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Hungry baby!! HELP!

655 Views 10 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  sgmom
A good friend of mine ran into some work problems with both her and her husband, so I agreed to babysit for her during the day until she gets things sorted out.

The problem is that I think her baby is hungry. She cries a LOT, but will settle if I wrap her in a back carry. Even still, she almost never sleeps. She's 2.5 months old.

She's breastfed when mom is at home, and I'm given bags of frozen pumped to feed from a bottle. The problem is that her mom feeds her CONSTANTLY (I swear she'll be on the breast several times per hour), and it takes her easily 30 minutes to drink ONE oz of milk from a bottle.

I switched bottles to the cheap ones she gave me to born free with a level 2 nipple, and she does drink that faster (without choking), but it still takes her forever to finish, if she finishes at all. The most I've gotten her to drink at one time is 2.5 oz.

I can't tell, but she appears to have a LAZY suck. Very slow, and not strong at all.

This wouldn't be such a huge problem for me, except that I have an 11 month old, and am also watching her 18 month old, so I simply don't have time to feed her on an hourly basis, and wait half an hour (or more) for her to take a sip.

I'm convinced that if I can get a larger amount of food into her, she'll sleep more, and just be a happier baby, leaving me time to tend to the other kids...

Any suggestions?
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Hey mama, it sounds to me like the babe isn't hungry. If she's taking that long to eat and when she does she doesn't eat that much, that seems the logical conclusion. If she's crying a lot, I would guess it's for some other reason. I think given the crying and the not sleeping - she's probably sad and scared. I'm sure she misses her mom - and if mom is having problems, she's picking up on mom's stress too. I think if she cries yes, try to see if she's hungry - but if she doesn't take the bottle, then put her in the sling and let her just be close to you.
Thanks for the reply, but I'm convinced this baby is hungry. Her latch/suck is HORRIBLE.

Unfortunately, she's exactly the same way at home. She settles a little when her mom comes home from work, but when she's left at home with her dad, he CAN NOT put her down.

She roots at the bottle, tries to latch on, etc. The other day I tried not feeding her for a couple hours to see if she would drink more. That was when I got her to drink the 2.5 oz, and she drank it fairly quickly in comparison (about 15 minutes). She definitely could have gone more, but by the time I thawed more milk she was just mad.

She'll take a soother, but will spit it out after a minute or two. And if I offer her my finger, she'll practically suck the nail right off, and she'll continue to suck until I remove it from her mouth. Then proceed with the crying.

Wearing her is something I do, but she roots CONSTANTLY.

Her mothers milk supply has dropped something fierce with all her working (she worked up to the week she was born and went back to work 2 days later), so the poor woman does NOTHING but breastfeed when she's not working. I'm not exaggerating when I tell you that baby is on the breast easily 3-4 times per hour.

This is about the only time she's happy (and right now, "happy" isn't all that happy).

Actually a lightbulb just went off. I'm wondering if I should try the SNS on my finger? I have one the hospital gave me from when my daughter was born that's still in the sealed package.

Her mom was telling me that she seems to have some nipple confusion (is that what this is?), and when she goes to breastfeed after work, baby takes forever to "relearn" how to breastfeed. She definitely does SO much better on the born free bottles (she can get a deeper more natural latch).

6 oz of milk (on average) over a 10 hour period is not enough food!

She's hungry.

Edited to add: This started a couple days ago, so she's not losing weight, but her diapers are pretty stinkin' dry. Both mom/dad and I are keeping an eye on it (and trying not to lose our minds in the process). And I know the not sleeping during the day isn't helping (mom says she sleeps fine at night, but you would sleep well too if you breastfed for 5 hours before bed. LOL! I hope this ends soon, for her sake. Poor baby.
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wow--sounds just like my babe. We have been dealing with low supply his entire life and he acts the same with the bottle and the not lying down, being held, wanting to nurse all the time, etc. He also has the same problem with latching on after getting several bottles. Have mom try a nipple shield. As soon as I notice the lazy suck I use the nipple shield for about 24 hours and it reteaches him how to latch on to the breast. Also, do a web search for paced feedings--it helps you bottle feed in a way that is more similar to the breast. It really helped my little one out. Definetly sounds like they need some help. Kuddos to you for being such a great friend. I wish I had one that had picked up on my problems earlier.
Thanks for your kind words. They're struggling, but it's always easier when mom is there. And of course dad is there at night as well.

As for my problem, it's just me at home during the day and I've also got my 11 month old to tend to, as well as the baby's 18 month old brother. I simply DO NOT have the time to sit with her all day, and wearing her in my wrap makes for very hot and long, sweaty days.

The other day I had to put her down (SCREAMING) to tend to my daughter who was very upset. She had spent 2 days trying to get some mama time, but I've been unable to give her the time she needs. And she has been SO patient, but no year old baby can wait forever. It was very hard for me to deal with this screaming baby while trying to console my own.

If I can just get her tummy full, maybe she will sleep.

And I'll tell mom about the nipple shields, and will also do the search for paced feedings. Thank you for the suggestions!
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I would syringe feed or cup feed. My son never took a bottle well. Sometimes babies that are breastfed simply don't take to bottles.
What about a breastflow bottle?
baby has to latch on just like nursing, might help w/ the nipple confusion, and maybe that combined w/ skin to skin feedings (google "bottle nursing" if you're not already familiar) will be close enough to nursing for the LO to eat more?
at 2.5 mos the frequent nursing sessions don't seem too unusual to me esp if mom's gone during the day now......around 3 mos almost all kids go through a growth spurt, before which they nurse a lot to increase mom's supply for what they will need while growing...... some kids will nurse longer, some more often, my DS would nurse every hour - to hour and a half....for 45 min at a time.....when he hit those first growth spurts. and about 3 mos, started refusing any bottle (I was a SAHM, he got a bottle once a week tops, w/ Dad) until we found the breastflow bottles, and he liked those much better.
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I have one of those bottles (although a different brand), and she HATES it. I think the flow must be crazy fast or something. I'm not sure what the deal with it is, but even my 11 month old sputters on it, and if she lets go it drips all over the place. Or maybe it's defective?

Anyway, I think I'm going to try the SNS with my finger if she gets really fussy again. She was better today because her mom was home so she got all caught up with breastfeeding. HOPEFULLY she'll be back to happy on tuesday. Poor little thing.

Thanks so much for your help.
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Definatly try the sns w/finger?

Originally Posted by tutucrazy View Post
I would syringe feed or cup feed. My son never took a bottle well. Sometimes babies that are breastfed simply don't take to bottles.
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Just an update.

Her parents were having a HORRIBLE time with her for the last couple days, when the other night she got really whiny (a pitiful, sad little cry, which is not normal for her - she's usually quite loud), and then proceeded to projectile barf across the entire room. And I'm talking like the entire contents of her stomach (and there was a LOT for a baby who wasn't eating!), shot clear across the room. Hit the wall, carpet, couch, SOAKED her poor mother...

I can't help but wonder if the few ounces she was eating over the past few days was even being digested. She was breastfeeding, but she wasn't swallowing... it was more like comfort nursing. Very strange.

That had to come from SOMEWHERE. Poor little thing. I could tell she was definitely hungry, but she must have been in some kind of discomfort! I get the same way if I've got a flu or something, and can't eat. I know I'm hungry, but everything turns me off.

At any rate, the bottle failed again, so I tried the SNS and she was having NONE of that. So I switched back to the different bottle (different nipple) and she seemed interested, but was still snacking (ounce here, half an ounce there).

So today I decided to get that milk REALLY warm. Much warmer than what I would normally offer, and that seemed to do the trick! I've never seen her eat like that. She was even making yummy noises. LOL

So both yesterday and today she's been eating a bit more (although still less than I'd like to see), and she's happy.

But even better news, she's SLEEPING! Sometimes for a couple hours at a time! I don't know what was wrong, but it seems to have passed... for now anyway. I'm keeping an eye on her incase it happens again. That wasn't right to see THAT much milk (old milk) come out of her, when all she had to eat that day was a couple ounces. It was like a fountain went off, and just kept going. Poor baby.

If anyone has any idea of what that might have been, I'd love to hear your ideas.

Thank you all SO, SO MUCH for your help.
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