Dr Virginia Thorley, OAM, PhD, IBCLC, FILCA - International Board Certified Lactation Consultant

Fussy babies at about 6 weeks

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. 

7 Comments to Fussy babies at about 6 weeks:

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Myra Lowrie on Friday, 9 May 2014 11:26 AM
I very much enjoyed this article. You have shared practical information new moms will find helpful.
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Jean Ridler on Saturday, 10 May 2014 9:29 PM
Well said Myra. Thank you, Virginia. :)

Virginia Thorley on Sunday, 18 May 2014 10:27 AM
Thank you both for your comments. It's so important to reassure new mothers and help them through minor challenges like this one.
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Virginia Thorley on Thursday, 10 July 2014 11:41 AM
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.

kliklah di casioshop on Saturday, 28 June 2014 5:31 PM
I very much enjoyed this article.
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Virginia Thorley on Monday, 29 September 2014 10:34 AM
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.
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Virginia Thorley on Tuesday, 6 June 2017 11:23 AM
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!
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