23 answers

Trouble Breastfeeding After 3 Months

After 3 months of exclusive breastfeeding my 3-month old daughter, she has become extremely fussy at the breast. It started off in the evenings only about 2 or 3 weeks ago but for the last week it happens throughout the day. I was told it may be that my milk has a fast-letdown so I have tried to pump to help with that, but still she is fussy. We recently introduced the bottle as my husband and I prepare fo rmy return to work, so maybe that's it? I appreciate any advice from this group, thanks in advance.

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More Answers

Hi C.,
There are several things that could be going on right now. First, at three months most babies become more aware of their surroundings and more easily distracted. Try nursing in a dark, quiet place for a few days and see if that helps. Second, have you started using a different cologne or laundry detergeant? New odors may disturb your baby since you no longer smell like Mom. Third, are you a bit conflicted about returning to work? Your daughter may be picking up on this, which makes her a bit uneasy and fussy. Fourth, you probably already know that while babies nurse at the breast, they suck on a bottle - two different techniques - and she may be a bit confused. Have your babysitter try using an eyedropper or baby spoon to give her your expressed breast milk. Fifth, look at her. Is something physical bothering her? An ear infection? A stuffy nose? A rash? Any or all of these things could be at play right now, so you need to be a detective. I hope that this helps.

There are so many factors, I would recommend going on www.kellymom.com . It's a great resource for breastfeeding issues. You may discover many more factors once you do a little more research on there.

I had plenty of b'feeding issues myself (particularly latching) and consulted a La Leche League lactation consultant. She was incredible and I was able to continue b'feeding for 10 months (when my daughter started biting and no strategy could cure it!) even after I went back to work. I would highly recommend meeting with one!

It could be that she is just getting more interest in the world around her, not wanting to take time out of her busy day to nurse :-) Try a quiet room with the lights off, no TV, maybe even lying down next to her to nurse. Some babies go through phases where they are very distractable.

If that doesn't help, she may be upset about transition from breast to bottle and back. If you want to keep breast feeding, don't offer a bottle yourself. Mommy should only breast feed, and other caregivers can bottle feed when you're away. Consistency here might help.

Fussy can mean a lot of things with a baby! My dd got fussy after a while too and part of it was that her vision had improved and she could see further away and was so busy noticing everthing that she just wasn't getting down to business anymore! I just stuck with it and she got down to it when she was hungry enough. It passes--and then the grunting and pinching begin! lol

I seriously doubt it is your letdown. The bottle comes out faster than your breast for sure. Since you are introducing the bottle, I would bet she has developed a preference for the bottle. My oldest did. It is more work to feed from the breast and the bottle just comes out so easily and quickly that they often just prefer it.

Many children get fussy at the breast when mommy is eating something that irritates them. It could be that you have introduced something to you diet that isn't agreeing with her. And now that you are pumping she may not be getting enough from your breast and thus is very frustrated. They like to latch on and have a full breast to tug from. Mine gets irritated when he's been cluster feeding and my breast isn't nice and full. He will pull and tug and growl and then eventually let go and fuss.

Another problem might be gas. Is she burping well after she feeds from each breast? Mine has become gassy after two weeks of eating fine. I have to give him Mylecon drops before he nurses to help with gas. I also think that I ate a type of taco spread with some little peppers and that it has irritated him.

One more thing you might consider. Are you supplementing at all with formula? Sometimes the formula gives them gas and that could be making her fussy everytime she eats.

If you are going to go to a bottle when you return to work, then maybe you should just pump and feed her that way if it makes her happier.

Hi C., since you're returning to work, pump your milk and put it in bottles and hold her oh so close when feeding her for the bonding and closeness.

I had trouble with my daughter when she was younger and it was the letdown. She would fuss and cry and I had to go visit a lactation consultant and she showed me how to hold her differently. I also pumped for a few days to get her system back to normal. The problem was that there is a fattier milk that comes out first and that was all she was getting; she wasn't getting the hind milk at all. I pumped for a few days and she was alot better. Also, check your diet. You could be eating something that is making her uncomfortable.

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