My 3 1/2 month old is clearly hungry in the evenings but will not nurse. This lasts from about 7-9 or 10 pm every night. I've begun to pump and give her a bottle (the only one she gets during the day), but now my supply in the evening has plummeted. I'm not sure what came first- the low supply or the not wanting to nurse. Any suggestions for increasing my supply just in the evenings and/or for getting my baby to nurse?

asked 12 Nov '09, 12:56

Fun2Dream's gravatar image

accept rate: 10%

edited 08 Apr '11, 13:36

Tammy's gravatar image

Tammy ♦♦

After posting this, she began nursing in the evenings again! Thank goodness! She hasn't had a bottle in several days. I think the key was that I just started nursing her around 5 pm and would offer every time I thought she MIGHT be hungry. That, and when she was getting a bottle, I tried to pump at that time so that I could increase my milk supply.

(18 Nov '09, 17:46) Fun2Dream

I went through the same thing with my first and second sons until I realized that they were tired, not actually hungry. My overall advice is, don't worry! Your baby is fine and does not need any supplement. If she is hungry, she will nurse.

If your supply is low she will nurse strongly, and tug on your nipple and squeeze your breast letting you know it. This activity also stimulates your breasts so that supply will go right back up.

I suggest you hold her and rock her to sleep. When she is actually hungry, she will go for it.


answered 13 Nov '09, 04:22

ejane123's gravatar image

accept rate: 11%

I'm looking in the LLL book The Breastfeeding Answer Book and the closest thing I can find to what you describe is that if the milk supply is low then the baby is likely to fuss at the breast.

If you want to increase your milk supply again, here are their suggestions:

  • Nurse frequently and long enough - at least 8 - 12 times per day, with each feed being at least 20 - 30 minutes
  • Be sure baby is positioned and latched on well (if you remember the early days you could perhaps review those basics to make sure she's getting really good feeds)
  • offer both breasts at each feed and nurse long enough on each breast to get the rich hind milk (when baby comes off the first breast of her own accord offer her the other, if she's not interested you might express off that side)
  • try breast compression
  • avoid supplementing with anything other than mother's milk, if baby is receiving more than 2 or 3 ounces of formula, then this should be reduced gradually to allow your milk supply to increase
  • consider medicinal herbal or prescribed medicines to increase your supply (you'd need to do a bit of research on this)
  • express milk after feedings

answered 12 Nov '09, 18:35

Meg%20Stephenson's gravatar image

Meg Stephenson
accept rate: 7%

I don't know if this is related, but when my son was born, he would nurse until he was no longer starving and then stop - he wouldn't nurse until he was full. He'd then be hungry again fifteen minutes later. My wife felt like she was nursing him constantly. Someone suggested gently scratching the palm of his hand while he nursed - I don't know why, but it worked. He would nurse until he was full and then wouldn't be hungry again for a few hours.


answered 12 Nov '09, 14:20

Graeme's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

@Fun2Dream I'm deleting your later post and adding it as a comment to Graeme's post, as it is a reply to what he said.

Thanks, Graeme. For us, it's more like she's screaming that she's starving (using her "I'm hungry" cry), but when I try to nurse, she refuses - won't latch on, continues crying, etc. As soon as we offer the bottle, she eats hungrily. Sometimes after she eats from the bottle, she will nurse, but often she won't. Fun2Dream

(14 Nov '09, 23:51) Tammy ♦♦

I experienced a similar situation with our son when he was a few months old. He seemed hungry, but was too upset to latch on. He would open his mouth wide and then pull away crying. After this happened a few times, I started putting him in a sling or baby carrier and taking him for a short walk. He would calm down and then I would try to nurse again. Almost every time, he would nurse successfully after being in the carrier.


answered 14 Nov '09, 21:21

cat_g's gravatar image

accept rate: 25%

My milk supply seems adequate since I can pump a lot in evenings but still he shrieks when I hold him to my breast in evenings. He is clearly hungry because he drinks a bottle of milk that I pumped the previous evening so not just tired. He nurses well through the night and day. I have no idea what's going on?? But afraid he may refuse nursing for good sooner than I'd like. He is one month old


answered 01 Nov '10, 02:14

Anony's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

@Anony As this is a question and answer site you are unlikely to get responses but posting an answer to a question-Hopefully the answers provided to the other uses will be helpful to you. If not you can click the ask question box on the upper right side to ask your question.

(01 Nov '10, 21:26) Tammy ♦♦
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Asked: 12 Nov '09, 12:56

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Last updated: 30 Jul '13, 14:19