16 answers

Newborn Is Only Happy When Eating

My newborn son was doing great and seemed to be an 'easy baby' for the first week and 1/2. Then he started to sleep for shorter durations and want to constantly nurse. I have been nursing him about every 1 to 2 hrs for the past week. The Dr said it was a growth spurt and should only last a few days. The strange thing is that this all started the night after he had been into the Dr to have the PKU test done. Coincidence? I have tried a pacifier for the times I know he has had plenty of milk, and we have given him Gripe Water. Nothing seems to help and I am utterly exhausted and need to take care of my other child as well. Has anyone else gone through this?

What can I do next?

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I breastfed both my babies. Definately normal. Can you rest while feeding. I would stay away from grip water or anything that will take up space in his stomach. I will just make him hungrier if he is filling up on non-nutritional stuff. Do you pump? I used to pump on one side while he fed on the other. Let your hubby give you a break while he feeds your pumped milk. This will help with your hubby child bond as well. Make sure your nutrition is good including plenty of water. I loved the slings as well. My babies would curl up in there and nurse while I did dishes or vacummed or anything. The sling cover you fine and he has access without you being stuck in one place. Good Luck and hang in there.

2 moms found this helpful

M., Bless you, I know this is hard!

This is PERFECTLY NORMAL. This is your baby's way of staying alive, plain and simple.

I'm a training lactation consultant and I promise you that this is exactly what a healthy baby does! And it is a cruel thing for nature to do to mothers, but if you co-sleep, his sleeping rythms and hunger rythms will conform to yours better than if he is away. Also, you can just roll over and nurse while you sleep. If he is exclusively breastfed, it is not an issue that you might roll over on him. Your unconscious body has very strong instincts! Do not let him sleep next to dad, and don't cosleep if you've been drinking or taking sedatives. In a normal mental state you two are very safe. And your mental state will be a lot better if you're getting more sleep.

Good luck to you! If you have any questions, please feel free to PM me.

2 moms found this helpful

I think this is totally normal behavior for a newborn. They nurse to eat, they nurse for comfort, they nurse to help your milk come in and to regulate it. They also have to tell your body when to make more (i.e., during a growth spurt). I think it's pure coincidence that it started at the same time as the PKU.

I'd stay stop the binky and the gripe water (unless he needs it) and give in. This will pass. Let go and let your pre-schooler watch his favorite shows. That's not normally a suggestion I would give, but for now (with the newness of your newborn) it will help and soon enough you'll get back to normal (ish).

I'd also suggest wearing baby in a sling or wrap in which you can nurse. It helps if you're not always having to hold him and can do other things (though don't cook while holding baby in one, and be very careful when you bend over).

Co sleeping at night will also afford you more sleep. It really helps to be able to nurse baby when he needs it but still sleep a little yourself.

It's important, especially in these early weeks, to nurse on demand, rather than just when you think he should eat. Babies don't just nurse to get more milk. It's also to help your supply to be enough for him. You may not have experienced this with your first, but all babies are different. But for a good nursing relationship (and so you won't have to depend on formula later to supplement) you need to nurse on demand right now. Many women end up supplementing because their milk doesn't come in or they don't have enough, but honestly, if you nurse on demand, it is baby's (and nature's) way of making sure your milk comes in like it should. Nothing is more pure, whole, and organic than mama's milk!!! And it can't be contaminated.

I've been there. I'm a SAHM of a 3.5 year old, a 20 month old, and a 2 month old. It does pass.

Good luck! Invest in a good sling or wrap. I have the Moby wrap and the Maya wrap sling, and they are both great. Or look up how to make them. It's pretty easy!

2 moms found this helpful

I am a midwife and I can tell you this is extremely normal behavior. I hear this more often than not. Breast milk is digested much faster than formula so breast fed babies want to eat more and he is probably going through a growth spurt and when they do this they nurse more to increase your milk supply. Nothing is wrong and this will pass.


2 moms found this helpful

It does NOT mean you don't have enough milk, so, please don't start giving him formula or cereal, or, anything else that is not necessary. Giving solids too early can cause food allergies & a higher chance of obesity later in life. The food allergy thing has been a BIG topic lately in the news. There is a reason that the boxes & pediatricians have said for years to not start until they are older.

Moving on, my little guy will do this too, (I have a two month old), if I just hold him for too long. You just have to find something else that can give you a break. My guy loves the swing. Its like he is telling me to put him down, and, he gets fussy if I don't listen. In turn, he gets mad and I can only make him happy by nursing!!! I can usually use the swing to get him happy if I take the hint from him! Its like he thinks if I am holding him, he has to nurse to be relaxed. I can tell when he is done eating, and, I don't mind at nighttime when everyone else is in bed, but, during the day I have things to do. (Have 2 other kids to tend to, clean up after, and, cook dinner for!) So, I can put him in the swing, sometimes the bouncy, and, he is happy.

Please whatever you do though, don't start trying to "fill him up" with other stuff. If you can hear him swallowing, and, he has plenty of wet diapers, then, you are producing ample milk. You will know if he is not getting enough because you would not hear him swallowing, and, you would not be changing as many diapers.

I have successfully nursed 3 babies, with others telling me I needed to give formula or cereal because I was feeding too often, so, if you need any advice, let me know. Also, please know it is OK to put him down to do what you need to do. You just need to find what makes him comfortable when he is not in M.'s arms. Also, maybe try a sling or a carrier. That has never worked for me, but, I have heard of it working for other mommies out there.

1 mom found this helpful

it truly sounds like he is hungery. Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful

yes! We called our little guy "the hungry hippo" during this time. He seemed nonstop! It took me a long time to figure out that the very best thing to do for both of us was to try to feed him as much as possible as soon as he wakes up. This involves tapping his feet, stroking his face, etc. to keep him awake enough to get a good meal. You want to make sure he eats long enough to get to the hind milk--this will fill him up better. All that in mind, they do need to eat more for growth spurts and usually by the time I hit frustration overload, we start the home stretch. Hang in there!!

1 mom found this helpful

My daughter nursed constantly. I think she was on my breast for the first few months straight. It will get better.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi M.,
Perhaps nothing is "wrong" with DS. Maybe he is just clingy. I don't think the PKU blood test would make him behave differently.
I have 4 children who we joke about being as different as north, south, east and west.
Since you are a homeopathic household, how about taking him to a naturopathic dr. if he continutes? I love my ND and will give you the info if you are interested.
When the kids were all little, I'd never been so exhausted in my life. =)

1 mom found this helpful

My first child was like that also. He would eat every two to three hours for the first 4 weeks, but he was fine. I'm not sure why but I do know that this will pass. If your baby shows any other symptoms it is always a good idea to be checked out by their doctor. Once given a clean bill of health, I wouldn't worry too much. It is tiring but it will get better.

Sounds like the liettle guy is just hungry- try adding a little cereal at nite time-it is possible your milk is not satisfying him.- My daughter in law went thru the same thing- nursing every hour or so wears you out and usually means your milk is not enough .
good luck and blessings

That sounds just like my son, it got better when he was around 2 to 3 months when he was more alert (and enjoyed looking around) and started taking a pacifier. All I can say is try different kinds of pacifiers, he finally took latex ones (I guess cause they are softer)and I can nurse him, then switch the binky in his mouth and he was okay. Do you wear him? Invest in a good carrier, my daughter lives in it, she is so content, and I can run around and play with my toddler. My boy wanted to nurse almost every two hours for about 45 minutes. It was hard

I was experiencing the same thing with my newborn. The first resolution I had was switching to single-sided breastfeeding. She was getting more of the hind milk that has the fatty content. But during the day, she was still fussy. Bottom line, she was hungry and not getting satisfied. I'd hate to mess with the supply and demand aspect of breastfeeding, but I had to supplement. If the weight gain is okay and you can hang in there, keep at it. If not, add a little supplement. When I put my baby on some cereal in her bottles at four weeks, she was a whole different child. She's the perfect baby.

Read "Secrets of the Baby Whisperer" by Tracy Hogg. It will work wonders!!

My daughter did that too around 2 weeks old. I noticed I was nursing all the time and she wasn't sleeping well and as soon as I would start to nurse her she would be back to sleep. Then I realized she probably just wanted the sucking action to soothe her. I would try some different shaped pacifiers if you haven't done that. My kids were both picky on which ones they liked. The soothe ones that are supposed to be for breastfeeding never worked well for me also, and I wouldn't worry that the binky is going to cause confusion.

Oh, and I used Mylicon (not sure on the spelling) for gas too. Ava would get just super fussy at times and that really helped. Now that I think back her fussiness could have stemmed from what I was eating since she is allergic to egg. You might want to have your baby tested for allergies (it's a little blood test) or just see if anyone in yours or dads family has food allergies.
Good luck!

Dear M., I know you said you have tried the passi, when our daughter born she didn't like the passi for a little while and I asked our Pedi and he said to dip the very tip in Karo syrup and I did and she went ga ga over it.She was 6 wks early so he was worried that maybe I would feed her to much and make her sick so he told me that the Karo will not harm her at all. And it truly worked. Mostly when we went out she would get fussy and I would whip out that Karo and away she went. LOL be patient.

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