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4+ months old and very dependent emotionally on the breast

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I know my son needs it, but he is sooo dependent on my boobs still. He nurses just as much now at 16 pounds as he did as a newborn. I spend hours and hours nursing him daily, without a break. He also will not stay asleep without the boob in his mouth, so I am in bed 15 hours a day with him or more. It's so draining and I am neglecting my own needs to keep up with his desire to nurse.

Can anyone relate? Will it be like this until he weans?
post #2 of 9

I can totally relate, though, my high needs baby is now 13 years old!  It does pass, slowly but surely.  I wouldn't expect it to slow down right now, because 4 months is often a growth spurt.


  One thing that ds loved and would actually sleep for a few hours at a time was wearing him in a sling.  I'd nurse him while in the sling and he's fall asleep and then I could get stuff done for at least a little bit. 

post #3 of 9

is he sitting up yet? he will most likely give you more space once he is starting to be mobile. that's when my high needs baby stopped nursing 24/7!

post #4 of 9

Have you looked for tongue or lip tie? Those can cause very frequent nursing in order to make up for their improper suck/latch. 

post #5 of 9

Oh, my daughter did the same thing.  She nursed just as often (seemingly) as a newborn for a loooooong time.  4 months is still very very young, and it is also possible that he is hitting some developmental milestone, or growth spurts that are requiring more calories/nursing.


I second the nursing in a sling recommendation.  Without figuring that out I would have never gotten anything done.  Also, you might have to work with him a bit in terms of getting your boob back once he is asleep.  There are a couple of methods of de-latching babies that might help you out.  Of course the names are escaping me right this second, but hopefully someone will chime in with them.  It took a while for me to be able to work myself free and sit up and do stuff, and it took a lot of unlatching her, having her wake partially, reassuring her I was still there, waiting for her to settle, etc before she would stay asleep when I unlatched.


It won't be like this until he weans, though do expect bumps and increased frequency whenever there is growth spurt, milestone or illness.  


Good luck. :)

post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thanks everyone.   I was wondering if it was normal for a 4 month old to nurse so frequently. My friend's son who is the exact same age is already dropping feeds, whereas my boy just seems to be feeding MORE!


The sling suggestion- my boy loves to be held in arms but will often FIGHT me when I put him in a sling or carrier.  Then as soon as I take him out and just hold him, he relaxes.  So mostly I just carry him around.  He's been like this since birth and needless to say I feel like I hardly get any time in my life without holding the baby, making preparing food difficult as I am alone during the day.  But recently I've been trying to get him used to the Ergo carrier, but it's hit or miss, although it does help that I can nurse in it. 


He IS really making great strides developmentally too...and is starting to teethe...which I'm sure makes him more needy. 


REALLY appreciate the feedback, it does me good to hear of stories of other mamas who have dealt with a high-needs baby nursing pattern.

post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by smeep View Post

Have you looked for tongue or lip tie? Those can cause very frequent nursing in order to make up for their improper suck/latch. 


His Ped said there was no tongue or lip tie.  I think he really just nurses for emotional comfort a great majority of the time. 

post #8 of 9

Oh, yes... you mention teething. Nursing and breastmilk both have pain relieving qualities. So if he is in fact getting some teeth in that could be why he's wanting to nurse so frequently.


As well, it's actually pretty normal for nursing babies of any age to nurse frequently. 


Just keep working on the Ergo. My son fought it, too, and then one day when he was about 5 or 6 months old he was just fine with it. I can get a lot done nursing him in the Ergo! thumb.gif

post #9 of 9
I would try a paci. Honestly, I'd try about anything to not spend 15 hours a day in bed. That does not sound pleasant. I'm sorry you are having to deal with this mama hug.gif

I agree that 4 months is young, and a milestone age, but if this kiddo is developing well and gaining weight well, I would maybe see a lactation consultant or try something different. 15 hours a day in bed is just so long, its almost all day!
What about your DH, has he ever fed him with a bottle? I might try pumping some (yk, with all that extra time you have smile.gif ) and seeing if he ate a bigger portion at once if he would be more satisfied. DD did this until she was about 6 months, and a lactation consultant told me to stop nursing on demand for a few days, go 2-3 hours without nursing (it was miserable, dd was pissed) and then feed her. I did, and she went straight to sleep. It was the first 3 hours in a row that she ever slept. I gently rolled away, and replaced my boob with a pacifier. When she woke up from her nap, I had a bellyful of milk ready for her again, and she got full and satisifed again. For us, it was a weight gain issue, DD just wasnt gaining. She gained weight well after we stopped nursing on demand.

I know some people disagree with this method, but it worked for us, and it sounds like you really need a break. I would really talk to a lactation consultant about how often you are having to nurse.
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