5 week old constantly nursing

So my 5 week old has been what feels like constant nursing since we left the hospital at 6 days old. A midwife noticed he had tounge tie at 2 days old, I was struggling to feed him because of the tounge tie and flat nipples and so was given nipple shields to use and then I was able to get him to latch on and feed. Because he was well at the hospital, gaining weight and having plenty of wet and dirty nappies they decided not to do anything about his tounge tie.

When we had our first visit from the HV I explained to her I was experiencing pain when feeding him on my right side. I told her he was fussy on the right side he would become frustrated and come off my breast and push me away but would continue to root around as if he was still hungry. She refered us to the hospital to have his tounge tie snipped and advised me I needed to pump on my rigt side to keep my supply up untill the snil. She arranged for me to lend a pump from my children's health center. However, by the time the pump had become availabe I was not experiencing pain and was able to latch my son on without the shields.

The next few weeks between seeing her and having his TT snipped at 4 weeks 6 days have been my son wanting to be attatched to me all through the evening. I understand that he gets what he needs during the first 5 - 20 mins or so and having him on and off me for 8 + hours is mostly him comfort feeding. However, I let him comfort feed like this to keep my supply up and incase the HV was right and he wasn't getting enough on my right (pretty sure he had been as can hear him swallowing and when topless have ended with milk everywhere after let down and of course more than plenty wet and dirty nappies).

So after having his tounge snipped on Wednesday I was hoping the endless feeding would settle. We went out yesterday and he slept the whole time we were out about 4 hours, once home at 3pm we started feeding and once again he was on and off till 11pm.

It's not like he's latched on for the whole 8 hours he'll doze and come off on his own. Alot of the time though he becomes very frustrated and will push my breast away but open his mouth wide like he's still hungry. It's so fustrating having him feed for 20 mins feeling my breasts let down and then having him having come off on his own and being hysterical. I'll lay him down in his basket but he'll bring his knees up to his chest kick and fuss so we'll pick him back up and latch him back on. I'd like to add he's very placid and content the only time he ever cries is when he loses his latch on me.

Yesterday we went to the GP I said I think our son has reflux his advise was to not let him comfort feed the way I've been letting him and to perhaps use a pacifier (which I don't want to do). He prescibed a box of infant gaviscon which we gave our son inbetween breasts amd it seemed to work wonders. My son fed and drained the second boob I don't recall him comfort sucking came off amd went down in his basket no fuss at all. However, the second did not go so smoothly instead of posseting a very small as he normally did he was being sick in large amounts not projectile vomit but enough for us to feel like it was necessary to call out of hours GP at 9pm. We ended having to go to the hospital the Doctor there gave the same advise as the GP not to ket him be latched on for hours on end and to get help, I was just like really? Why do you think I'm here?

So really just looking for some advice as I can't really get any help at 1 in the morning. Should I just admit defeat and give him formula I know it's probably not going to ressolve the problem but at least it would give me a break. Has anyone elses little one been like this? And how do I not let him feed if it's all that will settle him?

29 Replies

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  • where are you? Is there any support for vfding mums in your area? In Cheshire we have Cherubs. NCT also has breastfeeding consultants. Or as a last resort, can u afford a private lactation consultant? Cheaper in the long run than formula! Are u on facebook?I am part of a bfding group where there is loads of knowledge.Send me a pm and ill give u details

  • The HV gave me a few leaflets with various support groups available, so we will be popping along some time this week. My son is due to be weighed soon as he will be 6 weeks old so will be asking for some advice and support then.

  • Could it be a lessor Allergy? Or an allergy to something your eating, my lithe girl had silent reflux and innsbruck gaviscon died nor work very well in my experience unfortunately hope this gives you another avenue to try

  • Don't think it's an allergy as hadn't had anything new apart from the Gaviscon so I think we'll be avoiding that from now on.

  • Ok firstly sorry you've had such a time of it. It is early days and you've all been through a lot. So firstly relax and give yourself a break. It won't be like this forever and in a couple of months you'll look back on this with different eyes. My son was tongue tied and gave my wife mastitis, she lost her confidence and gave up on breast feeding. In the end do what's right for you. The first 10 weeks are the hardest but it does calm down. As for 1am I'm afraid it's all part of the process. Maybe try what I did with my second which was a system of sleep, feed, play, sleep, feed, play and get him used to the idea that you eat when you wake, not to go to sleep. I always recommend the book the Baby Whisperer as it helped me so much second time round!

  • Yes I know it's not going to last forever and I'm sure a few months from now I'll miss the cuddles. However, with it being 23 degrees in our front room my son and my self skin to skin both feeling abit sweaty it's hard to see that at the moment. I'm sorry your wife lost confidence with breastfeeding and glad that you've found it easier second time around. Unfortunately sleep, feed, play, sleep, feed and play doesn't seem very likely at the moment it's just feed, feed, feed, short nap and the same again haha. I will search for the book later.

  • Hi i didnt breast feed so i dont know much about that side however if hes getting enough milk and putting weight on fine have you tried a dummy i know some people are against those but my little one was comforted by it for first couple of months shes 5 months now and isnt remotley interested anymore just spits it out lol good luck x

  • I'm a bit hesitant to give my son a dummy as I don't want to bugger up my supply. He won't suckle on my finger but will my partner's and that will keep him from becoming fussy for a good 5 mins so. For 5 mins of happy settled baby maybe it would be worth it.

  • Just wondering if maybe he just likes to suckle on something im sure he will still wake for feeds my little one did every 2-3 hours or so i was lucky she was sleeping through at 6 weeks lol longest 6 weeks of my life though hope it doesnt last too long for you xx

  • Yes I'm sure it is him just wanting to suckle. Well he tends to wake just the once in the night just have to be attached to eachother all day to get that long stretch of sleep x

  • Hi, being sick sometimes quite large amounts is normal for babies to do sonetimes please don't worry. He likely just drank too much and it won't be the last time that happens :)

    I am a bit surprised the gp gave you gaviscon as I haven't read anything that sounds like reflux symptoms. No projectile vomit and if it was silent reflux he would likely be unsettled after feeds etc

    Cluster feeding in the evenings is normal. Formula will only hinder your supply and if he does have reflux, formula fed babies have more episodes of reflux.

    You're only on week 5 and dealing with a baby who has had to relearn how to feed after having his tt snipped. You're doing great! Well done for getting that done and getting off the shields.

    If you google 'kellymom fussy baby' you can read a page all about babies and fussiness in the evenings written by a lactation consultant.

    It will get easier as he learns to feed more efficiency. For now what you can do to help is breast compressions. Google for YouTube videos of how to do it. This can help him along a bit.

    Also go to your local bf groups and join Facebook bf groups for support. Xx

  • To be honest I wasn't too worried about him being sick. We called NHS just to ease our concern and well it all esculated so quickly next thing we were on our way to the hospital at 9pm.

    Yeah well it was me that said reflux and so the gp gave me what I wanted. Like I said it just seemed to make things worse so we haven't given it again.

    Cluster feeding in the evenings would be managable but if we don't get out for a few hours during the day we'll be cluster feeding from when we get up early in the morning to when he has a long sleep later at night.

    I'm sure formula will cause more problems but during the middle of thr night it almost feels worth it for a couple hours break.

    I read the article and tried doing breast compressions to be honset I don't feel like it did anything may take a bit of practice.

  • It might do yes. Have some more goes and see if it helps.

    Definitely go out, remember babies feed for comfort, being close to mum, feeling safe as well as food, so you could always try getting a sling and he might settle on your chest or partners but have hands free. Get a change of scene :)

  • Yeah I know at lot of it is a comfort thing. Yes well I'd like a sling with my theory being that I can feed him on the go. Where as my partner would like a carrier don't want to buy both so just going without at the moment.

  • Slings are really good as they are ergonomic so better for babies hips. A close caboo is greast for little ones and easy to put on or you could try a connecta simple to use and your husband might like x

  • Or you could pump into a bottle and get teats that are more like nipples as there all different then atleast you can get a break in :)

  • Just to add if you are worried about silent reflux keep him upright for a while after he's been fed.

    If he does have it he may be feeding again to help the pain.

    So let him feed and go to sleep, feeding to sleep is good! And then hold him with his head on your shoulder or similar position for a bit before you lie him down and see if that helps x

  • My partner will keep him upright after feeds he'll forever be wanting more when he's on me needs to be burped though. He will wriggle down my chest and become ravenous, he's a greedy boy was 10lb 4oz at birth looks huge compared to babies his age.

    That's what I was thinking that he was feeding for the pain due to him possibly having silent reflux, wouldn't the Gaviscon have settled him though.

    Tend to have him upright on our shoulders whenever he is not being fed it seems like his favourite position to be in.

    Thank you for all of your advice x

  • It depends - gavison doesn't always work! Its a bit of trial and error. Some babies end up on ranitidine or omeprazole if their reflux is really bad. Don't worry about him being big, his stomach is still the same size so even little babies can feed lots :) Good idea to get your partner to hold him up x

  • U have nearly described my 6 week old girl (every thing but tounge tied) she's also has reflux we have been on infant gaviscon since week two was working well until she got really constipated passing golf balls and being in constant pain! The first 3 weeks she's been gaining weight but from week 3 until now she's only gained 3oz, and up until health vistior came (Tuesday) she wanted to me on my nipples all the time, at week 3 ended up giving her a dummy to stop her screaming but when partner is at work she won't take dummy just wants my nipple, I couldn't even hold her last week because she was constantly screaming, I could only get her to settle in car seat on Pram. Doctor told me at 2 weeks to prop her up which helps and told me not to over feed so ended up feeding her about 6 times in 24 hours thought nothing of it until 6 week weigh in on Tuesday, but now milk supply low from not feeding, health vistior said if I feed her more 8-10 times per 24 hours milk should come back, but I don't think it is. However since Tuesday she's been a lot better doesn't cry half as much, I have been wondering if she was just hungry! Health visitor doesn't want me going to formula as it won't help reflux she said breast milk is absorbed quicker and digests quicker. Now we think we have it right not doing to much gaviscon so she's not constipated. Haven't got too much advice as we also need advice but I would say keep on with breast feeding, don't go for dummy unless i really have to (I blame that for milk supply going), keep him proped up as when flat stomach contents can come up easier, we found little and often feeds were better than big ones.

    Our daughter won't sleep in her crib only in our bed at night proped up or on us during the day, it's a nightmare but hang in there!

    Here if u need to chat! Rebecca x

  • Sorry you've been finding things difficult with your little one it's heartbreaking hearing them cry. I find it strange that parents aren't made aware that giving there babies gaviscon may cause them to have constipation.

    It's really hard when you can't cuddle them to settle them. When we're out if he becomes fussy my partner will always pick him up first as if I try to pick him up he will kick up a right fuss unless he has the boob immediately.

    Shocking Doctor told you not to over feed her I know I'll have a stress on towards the end of the day but I just feel like if he's waking up to feed for 3 mins then going back to sleep for half an hour then doing the same again throughout the day he's doing it for a reason. I'm also a bit hesitant to limit feeds as being engorged is not fun.

    Maybe just feed her whenever she wants it I know my post is about how he's constantly nursing and well just me getting in a tiffy late at night but it should increase your supply.

    I think that's were we went wrong giving him too much gaviscon for the second dose. The first time we spoon fed it which was messy and I don't think he took alot. Second dose we had picked up a 5ml medicine syringe from asda so he got alot more from it think maybe it was just a shock to his system.

    We have a co-sleeper crib which can be tilted but he's been in bed with us the past 4 nights as I really struggle to move him from my chest to the crib without him waking up. I know if I kept putting him in the crib he'd sleep in it I'm just not stong willed enough.

  • Youre so right Rebecca. The dosage of gaviscon can really effect things. And yes formula plus gavison generally equals constipation so try to avoid if you can. Sounds like youve got it worked out well !x

  • I thought so but today she's been a nightmare whether she's still hungry, weather, over tired just not sure what's wrong today! we think she might even be teething! Just don't know! Hopfully tomorrow will be better xx

  • Sorry I had to cut message short as she was screaming again, suprise suprise!

    Just because Lily was nursing all the time because of hunger, I am not saying ur sons hungry it's sounds like u have plenty of milk. Unlike me!

    I did read that babies like to suck as it helps keep stomach contents down, this might explain all the nursing, we found that although nursing kept her quite it made reflux ten times worst!

    One last quick thing first sign of constipation seek help, this made her just as uncomfortable as reflux, Hopfully ur boy will be lucky and not get it at all! Xx

  • I don't think he's hungry just greedy haha he can't help it and not like he's doing it on purpose alot though he feels like it when he looks up sometimes with a milky moustache and a cheeky grin.

    Yeah I read that to which is why I went to the gp but now I'm thinking maybe he's just cluster feeding all through the day. As he'll have a long sleep at night generally 4 - 5 hours wake for an hour or so in the night for a feed and nappy change and go back down for a few more hours. Just the constant feeding all day in this heat is exhausting would be nice to have some awake time where he's not attatched to me.

    Don't think he's constipated he was pooing during every feed now it's at least 4 times a day will keep an eye out for it though.

    Thanks for your advice I hope things settle and become easier for you and your family too x

  • Thank you all for taking the time to reply. Things don't seem as bad in the light of day. We've been up since 6 with him being on and off at least once every hour, he is asleep now on the nursing pillow with his face pressed against my boob. He was fussing not crying but restless and irritable for half an hour before I gave in and latched him back on within a minute he was asleep. Not sure how I'm going to go about not nursing him when he wants to. I think we will just carry on as we are till Monday then get in touch with the HV he is due to be weighed soon so I'll ask for some advice then too.

  • In the hot weather, your breasts also adjust your milk to make it more watery, so he might also be thirsty and wanting to drink little and often. Its hard work, I remember those days, it was really hot when my daughter was born xx

  • Yeah I do say to family he's thirsty as it's so hot and the first piece of advice is always give him cooled boiled water. Then always after explaining why I'd rather not do that I then get told "I did it with my babies and they're fine." Little dig over. Just he's hardly given me a break he's got a little heat rash from being so close all day.

  • It's really important not to give babies water as they can get water intoxication and replace a feed with water too. So frustrating when family give old fashioned advice that is proven not to be good! You just have to keep reminding them breastmilk already has water in and adjusts in the heat X

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