24 answers

Fussy Baby While Nursing

I need some advice please! My normally very happy 12 week old daughter has been extrememly fussy while nursing this week. She latches on for a few minutes and then stops eating and starts screaming. I can squeeze my breast and milk comes out so I know that it is there, but she refuses to latch on again. I have been very careful about what I have been eating, have been drinking tons of water and taking my vitamins so I don't think its my milk that is the problem. What else could it be? She eats great first thing in the morning but then the rest of the day she refuses, so I have been giving her a bottle. I think this is growth spurt time so is she just happier with the formula coming out fast instead of taking the time to wait for my milk? I feel like I have no other option than to give her a bottle when she is screaming, refusing the breast and I know she must be hungry? She has continued to sleep normally at night (9-10 hours) the past few nights so I know she is not starving. If I don't feed her formula will she eventually nurse or will she just keep screaming? HELP!

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

The more you feed her formula, the more she will want that instead of working for the breast milk. Have you consulted a lactation specialist? If you want to keep breast feeding, I believe you will have to stop feeding the formula. Maybe try a pacifier insted of formula. If you are okay with not breastfeeding anymore-then maybe it is time to go to formula all of the time.

Another possibility is thrush, an oral yeast infection. If she has it, you'll both need to be treated for it.

My first thought was teething. Is she pulling at her ears/face? Drooling a bit more?

My pediatrician didn't believe me when I told him my son had started teething around 13-14 weeks but his two bottom teeth popped out around 16 weeks so it could be what's bothering her.

Could be gas, as well. I haven't found a good solution to that one yet myself. Time, it seems, is doing more than the drops/gripe water solutions.

I defer on the nipple confusion issue - I've never seen it and haven't breastfed so I don't know what that's like but it sounds like there are some experienced folks with answers here.

More Answers

This is a bit of a reach, but it could be that she's bobbing off the boob because she needs to go pee or poop. Babies have a natural inclination not to go in their diapers, according to those who practice elimination communication. I was just doing a bit of reading about this on the website: www.tribalbaby.org. It may be worth checking out. I know it's a little bit "out there" for most, but I just thought I'd help with the brainstorm of ideas already out there. Best of success to you!

1 mom found this helpful

She's teething A.. Go to Whole Foods or a local co-op and buy HYLAND'S TEETHING TABLETS. They will soothe her upset gums and tummy so she can relax and nurse again. You can put these tablets right in her mouth - they dissolve instantly and are non-toxic. Give them to her several times a day while her symptoms continue.

It could be she needs to see a chiropractor. The nursing position might be bothering her.
It's non-invasive and worth a try.
A.

My first thought was teething. Is she pulling at her ears/face? Drooling a bit more?

My pediatrician didn't believe me when I told him my son had started teething around 13-14 weeks but his two bottom teeth popped out around 16 weeks so it could be what's bothering her.

Could be gas, as well. I haven't found a good solution to that one yet myself. Time, it seems, is doing more than the drops/gripe water solutions.

I defer on the nipple confusion issue - I've never seen it and haven't breastfed so I don't know what that's like but it sounds like there are some experienced folks with answers here.

Have you tried some baby cereal?

M.

Check with the pediatrician about GERD. Both of my kids have it and when I put them on meds for it they stopped being fussy at the breast. Good luck!

The more you feed her formula, the more she will want that instead of working for the breast milk. Have you consulted a lactation specialist? If you want to keep breast feeding, I believe you will have to stop feeding the formula. Maybe try a pacifier insted of formula. If you are okay with not breastfeeding anymore-then maybe it is time to go to formula all of the time.

It could be gas, teething or that the bottle comes out faster. If it's a growth spurt then I don't see why she'd be fussy during feeding. My kids were always fussy after BF when they were not satisfied.

You might want to try pumping and once you feel or see the first signs of a let down I'd put her on your breast. The milk should come out quicker for her than if you don't pump before.

When my first born was 9 months she got a cold and was substituted with formula and she just wouldn't latch on me for three weeks. I ended up giving up BF after trying several times a day for that long without success and a crying fussing and frustrated baby on my hands. I've heard of nursing strikes and wonder if that's what I had going on. Maybe that's what it is in your call.

I'd call your local hospital and speak with a lactation consultant.

I see you'll be going back to work soon. I hope the transition goes well for you. I thought it was easier than I imagined it to be. I was a real sap days leading up to work and I only cried the first day back. The rest of the weeks were filled with occupied thoughts of the baby and wanting to get out of work on-time;)

I hope things change soon with the BF.

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