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I need advice, mamas. Owen has been being REALLY tricky for the past couple days and I'm not sure what to do. He turned 5 mos. on 7/21. He has a very tight frenulum but since he's always nursed effectively (born at 6.6 and was 14.5 on 12/18) the ped. felt no need to clip it. He's never been a big fan of my left but he would at least do it for a few mins. a few times a day. In the past couple of days he won't latch on left at all. It only produces 1/4 of what the right does but I don't want to lose that completely. I've been pumping it when I can but its tricky to fit in so yesterday it only got pumped twice. I know that's probably bad but between feeding him on the right and trying to do other things its what I can seem to manage.

Anyway, all his feeds yesterday were kind of weird. He normally eats every 3 hours like clockwork but yesterday he stretched to 4 hours a couple of times and when I offered prior to 4 hours he freaked out! This morning he ate at 7:45 after a 6 1/2 hour sleep but when I went to feed him again at 10:45 he wouldn't do it. He latched for a couple sucks and then pulled off and yelled. I retried every 15 mins or so and this just kept happening. Finally at 11:45am he got on but his suck was all weird. He was doing this shallow pacifier like sucking and then pulling off and crying. I know he was hungry. I just kept at it - trying to latch him and him pulling off and crying. Finally after like 15 mins. he got on and stayed on and drained my right side but in between decent nursing sucking he was doing that weird pacifier sucking. He does use a pacifier but I don't think I've ever had this problem before and he's 5 mos. old! We had heated 2oz. of expressed milk during this process because I didn't know what else to do so we ended up giving him that too. I don't to teach him that if he refuses to nurse he gets a bottle but I wasn't sure what else to do. HELP!!!

I am already nervous about the next feed. I really want to get to AT LEAST the end of cold/flu season (ie: end of march) but I don't want every feeding to be a battle.

Have any of you gone through this? What did you do??

Also, how long did/does your 5 mo. old breastfed only baby go between feeds? Is 4 hours ok? How long is ok at night?

Thanks!
 

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Just talked to a good friend who has been a ped's nurse for 20 years and got some great feedback. I forgot that Owen was just on a plane a few days ago and that he might be having ear pain which would cause him to do that shallow sucking thing because its uncomfortable for him to do the deep sucking necessary to nurse. Also, he is at the right age to be teething so he could have sore gums which can also affect the way they nurse.

I know "DUH"
- but I seriously didn't think of either of those things.
:

Just now I gave him a bit of tylenol and waited about 20 mins and then nursed. I only attempted the right side this time but he latched on almost normally and had a decent feed. I would have liked him to eat a bit more but he did about 5 mins with good swallows and he pulled himself off and wouldn't go back on so he must be content.

Anyway, I'm going to watch this ear thing (he has been playing with them a lot but I just thought it was because he'd "discovered them") and the gums and see how it goes. If he is still so fussy come Monday I'll take him to ped's to have his ears peeked at.

Sorry for the fuss. It is just so important to me that we continue to nurse and when he refused me so vehemently it made me really nervous.
 

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I'm glad things are going better. I remember a time when my dd wouldn't nurse at all, and I was engorged. She was about 3½ months old and I thought she was sick; she was sleeping all the time, and then woke up screaming occasionally. I was so worried that we took her to the emergency room. The doctors didn't find anything, so I took her to her ped.

Well, they never found anything wrong and in a couple of days, she was good as new. To this day I'll always wonder why she stopped nursing and was acting so strange. Little ones can be so weird.

I understand your worry, and am really glad things are going better!
 

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I am so glad things are going better. When DS was that age he stretched his nursings out quite a bit. He went from every 2 hours to every 4 hours, and started sleeping longer at night (waking up maybe 2 - 3 times). My only advise is to not worry about a 'schedule'. If you want you can keep track of when he nurses they make a mental note, but I wouldn't freak if he stretches them out a little. Going an hour or two past when he would normally nurse is nothing, he will probably make up for it come the next nursing.

Also, when DS was younger and sometimes still at night, DS needs to suck his paci for a few minutes before he will latch. For him I think it had something to do with needing to block out any distractions and give himself time to focus before he would nurse. Now, there are times at night he will toss and turn and I know he wants to nurse, but he just rolls away from he or turns his head. If I give him his paci (and am able to stay awake long enough), wait a couple min, then nurse he nurses really well.

Anyways, my point is it could have been the plane and his ears, it could have been that he just wanted to suck but not feed, it could be that he just didn't want to nurse because the planets were all aligned. It's normal.
 

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I am glad you got some good inof form the ped nurse.

Babies can get some fluid in the ear that can cause pressure but not enough to really call it an infection. More like an inflammation. Try to avoid anitbiotics unless really neccessary!

My ds did this once around 3 mos and I could get him to go to the side he was resisting by starting him on the side he wanted and when he finished that breast, sliding him over to the other side without flipping his feet around.

I am sure your ds is teething tho, as well.

As far as breast preference, this is quite common. You could just let the less preferred breast go. His favorite breast can and will provide all he needs. Pumping is such a hassle and probably not neccessary. I know of lots of moms whose babies fought one side so they gave up and went to just the "good" side. It can be supply, like you, or flow speed (some kids like it fast, some like it slow), or nipple shape/size.
 
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