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DS will be 4 months in a few days and he has had nothing but breast milk since birth. I am on maternity leave for 1 year so since I am at home with him all day long, I am able to nurse him whenever he wants. I have a breast pump which I use to pump milk for those times where I have to get out of the house alone for appointments or when I am out and about with DS in public places. I introduced DS to the bottle when he was 3 weeks old and there were never any problems switching back and forth.
This weekend, I was out and about quite a bit so DS had more bottles of breastmilk than usual (like maybe 4-5 bottle feedings in the span of 2 days). Since yesterday, he has been getting too impatient to nurse. He latches on for 1 second, then unlatches and screams and cries. Then he gets so mad he won't latch on at all and just cries and cries with big tears rolling down his face. I know it's not a milk supply issue because I am able to pump without any problem. It's painful to see him cry like that, knowing that he's hungry, but I don't want to cave and give him a bottle because I don't want to be put in a position where I'm pumping exclusively. Today, on two occasions, it took me about 45min before he finally gathered enough patience to latch on and feed like he normally does.
Here are the things I've already tried:
- breastfeeding in different positions including lying on my side with him in a dim room with some white noise (he was screaming and crying so I was trying to calm him down enough to latch on)
- "tricking" him by touching his lips with the tip of the bottle and then putting my nipple in his mouth instead (there was no fooling him!)
- pumping 1 oz of milk with my breast pump so that when he latched on it would flow more easily (didn't work)
- doing skin-to-skin (that was actually the most helpful)
Does anyone have any other tips or advice? I'm at my wits end!
Last edited by Jessifer; November 13th, 2013 at 10:43 PM.
Have you done all of those in combination of one another? Maybe the dim room with skin to skin together may help. What about offering the breast before he's hungry to the point of crying? He might be more willing to feed if he's not fully hungry yet.
I think the main thing is to keep with it. I know you're at your wit's end, but you're doing great by sticking with it. Good luck and keep us posted!
10.03.13 8lbs 11oz 21 inches
Excuse my typos, there is either a baby on my boob or sleeping in my arms
Thank you *sharon* for my adorable siggy
Zachary only gets one bottle every week or two, and he's doing some of the same stuff, so it may be a bit of the age. Slower flow as our milk supplies adjust, older baby wanting more immediate results, more distractions, etc. Also when my period started back last month that impacted my supply and made him not so happy and I'm not sure if his nursing behaviors totally recovered (pretty sure my milk supply did).
Make sure to use the slowest flow bottle nipple you can find. It sounds like he is frustrated with the extra work it takes to get your milk to let down. Instead of pumping one ounce before nursing, try hand expression just until you milk lets down (you can squirt in a stream, not just drops) and then immediately latch him on after that. You can also use your hand to express milk towards his mouth when he first latched to increase the flow. When you are out and about, are you still expressing your milk even though you are giving bottles? If not, that may lower your milk supply and could be another source of his frustration. Whether bottle feeding expressed milk or nursing, you would need to empty the breasts just as often as a baby would nurse in order to maintain supply.