9.5 mo popping off and on, fussing

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-31-2003
9.5 mo popping off and on, fussing
6
Thu, 08-18-2011 - 2:39pm

Since my little guy learned to sit up by himself, he has been popping off and on the boob during feedings. I figured it was just him showing off his new skill but he's still doing it and he's starting to fuss a lot more when he does it. He has also started "kneading" my boob with his hands, much like kittens or puppies will do while nursing. We did have a very stressful weekend. My grandpa died and we spent 5 days back home with our family and DH and I noticed his appetite for solids had drastically increased. Then I got to thinking that I probably didn't stick to our schedule very well with all the chaos (usually nurse every 4 hrs when awake) and we used Cheerios to entertain and pacify him when he got cranky (his crankiness was probably due to the change in routine and now that I think about it, due to the decreased nursing). So now I'm wondering if my supply is dropping and that's why he's getting more fussy during and after nursing. And is he man-handling my boob because he's not getting as much out of it as he wants? He did cut his 2 top teeth over the weekend (could have added to his crankiness).

As a rule, I nurse him about every 4 hours when awake and once during the night. He eats some Cheerios for breakfast, has a little veggies around lunch time (which I admit I've forgotten once or twice and he's never missed them) and has some veggies for dinner. His usual meal amount is the size of 1 or 2 ice cubes (I freeze his food in ice cube trays). After this weekend he's eating 3 or 4 ice cubes of food at a time. He is still wanting to nurse every 4 hours though, but seems frustrated with it. Any idea what's going on? I know the popping off and on thing is also a sign of thrush, but we've had that before and I haven't noticed any of the other symptoms that go along with it, so I doubt that's the problem.

Thanks for any input!

Manda :)

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-26-2011
Thu, 08-18-2011 - 7:30pm

I am so sorry for your loss.

Me () -- 34 DH -- 37 Conceived DS naturally after almost 2 years TTC and one loss. Currently have been TTC #2 after 2 more years and two more losses. Recently found polyp in uterus. Scheduled for hysteroscopy and removal 6/2011..... Instead surprise
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-21-2009
Fri, 08-19-2011 - 7:31pm

UGH!! This may really take some detective work and even then you may never know exactly what's going on................AND.....................by the time you figure it out he may have moved on to another pattern of behavior.....................;-)

There is just no way to truely know what is making him fussy right now. If you think there is a chance he's ill certainly call his doctor. Sometimes illness can cause fussiness in general and fussiness at the breast.

The popping on and off might just be distractability or it may be a sign of a dip in supply. If it's a dip of course the best thing to do it just let him bf as much as possible or even add in some pumping to help.

If it's distractibility you can try a nursing necklace (a toy necklace that you wear for him to play with while bf), singing to him when bf to draw his attention to you, or bf in a more quiet place.

If the popping on and off is hurting you or annoying, take him off the breast when that occurs. Don't let him continue behavior that is painful. If you take him off he'll soon learn not to do that.

Have you gotten a period yet? If so maybe your period is coming. Some babies will get a bit fussy when mom is due for her monthly.

It may also be related to the change in routine. In any event I don't think you are doing anything 'wrong'. Just hang in there and likely this will pass.

Warmly,

Kathy Kuhn IBCLC

iVillage lactation consultant

and Grammy to Brennan, Elias, Elianna, Tahlia, Makenna, and Maura

Kathy Kuhn IBCLC ivillage lactation consultant Grammy to Brennan, Elias, Elianna, Tahlia, Makenna, Maura, Silas, and Charlotte

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-31-2003
Sat, 08-20-2011 - 6:24pm

Thanks for your input and encouragement ladies! I don't think he has anything wrong with his ears and he's had no fever, but I will keep an eye on that. He has been extra fussy today. It's only 4 pm and he's working on nap number 5 I think. I put him down and he sleeps for an hour or so, then is up for an hour or less before he's crying and rubbing his eyes and nose again, so down he goes again for another hour or so nap. It's funny you suggest I spend some time topless with him because that's pretty much been my day. He cries every time I cover up and scrambles to get back in my lap and nurse some more. It would be funny if it wasn't so frustrating with his grumpiness. So he's probably nursing about every 1-2 hours today. He does appear to have 2 or 3 more teeth coming in quickly, so that may explain his inability to get in a good nap as well as some of the crankiness. I keep giving him cold teethers to chew on, but he'd rather chew on me... I have been covering up when he pops on and off and when he bites, which he's also doing a lot more of. I give him about a minute before I let him back on and he'll get serious about nursing for a couple of minutes then before he's back to his antics. I'm hoping this is just a result of the stress of the loss and traveling last weekend and it will go away soon.

I do get a little nervous about increasing his nursing because between 4 and 6 months he gained about 10 pounds due to nursing through the night and more often (every 2 hrs or so) during the day. At 6 months

Manda :)

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-31-2011
Sat, 08-20-2011 - 11:40pm
My little one is 8.5 months old, and she eats about every 4 hours as well (she is breastfed, but I work so I pump a lot and she takes it in bottles during the day--usually about 6 oz per bottle). She eats a lot more baby food (fruits, veggies, Gerber baby snacks similar to Cheerios, etc) than you say your little guy is eating. I gradually increased the amount of baby food I gave her, and it hasn't affected the amount of milk she takes at all. At first I thought that she may not want her milk if she was eating more baby food, but that has not been the case at all. She pretty much always takes all of her milk. I nurse her right when she wakes up (usually about 7am). Then about 9am she eats an entire jar of fruit and/or veggies). Then she usually is ready for her morning bottle between 10 and 11am. Sometimes she eats 1/2 to 1 jar of baby food mid afternoon but sometimes she just isn't really interested, but I always offer it to her and let her decide if she wants it. She gets another bottle around 3pm. She always eats really good (at least 1 but sometimes 2) small jars of baby food again around 6pm and takes her final bottle or nurses just before bedtime. I usually let her snack on Cheerios, Gerber snacks, etc while we eat our meals--she gets mad if she sees us eating and she doesn't have anything!!! I'm not saying you should follow this by any means, but I just wanted to give you an idea of how much more baby food she eats even though she has milk about every 4 hours like your little one. You may want to consider offering more baby food and just see what happens. I know my little girl was not that into baby food for a while, but I just kept offering it to her, and one day she just really started loving it. I feel like she starting eating more as she got more active and mobile! I know all pediatricians are different, but mine actually recommends by 9 months of age having 2 jars of veggies and 2 jars of fruit per day and 25-32 oz of milk. Hope some of this helps.
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-21-2009
Mon, 08-22-2011 - 11:59am

I had another thought or two. Do you think he has seasonal or evironmental allergies? Just wondering about that as you described his fussiness and rubbing eyes etc. Just a thought and hard (my understanding) to identify at this early age.

Also, I wonder if you have a history of oversupply and the popping on and off is b/c the baby objects to the naturally slower flow at this age?

Is he distractible at all? Can you keep him busy and delay some of the feedings that way?

I wouldn't worry about the weight gain. Typically bf babies realize the size they are meant to be. Are you sure the scale was accurate? We know that bf kids have lower rates of obesity later in life.

Just brainstorming here. Keep us posted.

Warmly,

Kathy Kuhn IBCLC
iVillage lactation consultant

and Grammy to Brennan, Elias, Elianna, Tahlia, Makenna, Maura and our new expected grandbaby in October

Kathy Kuhn IBCLC ivillage lactation consultant Grammy to Brennan, Elias, Elianna, Tahlia, Makenna, Maura, Silas, and Charlotte

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-31-2003
Mon, 08-22-2011 - 7:23pm
The allergy thing might be worth looking into because his dad has always had seasonal allergies. He only rubs when he's sleepy though, so I don't know... The oversupply thing also makes some sense because I was still getting engorged up until he was 6 or 7 months old. Now they are like empty sacks all the time! LOL! He could be frustrated at not getting as much as he wants. He has been better today, but I've been really strict on putting it away as soon as he starts popping off. He also isn't trying to bite as much either. Hopefully he's about done with this little phase and it isn't something else. :)

Manda :)