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Ask A Lactation Consultant: Fussy At The Breast

“My 4 month old baby is fussy while nursing. Do you think I’m not making enough milk?”

This is a popular question! I hear this a lot around 3 and 4 months. It is likely your baby is becoming more distracted during feeds, which is why you are seeing the fussiness and wiggling. This is due to developmental changes your baby is experiencing, and it’s a passing phase. It is also probable your baby is becoming more efficient, and so interested in the world around them. Feedings are a lot faster than they used to be. Often, I see parents trying to continue to latch their baby, only to have their baby become more and more fussy with each attempt. Follow your baby’s lead, they know what they want! Believe it or not, 5 minutes of feeding might be all they need to keep going. If baby is popping on and off the breast, try walking while feeding, feeding in a quiet room, or limiting distractions. This will help keep baby focused when at the breast, if even for a few minutes. Continue to watch diaper output. Babies may go longer between dirty diapers at this age, but the wet diapers should be the same as always. Wet diapers let us know your baby is hydrated, and if you are seeing a decrease, definitely call a lactation consultant. Read a little more about how to determine the signs of a distracted baby, and some tips to help you navigate through this time! Also, check out this episode of the Badass Breastfeeding Podcast for more on distracted babies.

Dianne Cassidy is a Lactation Consultant in upstate NY.  She has been working with new families for 15 years and is also a blogger and co-host of the Badass Breastfeeding Podcast.  Dianne is the mother to 3 kids, including a set of twins, and 2 dogs. You can find more from Dianne at her blog,  Milkly.