screaming *won't* nurse, very upset 5 month old - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 34 Old 02-02-2004, 11:38 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Heeeeelp! I've searched here, googled, kellymom, and I can't figure out what's wrong!

Orion is freaking out at night when I try to nurse him... he'll either only nurse for like 4 sucks, then stop and scream, or wakes up SCREAMING at night, obviously hungry and I *can't* get him to even THINK about latching on. He'll take a bottle instantly and be happy (which Dh keeps pushing on me, and is pissing me off, if I give him constant bottles when he's upset ALL evening my supply is going to drop, and I ALREADY have to supplement). I don't know what's wrong! He's screaming these high pitched "I HURT" screams... I took him to the doctor, thinking ear infection, but nope, as far as the doctor sees he's fine...

Tonight it took between 30-45 minutes to get him to nurse. He was freaked out, Dh was making me feel like crap (the *instant* Orion cried, Dh said "Is it food? Should I get a bottle?" and he keeps freaking pushing it on me! Even when I've told him to stop it), its not a nursing strike, he nurses fine in the daytime. Its just late evenings and nighttime. And not ALL the time, just sometime.

I don't have any overactive letdowns, I still have very low supply (we supplement about 8 ounces a day of donated milk/formula), I haven't ate anything new, he's not visibly teething (well he does eat his hands a lot and drools like mad, but no "bumps"), I try nursing standing, sitting, laying, in the rocker, in the bath, in different rooms, in the dark, in the light, in a cradle position, in a more upright postion, swaying, humming, talking soothing, not talking, caressing, not caressing, EVERYTHING I can think of! I express a little bit into his mouth as he's screaming, because in the past that has gotten him to figure out food is there. I don't know if he's getting a bottle preference from 2 small bottles a night? I'm going to start giving him his evening supplementation via SNS again, to keep my supply up, and to cut off any breast refusal because of the bottle, but we've only been giving him the newborn nipples to the avent, and until this month he never had issues if we supplemented him with a bottle at all....

Help??

Lisa, mama to Orion (7) , Fiona Star (born sleeping @ 38wks 12/6/08) , our bitty (m/c 7/27/09) , and Charlotte Athena (11/5/10)
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#2 of 34 Old 02-02-2004, 03:10 PM
 
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I had the same problem with my ds at the same age. He did not eat or nurse for 4 days, We freaked out and took him to a Dr. (which we never do). Culprit, teeth at 5 months!! My first one did not get a single tooth until 13 months. Taking the bottle is way easier when your teeth hurt and they can chew on the nipple. Also it is easier for them to take a bottle. For the low milk supply-try fenugreek, it sure worked for me and some friends. Don't give in to the bottle, mine literally did not eat for 4 full days and did not starve. let me know how it works.

Best of luck!
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#3 of 34 Old 02-02-2004, 03:27 PM
 
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Teeth can be very bothersome to babies long before you can feel them under the gums.

My DD starts showing signs of new teeth coming through about 6 weeks before we see them.

I'd treat it as teething, myself.

Hang in there!
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#4 of 34 Old 02-02-2004, 06:44 PM
 
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DD is 8 mo and just got her two bottom teeth - sounds like teething to me. at times when she is screaming and totally miserable I give her the lowest dose of motrin I can. I start with .625 and go up from there. I figure that I can live with her getting pain meds for teething more than I can her not nursing, KWIM?

It might also be the low supply annoying him at a time when he is already in pain/annoyed.

slightly ot - I have about a 6 wk supply of domperidone my aunt gave me that is just sitting here. totally free to whoever wants it. still in the blister packs and boxes. it's 2 1/2 boxes.
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#5 of 34 Old 02-02-2004, 10:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks! He does *look* like he's teething... we gave him a dose of baby tylenol (when I called the advice nurse she said they don't recommend motrin, even though I have it) and it calmed him down when it had a bit of time to kick in.

And thanks for the ideas of what to try for my milk supply, I've already fought this like mad (domperidone, fenugreek, mother's milk tea, oatmeal, pumping) with a ton of help and support here, and nothing helped my supply So this is pretty much what I'm stuck with... a huge bummer for sure!

Lisa, mama to Orion (7) , Fiona Star (born sleeping @ 38wks 12/6/08) , our bitty (m/c 7/27/09) , and Charlotte Athena (11/5/10)
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#6 of 34 Old 02-02-2004, 10:44 PM
 
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oh, 6 mo is I think the rec. age for motrin. bummer, b/c it works so much better than tylenol. oh well, for the next mo just use the tylenol as needed.

Sorry to hear about the ongoing supply issues, but that is so great that you are still fighting to nurse orion
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#7 of 34 Old 02-03-2004, 11:57 AM
 
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You can use motrin if you go by their weight not age. WE used motrin because it worked way bettter, one dose would last all day as compared to tylenol. I HATED using the stuff, but after 4 days of not eating, you get deparate,

Hang in there!!
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#8 of 34 Old 02-03-2004, 12:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you Stacy... so far the tylenol is working, and we only need it at night, althought we do have to dose him every 4 hours then from about midnight to 6am (so 2 doses). I got him to nurse this morning when he woke up screaming at 5am by using the SNS, so at least I was getting some stimulation and he wasn't freaking out. But I'm FREAKING tired! And really sick of going back to bed around noon (when ds gets tired) and waking at 5pm. I have appointments to go to, other stuff to do, and I'd like to see the sun more!

Lisa, mama to Orion (7) , Fiona Star (born sleeping @ 38wks 12/6/08) , our bitty (m/c 7/27/09) , and Charlotte Athena (11/5/10)
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#9 of 34 Old 02-03-2004, 01:01 PM
 
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I'm happy to hear that the Tylenol helped. I'm not sure about how you feel about Orajel, but it gave us a new baby.

I was kind of scared of the stuff so we didn't try it until we were at our wits' end with a screaming baby, and *poof* we got our happy baby back. I am only willing to use it during the day, though.

Just use small amounts and wash your hands immediately.
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#10 of 34 Old 02-03-2004, 01:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We've used orajel, and it works, but not as long term as tylenol does... he doesn't need it during the daytime, he's fine then, I think because nursing helps him when I have decent amounts of milk!

Lisa, mama to Orion (7) , Fiona Star (born sleeping @ 38wks 12/6/08) , our bitty (m/c 7/27/09) , and Charlotte Athena (11/5/10)
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#11 of 34 Old 02-06-2004, 09:30 PM
 
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I just put a couple drops of clove bud essential oil in 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil. Keep it in a liitle bottle & just rub it my ds' gums if I remotely think that might be the problem. If it's not, the clove & olive oil aren't going to harm him, but it works wonders when that's the problem (clove is a topical anesthetic, but too strong if undiluted, a little goes a long way). Herbs For Kids also makes one, has a few more ingredients
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#12 of 34 Old 02-08-2004, 09:42 PM
 
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Sorry to here about your supply problem!! I know you don't want to hear this, but your lack of sleep and stress may be contributing. Try relaxing, lots of deep breathing, even meditation or prayer. Even if it doesn't help, it will make you feel better!

Ashley, Jesus loving mama to Jaden (8) Trace (6) and Liam (3) and fost/adopt twins Talia and Oliva (1).  Happily married for a decade! 

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#13 of 34 Old 02-09-2004, 02:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yes the stress and lack of sleep doesn't help at all... but I think I've figured out its the lack of sleep in ds that causes him to freak out... so I'm learning little tricks to get him to nurse when he's freaking (like nursing laying down, or laying down, but having him sorta kneel so he's nursing on the top breast, or if that really doesn't work breaking out the SNS) and I'm slowly learning his sleepy signs so I can get us in the bedroom to lay down before he's so upset. Sometimes its the most obvious things!

Lisa, mama to Orion (7) , Fiona Star (born sleeping @ 38wks 12/6/08) , our bitty (m/c 7/27/09) , and Charlotte Athena (11/5/10)
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#14 of 34 Old 02-09-2004, 06:38 PM
 
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Julia is the same way if she gets overtired. she won't nurse, will scream, arch back, etc. swaddling and movement is the only thing that works for us. IIRC it was arond 5 mo that she did that too. Now at 8 mo she would rather play than nurse! lol, it changes all the time. hang in there. I would feel horrible for forcing her head to my breast when she got so worked up.

oh, if it is a case of orion being overtired AND hungry but too upset to nurse, we had great luck with putting her to sleep and then feeding her. sounds like you are already doing that though if you are laying down with him
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#15 of 34 Old 02-10-2004, 03:07 PM
 
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I always feed Jaden after a nap. He's rally ready to eat then and in a great mood. I use a sleep, feed, wake, sleep. feed. wake cycle and it really helps him a lot. Just a thought. Hope it gets better. I had a eally hard time with Jaden not wanting to nurse either. I did every thing, LC, LA Leche, DR., books, and things just kept getting worse. Even thoug I was bound and determined to breast feed, I soon relized that I would have to sacrific so much to continue, i.e. my sanity, sleep, marriage, friends, family, church, etc, etc, and Jaden was soooo unhappy. So I made a decision that it wasn't wotrth it, and we have been so happy and peacful since then. I was very hard to stop though, I cried a lot. Don't get me wrong, I'm NOT encouraging you to quit, just giving you my experince so you know you are not alone!

Ashley, Jesus loving mama to Jaden (8) Trace (6) and Liam (3) and fost/adopt twins Talia and Oliva (1).  Happily married for a decade! 

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#16 of 34 Old 02-10-2004, 03:29 PM
 
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It might be time to dump the bottles. It sounds like Orion might be able to handle the bottles sometimes, but your dh can't! He should be saying...can I get you a teether, a glass of water, a warm blanket, a cold blanket, the oragel, etc., not "should I get a bottle?"
Are you using the very very low flow nipples? They aren't very popular with 100% bottle feeding babies and moms because it takes sooooo long for a feed (like 40 minutes), but I recommend them lots.
Although Orion is much too young to be "manipulating" you, you are in charge of his environment. You want him to breastfeed, so you can make that the most desirable choice. I forget from your other thread, but are you pumping a little first, or using warm cloths to get let down going? Feeding him when he's tired or not very hungry to give him a top up of bonus breastmilk he wasn't looking for?
I hate to say it, but it doesn't sound like very much fun. I'm not sure how long I'd persevere under similar circumstances. I think you've probably topped my pain-in-the-neck threshold already. Go YOU!

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#17 of 34 Old 02-10-2004, 04:36 PM
 
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LIsa,

This stuff is amazing and great for calming down an unhappy babe!

http://www.affordablehomeopathy.com/camilia.html

Mama to Thing 1 and Thing 2.
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#18 of 34 Old 02-10-2004, 05:40 PM
 
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I don't think this sounds like teething, but more like pure hunger. In your first post, you said he's obviously hungry when he's trying to latch on. I know you're frustrated with your DH bc you want your supply to go up, but I'm sure he's just as scared by Orion's screaming as you are. I don't know all of your history, and I'm sure you used a lactation consultant in the beginning, but could you call one now to get some expert advice on how to balance increasing your supply with making sure that Orion is full and happy?
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#19 of 34 Old 02-11-2004, 05:21 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you for sharing Alvenchrst, I can understand why you quit! This can be so difficult! I think we're getting back to a liveable balance, and I'm finding ways around the freakouts, getting to him before he's super tired and laying down with him, using the SNS if its just inevetable, ect...

Apricot, he has to be supplemented (no weight gain from 2-4 months of age) and I go nutty if I give ALL the supplementing in the SNS, in fact the option of a bottle makes me feel a little better about it all like "hey well it sucks I can't EBF, but at least since I can't I can have the convience of an occasional bottle". Dh has stopped the comments that hurt me now. He just asks if I'm ok with him, askes if I want him to take ds to try to calm him, asks "can I get you anything?" which could be a drink, tylenol, oragel, teethers, *or* a bottle/sns, so in that way he's still letting me know he's available to get the formula, but in a way that doesn't bother me. Thank you for the suggestion. We are using the newborn nipples, he can still suck down 6 ounces in 20 minutes or less. Its not a problem for me, I'm used to 30-60 minute nursing sessions. I don't want him to perfer the bottle over me (which he doesn't except when he's super super tired, and even then he's ok with the SNS). I haven't tried the warmth idea for letdown, but when he's that freaked he won't even latch for a second without a decent amount of formula dripping into his mouth (I can't hand express into his mouth enough to intrest him), so I don't think that would be really feasible, unless I had like 2 extra hands at all times :LOL Pumping doesn't do anything for me... I've never letdown for it... Thanks for all the advice, things have improved a lot! Its tiredness. Before he would just conk out where ever he was, and sleep as long as he wanted (as long as he was in arms). Now he needs to be in bed. I just didn't SEE his sleepy signs since I didn't need to before. He freaks when he's overtired. We haven't had a freakout in a couple of days, so we're doing good now

Thanks for the link Pumpkinhead, I'll check it out!

Hannah's Mom, oh yes it is hunger, that's almost the only thing he cries about (that and being way tired)! Like I said in my other thread (hmmm now I've figured out both these issues are the same :LOL) I spoke to the Kaiser one. Pretty crappy. I'll see the Ped on thursday, see how helpful she is. Hopefully she'll be good, has breastfed 4 children and just finished a class or seminar at UCLA on breastfeeding... I have a good contact that Celestial gave me for a LC, so I'll use her if I need after the Ped appt (who knows maybe this Ped will be HELPFUL about breastfeeding issues!).

Thanks again everyone

Lisa, mama to Orion (7) , Fiona Star (born sleeping @ 38wks 12/6/08) , our bitty (m/c 7/27/09) , and Charlotte Athena (11/5/10)
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#20 of 34 Old 02-11-2004, 07:44 PM
 
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Lisa, thanks for not being perterbed at (useless) advice.

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#21 of 34 Old 02-12-2004, 05:03 PM
 
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Hi Lisa, just noticed this thread .

I'm so glad you figured out what was making him so angry. Sounds like you're over a hump now.

Check in with us when you get a chance and let us know what the ped said.

(Also check the playgroup thread )
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#22 of 34 Old 02-12-2004, 09:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks D'Anne! I'm really thankful we've figured out the problem too! I think it was just a shift from being able to sleep whenever, where ever to needing more peace and quiet in his sleeping enviorment...

The Ped said he was perfect, just wants to see him in 2 months, to keep up what I'm doing, and suggested solids. Solids didn't get him gaining though, he's still too little to really digest that yet, so we'll just keep up with the formula supplementing... but I'm glad we went now, and she said to not worry about the weight, it will come back on (which I knew, but its nice to have a doctor agree with me!).

Lisa, mama to Orion (7) , Fiona Star (born sleeping @ 38wks 12/6/08) , our bitty (m/c 7/27/09) , and Charlotte Athena (11/5/10)
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#23 of 34 Old 02-12-2004, 11:01 PM
 
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Yay Orion! That's fabulous news Lisa! s Even tho, I'm sure you already know that he's perfectly healthy, and right where he should be, but like you said, it's great to have someone who is *supposed* to know what they're talking about reaffirm this to you. Reassurance is great in almost any form! Hopefully you have found a ped you can put your trust in!

Mama to Thing 1 and Thing 2.
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#24 of 34 Old 02-13-2004, 05:37 PM
 
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The Ancient art of Swaddling comes in very handy during this time in baby's life. The usually content to sllep where ever baby now turns into I want a sort of schedule and I need to be relaxed and in the dark to sleep.

My ds wouldn't nurse properly or sleep unless we was swaddled. THose receiving blankies are tiny and useless past 2 mo or so. I made a balnkie 40x40 from an old flannel sheet(you could use anything) and had to teach myself how to wrap him so he couldn't get out. The trick is practicing when baby is CALM, not OVERtired! ARghhh!

Get them squarely in the middle, and when you wrap that first corner over them, make sure their arms are down flat. Make that first wrap super tight and tuck it waaaaaay under their back/bum area. Then the other corner goes on smoother.

You may have to get his legs tucked in too(they feeel safer this way sometimes, and just like they are back in the womb)

If you letdown is slow, be prepared whe you can tell baby is gettin fussy. You Ped or Doc or LC can prescribe a Hospital Grade BreastPump to use to get your letdown to come. Or twiddling your nipples works good too.

Most of all RELAX!!! It's fun to have a baby, yes stressful too, but it's not a crime to end your social life for a while to get BFing established. It is important and it will be a realtionship that will last you and baby a life time.


Also just want to give a Shout out for Hyland's Homeopathic Teething Tablets!!!!

SUper Safe for baby and they work just as well if not better than Tylenol. They are about $6 but worth EEEEvvvery Penny!:LOL

The trick for getting Homeopathic to work is to feed 15 min after feeding food(except water) and 15 before feeding (except water)
They will put your baby to sleep too. They really really work and saved my sanity many times!
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#25 of 34 Old 02-13-2004, 09:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks Sarah! I'll give the swaddling a try! We've got some big thin blankies that would work pretty well I think.

I have a medela lactina (given to me by my SIL) but I won't let down for it I've tried. Its a great suggestion though!

Lisa, mama to Orion (7) , Fiona Star (born sleeping @ 38wks 12/6/08) , our bitty (m/c 7/27/09) , and Charlotte Athena (11/5/10)
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#26 of 34 Old 02-13-2004, 10:21 PM
 
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Lisa,

A have had great success using the "marmet technique" to express milk. Have you heard of it? I found a great link, just in case:

http://www.lactationinstitute.org/MANUALEX.html
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#27 of 34 Old 02-15-2004, 04:40 PM
 
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Another thing that may help with pumping let-down is pumping one side while nursing on the other. That way Orion gets the let-down going and the pump gets the benefit! I tried this a few times myself, but Jackson was so interested with the pump that he wouldn't nurse . Maybe it will work better for you.
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#28 of 34 Old 02-15-2004, 05:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I think I need an extra hand or two to do that! I've tried, but right now Orion needs an arm around his back and supporting his head AND most of the time wants to hold my other hand... I bet it would be helpful to get letdown to happen though if he'd let me use one of my hands! :LOL

Lisa, mama to Orion (7) , Fiona Star (born sleeping @ 38wks 12/6/08) , our bitty (m/c 7/27/09) , and Charlotte Athena (11/5/10)
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#29 of 34 Old 02-16-2004, 02:28 AM
 
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have you tried nursing in a sling? that would free up one of those hands at least.
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#30 of 34 Old 02-16-2004, 02:40 AM - Thread Starter
 
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yup, but I can't put the sling behind his head, so I still have to support his head and he still wants to hold my hand... and the rings are covering the other breast... so no pumping there...

Lisa, mama to Orion (7) , Fiona Star (born sleeping @ 38wks 12/6/08) , our bitty (m/c 7/27/09) , and Charlotte Athena (11/5/10)
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