Comfort nursing — The Bump
January 2016 Moms

Comfort nursing

My daughter is 3 weeks old today, and her waking hours are largely spent nursing and then crying her head off because she wants to comfort nurse -- but only if I'm holding her. She won't take a pacifier from me for longer than 30 seconds at a time. She spits it out and has a meltdown because she wants to comfort nurse. She will take a pacifier and fall asleep with my parents, but not me. Does the comfort nursing ever end?? Why does she want nothing but to nurse for hours? I supplement, so I know it isn't due to hunger. And advice is appreciated! I want her waking hours to be spent doing more than crying and nursing. 
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Re: Comfort nursing

  • Is it always like this or is this a recent development? There is a growth spurt around 3-4 weeks. I find that my LO does the constant nursing thing for a few days around growth spurts and then goes back to normal. Those days, I let her comfort nurse as long as it's still comfortable for me. Another possible culprit, does she have gas or a tendency to spit up? When I can't tell that's why my daughter is fussing I give her gripe water and it seems to calm her down for a little bit. I know you said you supplement, but you could also try switching sides. Sometimes I've mistaken comfort nursing/fussy when pulled off for actual hunger. Then when I switch sides she eats for a few minutes and falls asleep. 
  • I would say this has been an increasing tendency for the last week at least. Usually when she gets super fussy I will switch sides and offer a bottle. It's after those things that I figure she's just looking for comfort. She does spit up, but I wouldn't say it happens a ton. Gripe water might be something to look into, though.
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  • I let little one nurse as long as she wants, until she starts mashing my nipple, then I take her off.  She hasn't seemed to get mad that I take her off though.
  • Unfortunately I don't have the answer for you, but just wanted to let you know your not alone! I know comfort feeding/cluster feeding is essentially Bub putting in an order for an increased supply the next day, completely natural and like all things will pass.... But I feel sooo so drained and empty just feeding all the time! 
  • Lurker from d15. I second what other pp's have said about growth spurts and such. I also just wanted to suggest maybe trying other pacifiers? It took us 4 tries to find the one my LO will keep consistently. She still needs some help of us holding it in from falling but she keeps it.
  • I hear you! My little girl is three weeks and has had a few of these cluster days where she's always attached to me! When I stop she cries so we start over again! Difficult to get her asleep on those days which in turn makes Her overtired and fussy which makes it hard to latch on! Vicious circle!! Doc says go with it and know it won't last forever! She's still working to get back to birth weight but its exhausting!! 
  • I feel for you- it can be very exhausting having baby so "attached" remember though bottles and pacifiers are both made to replace the breast- comfort nursing is very normal and can you blame her for not taking the fake when she knows the real deal is right there? The first 4-6 weeks are so important for building a good supply so I'd encourage you to go with it for now- maybe she'll build up your supply and you can stop supplementing too! I have very needy nursers and for the most part I go with it, when they get older I nurse while baby wearing or use it as the perfect excuse to get out of chores lol! As baby gets older it'll get easier to distract her. At least your little one will take a paci and sleep with others mine seriously just cry for me by demanding to nurse even if he/ she just ate! 
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