is it just witching hour or what?

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.
kingofthedivan
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is it just witching hour or what?

Post by kingofthedivan » Mon Mar 31, 2014 9:19 pm

Recently my 12week old has been having a rough time with her late arvo/ evening feeds. I put her on but she cries immediately, arching her back and squirming away. Usually I get up and walk around while nursing, although this is getting a bit rough on my back and neck, and bounce on the gym ball gently while nursing. The rocking motion in both cases seems to calm her down, and she goes all sleepy eyed, (possibly also from exhaustion) but if i misjudge the moment and sit down or try to do something else (like steal a bite of dinner) she'll wake up and cry again. These are quite passionate cries, as loud as she can manage.

Sometimes I put her up over one shoulder for a burp, and that calms her for a moment, but she soon starts up again. I've also tried changing nappies, which seems to work as a momentary distraction, but not for long. Also holding her close to my chest, pacing, singing lullabies. The whole session goes from about 6.30-9pm.

I've suspected it might be silent reflux, and when i feed her during these crying sessions I try to hold her as upright as possible. Yet during the day this doesn't seem to be a problem. I.e. today I fed her for 2 hrs lying down in bed, with no problems.

The only other thing I can think of is that these are hunger cries (i'm feeding on demand) and she's just not getting enough as quickly as she'd like. Yesterday my partner gave her a bottle of EBM 90 mls which she downed in no time, and was soon back on my boob for more. i'm worried i can't keep up supply for top up feeds this big, it's hard enough finding time to express as it is. (LO barely sleeps during the day, unless she's in a carrier, or sleep/feeding on me.) That said, I am pumping as I write this...!

Anyway, I'm really starting to dread these times... maybe it's just a really bad case of witching hour?

I'd love some feedback from anyone who has/is experiencing similar problems.

chiggins
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Re: is it just witching hour or what?

Post by chiggins » Mon Mar 31, 2014 9:28 pm

Im sorry but I haven't had any experience with what you are going through. Seriously... the first time I heard my DD really cry was when she had her 8 week jabs.
Would like to offer you a big hug though and hope that it gets better for you! Have you thought of taking your LO to a doctor to get the reflux thing checked out? They might be able to help reduce it perhaps??
All the best hun! x
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A+D
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Re: is it just witching hour or what?

Post by A+D » Mon Mar 31, 2014 10:19 pm

We had similar at around 12 weeks, we also started on reflux meds at about the same time, and the evening settling is down to max 1 and a half hours now at 14 weeks, still can't put her down until deep asleep, and have to begin again if I misjudge it. We put baby in the bath if we really can't settle her, that and boob are all that works, sometimes DH can walk her in the ergo. Sorry, not much help, would recommend investigating reflux. And like I am still trying to do every time she fusses or refuses the breast, remember this will pass (apparently!)
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kingofthedivan
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Re: is it just witching hour or what?

Post by kingofthedivan » Tue Apr 01, 2014 7:05 am

Thanks for the hugs chiggins, a visit to the doc is probably a good idea. There's a baby nurse at our local chemist today which I'll swing by first.

A+D ah it's hard isn't it! Can I ask what reflux meds your LO is on? my LO has also been rather squirmy (more than usual) for her other feeds as well. not sure if that's related though. will see what today brings, given that last night has "already passed".

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Re: is it just witching hour or what?

Post by Jenbt85 » Tue Apr 01, 2014 11:10 am

Could it be a growth spurt? There's also a painful wonder week around 12 weeks from memory. My son's spurts would last three days and he'd act just as you've described. I'd be depleted by the end of it! Getting reflux ruled out sounds sensible too :)
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Re: is it just witching hour or what?

Post by ClOuD_NiNe » Tue Apr 01, 2014 3:20 pm

If you feel it could be reflux then it would be worth investigating. What you said about how baby hardly sleeps during the day except if on you or in a carrier, that sounds very normal for a baby that age. My DD was exactly the same. If she's not sleeping much during the day I wonder if overtiredness could be a factor? She might be wanting the boob in the evening more for comfort to go to sleep rather than hunger, hence the reason she still wanted boob even after a substantial bottle. Just a few thoughts
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Re: is it just witching hour or what?

Post by A+D » Tue Apr 01, 2014 10:20 pm

Have sent you a pm with med name, don't think can put it on here.
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kingofthedivan
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Re: is it just witching hour or what?

Post by kingofthedivan » Wed Apr 02, 2014 5:48 am

thanks ladies for your comments, all good suggestions.

jenbt i thought it might be a wonder week thing, and was prepared for some funny business, but i guess the last couple of days have sent me round the bend.

cloud nine comfort boob is definitely a factor, but i think it might be more than overtiredness.

we visited the baby nurse who weighed her and discussed the problem with us... pretty much ruled out reflux, (yay), turns out the crying may have been due to hunger more than anything else. BN suggested she could be putting on more weight, and was concerned that my supply might not meet demand in the near future...'6-8 weeks when she's putting on muscle tone'. Given the frequency of feeding during the day, (usually <2hrs) apparently I'm not getting enough time for my boobs to fully replenish between feeds, so she suggested maybe a 180ml FTU in the evenings and gave us some sachets for emergencies.

so last night we gave her a 90ml EBM top up to head off the witching hr crazy at 6pm, which seemed to work... enough that after a return to the boob I thought I could put her tp bed at 7pm- usually she goes down at 9 or 10. She wasn't asleep for long, but I did get to have dinner and a shower and reset. although some tetchiness about 9pm made me really question my supply and motives, and I nearly broke out the formula then. Just swapped side to side until she slept.

problem is now, ive only got 90 ml in the freezer, and i didn't express last night in case she woke up and i was empty, also, i was just plain tired. Is 180 ml rather a substantial FTU amount? I'm at the point to try formula in the evings, reluctantly though, cos I'm worried about the effect it will have on supply, as well as LO's gut.

argh, feels like the whole game has changed.

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Re: is it just witching hour or what?

Post by Jenbt85 » Wed Apr 02, 2014 5:59 am

Argh you poor thing, it gets hard when you are told to use formula when you aren't entirely keen to. We used it a bit as for the first week, my son wouldn't latch on properly. I expressed otherwise. At around 8 weeks old, I saw a Dr about supply and was given medication to improve supply. Feeds went from 45 minutely to 2 hours within a couple of days.

I can't comment on if that's a lot of formula, but would suggest not being too stressed about making sure the bottle is empty if your LO seems full.
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Yankee
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Re: is it just witching hour or what?

Post by Yankee » Wed Apr 02, 2014 12:22 pm

It is so frustrating when you worry you're not meeting baby's needs - I went through a similar saga at around 6 weeks and ended up doing formula top ups for the final feed of the night. But part of what got me through (without having to top up more than that) was getting on the medication to increase milk supply. Did the nurse discuss that with you? It doesn't help everyone but it really helped me.

How's your baby's output in terms of wet nappies? That's the best indicator of whether or not enough is going in. Has someone linked to this article yet? It's a great resource.

https://www.breastfeeding.asn.au/bf-inf ... mum/supply
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kingofthedivan
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Re: is it just witching hour or what?

Post by kingofthedivan » Thu Apr 03, 2014 3:19 am

Yankee wrote:It is so frustrating when you worry you're not meeting baby's needs
yes, i spent much of yesterday in a emotional stupor trying to process the formula decision. When DPgave her 180ml at about7pm I took myself to bed and cried. It's quite an enlightening process, trying all these different tactics and seeing how they sit with me. I've been fine with supporting other mums with their formula decisions for whatever reason - whatever gets you through, right? just never thought it would apply to me.

wet nappies are good, regular BMs and about 10 wet/ soiled nappies over 24 hrs.

jenbt85 i had taken myself off to get a script for increasing supply a couple of weeks ago...LO had been at the 3rd percentile for weight (but 97 for length!) but was reassured by dr (not my usual) that she was improving.but got a script anyway, although after a comedy of errors -wrong drugs from chemist! which prompted more thorough internet research and became even more wary of the original prescription. so i've just been following the feed on demand cues, and feeding quite frequently during the day. starting to doubt myself for using that strategy now has really made things difficult. think though i'm coming round to being happy that she's being fed and filling up.

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Re: is it just witching hour or what?

Post by Yankee » Thu Apr 03, 2014 9:07 am

I'm not a medical professional, so it might be a good idea to have another talk with your doctor, but it may be that coming off the script has lowered your supply. Some mums only need the meds for the short-term, but others will lose supply if they come off. I had to go on the meds a bit late in the game (about 6 weeks in), and when I tried to go off of them it knocked back my supply and bubs really noticed. So I chose to go back on them and stay on them until bubs is eating enough that I don't need the full supply of boob.
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kingofthedivan
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Re: is it just witching hour or what?

Post by kingofthedivan » Sat Apr 05, 2014 5:09 am

Thanks Yankee, although I don't think I took anymeds for long enough to make a difference. Anyhow, my partner feels strongly against taking any meds, and I've felt desperate enough to take them, so we are at a real impasse there.
I have a friend who practices traditional chinese medicine, so wheni've rebuilt my stash i'll make an appt to see her.

update though, after giving DD a 180ml replacement feed for two nights around 6-7pm, I went to see an LC at a breastfeeding clinic today who helped dispel some of the advice from the baby nurse, and give advice about better latching, increasing supply etc. Perhaps the problem has been poor latch which means she gets less milk, and therefore why she is so hungry/desperate at the end of the day. DD is putting on weight, though it has dropped a bit, so the LC supported FTUs, but perhaps in quantities of 60ml rather than 180ml. So tonight I tried her with no formula, just swapping sides, and after a bit of squalling she went down around 7.30 for a good 4 hrs! hopefully this is a sign of a new sleep pattern.

thanks again everyone for your support and suggestions, i really appreciate it. now off to get some shut eye before tomorrow begins!

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Re: is it just witching hour or what?

Post by Yankee » Sat Apr 05, 2014 7:00 am

Oh that is such great news! I've got my fingers crossed for you that it was due to an inefficient latch and that you're back on track now. When I was working through low supply issues I did a lot of side-switching; the last feed of the day was always a "four sides" feed to get every drop out of me!
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Re: is it just witching hour or what?

Post by fellare » Sat Apr 05, 2014 7:16 am

Have you called the helpline? Topping up is a great way to reduce supply!!! Your breasts are ready for another feed after twenty min! The more often you feed, the more milk you will make.


Another thing is, babies between 6 weeks and 6 months take the same amount of milk! They don't increase at all! So if you can feed now, you can feed forever. Amount of milk needed decreases once solids is introduced.


Hugs, I hope the crying settles. If she's not sleeping during the day then she may just cry from being tired! Your breasts aren't always to blame!
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