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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi folks,<br><br>
Thank you for all your help before. Now I have a few new questions:<br><br>
Little Walter is 2 months old. He was born at home but spent his first two weeks in hospital anyway, after a collapsed lung. He was born three weeks early and although therefore not officially premature seemed not to have grown well for the last couple of weeks in utero, having what they called a "premature aspect". His Apgar scores were nonetheless 9/10/10. Now he is a thriving, healthy 4.4 kilos (9.6 pounds) and very active.<br><br>
He was used to a bottle when we brought him home (his first week was only tube feeding!), and although I'd been breastfeeding him twice a day since he came out of Intensive Care, he has a small mouth and I have flat nipples, so I was using one of those prosthetic nipple thingies. He would, until last week, fall asleep every two minutes while brestfeeding and nothing could change that. I would switch to the bottle (my milk) after a little while, and he'd stay awake or keep drinking while he dozed. Well, in the last week he's started to get the hang of it and latch on without the prosthetic--but he still falls asleep and stays that way a lot while on the breast and when he doesn't, he still isn't getting a full meal, evidenced by seizing a bottle with gusto and drinking a further 40-60 ml after 1/2 hour of energetic sucking on me. I can see that there is good milk flow--a bit dribbles out the corner of his mouth, he spits up afterward often enough (not vomits, just dribbles) and he also gets very frustrated very quickly if there ISN'T milk, so when he doesn't I can count on it that there is. So, to the question, at last--is it just a matter of time and practice before he gets enough every time and I can chuck the bottles entirely? I do want to make the transition to all or at least almost all breastfeeding.<br><br>
Question two, is it still normal that he wakes up hungry every 2 1/2 to 3 hours all night? I'm sure it is but he's my first and I just thought I'd ask.<br><br>
Thirdly, he has in the past week or so drastically changed his eating habits. He drinks well all night, but is only eating 60 ml or so where he was drinking 100 for a while (a growth spurt, now over, maybe?), and in the morning he's just not hungry. He eats his last "night time" meal between 4 and 5:30, then gets me up for good between 7 and 8:30, and has a ten-minute breastfeeding session, after which he tends to sleep another hour and then want to play with his baby gym or study my face and smile and kick, and will at that time refuse the breast or bottle and not seem really hungry (chewing on hands, genuinely fussy) until 11:30 or 12:00 or so. Then he'll eat 40 - 60 ml. every three hours or sometimes four or even five, until he'll have a big meal at bedtime and it all starts over. He still seems to be gaining weight and he's definintely not unhappy--so I'd guess this is all quite normal for his age?<br><br>
Thanks for your indulgence,<br>
Katrina
 

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One thing that may be an issue for you is nipple confusion. While trying to transition him from bottle to breast you may need to use low-flow bottle nipples. The sucking action is entirely different between the two and since bottles take less work, babies often will prefer the bottle where the milk just dribbles in their mouth. I've watched babies that were fed both ways and when they were put to the breast they'd just sit there and not really suck because they didn't understand that they had to - when the bottle is put in their mouth it just comes right out - no work.<br><br>
Here's a few suggestions. Try to get him to the breast as much as possible and get him to nurse as much as possible as opposed to the bottle. Things that worked for me before dd learned to be an avid nurser was to stroke the neck under her ear each time she slacked off to get her to nurse more. I also did a lot of breast massage and kind of hand expressed into her mouth a little to get her to get the idea. You may want to do away with bottles altogether for a while and just use a supplementer that hangs over your nipple so baby gets the idea that milk comes only from the breast. When babies know that they can just get it from a bottle, they'll often wait for it. Also any milk that he gets not directly from you can affect your supply. (all supply is based on the supply-demand relationship.) Are all bottles you give him ebm or are any formula? If formula is given, it takes twice as long to digest, so you supply will diminish exponentially. Sometimes your let down may take a little bit longer as your body is adjusting to bf - that doesn't mean you don't have milk - but baby may not want to wait for it.<br><br>
It sounds like he is starting to do his long stretch without feeding (which mommies hope will be in the middle of the night) in the morning and keeping up the night feedings. Babies don't know the difference between day and night instinctively - you may have to turn on lights and sounds in the morning and attempt to put him to the breast even without him rooting in order to get him to go longer at night and do the more frequent feedings during the day.<br><br>
The main thing I think you need to do to get him off bottles is to put him to the breast as much as possible. If you normally try for 10 minutes before giving a bottle, start going 15 and increase gradually. It will take a while for him to get the hang of it - a supplementer may help - but the more time at the breast and the more stimulation you give to him to make him wake up and nurse more, the sooner he'll learn to feed at the breast.<br><br>
Keep it up mom! You're giving your baby the many wonders of breastmilk! It's one of the best things you can do for you baby!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
[<i>QUOTE=sophmama]One thing that may be an issue for you is nipple confusion. While trying to transition him from bottle to breast you may need to use low-flow bottle nipples. The sucking action is entirely different between the two and since bottles take less work, babies often will prefer the bottle where the milk just dribbles in their mouth. I've watched babies that were fed both ways and when they were put to the breast they'd just sit there and not really suck because they didn't understand that they had to - when the bottle is put in their mouth it just comes right out - no work.</i><br><br>
I have an Avent set here and I was just trying him on it, but it made him downright gag. He'd suck for a moment, then open his mouth wide and make gagging noises and fling his head from side to side. He was fine with his usual bottle. He just seems to hate the Avent set. I do see your point but am not sure what I can do--baby supply stores are limited here. Luckily, he does seem to actively enjoy breast-nursing, and in the evenings really DOES seem to get the hang of it, sucking energetically for 10 to 15 minutes per side. So I have hope that he'll get better and better at it over time.<br><br><i>Here's a few suggestions. Try to get him to the breast as much as possible and get him to nurse as much as possible as opposed to the bottle.</i><br><br>
That's what I am trying except (shame on me) in the middle of the night, so we can get through the feeding and get him back to sleep as quickly as possible. Today he's been nursing for 3 or 4 minutes before falling into a deep, deep sleep, and then waking up five minutes after I put him down or into his sling and doing it again.<br><br><i>Things that worked for me before dd learned to be an avid nurser was to stroke the neck under her ear each time she slacked off to get her to nurse more. I also did a lot of breast massage and kind of hand expressed into her mouth a little to get her to get the idea.</i><br><br>
Sadly, neither of these has much of an effect on him--but as I said regarding the latter, he does know that's a source of food, and in the evening has even earned himself a new nickname: Shark Boy.<br><br><i>You may want to do away with bottles altogether for a while and just use a supplementer that hangs over your nipple so baby gets the idea that milk comes only from the breast.</i><br><br>
A few times, I have tried that (without the supplementer because I have good enough flow to set him choking if he's too enthusiastic), but he never gets quite enough even when energetinc and ends up fussy and hungry all day and night. I am trying to gradually increase the number and lengths of no-bottle sessions, though.<br><br><i>Also any milk that he gets not directly from you can affect your supply. (all supply is based on the supply-demand relationship.) Are all bottles you give him ebm or are any formula?</i><br><br>
Absolutely no formula in the house. He got a tiny bit in the hospital before my milk came in, but since the first day I had enough milk with the pump, whenhe was four days old, he's been on nothing else (since his IV's came out when he was about a week old). They gave him my milk through the tube in intensive care and everything. I just remember to pump often enough to keep up the supply; so far it's working.<br><br><i>Sometimes your let down may take a little bit longer as your body is adjusting to bf - that doesn't mean you don't have milk - but baby may not want to wait for it.</i><br><br>
Luckily, that's not a problem--I get a strong chest-burning let-down if he cries or when I bottle feed him, or if I even think about putting him on the breast. By the time he's latched on, there's milk.<br><br><i>It sounds like he is starting to do his long stretch without feeding (which mommies hope will be in the middle of the night) in the morning and keeping up the night feedings. Babies don't know the difference between day and night instinctively - you may have to turn on lights and sounds in the morning and attempt to put him to the breast even without him rooting in order to get him to go longer at night and do the more frequent feedings during the day.</i><br><br>
That would explain his "gosh, aren't I active?" sessions at 11 p.m., often lasting two hours, that we're starting to see... hmmm. I can't make it too dark in the bedroom becaiuse my husband is on an entirely different schedule and likes to read late, but I can try whistles-and-bells excitement in the mornings. To hell with my trying to nap on the couch one more hour mornings, then--I'd rather sleep at night anyway!<br><br><i>The main thing I think you need to do to get him off bottles is to put him to the breast as much as possible. If you normally try for 10 minutes before giving a bottle, start going 15 and increase gradually.</i><br><br>
The thing is, he normally can be pushed to around 10 with all the feet-tickling and face-wiping and side-switching, and so forth, but after that just sleeps no matter what I do, and I have been known to try for anther 20 minutes before going to the bottle. But it IS better in the evenings these days.<br><br><i>It will take a while for him to get the hang of it - a supplementer may help - but the more time at the breast and the more stimulation you give to him to make him wake up and nurse more, the sooner he'll learn to feed at the breast.</i> [/QUOTE]<br><br>
Thanks! I'll incorporate as many of your suggestions as possible, and just keep plugging away at it!<br><br>
--Katrina
 

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<a href="http://www.askdrsears.com/html/2/T026000.asp" target="_blank">http://www.askdrsears.com/html/2/T026000.asp</a><br><br><br>
you dont have to have any special suplementers mama, although they can come in handy.<br><br>
you can use a cup, spoon, syringe, eyedropper....
 

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I don't have any additional advice to what you've already been told. However, I just wanted to give you a <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">. Hang in there, mama.<br><br>
My twins were 7 weeks premature and we had a really rough start nursing. It took 3 months for them to finally learn to latch on and get their meals off me. But we had to continue using the bottles for several months after that as they slowly learned to get their FULL meals off of me. I think nipple confusion was a big problem for us, but I also had supply issues and couldn't produce quite enough for both of them for several months. They are 14 months old now and champion nursers. You'd never know that they ever had a rough start nursing.<br><br>
Good luck. It's worth all the blood, sweat and tears in the end. I promise.
 
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