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baby wants to be at the breast 12 hours straight it seems!

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
What do I do? My little one was born an aggressive nurser with a strong need to suck. Now she wants to be at my breast between 4pm and 4am straight. I can't put her down, I can't hand her to daddy, I can't even just hold her, it has to be nursing or she cries, fusses and/or wails. Once on she will seem to fall asleep, then if I try to put her down she wakes up and throws a fit.

Pacifiers will work on her for a little while, but I'm really afraid they're causing her to have a lazy latch. I've tried having her suck on my finger, and it works only a very short time, if at all.

I wish I knew some other way to comfort her or figure out just what is wrong.

Once she does sleep I have to wake her up to feed. She'd sleep 4 or 5 hours or more if I let her! I can't get her to sleep when I need to and she's difficult to wake up for feedings the other half of the time. *sigh*
post #2 of 9
This is VERY normal and it WILL pass!!!

Congratulations on your baby.

It is probably a growth spurt. It is normal for your baby to nurse constantly. Please listen to your gut if your instincts tellyou the pacifier is causing trouble; if I had it to do over I would never have let my first baby have one knowing all the damage it did.
(And for other moms it causes no trouble but your baby is still learning how to nurse and a pacifier can confuse them.)

That aggressive nursing means a good strong baby with a strong survival instinct! NOTHING is wrong, this is NORMAL newborn behavior and it WILL pass (and return at times, to pass again.)
In the meantime it may be a growth spurt where babies nurse CONSTANTLY before growing to increase your milk supply.

Some moms swear by a sling for nursing during the day, and cosleeping at night, to preserve a bit of sanity at these times. And your only job should be nursing...now is not the time for lots of housework or feeling you should take care of anyone else but you and your baby (especially since it appears from your sig line this is your first child?)

I was told it is ok for a newborn to have ONE period of long sleep (the 4 to 5 hours you describe) each day assuming nursing is otherwise going well, maybe someone else will comment.
post #3 of 9
I never used a paci, so Im not quite sure but...Maybe your babe is a little too young for pacis, so she's getting confused. I held and nursed both dss tons in the beginning for hours at a time. It can be so draining. Does your babe have her days and nights mixed up right now too?

In the beginning with both dss, I would keep a dark and quiet environment with little talking and activity from 10:00 pm on to indicate rest time. I did keep the television on so I would not want to pass out.

Congratulations BTW. It WILL get easier. I promise.
post #4 of 9
Lea, are you able to figure out nursing while lying down yet? It can be tricky in the beginning.
post #5 of 9
Good idea MamaOui
That is what I was going to suggest, that can really help once the two of you can figure out nursing laying down. In fact what I did with my first ds who did what you are describing is wrap him in a blanket nurse him laying down and then I could unlatch him and roll away once he got into a deeper sleep. It also did help to really establish "nighttime" Meaning, I didn't play, little talking, little noise, very low lights when it was nighttime, so he would realize it was a time for sleeping. Remember the saying "this too shall pass" It will. Good job on the fantastic nursing you two have going!
post #6 of 9
My $.02--

I'm glad to see you noticing that the pacifier is causing confusion. Generally, it is not recommended for a newborn to have any nipple other than mom's, for about 4-6 weeks. This is the learning period. Nursing is a learned art, for both of you. Do you have the Womanly Art of Breastfeeding?

If she will nurse to sleep, and finally let go of the breast, but she wakes up when you put her down, what is she telling you? That she doesn't want to be put down. She just spent 9 mos being held and that feels "right " to her. So, if she falls asleep, and does stop nursing, if you really need to put her down, hand her off to dad or some other helper. Hoepfully any warm body will do, at this point.

I had one child like this, who needed to be held thru all his sleeps, for a year!!! This is a bit extreme. but it is common in the early months.

there are lots of tricks to fool a baby into thinking he is still in mom's arms. the old baby seat on top of the dryer idea is one. maybe eventually she will sit in a swing for a short period, if you absolutely need to put her down and have no help at home.

But for now (she is only one week old!), nurse her and hold her. Frequency days are to be expected every so often. Make sure her latch is as good as possible. Have latch assessed by a LLL Leader or IBCLC if you arent' sure. The better the latch, the more efficient she will be and the better the session will go.
post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
I have the LLL book.

One problem I have with nursing lying down is I can't see if her mouth is wide enough to latch her on, then if she does latch on I have to watch that she doesn't sneak her bottom lip up, which is hard to see from that angle. So that makes it impossible for me to get any rest that way. I usually end up sitting up in bed nursing her.

I wouldn't mind holding her while she slept, but she wants to sleep with my nipple in her mouth. If I take her off she will wake up within 5-10 minutes and fuss until I latch her on again. This child has never once decided to let go of the breast to end a feeding session on her own. Unless you count the time she nursed for nearly an hour and a half before my milk came in and finally got PO'd that there was no milk and began to cry uncontrolably.

I've tried the sling and she sort of has to be in the mood for it. I haven't figured out just how to nurse in it yet. She doesn't seem to like her adjustable fleece pouch, her little head gets lost in it. I'm still trying to figure out just how to keep her little head from being swallowed up into it, but the last couple tries have been cut short, as she wasn't in the mood for it.

I would love to just hold her, but that isn't enough
post #8 of 9
Being a new mama is hard work Along with all the joy, there can be tons of fatigue. Do you have a friend who has nursed or is nursing that can hop into bed with you and help you get used to nursing while lying down? I had a lactation consultant come to my house after the birth of my first son (we had a rough start). She got right into bed with me to help me figure it all out.

I have to make dinner now, but I will definately type more later. Try putting a pillow behind your back to make you more comfortable. Can you dp help adjust pillows and the babe? I promise that once you figure out how to nurse lying down, it will get easier. If your babe stays latched on it won't matter because you'll be able to sleep/rest.

Keep up the good work. Hugs to you. You are doing a great job.
post #9 of 9
Yes, it really sounds like you have a baby who does not want to let go of your nipple--ever!

It could be one of two things:

Either she is really "sucky:"

Some are just so orally fixated. This should lessen as she gets a bit older. One thing to try to just give your breasts a rest is, put her in your sling upright betwen your breasts, aka the kangaroo hold. Then put your first finger in her mouth, pad up, allowing her to take it in. Then, move! If your weather is getting nicer, as ours is, take her outside for a walk, if you are feeling up to it. Sometimes the fresh air and bright sun knock them out.


She isn't latched on well, and is having trouble moving the milk. This is more serious. I again rec having her latch assessed by an experienced LLL Leader, to IBCLC (intl board certified lactation consultant).

It can take a few weeks to get the hang of nursing lying down. In the meantime, you can get rest sitting up to nurse at night. Get some kind of large pillow to rest back against. then have plenty of pillows on your lap to keep her in position. some moms really like the Boppies, but there are others on the mkt (like My Brest Friend) that are larger and firmer.
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