George and fussy Feeding!
I wrote in my last blog that I experienced fussy feeding while on my road trip, but since then I still have a baby who is very sensitive with his feeding in the daytime, having moments where he fussy feeds!
My definition of fussy feeding is when a baby wants to drink but doesn’t because they are either easily distracted, struggle to feed due to digestion issues, try to cope fast milk flow or feeding too frequently in 24hrs.
These babies need to be calm, well rested and away from too much stimulation to feed well, despite being hungry.
George is just like his mother, very visual. He, as some people have said, has very knowing and inquisitive eyes, which on every other level, is wonderful, but when it comes to feeding, particularly breast-feeding, it can be difficult.
A saying I often use is “they sacrifice food for partying”… they would rather see what is going on around them than feed!
If you are not aware of the behaviour visual babies have, it is easier mistaken for a baby who just isn’t hungry, and is grizzly because of tiredness or who has wind.
What happens is that around 6-9 weeks, they become suddenly more aware of their surroundings, might start talking to you, lots of smiling and because we love to interact or have to be out and about, suddenly they become snack feeders, they have a little bit to satisfy themselves but then want to look around or engage.
You then either have a baby who is happy all day snacking and then wakes and feeds more at night (nocturnal feeders they are called), and after a few days of this, they change their feeding habits to become not hungry in the day because they feed too much at night.
Or you have a baby, like George, who only feeds well if in quiet, best when he has just woken and is in sleepy mode still (I avoid engaging) or in the night. But if distracted he will not have much to drink and then around 45min to 1hr later, will appear tired, grizzly, but really I know he is still hungry! When offering him more food, he gets cross at the boob because he doesn’t realize that he is still hungry, he wants to go on but can’t!
This also can be taken as a reflux sign, but I know with George, it is all about his mind! He gets so distracted, wants to talk and smile and look around but will feed well when almost asleep!
If I let him guide me too much, I would have a nocturnal feeder, but knowing this and wanting to avoid such a thing happening, I have had to (where possible) be aware of his feeding environment.
No chatting or communication until he has feed, post a sleep and if there are visitors, feed out of the room! If I do not do this, or if he comes off even in the quiet space and looks at maybe my patterned top, that is it, he will then need to have a ‘split feed cycle’, feeding on waking, feeding before bedtime. This is instead of the usually recommended ‘Eat, Play, Sleep’ cycle.
It works ok this way, I just have to make sure he is not always feeding to sleep so as to keep up his good self settling habits he does most of the time!
IF they are well slept and therefore feeding with a good 3 or 4hr gap between feeds (subject to age), then it helps incredibly when trying to avoid fussy feeders.
Today has been a great day, he slept so well, feed so well as we only had visitors who are familiar, who know to not talk too much while I feed! (As hard as that can be for some visitors who are longing to talk to him!) And no outings!
I even had time to weed eat and mow my lawns, alongside 3 phone consults – Good Boy George, mum needed that time!