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Baby won't nurse during the day? Distracted? Reverse Cycling?

  1. #9
    thanka2 is offline Registered User
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    I think we're all missing some crucial info. here. How big is your daughter? How much does she weigh? What is her percentile for weight? For my son, 5 ounces of milk would have been far too little for any feeding but with my daughter it was just about right. It totally depends on the child.

    What I would do/have done is don't give a bottle mid-morning. It might seem counter-intuitive but by cutting out that "snack" you can increase her appetite for breastmilk.

    Breastfeed upon waking on both sides while still in bed. I get up and go to work. She doesn't have a snack or bottle all morning.

    Then at lunchtime, feed a bottle of breastmilk FIRST before she gets any solid food. For me, actually my daughter comes to nurse at lunchtime (she's nearly 15-months-old) and my helper has been told not to give snacks or other foods--except water for thirst (since it's humid now) in the mid-morning. We found that by giving her a bottle or "snacks" she didn't want to breastfeed when she was with me. Basically, I found that if I gave a bottle at mid-morning my daughter would only "snack" on milk at lunchtime and then have an appetite for solids later when I'm not around.

    So, anyway, start "lunch" a bit earlier and give as much breastmilk as she will drink at lunchtime and then WAIT. She should pick up her milk intake by drinking more at one time and not "snacking." Don't follow on with solid food right away after she's had her lunch breastmilk feed. Wait maybe 1-2 hours after she has had breastmilk and then feed "lunch." She can nap after her lunch.

    Also, another tip, we stopped bottle feeding with our daughter when she was 5-months-old. From then on she took breastmilk from a cup and it helped a ton.

    Skip the after-lunch breastmilk "snack." Have her wait until you get home from work to breastfeed. She will be more in the mood to breastfeed if she hasn't had anything since lunch. Combine the after-work feed as a "dinner" feed. Once she has breastfed, WAIT. Then feed dinner.

    Breastfeed "on demand" BEFORE you go to bed.

    I don't think she will go directly to no night feeds right away but if you stick with this, it will phase out her need for so much nutrition at night. And I counted the number of milk feeds you are trying to get in with your daughter and the total comes to probably close to 6-8. Newborn babies usually take around 12 feeds/24 hours. It usually drops down to maybe around 8-10 until they're around 6-months-old. But, I found that at 8-months-old and above it really is not necessary to be breastfeeding 6-8 times/day. It's better to cut down the number of feeds and get more milk at once. From that point on my daughter was down to 3-4 milk feeds/day along with 3 small "meals"/day.

    Basically, like Koan said, you have to make breastmilk the priority if you want it to be a priority. This means you always feed breastmilk first and then WAIT to feed any solids. Combine all the "snack feeds" so that your daughter has time to digest and work up an appetite.

    This is what worked for me. Good luck!
    carang likes this.
    “Many women have described their experiences of childbirth as being associated with a
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    To such a woman childbirth is a monument of joy within her memory.
    She turns to it in thought to seek again an ecstasy which passed too soon.”

    ~ Grantly Dick-Read (Childbirth Without Fear)

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    JMW, boy, born November 29, 2007, 9:43 pm, USA
    MJW, girl, born March 17, 2011, 4:14 pm, HK

  2. #10
    evgreen is offline Registered User
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    LO is only 6.5kg. She's in the 10th percentile for weight and 40th percentile for height. 5oz is about the max she can take from a cup or bottle and it's also the max I can pump in one session. Anyway, last night she took only 1 night feeding in a period of about 10 hours. This morning the helper said she's cutting her first two teeth! So I'm guessing her erratic feeding behavior lately may have something to do with teething as well.

  3. #11
    thanka2 is offline Registered User
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    One other note. When my son got to be about 8 months-1 year old he was really easily distracted at feeding time. I solved this problem by turning off all the lights in the room--getting it as dark as possible and not talking or making any sound. It helped him focus on the task at hand. When my daughter started to crawl away during breastfeeding times at that age I would pull her back to me and say, "It is milk time." Sometimes she would fuss but I was really consistent with this and now she knows that when mama says it's time to drink milk, it is and she doesn't put up a fight at all. Sometimes I would have to pull her back to me 2-3 times during a feed but by not giving her the option of getting down and playing I established that milk time is milk time.
    evgreen likes this.
    “Many women have described their experiences of childbirth as being associated with a
    spiritual uplifting, the power of which they have never previously been aware …
    To such a woman childbirth is a monument of joy within her memory.
    She turns to it in thought to seek again an ecstasy which passed too soon.”

    ~ Grantly Dick-Read (Childbirth Without Fear)

    Mother of Two
    JMW, boy, born November 29, 2007, 9:43 pm, USA
    MJW, girl, born March 17, 2011, 4:14 pm, HK

  4. #12
    evgreen is offline Registered User
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    OK i'm officially calling a (partial) nursing strike. I spent the entire weekend trying different things. I took up some of everyone's suggestions (quiet, darkened room, nursing necklace, etc.). First feeding of the morning hasn't been going well, she will only nurse for 3-4 minutes and that's it. It doesn't help that she wakes up at 4am wanting to nurse. I tried to hold off the 4am feeding this morning in hopes that she'd be more interested in her morning feeding later. Well I struggled with her for about an hour until 5am before I finally gave in to nurse her. :-(

    I pushed back the mid-morning feed by another hour so that there was 1 hour between the milk feed and lunch (around 11/11:30) hoping that she'd be hungrier. No dice. She nursed for maybe 3 minutes and when I tried to put her back on my breast she actually CRIED - like red faced angry crying. She ate her lunch as usual. In the afternoon, I got rid of the 2pm milk feed all together and nursed her right after she woke up around 4pm - this was successful and mostly due to the fact I think I caught her just as she was waking up and she was still very groggy and sleepy. She nursed as usual right before bedtime and 2-3 times thru the night. *sigh* Seems like she only wants to nurse when she's half-asleep or asleep.

    I think much of this may be induced from teething. I hope this strange behavior doesn't last long.

  5. #13
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
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    have you considered that she is just an efficient feeder?

    my kids by that age, never took longer than 5 or 6 minutes to feed.

  6. #14
    thanka2 is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by evgreen View Post
    OK i'm officially calling a (partial) nursing strike. I spent the entire weekend trying different things. I took up some of everyone's suggestions (quiet, darkened room, nursing necklace, etc.). First feeding of the morning hasn't been going well, she will only nurse for 3-4 minutes and that's it. It doesn't help that she wakes up at 4am wanting to nurse. I tried to hold off the 4am feeding this morning in hopes that she'd be more interested in her morning feeding later. Well I struggled with her for about an hour until 5am before I finally gave in to nurse her. :-(

    I pushed back the mid-morning feed by another hour so that there was 1 hour between the milk feed and lunch (around 11/11:30) hoping that she'd be hungrier. No dice. She nursed for maybe 3 minutes and when I tried to put her back on my breast she actually CRIED - like red faced angry crying. She ate her lunch as usual. In the afternoon, I got rid of the 2pm milk feed all together and nursed her right after she woke up around 4pm - this was successful and mostly due to the fact I think I caught her just as she was waking up and she was still very groggy and sleepy. She nursed as usual right before bedtime and 2-3 times thru the night. *sigh* Seems like she only wants to nurse when she's half-asleep or asleep.

    I think much of this may be induced from teething. I hope this strange behavior doesn't last long.
    Question: Do you or have you co-slept and breastfed that way? With my daughter, even now, sometimes when she's not feeling well (teething, cold, over-tired) the easiest solution is just to let her latch on and then both of us go back to sleep.

    My son was really like that--wouldn't breastfeed unless he was really tired, asleep or half-asleep. Any other time he would stiff-arm me and would have none of it. I only breastfed him for six months, largely due to this.

    I think you gave in a little too soon for the afternoon meal. If she misses one solid meal she's not going to have any ill-effects from it. But, if she drops that afternoon nursing/milk intake that could kind of be a blow to your breastfeeding. At least for me, it would definitely affect my supply in a negative way. I think you'll have to hold out a little longer and then just keep offering the breast. I found that in order to keep breastfeeding my daughter and not have to be up all night the morning and noon feeds were the most important. Have you tried cup feeding instead of using the bottle? It takes about a week for them to get the hang of it but my daughter was a pro at drinking from a cup by the time she was about 6 1/2 months old.

    If I was in your situation, I would even consider dropping out solid foods altogether in the afternoon and in a way "force" her to go back to milk and breastfeeding. Babies can only eat what you give them. She might put up a fuss for awhile but she will get hungry enough to eat. I would still do a breakfast meal and dinner as long as she had breastfed or had a good milk intake for the day.

    And, for sure, teething really made both of my kids fussy--the younger one even more fussy than the older one.
    “Many women have described their experiences of childbirth as being associated with a
    spiritual uplifting, the power of which they have never previously been aware …
    To such a woman childbirth is a monument of joy within her memory.
    She turns to it in thought to seek again an ecstasy which passed too soon.”

    ~ Grantly Dick-Read (Childbirth Without Fear)

    Mother of Two
    JMW, boy, born November 29, 2007, 9:43 pm, USA
    MJW, girl, born March 17, 2011, 4:14 pm, HK

  7. #15
    evgreen is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by carang View Post
    have you considered that she is just an efficient feeder?

    my kids by that age, never took longer than 5 or 6 minutes to feed.
    Well, she's much more efficient at eating when she's asleep. When she refused to nurse yesterday, I pumped and fed her the milk instead. She finished all of the milk! So, something about nursing is really switching her off.

  8. #16
    evgreen is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by thanka2 View Post
    Question: Do you or have you co-slept and breastfed that way? With my daughter, even now, sometimes when she's not feeling well (teething, cold, over-tired) the easiest solution is just to let her latch on and then both of us go back to sleep.

    My son was really like that--wouldn't breastfeed unless he was really tired, asleep or half-asleep. Any other time he would stiff-arm me and would have none of it. I only breastfed him for six months, largely due to this.

    I think you gave in a little too soon for the afternoon meal. If she misses one solid meal she's not going to have any ill-effects from it. But, if she drops that afternoon nursing/milk intake that could kind of be a blow to your breastfeeding. At least for me, it would definitely affect my supply in a negative way. I think you'll have to hold out a little longer and then just keep offering the breast. I found that in order to keep breastfeeding my daughter and not have to be up all night the morning and noon feeds were the most important. Have you tried cup feeding instead of using the bottle? It takes about a week for them to get the hang of it but my daughter was a pro at drinking from a cup by the time she was about 6 1/2 months old.

    If I was in your situation, I would even consider dropping out solid foods altogether in the afternoon and in a way "force" her to go back to milk and breastfeeding. Babies can only eat what you give them. She might put up a fuss for awhile but she will get hungry enough to eat. I would still do a breakfast meal and dinner as long as she had breastfed or had a good milk intake for the day.

    And, for sure, teething really made both of my kids fussy--the younger one even more fussy than the older one.
    My daughter seems to really like the cup and has been drinking from a cup for some time now. She's been on bottle strike too several times and will usually take milk or water from a cup instead when that happens. I have been partially co-sleeping with her for the past few months. If she wakes up too early in the morning, I usually bring her in bed with me.

    Anyway, night issues are a bit different. Still have to tackle this daytime nursing strike and hope to see some improvement this week. I found some good teething nursing strike related suggestions on Kellymom.com and will try them out today (e.g. icing her gums before breastfeeding).

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