and it takes forever for me to let down because he's not sucking on it. As soon as the milk lets down he sucks it down in a furry and then wants the other side. He's usually still a little fussy when the milk is gone and seems unsatisfied. Well, he was showing many other signs that he was ready for solids. Grabbing at our food, no tongue thrust. We recently decided to test out some sweat potatoes and see how he took to it. He is now eating once a day at dinner time. (Please don't flame me, I followed my intuition on this and it's not really something I want to debate about). He gobbles down more food then I've seen 9 month olds eat and still seems hungry sometimes. He gets really worked up if we don't feed him fast enough. He grabs the spoon and shoves it in his mouth. His poops have improved and his mood improved and his sleep got better. We seemingly eliminated the 2 straight hours of hunger screams at the end of the day by introducing food.
Well, it was short lived because the last two days he's been a mess again. I'm not sure if it's a supply issue, or that he's just impatient and that hungry. My breasts never feel full. They always feel 'empty' until I feel the let down and then I know I have milk. With my first, though I would have periods of feeling really engorged if she hadn't eaten in a while, and it doesn't seem like he's nursing that much more frequently. He probably nurses about 12 times in a 24 hour period plus eats at least one jar of baby food at dinner time with some water. He's been known to crush the one jar and get well into a second. Last night, after more then an hour of screaming from him and refusing to nurse (or at least to wait for the let down) I decided to pump and feed him with a bottle. Basically I wanted to know if it was possibly something in my milk (time for an elimination diet perhaps?) or if my intuition regarding the let down was correct. I managed to pump 2oz only but gave him it in a bottle right away and the boy downed it in about 60 seconds flat. It made me want to cry because I just felt like I'm not giving him what he needs.
So I know the next step is probably to contact a lactation consultant to see if there's anything I can do. I don't plan on giving him ANY more bottles because I don't want him to refuse the breast all together (some of our nursing sessions don't go this badly). I'm also willing to cut the solids out completely but I just have a feeling that this isn't an intolerance but pure hunger. Should I supplement (ugh, I hate that thought)? Increase the solids? Try and catch him for nursing sooner? I've also thought this could be teething (he's showing some other signs of teething as well) but it's been going on for upward of 2 months and he hasn't had any teeth break through. Is this possibly a supply issue? Is there anything I can do to assist the let down happen sooner? Any advice would help!