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What is my baby trying to tell me?!

post #1 of 35
Thread Starter 
So, Griffin is almost 4.5 months and he has started doing this strange thing where he starts freaking out and crying when I offer him the breast. Usually it's a hunger cry but he refuses to take the breast. He hasn't gained very much weight in the last few weeks, mainly I think because he is so fussy when it's time to eat! We still supplement with the SNS and for a while I wondered if, if I used to the bottle he would take food easier but he also and especially refuses the bottle. I'm totally baffled by the whole thing. He still eats every 2-3hrs but sometimes it's a real struggle and when he gets down to it, he is starving! I don't get it. The breast is there, the formula is there but he has a lot of meltdowns before actually eating. I've checked his whole body to make sure nothing is wrong, like that I'm pressing somewhere uncomfortable when nursing him or something but all seems fine. He is drooling a lot, and has a rash under his chin from all the drool, which they say is typical of teethers but I don't see any teeth and check every day! Do any of you have any suggestions or have experienced this with your babies? I'm open to any suggestions!
post #2 of 35
Noor hardly eats either. We give only bottle, no SNS anymore, both formula and donor bm. She refuses both most of the time. I don't want to force her but really need her to eat more! So, no answers for you but I feel your pain.
post #3 of 35
Thread Starter 
Harmonious, That is so weird. I figure when we are out its because he is distracted by EVERYTHING IN THE UNIVERSE!! But at home, I am baffled. Like, I feel like he should be eating more, since he is taking forever to get to 15lbs and he is 4.5 months but no! I don't get it.
post #4 of 35
Well..Iris has definitely had periods like that. It seems like the biggest triggers were when I offered too early--and she wanted to control the world. Things are back to normal now though.

Apparently last week she was super cranky because she was teething. Tooth 1 Monday. Tooth 2 yesterday.
post #5 of 35
Oh! Have you had griffin's ears checked?
post #6 of 35
Thread Starter 
Yeah, we just went for 4 month check up two days ago. Are you thinking ear infections? Pffff. I also think it has something to do with offering too early and controlling the world! But, he will barely take any, it's so weird. And I don't think my milk supply has increased to the point of him being full with breast milk.
post #7 of 35
Oh greensad.gif I discovered that my milk supply is crazy. Like 4-5 oz a side per time.
post #8 of 35
But yeah, was thinking ear infections.
post #9 of 35
Thread Starter 
Hm. Ill look into that. He has lots of earwax..I wonder if that bugs him.
post #10 of 35

Oliver does this from time to time too, and he's 100% breastfed.  do your babies also do that at night?  mine doesn't, so I'm thinking he just has too much to do and see to bother with eating during the day.  he doesn't nap much either (I think for the same reason), so I think the sleepy fussiness contributes to it as well.  I would guess it's just a phase they'll grow out of.

post #11 of 35
That sounds relatively normal for this age. At least, mine have all done it. I think it has to do with teething. I didn't much feel like eating when my wisdom teeth were coming in!
post #12 of 35
Have you had any issues with clogged supplementer tubes? Sometimes I don't notice that's happening, and Julia becomes very frustrated.
post #13 of 35
Thread Starter 
Yes, cynthiamoon, I just caught into that not long ago, actually. It took me awhile to realize what was going on.
post #14 of 35
It's the worst. Well, I hope you figure out what this is about. But it might just be par for the course. Julia did a similar thing for a while-- just super distractible, and even at home the habit carried over, though not as strongly. I've actually been excusing myself to nurse at social events lately, not due to modesty, but to have utmost peace and quiet for Her Sensitiveness.
post #15 of 35
Callie is doing this too. Not all the time, and she has no problem gaining weight but if she wants to nap and NOT have a little milk while going down, she kicks up a fuss. I find wearing her in a wrap helps because she'll have a little catnap, then be more agreeable in half an hour. She's also very picky about her diaper sometimes so if she just won't settle, I'll change her again even if she only peed a tiny amount 5 minutes ago. She's teething for sure so next time I'll offer the cold, wet/icy washcloth before offering to nurse (I just thought of it). My older one didn't do this but she was the most distract able nurseling ever. Sometimes I have better luck sitting Callie on my lap facing me to latch on. She also does this at night sometimes: I'm right there, offer the breast to no avail and she cries for a few minutes while I rub her tummy. Then she goes to sleep. No idea what that's about.
post #16 of 35

so I know I posted here a few days ago - "it's just a phase..."  maybe so, but that's no consolation today.  I cried hard today for the first time since... maybe this time last year?  when I was still really upset about being pregnant.  the rest of my pregnancy, even labor, and the initial postpartum period didn't inspire tears, but tonight, I kind of came unglued.  so not only has Oliver been pretty much refusing to eat during the day, but yesterday he would not eat while I was holding him, but only while I laid down in the bed next to him.  incidentally, this has been the only way he'll sleep during the day (provided I stay in bed next to him) for the last couple of weeks.  I figured he was hungry and sleepy, and that this was his way of letting me know that.  but I just can't stay in bed for several hours a day, no matter how tired I am from the night before.  and speaking of the nights... after going for 5, 6, 7, and sometimes even 8 hour stretches before waking to eat, he started waking 4, 5, and 6 times a night about a month ago.  since that coincided with his more distractable daytime hours, I figured it was to be expected.  and now that he's even less willing to eat during the day, he's waking up even more frequently - I didn't even bother to count how many times I was up last night.  sometimes he eats excitedly for 10 or 15 minutes, and other times he falls asleep again after just 5 or so - only to wake up 45 minutes later. 


it came to a head tonight while I was on my way home from my parents' about 30 minutes away.  he wouldn't eat before we left at 6pm, and he'd only had two 30-minute catnaps since 10am, and I imagine he was hungry since he hadn't eaten substantially since then either, and he was INCONSOLABLE in the car.  I actually felt angry with him for being so unreasonable, and I didn't even try to soothe him with my voice or his pacifier for the last 5 or so minutes of the trip.  he screamed and screamed, and when we came into the house and I tried to feed him, he refused the breast again.  I undressed both of us and cuddled him for a few minutes before trying again, and he calmed down and ate after that.  he was awake until 8:00 or so, when I got him ready for bed and headed into our dark room to nurse him to sleep.  despite his protests during the day, he always takes the breast around this time at night and goes right to sleep.  not tonight, though.  he arched his back, threw his head back, and screamed when I tried to feed him.  apparently that was my last straw, because I just started sobbing.  he took his pacifier happily, and just watched me while I cried for about 10 minutes.  I explained to him why I felt so powerless, and begged him to eat and sleep when he was hungry and tired, and he just looked at me with his sweet little baby face and sucked on that pacifier instead of my tit.  after awhile I tried to feed him again, and even though he complained a little bit, he nursed for about 20 minutes and fell asleep. 


so... I guess I just feel like I have no idea what I'm doing.  do you think there's something obvious that I'm missing?  I don't think he's sick (no fever, no signs of ear infection), his gums don't look red so I don't think he's working on any teeth, and he's still gaining weight and peeing regularly.  should I be trying to encourage him to eat more during the day and less at night?  I don't even know how I'd do that; like I said, he straight-up refuses to eat during the day, and I don't want to starve him at night when he wakes up.  I think the cumulative sleep deprivation and daily feeding frustration are taking their toll.  nursing was the one thing that would always soothe him before, and it feels like my magic bullet has been taken from me.  I can't imagine what it feels like to do this alone (my husband is working this evening, but he'll be back later tonight), or have to take care of another child as well, or go to work in the morning.  is this what being a mother is like?  do you just cry when you can't hold it back anymore and wish and hope that things get better?  that's what I'm going to be doing tonight, anyway.  if you read this whole novel, thank you for humoring me.  I think writing it out helped me feel a little better.

post #17 of 35

@rf1170 , I just went through a similar thing, only add crazy baby eagle screeches to the list. It lasted for just 6 days… which felt like an eternity. But now, on the other side of it, I am just happy it's over. That's all I have for you: hope that it will be over soon. I think it was a growth spurt. I put into storage several of her smaller PJs. 

post #18 of 35
Huge hugs to you,mama. I don't know how helpful I can be but I'll try.
With the nursing, I'd continue to offer often but be more laid back about it and respect no as an answer. I'd keep offers brief (say 20 seconds for example) to make sure he doesn't feel pressure or stress at the breast and simply offer again in a short while if he hasn't eaten. This sounds like a nursing strike and babies often snap out of those at random. I'll track down the kellymom page for you.
One thing that may make him reluctant is constipation or gas. Is his belly nice and soft?
Finally, yes as a mom I find myself crying more, especially if one of my kids is hurting or otherwise not herself. We so desperately want our children to be happy, healthy and safe but the truth is that there is so much we can't control. It's heartbreaking not being able to fix something for them. In the end , all we can do is try our hardest to do what we feel is best and simply be there if that doesn't do the trick. The best and hardest thing about parenthood is how quickly things change. It's ok to have a hard time. It's ok to despair and feel inadequate. The only thing that matters is that we try our best anyways and survive another day.
post #19 of 35
Thread Starter 
Oh god, rf, I totally had a moment like this with griffin two days ago when he wouldn't eat AGAIN and had a meltdown..then I had a meltdown. My boyfriend, thankfully, is the calmest man on the planet and suggested things which helped. Anyways. I spoke to a close friend of mine who suggested, like skycheat, to keep offers brief. I started to do that and also, only nurse one breast at a time. This helped immensly (for us..) because it became apparent that griffin was losing it when I switched breasts. Why. I don't know. New thing. I have no idea. The last 48hrs he has been eating normal again. I go one breast per feeding and don't push the nursing. If I offer and he doesn't take it, fine. I think a thing to remember is he won't starve himself. If he is hungry he will take it. This was a difficult concept for me to wrap my brain around, as simple as it sounds. As for crying..yes. A lot. A lot less then the beggining but I think for the mom it is really hard to not take it personally. Griffin did the same thing when I got mad and begged him to eat: he just stares at me and eats his toes, calmly. I decided that since he reacts like this, it will all be ok. smile.gif it's so hard to be a mom!!
post #20 of 35
I have some suggestions but we just heading out the door. I'll be back at nap time.

I just wanted to say right now that you are doing a great job. Being a mom is so, so, so hard sometimes. It's ok to feel angry, sad and inadequate. We all do at one point or another. Be gentle with yourself. You're both still figuring things out and there's bound to be periods of adjustment!

Hang in there!
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