My son is 2 1/2 months and exclusively breastfed. The problem is that he's always hungry. He empties my breasts at each feeding and still acts hungry afterward and won't fall asleep as a result. I know he's not going through a growth spurt since he has been doing this since birth. I also know that it's not a milk supply issue. In fact, I have an oversupply problem and a very forceful letdown. He was a very large baby at birth (11lbs 2 oz) and is now over 16lbs at less than 3 months. My question is whether I could start giving him a bit of cereal to see if he's more content. I really did not want to introduce solids before 6 months but I just can't seem to keep up with his appetite. I feed on demand and it's getting very tiring. Thanks for any info.
Susana, I'm confused about your statement that you have an oversupply problem, but he empties your breasts and is still hungry. At birth, he was "off the charts" big, and now he's in about the 95th percentile.
If you decide to supplement, use formula, not cereal. All his calories need to be from breastmilk or formula when he's this age, for brain food. Cereal is empty filler for him that will make him feel full but won't give him the brain calories.
Before you know it, this time with him will be over - enjoy it while you can.
I'm always leaking milk even now after almost 3 months and when I start feeding I have to let some milk pour into a towel because otherwise it will spray everywhere and he usually chokes and gags. Despite this, he will nurse for a very long time (up to an hour sometimes) and still acts hungry afterward so I don't know what to think?!!
Since you do have a great supply and babies do take what they need, it may not be hunger after a feed...it might be gas. My DD acts hungry sometimes and it turns out she has to have a big burp...it can take a bit too to get that burp out!! If your baby is continuing to gain weight, I would guess he is getting enough. The other thing is, babies love to suck..so a soother might be something you could try. He might be just wanting to cuddle and suck to feel comforted.The nice thing is, the more they suck on you, the better your supply!
How do you know your baby is "hungry" after nursing? What signs/symptoms is he displaying that lead you to that conclusion? The fact your son is gaining weight and is in the 95th percentile (I am trusting Rocks research on this number) suggests he is growing well and is getting adequate food.
In terms of feeding him rice cereal - do NOT do so until you have been given the okay by his pediatrician. At 2.5 months, it is highly unlikely his pediatrician will be okay with this for a variety of reasons - in any case, this is NOT something you should do without talking to his doctor.
Nurse more often if you are leaking, I am willing to bet that will solve the problem. No scheduled feeding, feed on demand which can be as often as hourly with a younger infant. Nurse 15-20 minutes on the first breast and as long as needed on the second breast.
And I agree, do not start cereal now, the baby is way too young for that. Be aware though once you start adding formula it will impact your supply, even if you think you have an overabundance you will notice a difference.
I think that as some of you mentioned above he may not actually be hungry sometimes. I've taken the habit of offering the breast as soon as he fusses a bit. For instance, after a feed, I will try to put him down for a nap either in his bed or the swing and he will start crying and chewing on his hands. I automatically assume he's hungry and try feeding him again which is the only thing that calms him down. Unfortunately, he doesn't take a pacifier. Anyways, thanks everyone for the input.
HI Sue26 - I can relate to your situation. My son was born at 11lbs 1oz and literally came out of the womb starving! He's eaten at *least* every 2 hours since then, around the clock, with a few exceptions; he is now 15 weeks. He's exclusively breastfed, so it's exhausting to say the least. Lets not even talk about growth spurts!! It sounds like you may have overactive letdown as well, w/the spraying and such. Visit http://www.kellymom.com/bf/supply/fast-letdown.html for tips on that. I have it too, but there are techniques to keep it from being a problem and inhibiting a good nursing session. It is easy to get into the habit of letting him nurse anytime he fusses - I fell into that habit around 2 months too. And my son HATES pacifiers, all kinds, so I've been there too. Try your best to try differrent things to calm him... for my son, a quiet walk around the house peeking over my husbands shoulder usually does the trick.....or a trip in the car or walk in the stroller if its during the day. We co-sleep so that I can get at least a few Z's during his numerous nighttime feedings. Don't give solids before your doctor gives you the go-ahead and you feel it's the right time. Introducing too early can causea whole new set of problems. Despite his size and hunger level, your milk is all he needs and is plenty to keep him nourished and growing (obviously!)....... My only advice is to stick it out, and remember that this time really is *temporary*..... think of the frequent feeds as bonding time and try not to get frustrated. There are so many growth spurts around this time too; my son had like 3 in the month of December alone. It will get better. Hang in there and keep nursing, you're doing great!
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