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Dr Virginia Thorley, OAM, PhD, IBCLC, FILCA

International Board Certified Lactation Consultant

www.virginiathorley.com

Blog

Fussy babies at about 6 weeks

Posted on May 8, 2014 at 7:07 PM
It is common for babies to be fussy and to want to go to the breast more often at somewhere around this age.  A number of ideas and "names" for this stage have been suggested, none of them based on evidence - terms such as "appetite increase", "wonder week".  The most relevant question is: What has been happening in the last few days?
 
The consistent factor that I have found is that this is when mothers and their babies have several appointments.  These are their 6-week check-ups with the paediatrician and the obstetrician, and they may have an appointment with the Child Health clinic also. These appointments often involve finding parking and then waiting round.  While out for the day, they may stop off to get a load of much-needed groceries on the way home.
 
Consequently, a feed or two is delayed or missed.  The baby KNOWS what to do to make up for this reduction in intake, and wants to feed more often. More frequent feeding stimulates the breasts to make more milk (as the more milk taken out, the more that will be made).  In a short time, if the baby is given unrestricted access to the breast, the slight reduction in supply is fixed.  Easily fixed.  The baby becomes content again. 
 

Categories: Fussy babies at about 6 weeks

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7 Comments

Reply Myra Lowrie
1:26 AM on May 9, 2014 
I very much enjoyed this article. You have shared practical information new moms will find helpful.
Reply Jean Ridler
11:29 AM on May 10, 2014 
Myra Lowrie says...
I very much enjoyed this article. You have shared practical information new moms will find helpful.

Well said Myra. Thank you, Virginia. :)
Reply Virginia Thorley
12:27 AM on May 18, 2014 
Thank you both for your comments. It's so important to reassure new mothers and help them through minor challenges like this one.
Reply kliklah di casioshop
7:31 AM on June 28, 2014 
I very much enjoyed this article.
Reply Virginia Thorley
1:41 AM on July 10, 2014 
Virginia Thorley says...
Thank you both for your comments. It's so important to reassure new mothers and help them through minor challenges like this one.

Actually, this is a time when reassurance is so important. It is great when family and friends can provide this reassurance, even if they don't know a lot about breastfeeding. They can tell a new mother she is a caring mother and is doing a great job. They can help in a very practical way, too - bringing a meal, doing the grocery shopping, or minding another child for the day.

It helps, being reassured about what is normal and that the baby is doing what babies instinctively know to do. Going along with the baby's need to be at the breast very frequently, AND knowing that this will boost the milk supply, helps relieve worry and build confidence.

New mothers reading this may find it helpful for their families to read, too. There are some short articles on different topics on my FAQ page on this website.
Reply Virginia Thorley
12:34 AM on September 29, 2014 
September is baby month, which traditionally has more births than other months. So this topic is of relevance to you if you are the mother of a baby born this month, and who will be coming up to six weeks old soon.
Reply Virginia Thorley
1:23 AM on June 6, 2017 
If you are reading this topic and have a new mother and baby in your family or circle of friends, you are welcome to share this with her. There is nothing like a bit of reassurance!