Bedtime fussiness

A baby's refusal to feed is a distressing time. Sometimes the refusal is outright; other times just an extreme fussiness. Usually it is temporary and the baby returns to the breast. Share your experiences and support one another through this tough time here.
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Yankee
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Bedtime fussiness

Post by Yankee » Fri Jan 17, 2014 8:27 pm

Hi guys, I could use your thoughts on an issue that's cropped up this week.

DD is now four months old and almost totally breastfed. I've had issues with supply and as a result for her last feed before bed she gets a long breast feed then a formula top up. This has been working for us really well. Usually she takes her time on that last bf and almost falls asleep, relaxed and sleepy, but perks up and gulps down the formula too.

Recently though she's become really fussy for that last breastfeed. She's always eager to start but I can't even tell if she's getting a letdown, she cries whilst latched on, thrashes her head, drags the nipple without sucking. It's so rough on my nipples! I think it's because my flow is very low at that last feed and she's too impatient to settle for the slow trickling flow.

The problem is, it means she's not spending very long on my breast for that last feed because she just gets more and more upset. I swap sides, twice per side, but she hardly spends any time at all trying to feed.

Tonight after the top up she didn't settle so after 15 minutes I put her back to the breast. She was calm this time so she actually had a short feed and popped off on her own volition and went to bed. So to me it seems this is further confirmation that when she's hungry she's too impatient for my slow flow at that last feed.

Do you think this is just a phase? Should I keep offering the breast first, or try a bit of formula to calm her, then breast, then the rest of the top up? I just hope it's not a sign that my supply is dipping again...
DD born September 2013

chiggins
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Post by chiggins » Fri Jan 17, 2014 8:50 pm

I notice that my DD does that at times too! She pulls away from the nipple still latched and that... well...OUCH!
I would offer her the formula first to get her belly satisfied, then give her breast until there is clearly none left, then the remainder of the FTU. That sounds like a pretty good plan... bubs still gets the breast milk for the evening and you get to keep your nipples!
:D
DD - Nov 2013
DS1 - Apr 2015
DS2 - Jun 2016 (BFing like a champ!)

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Little Tiggermum
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Post by Little Tiggermum » Fri Jan 17, 2014 8:54 pm

yeah, its not a bad plan to do enough to take the edge off and then finisht he feed ont he breast- then top up further if need be.
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mooki
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Post by mooki » Fri Jan 17, 2014 10:16 pm

if that was me, I would probably persist with the feeding, alternating continuously and resettling however she needed it - cuddling, rocking singing etc, but i understand that you had some hurdles in the first few weeks and it may still be playing a little bit of a part now.

its not uncommon for bubbas to have that unsettled period ( I remember it well) and when it does happen, you just want to fix it and make everything OK again
xxx

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ClOuD_NiNe
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Post by ClOuD_NiNe » Sat Jan 18, 2014 9:45 am

It could be to do with the wonder week/4 month monsters. At that age DS became very impatient on the breast at times but I don't think it had anything to do with my supply. There's a thread on here about the 4 month monsters, I'll try and link it for you.
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ClOuD_NiNe
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Post by ClOuD_NiNe » Sat Jan 18, 2014 9:47 am

DS July 11 - bf for 10 months
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Parla.
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Post by Parla. » Sat Jan 18, 2014 10:16 am

Yankee, your flow may be slower at the end of the day, but it will be higher in fat. It's really common for babies to want several feeds of high-fat milk to get them through their first chunk of sleep for the night.

So I know you've had supply issues in the past, but sometimes babies do this when there's no supply issue at all. It can be tricky to tell, but all the signs you already know about nappy output still apply.

One of my babies never seemed to care about flow as long as she had a nipple in her mouth. The other one is more particular - didn't like fast flow at first, then a few months later became very impatient. I fed him at an ABA meeting once to get witnesses - he was shouting, kicking, red in the face, tugging to try to get that letdown happening. I knew I didn't have supply problems from looking at nappies and growth, so I just kept offering and swapping sides. Occasionally one or both of us needed to take a break and try again in 10 minutes.

And is it a phase? Well, he's still particular, 14 months in.
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marie7
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Post by marie7 » Sat Jan 18, 2014 12:04 pm

I would suggest it sounds more like fussiness too, not supply. I would continue to give breast first, then top up if you need to, then put back to the breast after that. I think the way you did it tonight was perfect.
The idea is more breast more milk is made, if you give formula twice and breast once is not as good for supply as breast twice and formula once. And once again I agree with the 4 month monsters, it sounds so normal to me...
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Yankee
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Post by Yankee » Sun Jan 19, 2014 7:46 pm

Reporting in. Saturday night she was babysat by the grands so they put her to bed.

Tonight was mixed. Got the initial letdown ok but then yanking and pulling off ... Gave her about 1/3 the bottle, still crying and fussy on the breast. Gave another third, had a big burp and took a little more breast but then started arching her back and wouldn't go anywhere near the breast! She still polished off the last little bit of the bottle but I think she got a lot more boob than if I hadn't swapped between the two.

And she went straight to sleep without a peep so I know she got enough overall.
DD born September 2013

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Ronale
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Post by Ronale » Sun Jan 19, 2014 9:14 pm

I've been wanting to post this link for you and chiggins for a while now, but it's only just been released (again) today. You have both worked so very hard to get where you are, and I think that moments of self doubt (bottles) are hard to put behind you. Everything you are posting here sounds really normal, but it's hard to know from the other end of a screen how things are going.
I hope this might help to explore some of the feelings for you...
https://www.breastfeeding.asn.au/blog/s ... op-top-ups
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Yankee
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Post by Yankee » Wed Jan 22, 2014 7:52 am

Just wanted to report that things are going pretty well. Two nights ago she was really upset before bed so I gave her half the bottle first and she calmed right down and had a long, lovely bf before getting the rest of the top up. And last night she was pretty calm so I offered her the bf first and this time she was calm and had a long bf before the ftu. So it looks like we've got a strategy that works and hopefully the fussiness is just a stage.

If this is her version of four month monsters, I'll take it! Because otherwise she's been pretty lovely and still sleeping really well.
DD born September 2013

chiggins
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Post by chiggins » Wed Jan 22, 2014 2:06 pm

Thanks Ronale!!
Thats great to hear Yankee. I am going through the 8-week wonder week. I got my first smile yesterday... melted my heart!!
Stages in a baby's life change all the time and we must take the bad with the good :)
DD - Nov 2013
DS1 - Apr 2015
DS2 - Jun 2016 (BFing like a champ!)

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Yankee
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Post by Yankee » Wed Jan 22, 2014 3:55 pm

Smiles are amazing. But just wait for the first laugh!
DD born September 2013

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