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#1 of 17 Old 06-04-2007, 12:48 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Mods: I'm cross posting this here as well as in Breastfeeding Challenges because this has to do with comforting/consoling/coping was well as BFing.

My nearly 7-week-old DD has been having this fussy period that runs from late afternoon (4 or 5 pm) until 10 or so. She nurses constantly, but will start to cry, pull on my nipple, and pop off my breast. Then she will cry and act frustrated that she can't find my nipple again, even though I am either holding it in her mouth or tickling her lips with it so she knows it's there. She pops on and off until I am so sore and we are both frustrated.

She doesn't want to be in the sling or to be swaddled. She doesn't want to be held or put down. I try burping her.

She was in the NICU for the first month of her life and was on high calorie formula as well as my EBM. She has been gaining weight so well that we were able to give up the formula in the last couple days, so I wondered if she isn't getting enough BM from me. (She has been BFing for a week and I have been able to give up the pump. She still gets 15cc's of formula once a night because that's how we give her phenobarbital.) I tried giving her a bottle of formula to fill her up, but she wanted no part of it. (I was glad for that!) I tried nursing her again, and she finally fell asleep.

Could this time period just be her fussy time and theBFing has nothing to do with it? Or do you think we have a nursing problem?
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#2 of 17 Old 06-04-2007, 12:55 AM
 
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My DS has done this since birth when he's refluxing badly. He wants to nurse, but gets full and the fullness of course makes his reflux worse, when his reflux is bad he wants to nurse for the comfort, and the vicious cycle continues. I began to give him a pacifier during those times when he would get most upset. I still hold him at the breast, and when he starts the pop on and off thing and begins to get really angry, I give him the binkie and he usually calms down fairly well. Of course I still hold him and comfort him and often he will stay that way for half an hour to an hour and then he'll nurse again, because that's what he really wants anyway. This may not work for you, but it's an idea. Good luck and lots of hugs to you!!!
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#3 of 17 Old 06-04-2007, 01:09 AM
 
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My son does the same popping off and getting frustrated when he is done eating but wants to comfort suck. I've found a pacifier to be very helpful (introduced at 5 weeks) because it allows him to suck without nursing. However, given your baby's history and need to supplement, I'm not sure a pacifier would be the best thing right now (I'm thinking nipple confusion). Will she suck on a finger? It may just be "fussy time" if this is her usual pattern.
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#4 of 17 Old 06-04-2007, 02:02 AM
 
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My son did this and it is very frustrating. I never really got a good answer for it either. I did figure out that he did it more on my left side which dried up unexpectedly. But not as much on my right. And he did it when he really didn't want to nurse but just wanted to suck. Maybe try a pacifier.

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#5 of 17 Old 06-04-2007, 02:15 AM
 
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Ah, the witching hour....

Yeah, dd did that too. It just took awhile for her to get my evening supply up where she wanted it so she just fussed and nursed and nursed and fussed and pulled off and on for HOURS.



Hang in there. Your supply will get the message and catch up.

-Angela
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#6 of 17 Old 06-04-2007, 02:25 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alegna View Post
Ah, the witching hour....

Yeah, dd did that too. It just took awhile for her to get my evening supply up where she wanted it so she just fussed and nursed and nursed and fussed and pulled off and on for HOURS.



Hang in there. Your supply will get the message and catch up.

-Angela
:

All my kids have done that too when my supply is low. Hopefully just a few more days and things will even out.
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#7 of 17 Old 06-04-2007, 03:26 AM
 
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I've just been reading up on this very subject... my DD has the same thing happening but from 10pm-3am!! This is "evening" in our house though. It's normal, though frstrating, and apparently will "clear up" around 3-4 months. Hang in there!

Mom to Kayleigh (05/07) Jacob (05/09) and Ned decluttering 615/2010
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#8 of 17 Old 06-04-2007, 04:23 AM
 
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We had this, too. Not sure what was up with it - reflux? nursing strike? It did pass.
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#9 of 17 Old 06-04-2007, 04:35 AM
 
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You might want to consider seeing a nursing coach. Maybe ask you Dr. to recommend one. They can be very informative
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#10 of 17 Old 06-04-2007, 10:00 AM
 
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DS had a similar time for a couple of months, especcially round growth spurts.

He's always had a bit of trouble holidng onto my nipples and we've recently decided he is tounge tied. For the most part it doesn't seem to have affected his feeding but I do belive it added to his frustration when supply didn't quite meet demand.

Might be something to look into
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#11 of 17 Old 06-04-2007, 10:09 AM
 
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I absolutely second, (or third) Angela's explanation!

My ds, now 8.5 months, did that as well. He just wasn't getting as much milk as he would like, or he was trying to figure things out and it was frustrating. All though a "high needs" baby, he is a very pleasant baby now!
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#12 of 17 Old 06-04-2007, 10:28 AM
 
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two other thoughts...

consider food sensitivities, something her system isn't liking in your diet.

consider cranial-sacral osteopathy ... couldn't hurt. it ought to be standard for every newborn, because labor is hard work, and even if a baby is delivered via c-section ... it can't hurt. very gentle, noninvasive, healing. sometimes just the way a baby has spent time positioned in utero can create discomforts in various nursing positions. only tricky thing is finding a CSO practitioner who specializes in infants.

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#13 of 17 Old 06-04-2007, 11:57 AM
 
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7 week old DS does this and we are doing cranio-sacral, have done a ton to find food sensitivities (none are obvious yet), and my supply, if anything, is just a little low (tons of wet/poopy diapers, gaining like his mommy-somewhat slow but steady, all other "thriving" signs at or above expectations).

We think he just has a hard time falling asleep and only a few things will comfort him to sleep- 1) nursing 2) walking/singing 3) the swing . My "slightly low but adequate" supply lasts for about 45 minutes at bedtime, but he needs a good hour + to fall asleep, so he gets frustrated, pulls off, cries, etc.

Last night I nursed him for about an hour, then when he started to get really upset, DH walked/sang to him for about 20 minutes (which calmed him down and made him drowsy--but still somewhat fussy and rooting), then (as much as we really don't like it!) we put him in the swing, and he was out in 15 minutes. When he woke up fussy to nurse about 1.5 hours later, I took him out, brought him to bed (the swing is right by the bed), and nursed him while lying down. He went right back to sleep.

Ultimately I would prefer to nurse him to sleep, but after weeks of trying, we are realizing this just isn't working.
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#14 of 17 Old 06-05-2007, 12:12 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you all so much for your great replies. We just got done with another session of this, but only for 1-1/2 hours tonight. I remember DS going through this (nearly 8 years ago), but he was a constant screamer. It was just more intense at the Witching Hour.

I'll try all of your suggestions. A friend of ours is a chiropractor (chiropractic saved our sanity with DS); I just haven't had a chance to get DD in to see him with doctors' appointments, DS's school, life in general, etc. This is DS's last week of school, and then we are all going in to see our chiro next week.
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#15 of 17 Old 06-05-2007, 12:24 AM
 
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Six to eight weeks is the peak of fussy behavior in newborns. With my daughter, it was overstimulation (she has a very sensitive personality to this day, age 5). My son was less fussy, but definitely discombobulated in the evening when he was around this age.

What worked for us was using a wind-up swing. Even though we tried wearing her in a sling and walking her around (and around and around), the quick mechanical action of the wind-up swing seemed to be the only thing that would calm her jangled nervous system.

I used to feel guilty that my baby (she was my first) wanted only a mechanical thing and not me. (I had a friend who called it the neglect-o-matic). But my mom pointed out that she loved to be nursed and held in the sling at all the other hours of the day--it was just that between 6 and midnight, she needed that precise rhythm to soothe her.
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#16 of 17 Old 06-05-2007, 02:06 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Bird Girl View Post

I used to feel guilty that my baby (she was my first) wanted only a mechanical thing and not me. (I had a friend who called it the neglect-o-matic). But my mom pointed out that she loved to be nursed and held in the sling at all the other hours of the day--it was just that between 6 and midnight, she needed that precise rhythm to soothe her.
There's nothing wrong w/the swing! If it soothes, great! My DD LOVED her swing, and would sleep peacefully in it for lovely long stretches...DS on the other hand hated it from day 1, and as soon as he had the strength, started trying to sit up/fling himself out of it. Sigh

To the OP - try various methods of soothing (nursing, rocking, walking, driving, swaddling, singing, swinging...). If you're really concerned that she's not getting enough milk, you could do pre/post feed weight checks. It is probably just her fussy time, and will improve, but if you feel something is wrong, go w/your instincts. Sounds like it's also been a lot of adjustments after a rough start for her, so my guess is things will start to settle down.

Good luck!
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#17 of 17 Old 06-05-2007, 01:10 PM
 
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My dd went through this too, from about 3 weeks to may 10 weeks (it's all a blur now, only 5 months later!). All I can say is, it sounds totally normal, it may not be anything you're doing, just something your baby needs to settle into sleeping for a long stretch! My dh and I would just trade off, I would nurse for as long as I could take it/as long as she wanted it, then he'd take her and sing and pace and rock and sing some more, than I'd take her .... sometimes this would go on for hours! But it definately passed. Now at night we just take her to bed with us, and I nurse her and we sing together until she falls asleep - usually in 30 minutes or so. Phew!!

Good luck, and hang in there!

Beth, Wife to T , Mama to MB (12/06) :, and new addition C (6/09) :! We ::::!
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