10 week old hungry but not eating- Update - Mothering Forums

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Old 07-11-2011, 12:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am posting this here and not in breastfeeding challenges because I believe my little guy is ill... I'm hoping someone will have an idea of what is wrong with him.

 

For the past week or so, he has been fussy (out of character for him) and has refused to nurse until he is ravenous. When he acts like he is hungry, I offer him a breast and it goes one of two ways, he either pounces on the breast and drains it, or he screams until I put him upright and cuddle him.

 

I have noticed that he seems to dislike being on his side most of the time (except at night, when he nurses just fine). I've tried upright nursing, but it hasn't worked. He doesn't scream, but he can't get a very good latch that way.

 

I am concerned that he has lost some weight, but we were just at the pediatricians for his 2 month visit and he is in the 98 percentile... But when I pick him up, he feels lighter. He is also somewhat listless. He plays, but it is with less enthusiasm.

 

I requested he be tested for parasites and his sample is being worked on. Over the weekend, my husband suggested he could have an ear infection.

 

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!


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Old 07-11-2011, 02:22 PM
 
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Nothing I've experienced seems to fit perfectly, but I have a few thoughts that can cause trouble.  The first is allergies (tiny bits of proteins from your diet which pass into BM).  Besides refusing to nurse, the fact that nursing at night is easier makes me wonder about this possibility.

 

Pain receptors are dulled and sleepy at night, and so infants which are having pain from nursing will feed more calmly then.  But that doesn't mean his source of pain, if that's what it is, is allergies.  My oldest daughter's symptoms started showing up about 10 weeks, too.

 

I know two other things that are like personality quirks.  Both of my daughters liked settling down to nap being held by their dad, and I came the conclusion that they wanted away from nursing.  And DD1 got discouraged very easily, and if she didn't latch on perfectly the first instant, she would scream for 30 minutes!  But this started very early.  Plus, she hated my monster let-downs.  She had a weak sucking action and couldn't keep up, I guess.  Now she's older, I see she has an overbite.  DD2's first-day nursing surprised me with how powerful it was.  No wonder we had trouble!

 

One final thought, and again this scenario doesn't quite fit in perfectly with what you've described:  DD1 had trouble growing starting about 4mo.  She wasn't just on the bottom of the chart, but she dropped down percentage points with every visit (this is more telling than where on the chart they started from).  We tested different scenarios.  

     I kept saying since she was an infant that she didn't seem to understand about hunger.  But everyone, every nurse, every doctor, said "she'll eat when she's hungry."  But to me, she showed every sign of not understanding that eating would take away that awful feeling in her belly.  Even as late as 2yo, I would finally coax her to eat, and her awful moods would melt.  Finally, I was referred to an "eating therapist".  She helped kids with physical eating disorders.  I told her this same impression and she agreed with me!  She said that eating when hungry is actually a learned response, albeit one learned very early.  Most kids make this connection, no trouble.  But a few, especially those with pain issues associated with feeding, will not make the connection.  I WAS RIGHT!  2 years later, DD1 announced one day, I am not kidding, "Oh. Eating dinner made my tummy feel better."  (Know that I had backed off the eating issue for a couple of years at that point.  I could see by her facial expression, wide-eyed with discovery, that this truly was an "Aha!" moment.)

 

Forgive my lengthy response.  Hopefully by the time you read it, all will be right again.  But if not, I hope you can see something of your situation in everyone's responses.


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Old 07-11-2011, 04:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you so much for responding! I've thought of allergies too, and I have noticed that he has trouble when I eat tomatoes, so I've cut them from my diet. I guess I should try the usual suspects of dairy and wheat.

 

His pediatrician just called and told me that the parasite test was negative... That is a major relief for me, but also somewhat disappointing as I thought maybe this could be resolved with that. I did tell the pedi that the issue is still here, so we have another appointment to make sure his weight isn't falling.

 

I have a strong letdown too, but other than choking occasionally, ds doesn't seem to have much trouble with it.

 

I will keep in mind the situation you had with your dd1 not realizing she was hungry. 


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Old 07-11-2011, 08:19 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mamapigeon View Post

Thank you so much for responding! I've thought of allergies too, and I have noticed that he has trouble when I eat tomatoes, so I've cut them from my diet. I guess I should try the usual suspects of dairy and wheat.

 


Lots of moms have luck eliminating nuts as well, if dairy doesn't show an improvement.  You might look for other clues: mucous in stools or a red bottom (are you piling on the Aquaphor down there and wondering why?)

 


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Old 07-11-2011, 09:37 PM
 
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silent reflux??


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Old 07-12-2011, 11:39 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm pretty sure it's not an allergy since I don't see fussiness go up after he eats. He also seems to be having normal consistency bowel movements, just more of them. He seems to want to be upright.

Reflux could be an issue for him, but he's never spit up much. Maybe 10 times in his life, all small amounts. What is silent reflux like?

 

Wyatt seems to be feeling a little better this morning though. Still not eating, which is bothering me, but he is playing more like he normally does.


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Old 07-12-2011, 11:50 AM
 
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Can you weigh him at a lactation support group in a hospital or something like that? If he is gaining weight, maybe it would ease your mind. When DS was gaining slowly, we bought a baby scale ($50 on Amazon) and although we no longer weigh him daily, I can say it was and is worth every penny for the emotional stability it brought to me and DH.

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Old 07-12-2011, 02:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We have an appointment in a few days with his pediatrician to weigh him. I'll definitely look into buying a scale! That's a great idea thumb.gif


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Old 07-12-2011, 07:30 PM
 
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My first thought was an ear infection.  Often, with an ear ache, babies won't want to eat b/c it hurts their ear when they swallow.  I would be sure your ped looks in his ears, just to be safe.

Since he's kinda young for that, my second thought would be silent reflux.  Silent reflux presents with no spitting up, but lots of back arching, crying when laying flat, and, sometimes, refusing to eat unless starved. 

Also, he's a bit early (or alot!) but is there any chance he's getting teeth?  Have you felt around his gums or checked for swelling.  DS always has more diapers and doesn't really care to eat when he has a tooth coming in. 

Having said all that, my DS went through this exact thing at 3 months-ish.  Refusing to eat unless starved.  Acted like I was offering him poison in a bottle (I EP'd).  Went to the Dr, found not one darn thing wrong.  His weight was fine, ears good, reflux under control.  It went away after about a week. 

Good luck Momma!  It's so hard when feeding isn't going great.

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Old 07-13-2011, 10:37 AM
 
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Nothing we've experienced seems to fit perfectly either, but have you looked into thrush. When DD had it it didn't show up as patches but basically coated her whole palate so I didn't realize what it was until about a month had gone by. she would show all the signs of being hungry sucking her hands/fingers/ grabbing at my shirt sucking on my shoulder when I held her, but when I tried to nurse her she would latch for only a second then pull off screaming even louder than before. the only time she seemed able to nurse was at night when she was exhausted and half asleep. sometimes changing positions or especially vigorous walking on my part while she nursed seemed to help a little. It doesn't sound like it fits your scenario perfectly but it's something to look into. A friend of mine recommended trying genitian violet for about a week just to see if it helped and by the second day I noticed a HUGE improvement. There never were any patches to go away but her mouth got slightly pinker and nursing was much easier....

 

Good luck, hope that helps!


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Old 07-13-2011, 02:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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MamatobabyA- I'll definitely get the pedi to check his ears. I've thought of teething too, but if he is I can't find any sign of a tooth coming up. He does seem to have an abnormal amount of diapers for the amount he is eating, and he drools too. I'm going to look into silent reflux and seem if I can find some more info on it. I'm hoping this turns out like what you went through with your ds... I just want things to go back to normal. greensad.gif

 

Kate- he DOES have some discoloration in his mouth... not like how thrush is commonly described, but I have wondered about it. It's whitish-green on the roof of his mouth and there's a white coat on his tongue that I just assumed was milk slime. lol  Most of it comes off if I wipe it with a damp cloth. He does behave like your dd did... latches on, then pulls off screaming. He shows all the same signs of being hungry, sucking on anything he can get and seems excited when I offer him the breast... it just doesn't turn into a feeding session. I'm going to look into thrush a bit more and ask the pedi about it as well.

 

Thank you both for your ideas! I feel so bad about this and it really helps to get suggestions of things to research and talk to the pediatrician about.


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Old 07-13-2011, 03:22 PM
 
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OK, one more possible scenario...... My second daughter has what is called Geographic Tongue.  It is a benign but sometimes irritating or painful condition (one possibility is that it could be an auto-immune disorder that attacks the lining of the tongue).  This first presented itself as that thick coat on her tongue at about 2mo and followed by a complete clearing of the tongue.  Later I started to see it as clear, red (almost raw-looking) spots on her tongue.  Not exactly "spots", more like crop circles where the coating had been rubbed off!  (Imagine it as a map-- thus the name "geographic".)  In fact at first I thought it was from nursing.  Episodes come and go still (she is 4.5 now) and always she complains about discomfort before I see the spots.  I ask how she feels when I see them, and she says it doesn't bother her.  When she was a toddler, I was sure this is what caused her to toss and turn, sometimes for a week or more.

     The medical literature says it is "painless" but that's clearly bull****.  Keep an eye on that tongue!  Not much you can do about it, if it is.  When he is old enough to eat solids, avoiding acidic foods during an episode can ease the pain/ irritation but otherwise it's something you'd just have to live with.  Hopefully what you see is just an illness that will pass.


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Old 07-14-2011, 11:51 AM - Thread Starter
 
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After looking into silent reflux and thrush, I'm leaning toward reflux. I've propped him up for a few feedings and there hasn't been screaming or flailing. I'm also going to try to eliminate dairy and see what happens.

 

I will also keep an eye on his tongue and plan on getting his ears checked for infection. Thank you all so much for replying! I'll update after a few days without dairy. Hopefully there will be an improvement!


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Old 07-14-2011, 07:15 PM
 
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My little guy had reflux and this bed http://www.google.com/products/catalog?hl=en&xhr=t&q=fisher+price+rock+and+play+sleeper&cp=15&qe=ZmlzaGVyIHByaWNlIHJv&qesig=mK5DxnStU-y97hK6_mD3UQ&pkc=AFgZ2tmPxJGJoLQa9gIKqD9je-7VTYq0Wo0SdQcepWM-X8jex0Y-fai4vVyklev5vml-9_G1-gmNZbwiRSFG0l_rQ78JPAWc7w&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.&biw=1052&bih=642&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=shop&cid=9471495977838369124&sa=X&ei=KJQfTvbCN4Hc0QHdlIH6Dw&sqi=2&ved=0CDoQ8wIwAQ  saved our lives.  There is nothing the least bit earth friendly about it and it's by Fisher Price.  And I totally did not care.  It was the *only* way he would sleep aside from on our chest with us sleeping in a chair.  It made bedtime, feedings and the rest of the day easier.  I recommend it to anyone battling reflux. 

Hope your little guy feels better soon.

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Old 07-17-2011, 10:39 AM - Thread Starter
 
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We went to the pediatrician's on Friday and luckily he has gained weight. I just feel like he isn't eating much. The pedi agreed that it sounded like reflux and prescribed an acid reducer. I'm also doing the elimination diet recommended by Dr.Sears. So far it's going well and my little guy seems to a bit better. There aren't very many episodes where he screams at the breast. Hopefully between the medication and my altered diet we can fix this completely.

 

Thanks to everyone for the great advice!


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Old 07-17-2011, 10:42 PM
 
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I would encourage you to use non-medical remedies to see how reflux resolves before doing meds. It ends up being a disadvantage to your baby's gut and stomach acid to suppress it. That is not to say some babies with severe reflux don't benefit...but *many* babies can have reflux be resolved just by simple changes, for us it is no dairy, not too much OJ, tomatoes, other acidic foods. Upright after feedings, getting burps, etc. I would work on that personally before resorting to meds.  To me it doesn't sound severe - my 3mo did the same thing and it resolved once I made simple changes. Now, we have other issues but the reflux is at least gone and was gone within a day of stopping the bothersome foods.


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Old 07-18-2011, 12:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Cook- I've actually decided to stop the acid blocker because every day on the elimination diet is going better. DS didn't fuss at all yesterday and today he has already had a nap at his old time! Hurray for diet changes! Not sure how to tell the pediatrician though since he already thinks we're nutters for co-sleeping.


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