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DH thinks baby is always hungry!

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Here's the situation: DS is 3 weeks old and we are just getting over our latch issues and initial painful breastfeeding sessions. I am feeding on demand and every 2-3 hours maximum. I *hope* we are on the tail end of his 2-3 week growth spurt, but I'm not entirely sure.

 

Right now, I will feed for 15-20 mins each side (sometimes 30-45 minutes one side), to the point where DS falls fast asleep. Sometimes I wait for him to detach, sometimes I have to delatch him because he will phantom feed for as long as I let him. The deal is once he is fed (and fast asleep), I hand him off to DH to put down. Never fails that as soon as I hand him off, he'll start to stir. If I keep him in my lap, he's golden, but I can't so much as lay him down in our bed next to me, without him waking up. (I do usually wait at least 10 minutes after he's asleep, so it's not like he's in the fluttering eye stage.)

 

The problem is that DH thinks DS is always hungry. He'll have him for 5 minutes and bring him back to me, telling me he's ready for more. I know he can't possibly be hungry. This child will feed on both sides, til my breasts are nice and soft, and I'll re-feed him on both sides again. When I give in and DH hands him back over to me, he'll feed for 5 mins tops, and then be fast asleep again. Repeat process multiple times. I get so frustrated because all I want DH to do is keep the baby asleep, but he can't seem to do it.

 

It's even more frustrating because sometimes I think all DS needs is to suck. But DH is against using a pacifier.


It's to the point where I need to get some sleep. And even though DH will occupy the baby, DS will fuss and fuss for an hour or so, and if I can hear him fussing, I am completely unable to nap or sleep.

 

Breastfeeding seems to be well established. DS has never had an artificial nipple (we will be introducing a bottle with expressed milk this week). What do I do? Is a pacifier that bad? How can I convince DH that I really can't afford to be his pacifier at all times, and that DS may settle more easily if we try it out. I don't want to create a bigger mess for myself, or a bad habit we can't break down the road. But DH is just convinced we don't need the pacifier.

 

A bit of background - this is our first child. DH is also going to be staying home with DS when I return to work, so right now, he is home with me during my maternity leave. A great help for these 12 weeks, but it means that he is around ALL DAY LONG, so I can't really "try out" the pacifier without him knowing.


Thanks in advance!

post #2 of 14
I'm about to go to bed so I can't leave the detailed reply I'd like, but DH can try to offer DS a (clean) finger to suck when he fusses. It's not the pacifier DH wants to avoid and it can help baby settle. It could be their thing for a while. (my DD had latch issues and we finger fed at first with an SNS and DH loved it!) The fringe benefit I can see is that after a few days of soggy fingers and DH being tethered to baby, he might be more willing to give the paci a chance. We did use one and at 12 months DD ditched it for good, despite our efforts to offer it. Beyond 6 months or so we limited the binky to night/nap/emergencies but the older she got the less she wanted it. Past her birthday it's been boob or bust.
post #3 of 14
News flash for your hubby...your baby is using a pacifier. Called mom. My husband has always told me my kids were hungry when they weren't too. Very annoying. I would tell him to let me sleep until x time (usually two hours at least) knowing baby wouldn't be hungry. If your husband is opposed to the paci, why doesn't be put his finger in baby's mouth to suck on? Of better yet, shave his nipple and use that. Only kidding, but seriously it isn't good for you to be used as a pacifier all the time. It increases your risk of mastitis and can get downright intense and annoying. Both of my kids started on the paci in the hospital (one because he was in the nicu, the other because I couldn't be a human pacifier and my nipples were sore) and they both did fine. Some kids had much higher sucking needs.
post #4 of 14

Sounds to me like your little guy is doing fine with nursing. A pacifier shouldn't disrupt that and hopefully you can talk your husband into using one. He's probably just a very "suck"-y baby. My daughter is the same way and would nurse all night if I let her. I think it is intrinsic in their personality/preferences because a friend with twins commented that one of them was that way and the other wasn't, and so I'm sure it's not related to anything she did! 

 

My understanding, contrary to the previous post, is it isn't an issue for baby to be using mom as a pacifier as long as mom doesn't mind. But you do mind, and you're entitled to an opinion on what to do with your boobs. :)

post #5 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by erigeron View Post

Sounds to me like your little guy is doing fine with nursing. A pacifier shouldn't disrupt that and hopefully you can talk your husband into using one. He's probably just a very "suck"-y baby. My daughter is the same way and would nurse all night if I let her. I think it is intrinsic in their personality/preferences because a friend with twins commented that one of them was that way and the other wasn't, and so I'm sure it's not related to anything she did! 

My understanding, contrary to the previous post, is it isn't an issue for baby to be using mom as a pacifier as long as mom doesn't mind. But you do mind, and you're entitled to an opinion on what to do with your boobs. smile.gif

If you're at all prone to mastitis, being used as a paci is not good. Doesn't affect everyone but I'm well aware of it as I've had mastitis literally 15 x between my kids.
post #6 of 14
When your partner can't hand over the hammer, every darn problem looks like a nail.

You have this baby, who is at an age to be fussy - three weeks is a common time for colic to start - and is your dh perhaps a little short on soothing techniques? Have you checked out The Happiest Baby on the Block? The useful bits of that book could fit on an index car, but I swear it saved our lives when ours were small. Just having a list of things to try made such a difference.
post #7 of 14

Looks like your baby gets enough milk. Perhaps, though, you'll get a little more rest if you keep your own sleeping baby. Can the baby sleep on you when you lie down? Or can it sleep in a wrap next to you? Then your jumpy husband can see your baby sleeping but not needing to eat.

 

Meanwhile, he needs to practice soothing the baby by jiggling it, letting it suck his fingers, etc.

post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thank you for the ideas. Right now, we are using all of the S's from Happiest Baby on the Block, except for the sucking. DH does offer his finger to suck, but it doesn't usually last very long. It's not what DS is looking for. It's hard to explain to DH that I know DS isn't hungry - because all DH sees are the signs that equate to rooting, searching, needing to eat. Plus, DS has been in his growth spurt, so that adds to the confusion. It's difficult to discern what's hunger, what's general discomfort, and what's normal fussiness. To his credit, he does try to do everything he can to calm the baby down before he gives him back to me, but I get so annoyed that it's not enough.

 

We do co-sleep and bed-share, but the fussing happens as soon as I transition him off my breast and attempt to lay him down next to me. I will even position him right next to my face while we both lay down, so I'm breathing on him and he can still sense me. Still not enough. In those instances, all I can think of doing is substituting a paci and I keep thinking that would be sufficient to keep him subdued. But I think a combination of the lack of sucking, and the change in position, are enough to rattle him right awake.


We went to his pediatrician this morning and he doesn't think it's an issue to offer the pacifier. For all I know, we could offer it, DS hate it, and I'm proven 100% wrong. It's just not being able to rule it out or have the option is a bit frustrating.

 

It's not so much that I care he's using my breast as his paci (even though I do), but I've had really sore nipples since starting, and my nipples will blanch after every feeding. It's so painful. Which is why I want to limit the nipple interaction to just feeding - I can't afford any excess sucking. I am working with a LC and even she suggested using a pacifier for soothing purposes.

 

We'll see. The pedi said his fussiness should clear up shortly - but if it doesn't, I am going to have a hard battle ahead of me!

post #9 of 14
Honestly I wouldnt let my husband hold me hostage like that. You probably have Reynauds if your nipples are blanching. Taking b6 vitamins can help lessen that pain. Regardless, if your husband doesn't have a way to soothe your baby that doesn't involve your (painful) breasts, it isn't really fair to either you or your baby for him to deny you the use of a paci. What legitimate reason does he have for letting you be annoyed and in pain or your baby be fussy needing to suck?
post #10 of 14

Oh gosh, I'd give him the paci!  It is you that ends up being held hostage here, otherwise!  I've nursed two of mine and one hated the paci and one loved it.  I nursed the one with the paci longer than the one without it.

post #11 of 14

............


Edited by 1babysmom - 3/21/13 at 8:18am
post #12 of 14

My nipples were sore at first too. Heck, why wouldn't they be?! However, your baby is doing what is natural. To put it into context, infants usually nurse every 20 minutes in cultures where breastfeeding is not restricted. In westwern cutlure, where we practice 'cultural breastfeeding', we don't really expect the 20 minute feedings. It is normal though.

You are doing a great job of meeting your baby's needs. I really, honestly, don't know the answer regarding the paci, but I would just suggest you do what you have to in order to maintain the wonderful job you are doing.

post #13 of 14

Imo, dads can only do so much during the first weeks. I also found it difficult to sleep or rest knowing that my newborn was in the next room. Some things you can try:

 

- give a pacifier, but it seems your baby doesn't like that

- let baby sleep on you; I got so much more rest and I felt so peaceful letting newborn dd sleep on me.

- have your dh take baby for a walk; babies tend to sleep more soundly when outside, and you will be able to relax.
 


Edited by transylvania_mom - 9/11/12 at 10:56am
post #14 of 14

Sounds like your H wants to be helpful, but he hasn't learned the one thing all moms eventually learn..... we cannot control our children! Some babies want to suck constatnly, hungry or not. I think the only merciful thing to do for a baby who wants to suck constantly is to give him something to suck on, like a paci!!! Your H is being unreasonable. He needs to learn that not only can we not control our children, we cannot control our spouses either. He's attmepting to control you. I don't like that one bit. I'd tell H that you're giving the baby a paci whether he likes it or not, and if he's adamant that you do not, than he needs to find a way to soothe the baby himself so you can get some rest.

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