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Posts Tagged ‘bottle feeding’

I have tried introducing a sippy cup to my son since he was 7 months old. My son is now 9.5 months old. We have tired pretty much every brand out there. The brand of sippy cup that we have finally found success with is the Nuby Cup with a soft straw and handles. and Take & Toss Straw Cup. My son has difficulty with sippy cups that have a spout because he does not know how to lift the cup up to tip the water/ juice in to his mouth. Have you tired sucking from a spout yourself? I have. It is difficult to get water to come out of those things. The straw is much easier.

My son is use to receiving his milk from me (breastfeeding) or a bottle. The only think that I have put in a sippy cup so far has been water or apple juice. Well the other day I decided to give him his milk in the sippy cup, since he seems to really have the whole drinking from the straw concept thing down. I handed him the sippy cup and he held it and took a few sips. Then he leaned his head on me while still trying to drink. I could tell he wanted me to hold him so I picked him up and sat him in my lap and helped him hold his cup. That was not what he wanted! He proceed to throw his first tantrum. He threw the sippy cup across the floor and started to wail, scream, and kick his legs and arms all over the place. I picked up the sippy cup and then picked him up. Calmly told him, “Sweetie, it is just a sippy cup. You can still have your milk and sit in my lap.” He would not accept this. He kept getting more and more angry. I knew what he wanted. He wanted ME to HOLD him and for ME to give him his milk from a BOTTLE. I believe that he made the association that milk is in a bottle or from mommy (breastfeed) and water and juice belong in a sippy cup. After 10 minutes of screaming, he finally calmed down. I did cave in and give him a bottle. I was afraid I was pushing the sippy cup on him to fast.

Well, I have had time to regain my thoughts and rethink that particular situation. First, I recogonize that my son was manipulating that situation. Second, I need to break the association that sippy cups are only for juice and water. Finally, I needed to give him a lot of affection, cuddle time, and snuggling at other times of the day and while he drinks his sippy cups so he does not think I am trying to “replace” our snuggles when I give him a bottle or breastfeed him with a sippy cup instead.

I have decided to try something out: I am going to give him 2/3 of his milk in a bottle and 1/3 to follow it in a sippy cup. Eventually, I will slowly put less in the bottle and more in the sippy cup. Until finally, one entire feeding will come out of the sippy cup. Once I have one feeding coming completely from the sippy cup, I will try to slowly wean him from the bottle/ breast to sippy cup at another feeding. I think this might be more of a gentle way to introduce the sippy cup than what I tried to do. I am also going to try and offer him some milk in a sippy cup during his snack when he is most happy because I am giving him his favorite food, Cherrieos.

Here are some other suggestions that I found on how to introduce a sippy cup: http://www.babycenter.com/0_sippy-cup-dos-and-donts_1439508.bc#articlesection2

Nuby Cup with Flip-It Straw Top http://www.amazon.com/Handle-8oz-Flip-Straw-Colors/dp/B0019MJZDG/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&s=baby-products&qid=1247372158&sr=1-6

Take & Toss Straw Cup http://www.toysrus.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2799857

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Just like it is good to establish a good bedtime routine, it is just as important to establish a good morning routine. In Kim West’s book Good Night, Sleep Tight she discusses a good part of a morning routine should be a “dramatic wake-up”. A dramatic wake-up should signal to your child that the day has started and it is different than waking in the middle of the night. To establish a “dramatic wake-up” try opening the blinds, turn on the bight over head light, and signing a happy song.

Why is this important? You want your child to know the difference between day and night. This helps to establish the difference clearly. If you have to go into their room during the night, you are are not going to sign a song and turn on a bright light. At night you keep as little stimulation from occurring as possible. The morning is the time to arouse and stimulate your child, helping them to set their natural alarm clocks. This is particularly important with newborns who are very sleepy. Many newborns have their day and nights confused- this helps to distinguish the difference.

It might also be helpful if you allow daddy to do the dramatic wake-up. This gives daddy the one-on-one time with baby and it does not require nursing (if nursing). Daddy can sing and talk to the baby while mommy either readies herself to breastfeed or perhaps is preparing the bottle. If you baby is not starving, you can also include a diaper change and change out of pajamas. Young infants tend to wake in the morning crying from hunger, you might have to delay the diaper change and clothing change until after the feeding. Another suggestion, try feeding your child in a well lit room that is not in the nursery in the morning. This will also help to establish the start of the day. Keep the day time feeding out of the nursery and all nighttime feeding in the nursery.

Here is what we do with our son for a “dramatic wake-up”

Dad goes in his room, turns on the light, opens the windows, and talks and plays with Cooper for a minute or two. Daddy then brings Cooper into our bedroom so that I can breastfeed him. After I finish feeding him, I put him on the potty (we do infant potty training), change his diaper, and put on a outfit for the day. We do this routine pretty much every day. Notice that daddy gets to get him up and I feed him. We share the responsibility and it gives us each quality one-on-one time with your son.

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There are two books that I highly recommend you read if you have a small infant: Babywise and The Baby Whisperer Solves All Your Problems. These two books have been a huge resource to me, especially when Cooper was under 4 months old. I have turned through the pages of these two books plenty of times. Both books talk about a daily schedule that follows a very simple pattern it looks something like this:

  1. Eat
  2. Awake/ Play
  3. Sleep
  4. Repeat (eat, play, sleep)

This pattern is important to follow because your baby does not learn to depend on eating (nursing/bottle) to fall asleep.

Be careful not to hyper schedule- be flexible

Depending on how old your baby is will determine how long each cycle (eat, play, sleep) will be. Your baby is not a robot and each cycle may vary by a few minutes each day. It is important not to hyper schedule and only feed the baby by the clock. Also keep in mind that at different parts of the day, your baby will be able to go longer between feeds than other times of the day. My son was only able to go 2.5 hours in the morning between feeds when he was under 3 months old. The rest of the schedule he was able to go 3 hours between each feed. Be flexible. Find out what works for your child and build your schedule around that.

Schedules Change

Schedules are constantly changing based on the developing needs of your child. Keep that in mind too! What worked last week might not work this week. Consider changing the amount of time your child stays awake if you child is having trouble napping by either decreasing or increasing his awake time.

What happens to the schedule when your baby has a growth spurt?

When a baby is in the middle of a growth spurt, if you are nursing, you must increase the number of times you feed your baby. This will only last a few days and you can go back to your normal schedule. If you are bottle feeding during a growth spurt, you can just increase the amount of formula in each bottle.

What determines the length of each cycle?

  1. Eating: this depends on how long your baby takes to eat (nurse/bottle). Newborns can take 20-45 minutes to nurse. As babies get older they get more efficient at eating. My son is now 6.5 months old and he nurses for 5 minutes on each side for a total of 10 minutes. When he was a newborn he was a fast eater, only nursing for a total of 15-20 minutes. Each baby is different and some take longer than others.
  2. Awake/ Play: this will depend on two factors- how old your baby is and how long it takes them to nurse. If your baby takes a long time to nurse then he will not have a lot of time left over to play. Below are some recommended awake times for each baby. Not all babies are the same. Some babies need shorter awake time while other may need longer. Remember to include how long your baby east when calculating awake time. As your baby gets older, wake times could vary. They tend to stay awake for a shorter time in the morning, longer in the afternoon, and even longer in the evening. See my post entitled 2-3-4 Nap Schedule for more on this: http://blogginaboutbabies.wordpress.com/2009/05/13/2-3-4-nap-schedule-for-older-babies/
    Newborn 50-60 mins
    1 month 60 mins-hour and 15
    2 months 1 hour and 15 – 20 mins
    3 months 1 hour and 20 – 30 mins
    4 months 1 hour and 45 – 2 hours
    5 months 2 hours – 2.25 hours
    Late 5 months/early 6 months 2.25-2.5 hours
    6.5 – 7 months 2.75-3 hours. Some are getting more.
    8 – 10 months 3 – 4 hours. Some are getting more.
    11 – 12 months 3.5 -4.5 hours. Some are getting more if moved early to 1 nap
  3. Sleep (naps): this depends on how long your baby can stay awake and how long they can go in between feedings. Below is a the number of naps that each baby should take each day (this could vary). See my post Infant Sleep Requirements which gives more information about how long each nap should be.
    Newborn- 1 month 3-4 naps
    2- 3 months 3-4 naps
    3 months 3 naps
    4-5 months 2-3 naps
    6- 8 months 2-3  naps
    9- 18 months 2 naps
    18+ months 1 naps

I typed the schedules that I kept with my son every month. They have changed quite a bit as he has grown. http://blogginaboutbabies.wordpress.com/2009/05/13/infant-schedules-by-month/

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