Wednesday, July 3, 2013

On-demand vs. Scheduled Breastfeeding

Before I moved to Austria [for love ;)], I was an Infant Room Teacher, an Au pair and a nanny. I had been around children, infants and toddlers my entire life because I came from such a large family. I started babysitting when I was 11 years old (what the heck were those parents thinking?!?!). My baby knowledge is extensive. I have trained babies to sleep, to eat, to be pretty awesome kids. I know how to do this. Let's face it, I was a baby guru! It is (was) in my blood. And then I got pregnant and had my own baby. All previous knowledge and know how flew right out the window. Well, I've had enough of brain dead baby mamma and am calling on all my old guruness to please come back to me!

When Alexa was born, the nurses and midwives told me to feed her whenever she rooted, but also not to let her go more than three hours without nursing. I have basically let her dictate her feeding schedule (and every other aspect of her life and mine) since birth. Now, I'm over it. I am so exhausted and cannot cope with waking up every 2-3 hours at night just so she can have a "sip" and then watch as she falls seamlessly back to sleep while I am wide awake for the next hour! Mamma needs a nap. That is why, I have decided to start scheduling my previously free spirited, any time you want it baby. It is hard and it hurts me...physically hurts me. My boobs are now the size of watermelons (previously they were honeydew melons) and they are literally throbbing, but I am holding fast. I will nurse her every three hours during the day. I am hoping that this will help her establish a better feeding pattern and that she will actually nurse properly before bedtime and then (for the love of God please) sleep longer stretches at night.

July 1st was day 1...and it sucked. My original plan was to have our day start at 7am. She normally wakes up to nurse around 4am, so I didn't really think that pushing her next feeding to 7am would be that big of a deal. It was and I caved. Our day went like this...

5am Wake up, play, snuggle, try and play some more, do not nurse!
6am Nurse (Yup, I caved that easily - my happy baby turned into super sad baby. No good.)
Morning playtime and hang out time
9am Nurse
10:15-11am Morning Nap
12pm Nurse
12:40-1pm Cat nap (disaster)
Afternoon nap time was a disaster. Normally Alexa nurses before she goes down for her AWESOME 2-3 hour wasn't time to nurse...she wouldn't go down for a nap. I put her in her crib and tried to let her chill out, but that led to serious crying. We read books and I rocked her until she fell asleep (so snuggly and I love it, but rocking her to sleep is not a habit I would like to get into.).
2:15-4:20pm Afternoon nap (FINALLY!)
3pm dream feed (she was still sleeping and I really wanted to keep the feeding schedule, especially since it's day 1)
4:30pm dinner (peas and carrots)
6pm Nurse and bed
6-7:40pm Sleep
(I tried to let her kind of fuss and find her binky, but after about 5-10 minutes it was clear that she was just wide awake!)
9pm Nurse and bed
1:45am (!!!) Nurse and straight back to bed
4:45am Bink
5:30am (!!!) Wake up!

I got so much sleep that night. It was AMAZING!!! By 7am on day 2, I had a load of laundry in, the dishwasher was running and dinner was already prepped. Go energizer Mommy!

Day 2 went REALLY REALLY well! Basically, every 3 hours I nursed her. She took a one hour morning nap, went down right after her noon feeding for an awesome 2 1/2 hour afternoon nap, ate dinner, nursed, had a bath and then went to bed at 9pm. She slept until 3:30am!!!!! Nursed and then went back to sleep until 7:15am!!! Go baby go!

Being a mom is definitely a "learn as you go" job. It's the best job I've ever had!

No comments:

Post a Comment