A couple weeks ago I had a fat contented lovely baby. Now I have this.
She's got a weird rash, and flaky things on her face. Her neck gets sore spots in between the fat rolls. She's gassy, burps a lot, and has a red bum around her rectum. And green poo.
She screams at me. During nurses, after nurses, all evening.
She hates me, and nursing is making her ill, fat, and spit uppy. I'll just stop now, and give her something that's "better" for her."
Not this time, but I have in the past thought all those things. I've also heard them on the lips of dozens of moms who have gone through this. Around 1.5 to 2.5 months the beautiful well-fed breastfed baby that you held in your arms, stops smiling and starts screaming, pooping, and looking weird. They get baby acne, or the cradle cap starts to dry up. They look like they're in pain part of the time. You wonder what you've done wrong.
So at exactly the same time that all the "regular" ugly-baby things happen to your child - baby acne is hormonal at this age, and goes away by itself when the hormones rebalance in a week or two - your child hits a developmental step, and instead of just drinking the milk like before, they learn new coping strategies and start telling you had hard this is, and has been. And the gut starts to show more and more signs of lactose imbalance if the milk is still in oversupply. And let's not even get started on the latch. The wonderful strong sucking child, has been replaced with clicking, and popping on off, and the sore nipples are back!
Imagine if you didn't know this was overabundant milk (indeed, maybe you don't have to imagine because you're learning it as you read this)... how scary is that?
K is my beautiful baby even with the rashes, and the goo, and the farts. The acne will heal, the green poo will get better, and I will use these signs to tell me that my baby is asking me for help, from the one that they love most, from the one that they can scream to the most, and the one that can help them the most, their mommy. She screams because I'm her world, and she's asking for help. And I will help her.
This is the third child I've nursed. And it's still having it's ups and downs. We still get days of green poo. K is still really wary of nursing when she doesn't want to. She will SCREAM if you put her in cradle position when she doesn't want to nurse. I have to remember to nurse on the emptier side for a bit, til the letdown passes, THEN switch to the full side... which is different than nursing on both sides... cause I spend hours on each side nursing what feels like over and over again and it's still full... but then it settles a bit, then all of a sudden the other breast is bursting and I have to switch, but if I nurse her on that side and she has the full letdown things go down the toilet. Esp when it's nap time, and she wants to comfort nurse. But how to switch at all then. Cause if I go back and forth the flow just gets worse and worse.
It's a double edged sword.
But it's WORKING!
I'm starting to see out the other side. She nurses to sleep. She has good non-gassy days. She doesn't scream all evening.
Even my DS2, N finally nursed contentedly after about the 4 month mark. And nurses for many months afterwards. It's coming.
And nursing an older baby / toddler is the best thing in the world. It's so worth it. Just have to keep going through these rough patches!