Food seeking — The Bump
Babies: 0 - 3 Months

Food seeking

Hi everyone,

My DD is 5 weeks and seems to always be food seeking while she's awake. She's BF and supplemented with 2oZ of formula(not every feed but aprx 6 or so a day). She eats on demand aprx every 3hrs with a 4hr stretch at night. My problem is after she's "finished" she continues to food seek and if we give her more she spits up, after she spits up she continues to food seek until I put her back on the breast or we give her a soothers she goes to sleep. It's causing me a lot of confusion because I don't know when she's full, I don't know how much she's getting from the breast and how much formula she actually needs. We are trying to ween from formula but it's hard when she's always food seeking. Any experience/suggestions?

Re: Food seeking

  • Couple of thoughts:
    1. When my son did this, I just gave him a boob. I did NOT follow a schedule. Babies can learn to suck while getting very little milk. I followed the philosophy that my baby was NOT using me as a pacifier, that in fact a pacifier is a substitute for the real thing: mommy's "nursies."
    2. If you want to get off of formula, shouldn't you be nursing like crazy to up supply anyway?
    3. There is a huge growth spurt at six weeks. Your lo may want to clusterfeed. Thus is normal for babies to nurse a ton, even every half hour, during these times.
    4. Baby might not need the formula, especially if it is only 2 oz and she is spitting it all up. Another idea, she might be nursing to calm a tummy pain, maybe a silent reflux?

    How is babies weight gain? I really hesitate to give any more specific advice, because really you and your doctor (and lc, if you are seeing one) know what is going n way better than us. The best advice I can give us just to forget about schedules if you are bfing and just nurse on demand. If she's rooting she needs to nurse, whether from comfort or hunger. If you think it's from hunger, then seek out a professional to evaluate her feeding.
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    kelseyofanneMercyC1130ATolentino89
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  • Thanks for your advice, She's gaining well so far. We have a weight check Tuesday.
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  • I would eliminate formula at this stage. Let her build your supply. She could also be comfort seeking. Have you had her looked at for reflux? Often babies eat to soothe the burning feeling.


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    Lilypie First Birthday tickers

  • I'm a bit hesitant to take away formula immediately, we are minimizing it at every feed but I notice her diapers are as wet on just bm. Our last apt i spoke to doc about reflux and she said as long as she's gaining and it isn't affecting her weight gain there isn't much they do and she'll grow out of it. I'm going to push a bit more at her apt Tuesday!
  • Push to get meds if it's reflux. If she's pushing back and crying its reflux. They have safe meds that don't stop spitting up but stop the pain.
    PrimRoseMama
  • Sometimes babies pull away because of gas or if you have a fast letdown. Mine does that quite a bit. Expressing a bit prior to feeding helps some. Also sitting in a reclining positon uses gravity to help with the speed of the milk. My baby also goes through fussy phases where he does the pushing away and constant eating thing. Currently that's what he does in the aftenoon and the rest of the day he eats on a more normal schedule.
    PrimRoseMama
  • Also if you feed in a reclined position (you, not baby) and let baby eat from the top down-- it can allow them to control your let down a bit and they aren't getting sprayed in the back of the throat etc. I have very forceful let down and made a practice of initially hand expressing into a towel at first. This allows the first, very strong let down to go elsewhere and that way baby isn't startled etc.


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  • Are you remembering to burp in between changing breasts and for every 1-2 ozs? If she has gas, food can't go down and/or she may still be trying to eat but can't because of the gas.

    My babe is at the 3 month mark and seeks the breast often. That's just what babies do. I give it to him whenever he gives signs of wanting (or if I know it's been a while since he's eaten). Nursing is not just for food, it's comfort and bond-strengthening and sometimes they just want to be close to mama.
    MercyC1130
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