C.M. asks from Huntington Beach, CA on January 12, 2009
One Twin Refusing Bottle & Other Won't Stay Latched On
I have boy/girl twins who are almost 9 months old. Recently my girl will only nurse for about 5 minutes and then is not interested. She will play and nap like she's good, but after about 1 1/2 hours she is screaming for more food. The babyline suggested giving her a supplement when she is starving. On the other hand my son will only nurse (still about every 3 hours), but when I try to give him a bottle he refuses to eat. I have tired pumping and frrding that by bottle and also having my husband give him the bottle and he still refuses. If I start weaning my daughter because she seems to want that at this point, what do I do for my son? I feel like I need to wean both at the same time and am concerned about my supply if not. Currently I nurse one on the right and the other on the left. Any suggestions would be much appreciated. Thanks ;-))
V.B. answers from Los Angeles on January 13, 2009
Hello C M,
I really don't think you have to wean both at the same time. Even though they are twins, they are each individual children and every child is different, so I think you should just follow your maternal instinct and do what you think is best for both.
My baby's pediatrician told me that what matters is the baby's nutrition, so if a child refuses the bottle but still wants to nurse, you should feel lucky that at least you have a way to feed him. He also said it is okay to feed a baby with both breastmilk and formula; once again, what matters is that the child gets enough nutrition. I myself don't think giving a baby a supplement at this age is appropriate, but that is something you might want to check with your pediatrician.
You might want to try nursing your boy on both sides, alternating each side. If he refuses the other breast at first, try insisting. In the beginning my baby girl would not nurse, but my mother-in-law suggested that I insisted, and I did. Now by girl nurses, but I have to complement my breastmilk with formula because I am aware that I do not produce a lot of milk and I want to make sure that she eats enough.
I wish you the best with all your children.
1 mom found this helpful
H.S. answers from Los Angeles on January 13, 2009
You certainly have your plate full with three little one:) My middle son (have three) never would take a bottle with any sort of nipple...tried all kinds. You could try him on a tippy cup if you need to wean him. However, I am sure if you started nursing him only on both breasts, your breast would stay even and both adjust smaller in size together. As your the sweet girl (never had one:) you could wean her if she wants to, but after one year I think would be better as bones, teeth, etc need the milk now. When she nurses, do it in a quite place and perhaps drape a baby blanket over your shoulder and her so she doesn't get distracted.
God's blessings, H.
1 mom found this helpful
C.M. answers from Los Angeles on January 13, 2009
My biggest regret as a mother of twins was not recognizing that I could do different things for different babies. If your daughter wants to self wean and you are ok still breastfeeding your son than do it. I weaned mine both at 4 months because my daughter had extremely bad reflux and breast milk was more aggravating than formula. I could have (and should have) continued to breastfeed my son but thought I had to do the same thing for both. Since you are only looking at a few more months of it and the struggle to wean your son sounds like it might be epic, why not just try for a few weeks to feed them as they want to be fed?
S.O. answers from Los Angeles on January 13, 2009
Hi, My twins are 16 yrs old so although its been awhile since I have nursed :) I thought I would throw my hat in the ring with this one. I found with twins it is very hard to separate the "unit" mentality. I think its important to react as needed to each ones current developmental needs. I made every effort to nurse both at the same time in order to save time...otherwise it seems you always have one latched on :) But sometimes that wasn't possible. One is hungry..one is not. I don't see anything wrong with weaning one and not the other if that is what the situation dictates. My insurance encouraged consults and classes with lactation consultants that were a huge help! I had heard (before having kids) about how painful nursing can be then after being shown correct techniques I found that if it ever hurts you are doing it wrong. I know that that doesn't apply to your question but I wanted to make the point that a lactation nurse or specialist can make all the difference in the world and dispel all kinds of wife's tales surrounding nursing and make it great. Contact La leche league if you need a referral. One more thing....a great big KUDO to you for nursing to begin with. There seems to be alot more people not nursing during the last decade and it makes me so sad. Not only is the health of your child drastically improved....the convenience and bonding can't be beat. I hope you are able to continue nursing for quite some time. My neices are 6 and 2. The 2 yr old still nurses before bed. Its a great mom and child bonding time. And except in rare cases...your body will produce milk as long as you need it. Funny side note...I nursed my twins and pumped each feeding to build up a reserve of breast milk so dad could help out and bond feeding. My body thought I had four kids and I had more milk than I knew what to do with. Had to quit pumping just to reduce flow ;)
J.P. answers from Los Angeles on January 13, 2009
Just because they are twins doesn't mean they have the same thoughts or needs or personalities. Think of them as individuals, and meet their own personal needs.
My thinking is that they are so close to a year why not go straight to a sippy cup. I don't know if your daughter takes to bottle well or not, but if you are feeding them baby food or cereal start teaching them to drink out of a sippy cup at food time, they should probably be eating cherios too. Forget the bottle and move forward, the bottle is just another thing you will have to wean them from. Good luck! J.
S.R. answers from Los Angeles on January 13, 2009
First of all, big WOOHOO! for you for nursing two babies for over 8 months! I have one and for a while there it didn't seem like I was ever doing anything but nursing! :)
I second what others have said - you can (and perhaps should) do different things for different babies in order to best meet their different needs.
I'd also suggest you contact LLL (www.llli.org) or a lactation consultant to give you some gentle guidance and support with the next step.
All the best!
C.S. answers from Los Angeles on January 13, 2009
S.H. answers from Honolulu on January 13, 2009
Your daughter could be acting like that at the breast, because she is teething, or ALSO because at this age, they become more aware of their surroundings and simply get distracted, thus "seeming" to be uninterested. And, she isn't exactly "sucking" at the breast...THUS, she is hungry later within 2 hours.
(side note: when a baby is teething or about to, it often seems like they aren't interested in nursing...both my kids behaved this way due to teething, at about this age).
I would check to make sure her "latch" is proper and she IS getting milk and swallowing it. She does not seem to be. To me.
It does not necessarily mean she is "weaning." Many times, a baby has spurts of 'phases' like this... but it is only temporary. Push through it. BOTH my kids acted like this when they were teething. Nursing for only 5 minutes is NOT efficient nursing... so I would check with a Lactation Consultant.
ALSO, in conjunction, she may be going through a growth spurt...thus she is hungrier more often (this is called 'cluster feeding'), but if she is not nursing effectively, then she will not intake enough, then get hungry quickly, again, Thus, a vicious cycle...
Keep in mind, that breastmilk production is supply and demand. Direct nursing is best for keeping up supply. If you pump, in lieu of direst breast nursing, your supply will get affected.
Not all kids take to a bottle. My firstborn refused. My second child did no problem.
I would wait until weaning.... and besides, for the 1st year of life, a baby's PRIMARY source of nutrition is from breast/formula. What if your daughter never accepts formula or a bottle either? That is the conundrum.
But, treat each child different. Each baby has different needs and levels of acceptance or refusal. This is normal.
You don't need to wean both at the same time... unless YOU ARE SURE 100% that you want your breastfeeding to stop, and your supply.
Perhaps also, try nursing your daughter on the other boob, instead of the one you usually use. SOMETIMES, this can make a difference. (sometimes, each breast is different, and a baby will prefer one side to another). AND, you can also nurse EACH baby on BOTH breasts per session... you don't have to only use 1 boob per child. This can also increase your supply. My Doctor always told me to use BOTH breasts, per session, when nursing.... but since you have twins, then perhaps stagger their nursing times.... this might be an alternative.
All the best,