Q: I have a question regarding feeding in general really. I have been having a lot of trouble with my milk production this past month. My baby used to sleep through the night and has now been getting up about 4 times a night to nurse. I had started to supplement with formula which he took pretty well. Now, this past week, and especially the past three days, he barely nurses at all during the day and also will not take a supplemental bottle, but he continues to nurse during the night. At his 4-month visit last week, the doctor didn’t seem too concerned and when he did not feed hardly at all the past two days. But how can I not worry? I’ve thought of not feeding him during one of his feedings at night, but it seems so cruel. Do you think that would get him feeding during the day again? I am so confused by this.
A: I can see why you might be concerned about what is going on with your son’s nursing habits. I suspect that a lot of what is going on can be attributed to “four-month-itis.”
At four months, babies typically become keenly aware of the world around them. They’ve realized that there is more to life than just lazing at your breast and don’t want to miss anything. Unfortunately, at this age, it is difficult for them to do two things at once. Your son is probably fascinated by whatever is happening around him during the day and just can’t be bothered to eat. He’s smart enough to know he’s got to eat sometime, though, so he makes up for lost time at night. He may also be teething that might make him uncomfortable during the day.
You might try nursing him during the day in a quiet, dark room with as little distraction as possible. Turn off the TV, get away from other children (if possible), and keep things as boring as you possibly can. This is a phase, and before long, he’ll figure out how to nurse and stand on his head and check out every sight and sound all at the same time.
Hope this helps a bit!
By Melissa Clark Vickers
International Board Certified Lactation Consultant
Moms & Babies Huntingdon, Tenn.