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  1. #1
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    Default 3 weeks and the wheels have fallen off

    Or so it seems!

    We have a 3 week old (this Wed). So far my wife has been breastfeeding and things have been going pretty well. We've had to do 1 or 2 top-ups with formula but nothing major, and he was well into the feed-play (briefly, and occasionally) sleep routine every 2-3 hrs and going back to sleep well at night after feeds with little awake time. He was putting on weight and things were peachy.

    Over the last couple of days though it appears to have fallen in a heap. A few times he's not slept for a few hours in a row - just cranky - after short plays and often has 3hr awake periods and then won't sleep. We've tried frequent feeding (up to every hour, including night time) as he has ramped up the demand for breastfeeding but he still goes hungry, so we've had to increase formula to 2-3 times a day. He'll often fall asleep while breast feeding or bottle feeding but then wakes very shorlty after, hungry and grumpy. He won't settle to sleep easily either - fighting it all the way.

    Just not sure what has happened! It's starting to stress my wife and I out a little as we don't know what's happening.

  2. #2
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    I'd say growth spurt and more readiness to see the world around.

  3. #3
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    Not helpful but my DD fed hourly during growth spurts. Yes day and night. Just keep swapping boobs.

    The more you top up the less the breast produces.

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    3 weeks can be a huge growth spurt time. Just as you recover from this one, you will have another around 6 weeks.

    Try not to despair, just enjoy all the good moments! I found it really helped with our second baby by not being as bothered with the routine. It really relaxed me to just go with the flow more.

    During these times though, it is really important not to top up with formula, or your wifes breasts won't catch up. Usually the first 24 hours are hardest when catching up with a growth spurt and you feel like all you are doing is feeding around the clock, but then suddenly more milk comes through, and your baby starts being satisfied with the new levels and sleeps longer. When you start topping up though, you will have to keep increasing the amounts of formula you are using overall, so if you are not trying to wean your baby, try to get through the constant feeds just by breastfeeding until they produce more milk naturally.

    It is really important that during these times, all your wife is doing is feeding and catching up on rest. Doing too much can also slow down milk production by making her stressed and overtired. Make sure she is drinking enough water as well.

    Is she feeding him as soon as he wakes up or at the end of his "play" period?

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    Alphabetsoup  (30-06-2012),Gandalf  (30-06-2012),HopefulDad  (30-04-2012),misskittyfantastico  (30-04-2012),Mod-Nomsie  (30-04-2012),RebeccaR  (08-05-2012)

  7. #5
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    Savingfishfromdrowning is offline If you can't change your fate, change your attitude
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    This is totally normal. Lots of newbies have an 'easy' period for a few weeks at the start and then 'wake up'. I wouldn't do top-ups unless there was a medical reason for it, the more your baby drinks the more the breast will produce.

    Keep trying your feed-play-sleep routine, expect longer awake times and skipping some sleeps.

    Not sure there's a magical answer for you, but know that what is happening is normal

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    HopefulDad  (01-05-2012)

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    Agree to above posters. Sounds like a growth spurt. When my bub was that age I can remember him feeding for literally an hour or so then falling asleep mid feed. As long as she has no issue with bub sleeping in her arms I would let them as its better some sleep than none. Otherwise if they are waking when put down its likely the change from warmth of mum to none that wakes them so feeding whilst wrapped helps. I also found sometimes slipping a pacifier in to unlatch them without him waking from it helped

    Thinking of it it could also be wind as well as a growth spurt. Some babies don't have issues as a newborn but develop bad wind from about that age so ensuring she has properly burped bub can help. I clued in as he wanted to feed more as the feeding helped the bellyache but it creates a circular issue as the more they drink they can have more wind.
    Last edited by Lansta; 30-04-2012 at 20:26.

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    HopefulDad  (01-05-2012)

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    Okay so it seems it is somewhat normal.

    The reason we are doing formula topups as with our first child, he was severely malnourished in the first month when we tried to "force" the issue of breastfeeding (not enough milk). So there's a track record of the milk drying up but we are hoping for the best. I should add my wife is expressing with a pump afterwards to keep things stimulated. I understand that the formula thing can be an issue for milk production but we are just being a little cautious and not wanting to repeat the mistake we had with our first child.

    We are not enforcing the feed play sleep thing, but just following that as a guide. Basically when he wakes up he goes straight on the breast (and then onto formula if needed) then if he's not milk-drunk / asleep he has a play for a bit, then when shows early signs of crankiness its off to sleep (sometimes with another go at the breast). It is this step that falls down - can never get him off the breast without waking, then back on, then off, then on, then off etc and before you know it 2-3 hrs have elapsed since he last woke and there's no milk.
    Last edited by HopefulDad; 30-04-2012 at 21:49.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HopefulDad View Post
    Basically when he wakes up he goes straight on the breast (and then onto formula if needed) then if he's not milk-drunk / asleep he has a play for a bit, then when shows early signs of crankiness its off to sleep (sometimes with another go at the breast). It is this step that falls down - can never get him off the breast without waking, then back on, then off, then on, then off etc and before you know it 2-3 hrs have elapsed since he last woke and there's no milk.
    try this...

    feed bub on right breast (for example) as soon as he wakes up. Then do the change/play etc. The offer bub left breast. if bub falls off to sleep then great - put him down or in the carrier.

    if bub wakes up and wants more boob - he either is still hungry (tho if he was hungry he wouldnt fall asleep IMO) or he likes the sucking action (you may want to offer a dummy) or he just likes the mummy cuddles with the sucking action (which is what my DD did). my DD lived on my boob for several hours every evening till 6/8wks so its normal. Its called cluster feeding. I just left her on that boob (the left one) for her to latch on/off whilst I watched a whole heap of terrible TV shows. All that skin/skin bonding is great for producing the hormone prolactin. Prolactin production reduces around 3-6wks post birth unless stimulated by the baby feeding.

    When its time for the next feed go back to the right one. By now it should be full as its been 2/3 hrs.

    HTH.

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  14. #9
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    SpecialPatrolGroup is offline T-rex is cranky until she gets her coffee.
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    Agree with the pp's about growth spurts - expect another at 6 weeks.
    All the best for things settling down in the next couple of days.

  15. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by HopefulDad View Post
    Okay so it seems it is somewhat normal.

    The reason we are doing formula topups as with our first child, he was severely malnourished in the first month when we tried to "force" the issue of breastfeeding (not enough milk). So there's a track record of the milk drying up but we are hoping for the best. I should add my wife is expressing with a pump afterwards to keep things stimulated. I understand that the formula thing can be an issue for milk production but we are just being a little cautious and not wanting to repeat the mistake we had with our first child.

    We are not enforcing the feed play sleep thing, but just following that as a guide. Basically when he wakes up he goes straight on the breast (and then onto formula if needed) then if he's not milk-drunk / asleep he has a play for a bit, then when shows early signs of crankiness its off to sleep (sometimes with another go at the breast). It is this step that falls down - can never get him off the breast without waking, then back on, then off, then on, then off etc and before you know it 2-3 hrs have elapsed since he last woke and there's no milk.
    Hi thought i would let you know that we are going through the same thing with our 4wk old. She is FF 70% of her feeds then the rest is breast or i express - long story the whole breastfeeding thing didnt work out for us liked we had hoped. The last few days the only time she seems to be happy is when she has a bottle in her mouth or she is feeding, as soon as she is finished and we burp her she crys and seems just as unsettled as she was before feeding - so we offer her more until she is milk drunk - which doesnt happen after every feed. I will then comfort her and sway to sleep before we put her down but within 1/2 hour of being put down she is awake again. I try and gently pat her back to sleep or rub her tummy or rock the pram/bassinet to try and get her to go back to sleep but this doesnt always work and before you know it she is wide awake and crying, she was awake last night for 5 hours straight as she just wouldnt close her eyes or even relax. During her awake periods after she has had a feed,burp and looks like she is full we offer tummy time/play time but she is only interested in this for about 5mins then she gets upset and crys. Do you think growth spurt/tummy pain or is she still hungry? It gets very confusing. It is reassuring to know that your not alone!


 

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