Frantic behavior while nursing? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 16 Old 01-23-2010, 01:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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DD is 6 weeks old and nursed very well until about a week or so ago. Now after the first few minutes of enthusiastic sucking, she goes a little crazy...she'll pull her head back while still sucking very hard and shake it, flail her arms and legs around and make grunting noises. She pulls off of my nipple and immediately starts rooting around for it again, while continuing to flail her little fists around. Oh, and this only seems to happen at night, not so much during the day.

First, this HURTS. She wants to do it for about 15 minutes and I can't take the pain anymore. Second, I'm worried that she's not actually eating while all of this craziness is going on.

Has anyone experienced anything like this before? I'm not sure what to do. She seems too young to take her off and stop nursing when this happens, but maybe not? I wonder if my milk supply is low? She was just under 8 pounds at 24 hours and is almost 11 pounds now, so weight gain doesn't seem to be a problem.

Any advice would be very appreciated.
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#2 of 16 Old 01-23-2010, 02:05 PM
 
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My little guy was very similar. He went through a period around that time when he would flail around at night when I was trying to nurse him before bed. He would latch on, then pop off, stare at me, then jump back on, all the while flailing his arms around. I would stop nursing him and swaddle him and put him in his cosleeper. A few minutes later I would pick him up and nurse him and he would be much fore focused and mellow. It's as if swaddling him for a few minutes was like pressing the reset button.
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#3 of 16 Old 01-23-2010, 03:58 PM
 
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My DS does this in evenings, and it is frustrating. I'm pretty sure its because I have OALD, and the evening is his 'fussy time'. When he's calmer, he can handle the OALD better.

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#4 of 16 Old 01-23-2010, 04:23 PM
 
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It is very common. It happened to mine between 1 and 4 months old, too, and I've heard on here and from other mamas elsewhere about it happening with lots of other babies. I think it's part of baby "waking up" from the newborn period. Six weeks is the peak time for fussiness and disorganized behavior.

With a baby that's gaining weight appropriately and filling diapers, I wouldn't worry too much about it. If it drives you nuts, try something else for a time-- rocking, carrying around, setting baby down awhile, or whatever seems to work.

Lots of reason, I think, for fussy nursing: sometimes baby just wants to fall asleep, and wants to suck for that reason, and the milk flow upsets baby. A pacifier can help, or a finger to suck. Sometimes baby is annoyed by a slow letdown, or baby is unusually hungry because of a growth spurt, and the flow is slow and baby wants more. Frequently switching sides can help with this, as can having some patience and rolling with it for a few days until your supply catches up with baby's demand. Sometimes your letdown is too strong, and baby feels overwhelmed. Unlatching for a second and letting some milk run into a towel, and then relatching, can help a lot with this. Sometimes baby needs to burp, or needs to poop, or is experiencing acid reflux. In that case, taking a break and putting baby upright and attempting to burp baby might help.

Sometimes baby is overstimulated and tired from a long day, and really just needs to sleep-- they get so tired that they can't calm down and organize their attention enough to nurse well. Keeping the days quieter can help with this. That doesn't mean you have to sit home all day. But when you're out and around, keep baby close to you in a carrier, so that baby can get plenty of sleep during the day. Believe it or not, a peaceful day with lots of naps means better sleep at night, and less fussing in the evenings. Nurse frequently during the day, so that if baby doesn't nurse well in the evening, you're not so worried about overall intake.

When those fussy nursing sessions happen, try for a dark, quiet room. Try lying down with baby and nursing that way. Try to do whatever it is you do to help baby fall asleep. A nice walk outside, with baby in a carrier or in your arms, can work wonders if the weather allows. Even if it's chilly, you can put baby on your chest and button your coat around baby, and with a hat baby should be plenty warm. Even a car ride, if your baby falls asleep in the car, can help a lot.

My DD2 used to fuss like crazy at that age, in the evening, as if she were starving. I'd finally give up trying to nurse and give her to DH, and he'd rock her to sleep. She'd sleep an hour, wake up, and nurse like a champ. She was just too tired to organize her behavior enough to nurse well.
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#5 of 16 Old 01-23-2010, 09:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you so much for the advice, Llyra! What a relief to hear that other people have experienced the same thing - thanks everyone. I'll hang in there and hope that this stage passes quickly. Now that I think about it, rocking and giving dd to dh do help calm her down and then she nurses more easily. I just never made the connection. Thanks again.
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#6 of 16 Old 01-23-2010, 09:46 PM
 
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mine did that at about the same age. I found cutting out dairy in my diet helped everything... it is like they want to nurse but realize there is something in there that will hurt their bodies....

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#7 of 16 Old 01-23-2010, 10:29 PM
 
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We do EC witg our babies, and the behavior you are describing is exactly what our babes do when they have to poop or pee (usually poo though). Nursing seems to stimulate the need need to evacuate the bladder/bowels I would potty them and finish nursing. My babies seem to be fairly regular right away. Right now DHis pottying my 10 day old My DS is 16 months and I can't ususally get him to latch if he has to pee. If I do, he pinches, grabs me, kicks his legs around, pops on and off... Drives me nuts!

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#8 of 16 Old 01-24-2010, 01:41 AM
 
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well, you seemed to have gotten some answers, but I just want to add it happened to us also, around that time...I had to pick the lo p and kind of "reset" ht and then she'd be ok...sometimes.....she got over it...whew...glad we are past the problems like that! Good luck!!

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#9 of 16 Old 01-29-2010, 02:07 PM
 
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Usually when Bella does this it's either slow letdown on a side that's almost done, or overactive letdown on the new side! If it's overactive, it'll happen in the first few seonds (with me). If it's that the breast is not producing enough "on demand" for her, she will do what you say, pull off, flail about, get agitated, root around and do that fast, pissed-off baby breathing (ya know? ). Then I know it's time to switch to the other side.

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#10 of 16 Old 01-30-2010, 03:47 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JayJay View Post
Usually when Bella does this it's either slow letdown on a side that's almost done, or overactive letdown on the new side! If it's overactive, it'll happen in the first few seonds (with me). If it's that the breast is not producing enough "on demand" for her, she will do what you say, pull off, flail about, get agitated, root around and do that fast, pissed-off baby breathing (ya know? ). Then I know it's time to switch to the other side.
yeah, babies can be impatient sometimes just like the rest of us.

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#11 of 16 Old 01-30-2010, 03:18 PM
 
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Originally Posted by abimommy View Post
yeah, babies can be impatient sometimes just like the rest of us.
Oh yes! And you know it's so awesome to see this little person with emotions make a point - I love it

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#12 of 16 Old 02-07-2010, 05:52 AM
 
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my son did exactly this. I had oversupply overactive letdown. Nursing lying down and block feedings worked for me.
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#13 of 16 Old 03-13-2011, 07:10 PM
 
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Glad to see this thread, I just did a search to find out my 4 week old Ruby's "insane baby" episodes at the breast seem to be normal.

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#14 of 16 Old 03-17-2011, 06:05 PM
 
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Ruby, my DD is also 6 weeks old and has had episodes like you describe. Our pediatrician recommended swaddling, nursing, then sleep. Works like a charm. DD can't fuss AND, as an added bonus, she sleeps 5-7 hours a night! She wasn't sleeping nearly as well before we adopted this routine. biggrinbounce.gif


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#15 of 16 Old 03-20-2011, 08:49 AM
 
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My instinctive suggestion would be that she's getting impatient when the flow slows...they learn quickly that pulling and kneading triggers a let-down!  As a pp suggested - perhaps switch breasts - or try breast compressions?

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#16 of 16 Old 03-21-2011, 09:35 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Heba View Post

My instinctive suggestion would be that she's getting impatient when the flow slows...they learn quickly that pulling and kneading triggers a let-down!  As a pp suggested - perhaps switch breasts - or try breast compressions?


Interesting. My son is 6 months and seems to need to nurse so much more right now and he's fussy and has been pinching and kneading my breast. O wonder if he's not getting enough out at first and needs to help it along.
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