Friday, January 6, 2012

Food on Friday: The baby won't stop eating!

Someone recently asked, "What do you do when baby isn't satisfied after you finish nursing, he just wants to eat and eat and eat... and when you take a break, he screams?"

Please share your ideas in the comment box at the bottom of this post.

Here are a few thoughts to help answer that:
1) If he's truly not getting enough to eat, try nursing first, then pumping an hour or so later.  This will help increase your milk supply, and give you a bit extra for when you need it.

2) Try some herbs - They're not super cheap, but can help increase supply.  Motherlove is a great company that sells some of those herbs.  

3) Swaddle him, and if he'll take it put a pacifier in his mouth.  He might like the feeling of being held and just need something to suck on for a little while.  When I did this with Crackers, I also patted his chest.

4) Burp him.  That might sound silly, but sometimes Baby has that problem.  His little belly hurts and he wants to solve it by eating more.  Once he's burped he feels much better and is able to calm down and relax.

5) Put a pacifier in his mouth and hold him tightly, pressing his mouth into your chest firmly enough to hold the pacifier in.  Make sure his nose is not pressed into your chest so he can still breathe.  This move works especially well with Baby.

6) Put him in his crib, close the door, and walk away.  Take a breather.  Step outside.  He might keep screaming, but it won't hurt him.  You need to let yourself get a break sometimes.

7) If he's truly not getting enough and numbers 1 and 2 don't help, talk to a lactation consultant.  If you can't afford to talk to one, or don't know how to find one, call your local WIC office.  They provide free lactation consulting to their clients, and can connect anyone to help if needed.  Their business is helping women take care of their children and they are very interested in promoting breastfeeding.

What ideas do you have?  How do you calm an infant that only wants to nurse?  How do you know if he's really had enough?  Where do you go for help?


  1. My advice is to make sure baby is not going through a growth spurt!! This will happen at regular intervals through baby's growth and is baby's way of making your milk supply increase to match his growing needs.
    One thing I did during these times to try and help my milk increase faster lactation's a recipe I used... :)

  2. Thanks for sharing the recipe. (=

  3. Thanks for posting this - I am reading this as I am nursing my 6 week old:) I am going to try the cookie recipe for sure. This is my 4th baby and there always seems to be time when baby can't get enough to eat. I try to increase my liquid intake and drink Mothersmilk tea that contains fenugreek which is said to help with milk production.

  4. lol, I don't know why I didn't think about writing "increase fluids" - that's an obvious one! Silly me.

    I have Fenugreek from Motherlove. I've tried Mothersmilk tea before and like it pretty well. I really haven't had much need to increase supply myself since #1 was tiny - and I didn't know who to talk to then /:

  5. YES! Growth spurt. No one told me about these. I thought that both of my sons just weren't getting enough. I swear, I was nursing 24/7, with *maybe* 5-15 minutes in between for a potty break or to load up on more water. This was around the 6-week-old mark. If you look it up, you'll see that the majority of moms who either start supplementing with formula or quit breastfeeding altogether (because someone told them they weren't making enough milk) did so between 1 and 2 months after their child's birth. Although it seems like this kid will never, ever stop eating, it really will end. Try to enjoy this time of snuggles and quiet. Pretty soon your little one will be too busy for this and begin to eat and run!

    How to increase milk production (ways that worked for me, personally):
    1) Nurse and/or pump as much as possible. Your body will respond by making more milk.
    2) Drink a glass of water, tea, juice... anything every time you nurse.
    3) Eat oatmeal in huge amounts (if you don't like oatmeal, try making oatmeal cookies and add whatever you like to them - chocolate chips, dried cranberries...)
    4) Take Fenugreek. It costs next to nothing and is completely safe. It increases milk production within just a few days of beginning to take it. This is an herbal supplement that has been used for this reason all the way back to Ancient Egypt. (One side effect - you'll start smelling like maple syrup! No kidding.)
    5) Buy some mother's milk tea. There are tons of brands out there. I found that traditional medicinals had one that worked well for me and tasted great.

  6. I'd suggest making sure the baby is getting enough hind milk. Fore milk is more watery and from what I understand hind milk is more like whole milk. If the stools are green, that could be a sign that the baby needs to nurse on one side longer before being switched over to the other side to make sure she's getting enough high milk. Also, as someone who is currently in a hip dysplasia nightmare, I'd suggest reading the International Hip Dysplasia Institute's hip healthy swaddling guidelines here:

    And finally, also from what I understand, milk production peaks in the middle of the night. So, it might make sense to make sure the baby is nursing around the clock for a while.