Author Topic: 4MO problems nursing -- teething???  (Read 7421 times)

Offline MelodyS

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4MO problems nursing -- teething???
« on: April 01, 2012, 07:44:43 PM »
Ok I wasn't quite sure where to put this since I have a number of concerns...

My 4 month old son has seemingly lost interest in nursing. Up until 2 weeks ago he would easily stay on for 15-45 minutes; not exactly sleeping, but really relaxed and still sucking strong, only not very constantly. He always fed every 2.5-3 hours. Now when I try to feed him he'll either suck for 3-5 minutes then start turning his head away, bucking and screaming or he may just scream as soon as the nipple touches his mouth. The only thing that's really been working for me the last two weeks is to feed him immediately after a nap before he gets too alert. However even then he'll only really nurse 5 minutes then fall asleep, and his sucks are shallower than usual. I think he could be teething and that is what's causing all of this.
I'm worried that with such infrequent nursing that my milk supply will go down. I'm also concerned about his weight gain; he's never been a really big baby so I definitely don't want him to start losing weight now! I'm committed to breastfeeding and want to keep going until he is at least a year, but I don't see how he can stay healthy when he's getting so little milk! Oh also I think that due to his gums being uncomfortable that he might only be sucking out the foremilk and isn't willing to suck strong enough to pull out the hindmilk, so another concern there!
I've thought of pumping and giving him a bottle but I really don't want to start with that if I don't have to! Any ideas? Can I give him something to make him comfortable enough to nurse long enough to get to the hindmilk?
Another thing is that when I finally do get him to latch on the smallest movement or noise will disturb him and start him crying as if I've royally hurt his highness' little feelings!
Sorry if this is scattered, I'm almost at my wit's end lol! Any thoughts and suggestions would be appreciated! :)

Offline MyTwoCents

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Re: 4MO problems nursing -- teething???
« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2012, 07:31:19 AM »
You could try making a clove tincture with glycerine and putting that on his gums before you nurse. I know cloves can numb the gums pretty good and that wouldn't be bad for him. HTH - Nancy

Offline ladyhen

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Re: 4MO problems nursing -- teething???
« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2012, 09:14:43 AM »
Melody,  It sounds like you are right about teething being the cause of this change in his nursing pattern.  You're very wise to have found a way to nurse him, too.  Good for you, momma!

I don't think it would be a good idea to start a bottle, either.  With patience, you will get through this little spell with him.  A nursing relationship will go through many changes as baby grows and a mother who is as determined as you can find information, be creative, and continue to nurse her baby. 

First, his weight gain may slow or stop from time to time without being a cause to worry. 
A good way to judge if he is getting anything from his short nursing sessions is counting wet diapers.  If he has at least six wet (not just damp) diapers a day then he's getting enough.
Your milk may be letting down faster now and the increased flow is too much for him.  Check to see if he's swallowing when you think he's not sucking enough.  As babies grow, they become much more efficient at nursing and seem to need less. 
It is normal for him to start nursing less often -- longer between nursing sessions.  Watch him for hunger cues and go by his lead.   He won't willingly starve himself. 
Have you made any changes in your diet or personal care lately?  You or him started taking any medications or different vitamins?
Does he have a cold? Stuffy head or cough?  Could it be that breathing is difficult or that his ears are hurting?   
Sometimes a change in nursing position can help relieve discomfort.  Can you nurse lying down?
As babies grow they also become more aware of and sensitive to their surroundings.   Sometimes these disturbances can be eliminated.  But it's easier, imo, to teach baby to ignore them.  I used to keep pleasant music on in the house so that there was always some sort of noise.  This blocked out some of the household sounds & street noise.  And I would try covering baby's head/face with a light covering to cut down visual distractions.   A couple of mine were prone to 'pop off' and check out every sound and movement. 

I hope something in this post gives you an idea that works for you.  Sounds like you're doing great, just need to patiently wait out this stage.  Please keep us informed of your progress. 
Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;    Titus 2:13

Offline boysmama

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Re: 4MO problems nursing -- teething???
« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2012, 04:25:26 PM »
edit~ Be careful with clove oil on young babies. Their livers are not able to process even natural agents, like an adult or older child can. The blood brain barriers, and digestive barriers are also not matured at 4 months old.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2012, 06:00:00 AM by boysmama »

Offline healthybratt

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Re: 4MO problems nursing -- teething???
« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2012, 03:39:38 AM »
whiskey or bourbon directly on the gums (not for ingestion) along with a massage with your fingers can do wonders.  someone mentioned to me the other day that refrigerated carrots are an easy chew/soother.
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Offline steadygirl

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Re: 4MO problems nursing -- teething???
« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2012, 08:24:43 AM »
If you are worried about milk production you can pump and freeze the milk. I don't know if giving him a bottle would help because it would still hurt his gums when he drank. I would also check if you have made any changes in your diet. Sometimes milk can pick up the flavor of what you eat!

Offline MelodyS

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Re: 4MO problems nursing -- teething???
« Reply #6 on: May 29, 2012, 10:57:47 AM »
Thanks ladies! My baby boy is now 6 months and these problems seem to have solved themselves with time. I just made sure to nurse him whenever he seemed hungry, even if he didn't go very long, as well as nursing him in a quiet place. I think the key was just to not give up! Thanks for giving me the confidence to keep going! :)