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I just got my very first smart phone, an iphone. I cannot sign enough praises about finally having a smart phone. I love that I can take video and pictures of my kids and then text or email them to my family and friends in a snap. I have had a ton of fun finding educational apps for my son (3.5 years old) and my twins (2 years old). They have so many neat apps out there. But I found one that is an awesome baby log app and best of all…its free!!!

Philip Avent’s My Baby & Me App
Feeding:
This is a great app if you breast or bottle feed, since it allows you to record both bottle amounts and breastfeeding lengths. I breastfeed and only offer a bottle of expressed milk in a bottle at bedtime. What I found so wonderful about tracking the breastfeeding, is that you can hit a timer and choose which breast you started on. You can even hit pause if you have to stop in the middle of a feeding, awesome!!! Then simply hit done and the your feeding amount and which breasts were used are recorded. You can even add notes about each feeding (such as spit-up, difficult, ect.). But, you can always go back and edit your entries if you entered anything wrong or even if you forgot to record a feeding. This app will also show you a ratio of how often you breastfeed from the right vs. the left breast.

Sleeping:
Similar to the feeding option, you can record what time the nap started and what time the nap ended, as well as take notes. It is so easy to use and then shows you on a chart when your baby sleeps during the day for the week, so you can start to see trends. You can always go back and edit your entries as well.

Diaper Changes:
Keep track of wet, dirty, or wet and dirty diapers- and when they were changed. You can also keep notes. This has been so helpful for me. Haydon has had some crazy weird diapers (mucusy, green, and smelly) due to some allergies that I am trying to figure out. I can place a note about his diapers and what I ate that day so I can go back and see if there are any trends as to what is causing his weird diapers.

Other Features:
There are 3 other categories you can use but I have not utilized much. Moments, allows you to record things like first bath, first time they rolled over, etc. It allows you to put pictures in some of these moments as well. There is also weight and height that you can input from you doctor’s visits, and they show your child’s growth curve based on the WHO (world health organization).

My Rating:
I would give this app 5 starts (out of 5 stars). It is easy to use, you can track a ton of information with this app, and best of all it’s free!!

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If you have decided that you are going to breastfeed your baby, not matter how long your decided to breastfeed, there will come a time when you will have to be apart from your child and you will need him or her to take a bottle. Unless you make giving your child a bottle a part of your weekly routine, he or she will most likely reject the bottle at some point. This happened to me.

Here is my story:

I have 3 child. My first child, Cooper, I gave a bottle to at 3 weeks old after we had established breastfeeding. He did well taking the bottle and it really presented no issue for him. Cooper got a bottle at least twice a week if not more when he was a small infant. I would pump and then offer him the breastmilk in his bottle. When Cooper got older, around 5 months old, I started having issues making enough milk for him at his bedtime feeding. So I began to pump before I went to bed. I used that breastmilk in a bottle to supplement his bedtime feeding after I had finished feeding him. So Cooper got a bottle every day from that point on. When it came time to wean Cooper, he took all his feedings from a bottle so well. He weaned at 10 months and it was so easy. I cried having to stop breastfeeding, but Cooper did not seem to care one bit. I really think that the weaning process went so well because Cooper was so use to getting a bottle every day prior to weaning.

Then I had the twins. I tandem breastfeed my twin girls using a double nursing pillow. The girls took to bottle pretty quickly around 3 weeks of age too. They got an occasional bottle with daddy and we use to use the bottle to give them a dream feed for a short while. I soon dropped the dream feed and giving bottles was difficult for me to do with two babies at the same time so I decided to exclusively breastfeed for ease. Plus, my husband needed to occupy my toddler son while I was breastfeeding in the evenings so I did not have an extra pair of hands to feed the babies bottles. The girls did get bottles at church or when my mother-in-law would watch them, but that was very infrequent. Around 5 months old, I started to not make enough to satisfy both girls at their bedtime feeding again. The solution was to give one girl a bottle of expressed milk at bedtime and the other to breastfeed. That allowed for enough milk for them both. Anna got the bottle and Molly was breastfeed. BIG MISTAKE! So Molly almost NEVER got a bottle from 5 moths and on. Anna got a bottle every night. Guess what, now at 11 months old, I cannot get Molly take a bottle. It does not matter if I hold the bottle, if Daddy holds the bottle, or if she holds the bottle, she just will not take a bottle. Anna on the other hand, will take a bottle no problem.

Closing Thoughts: I think it is important to introduce a bottle at least 2-3 times a week with your infant even if you choose to breastfeed. There may be a time when you will not be able to be around to breastfeed, and you will want someone else to give your child their milk. I am very “boob-bound” because my daughter Molly will not drink from a bottle. How I wished that I would have done bottles with Molly more often so she would be more willing to drink from a bottle, giving me some more freedom to come and go without having to race home to nurse. I am trying to wean Molly to a sippy or straw cup since she will not take a bottle, but it is a very slow process. Hopefully, I will be able to wean Molly in time.

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If you have a newborn, I bet you are looking forward to getting a longer stretch at night, at least longer than 3 hours. I really wanted to get my twin girls to sleep through the night as soon as possible so I could get some sleep. I have a toddler, who was only 18 months old when my twins were born. Therefore, it was very important that I get some good sleep so I could be my best to take care of not only the twins during the day, but my toddler too.

Dreamfeed
A dreamfeed is a feeding that you give typically around 10/11pm. Your baby has already gone to sleep for the night and you wake your baby to give him a feeding and then put him right back to bed. Typically, this feeding you don’t turn on the lights. You don’t talk to you baby. You don’t make eye contact. You don’t change a diaper unless it is really wet or poopy. You try to keep your baby almost asleep through the feeding and then place your baby back down in his crib or bassinet for the night. The goal of dreamfeeding is hopefully fill your baby up so that he or she will sleep longer through the night. This means, you the parent gets to sleep longer.

Cluster Feeding
Cluster feeding is feeding in short intervals in the late afternoon or early evening. Many mothers who breastfeed do this because their milk supply is not as high in the late afternoons or evenings. This also keeps your baby from getting as fussy in the evenings, during the dreaded “Witching” hours. Clusterfeeding also acts like dreamfeeding, in that you are trying to “tank-up” your baby with lots of feedings/ milk in order that he would sleep longer at night.

My personal experience:
My kids have not done that great with dreamfeeds. I am not really sure why because I know so many moms who swear by the dreamfeed. The dreamfeed really helped their baby sleep longer through the night. I found that dreamfeeding actually made my kids wake up more frequently. I think they thought that if I put them to be at 7pm and woke them at 10pm that they should wake up and eat every 3 hours through the night. Yikes!!! I did not want that to happen. But I have use dreamfeeds when there have been points in my twins lives when they go to bed super early- 6pm and I want them to sleep until 7am. When they go to bed at 6pm, I know they will not make it to 7am without needing a feeding. I would much rather feed them before I go to bed than at 4/5am. You know what I mean.

Now with my son, I never cluster fed him. He never really seem to need it, but in hindsight, I wish I had done it with him when he was a small infant because I think it would have helped him to sleep though the night quicker. I did cluster feed my girls, and I did it for a long time. Once I started to clusterfeed them, it was like magic and they started to sleep longer stretches for me. I also breastfeed so my supply is lower in the late afternoon/ evening and I think the girls needed to cluster feed in order to get enough milk to hold them over through the night. Check out the schedules I kept with my twins to see examples of the clusterfeeding in the late afternoons/ evenings. http://blogginaboutbabies.wordpress.com/2010/09/14/infant-schedules-by-month-updated/

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I finally gave in and started to wean my son from breastfeeding. My son is 10 months old. Ever since I got my period when my son was 6 months old, breastfeeding has been a real challenge for me. Every month when I would get my period, my milk supply would significantly drop. Thus, causing a fussy and hungry baby. I was able to keep my milk supply up by using mother love more milk plus, but towards the end, nothing seemed to help. I will blame the low milk supply mostly on stress. We recently move from Maryland to Texas, which has been very stressful on me. Everything I read says that stress can cause your milk supply to decrease. Then to top things off, my son just simply would not sit still long enough to nurse. So I have thrown in the towel. At first, this was really hard for me to accept. I cried quite a bit, but after a week of crying and my hormones all over the place from weaning, I realized that my son could care less that I was no longer nursing him. Once I notice that he did not care, I was okay.

Here is how I have been weaning him:

Week 1: Morning BF, Mid-Morning Formula, Afternoon BF, Bedtime BF

Week 2: Morning BF, Mid-Morning Formula, Afternoon Formula, Bedtime BF

Week 3: Morning Formula, Mid-Morning Formula, Afternoon Formula, Bedtime BF

Week 4: Morning Formula, Mid-Morning Formula, Afternoon Formula, Bedtime Formula (I continue to pump this last feeding, but decrease the amount I pump every 3 days until I completely dry up)

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My son is now 9 months old. I had contemplated switching to formula full time for a while now because of concerns of my milk supply. Between my son’s distractability and teething, he became very uninterested in nursing. Then to top things off every month my milk supply dips right before my period while I am PMSing. Then my family moved cross country from Maryland to Texas and I think the stress that I was experiencing caused my already low milk supply to start dipping. My son became very fussy at my breast and would suck hard, but I would not have any milk. After talking to my son’s pediatrician, she recommended that I start supplementing with formula. So I have done that (thankfully he’ll drink it now), but it is causing my milk supply to dip to a sever low. I don’t want to quit breastfeeding. I would like to breastfeed him until he is a year old. So I have decided to really try everything I know to get my milk supply up. Here is my plan:

  1. Nurse/ Pump every 1.5- 2 hours and every 3 hours at night
  2. Drink lots of water
  3. Take More Milk Plus Special Blend
  4. Take Goat Rue
  5. Drink Mother’s Milk Tea
  6. Eat a diet high in protein/ carbs
  7. Rest, Rest, Rest

I am hoping that the combination of these things will help to bring my milk supply up. I will let you know my plan was successful or not.

References:

http://breastfeeding.hypermart.net/supply.html

http://www.kellymom.com/bf/supply/low-supply.html

http://www.llli.org/FAQ/increase.html

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According to the Book The Baby Whisperer Solves All Your Problems a “child who wakes habitually doesn’t need more food unless she’s going through a growth spurt (p.191).” I know that when my son was between 6-8 weeks old he was waking at up around 1am every night. I knew that between 6-8 weeks old he could sleep for at least 6-8 hours a stretch at this age (see my post on sleep requirements). My husband I decided to do the Cry-It-Out method with my son. It took about a week, but at the end of a week, my son was no longer waking around 1am. I was practical and decided to only eliminate the first middle of the night feeding because I knew he was physically ready to go a longer stretch at night between feedings.

NEVER eliminate a feeding before your child is ready. If you child is 8 weeks old, he should be able to go 6-8 hours at night without a feeding. It would be unrealistic to expect an 8 week old to sleep longer than 9 hours without a feeding and for some babies at that age 8 hours is unrealistic too. Go with your maternal instincts and only eliminate the nighttime feeding if they are physically ready!

Please note: If you child is waking up at different times every night, that is most likely due to hunger and not habit. It is best when they are under two months old or in a growth spurt, to feed them when this occurs.

Here is what my son’s nighttime sleep looked like prior to sleep training (CIO) to eliminate the 1pm feeding (6-8 weeks old):

  • 10pm Nurse & Right Back to Bed for the Night
  • 1am Wakes & Nurses & Right Back to Bed
  • 4-5 am Wakes & Nurse & Right Back to Bed
  • 7am Wakes & Nurse- this is the official start to our day and I make sure to keep him up after this feeding

Here is what my son’s nighttime sleep looked like after sleep training (CIO) to eliminate the 1pm feeding (6-8 weeks old):

  • 10pm Nurse & Right Back to Bed for the Night
  • 4-5 am Wakes & Nurse & Right Back to Bed
  • 7am Wakes &  Nurse- this is the official start to our day and I make sure to keep him up after this feeding

Other Methods to Eliminate a nighttime feeding

  • Lengthen the time between night feedings: So if your baby has been waking at 1am, you could try to hold her out until 1:15am. You can do this by rocking her, giving her a pacifier, patting her on the back or tummy while in her crib, holding her in a the rocking chair. Sometimes the baby will fall asleep on her own and not even need the feeding, but if she is still awake and it is 1:15am feed her. Do this for several days until she starts to wake at 1:15am instead of 1:00am. Then try to increase the time by 15 minute again so that you try to hold her out until 1:30am and so on. This process takes a lot longer, but I have heard from other moms that this method has worked from them.
  • Gradually reduce food at the night feeding: if you are breastfeeding, you will reduce the length of your nursing session. So if you are nursing for 20 minutes, only nurse for 18 minutes the next night. Then try reducing the length the third night down to 16 or 15 minutes. I would decrease the length of nursing by 2-5 minutes each night until you are down to nothing. If you bottle feed, try reducing the amount in the bottle by 1/2 ounce each night until you are done to nothing. At this point, I would try to let your child cry. You can be in the room while your child cries if you don’t want to leave them alone, but don’t pick them up. Remember, your child is just waking out of habit at this point. It may take several days after you have eliminated the feeding, but they should eventually sleep through that feeding time. This worked for me when I was trying to stop the 4/5am feeding with my son when he was between 17-20 weeks old. I first reduced the length of the nursing session and then I let him cry-it-out. He finally stopped waking for that feeding at 20 weeks old. (This idea comes from The Baby Sleep Solution)
  • Wake-To-Sleep Technique: "Instead of lying there waiting for her to wake up, set your clock an hour earlier than her habitual waking time and wake her. She probably won’t wake up completely, but her little eyes may dart back and forth under her lids, she’ll murmur and move a bit, just as an adult would if you interrupted his deep sleep. Do this for three nights in a row….but I recommend that you keep it up for three nights nonetheless. If it doesn’t work, you have to reevaluated whether her habitual waking is due to another cause. If you’ve ruled everything else out, do this wake-to-sleep technique another three days. "(The Baby Whisperer Solves All Your Problems p. 191-192).
  • Shush-Pat: go to your child and "you simultaneously whisper, ‘shh, shh, shh….’ into your baby’s ear and pat his back." If that does not work to settle him, hold him over your shoulder: Pat him on his back in a steady rhythmic motion- like the tick-tock, tick-tock, of a clock. The patting need to quite firm, and you want to be in the center of the back, not on one side or the other, and certainly not as far down as their little bottom…While you are patting him, put your mouth to his ear, and whisper a slow, fairly loud, "shh…shh…shh." Elongate the shh sound so that it slows to a chug-chug of a train…When you sense his breathing is getting a little deap and his body is starting to relax, gently lay him down, slightly on his side, so that you can have access to his back [ to continue patting if needed].” This works for babies under the age of 3 months. (The Baby Whisperer Solves All Your Problems p.184-185).
  • Offer Pacifier: This seems to work if your baby is truly waking up out of habit. If you child is hungry, then the pacifier will not work. Try not to offer the pacifier after you baby is 3 months old. The pacifier can become habit forming at that point.
  • Cry-It-Out: Allow your child to cry when they wake. If you want to go in and check on them when they first wake to make sure they don’t need a diaper change or are ill, then go to them. But if you can, stay out of the room. With my son, the moment he saw me, it was all down hill. He would refuse to go to sleep unless I nursed him or held him. His crying would become ten times worse if he saw me. I had to learn to let him cry-it-out on his own. It was really hard to hear him cry, but in a few nights there was no more crying.
  • Cry-It-Out Variations: Some parents just cannot stand to hear their child cry alone in their room, and that is okay. You can try sitting near the crib as they cry or setting a timer and only going in the room every few minutes while they are crying to check on them and let them know you love them until they fall asleep.
  • P.U./P.D. (Pick Up/ Put Down): This method is intended for a baby 4 month or older. Prior to this try the shush-pat method. You pick your child up while he is crying and the minute he stops crying you put him back in his crib. If he starts crying, pick him up again. Then if he stops crying, place him in the crib again. You will repeat the pick up/ put down until he stops crying and will fall asleep in his crib on his own. "On average, P.U./ P.D. takes 20 minutes, but it can go on for an hour or more. If while you are hold your baby and he is crying and arching his back or trying to wiggle free, don’t fight your baby just place him back into his crib. He is just trying to settle himself and may not want to be held. You may still need to pick him up again after he has arched his back, but that’s okay. Just keep repeating the PU/ PD until he quietly lays in his crib without crying. (The Baby Whisperer Solves All Your Problems p.221-224) I have a friend who used this method with her son with great success. I have never personally used it, but it worked for her and her son!  For more on this method read this: http://blogginaboutbabies.wordpress.com/2009/05/11/pupd-pick-up-put-down-baby-whisperers-sleep-training-method/

Ultimately, we have to do what is best for our family. There is no right or wrong way to do sleep training. Just remember to be consistent with what ever method you choose to do and don’t set unrealistic expectations. Remember, your baby is young and will still need some nighttime feedings for a while. Please read the posts below before starting sleep training!

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I have used many of the baby wise principals with my son. I have followed a lot of the advice they have given about feeding schedules. They have worked really well so far. I exclusively breastfeed Cooper until he was almost 5 months old. My son is now 7 months old and I am still breastfeeding and have not lost my milk supply. I should also add that Cooper has always been in the 50 %ile for weight and 90-95 %ile for height.

Common Issues with Baby Wise and Breastfeeding

I have hear the common issues that people have when it comes to babywise- “you can decrease you milk supply or lose it all together if you follow babywise and your child may have failure to thrive. After following a feeding schedule that is similar to the one they suggest in baby wise, I can understand why that might happen. People misinterpret how to implement baby wise while they are breast feeding which results in low milk supply (or loose ability to nurse) and children who fail to thrive. I wanted to give some helpful suggestions to make sure this does not happen to you!

Don’t feed by the clock- this type of feeding schedule is not baby wise. Baby wise is a parent-directed feeding schedule. This type of feeding schedule has designated feeding times, but also allows for some variation due to child’s hunger. For instants, let’s say you’re feeding schedule looked something like this- 7am, 10am, 1pm, 4pm, 7pm, 10pm. If you child is suppose to eat at 10am but is crying and fussy at 9:50 should you make them wait an additional 10 minutes to eat- no, that is hyper scheduling! The schedule serves as a guide line for when to feed and how to schedule naps. It helps you as a parent know when to expect your child to be hungry. This was great when my son was a newborn. I knew if he was crying around a scheduled feeding time he was most likely hungry.  But if he was crying and he had just eaten a hour prior, he most likely was not hungry and perhaps he was tired or had gas. Babywise gave this diagram to help drive home the point to not feed only by the clock:

Hunger Cue + Clock + Parent Assessment = Feeding Time

Feed More Frequently During Growth Spurts- During a growth spurt, you will need to feed your baby more frequently if you are nursing. This will help stimulate your breasts to start producing more milk. If you fail to follow your child’s hunger cues, you could damage your milk supply. The result is less milk and a fussy, underfeed baby. If you were feeding on a 3- hour schedule, consider moving back to a 2.5 hour schedule to fit in an extra feeding. Remember to follow your child’s hunger cue’s and feed your baby when she is hungry. Growth spurts really don’t last longer than a few days, a week at most. Yes your schedule will be a little messed up for a few days. Don’t fear, after the growth spurt is over, you little one will return to the previous schedule fairly easy.

Add a feeding- Once your child is on a 4-hour schedule, that means you will only need to feed your little one 4 times a day. Your schedule might look like this- 7am, 11am, 3pm, 7pm. For some breastfeeding mom’s 4 feedings is not enough. Baby wise recognizes this and writes, “Your baby will maintain four to six liquid feeding in a 24- hour period, three of which will be supplemented by babyfood.” Some moms can nurse 4 times and maintain milk supply but others cannot. If you are on a 4 hour schedule, how do you fit in the 6 feedings to maintain milk supply? You can add the late night feeding (dreamfeed), this is the feeding you usually give to your child after they have been asleep around 10/11pm before you go to sleep. You could also try cluster feeding in the evening since your milk supply is lower at night any way. Your schedule might look like this- 7am, 11am, 3pm, 5pm, 7pm, with an optional late night feeding at 10/11pm. Once your baby is older and will stay awake longer, they may not be on a perfect 4 hour eat, wake, sleep cycle. NOTE: if you see your milk supply dipping, just add an additional feeding.  Shorten the length between feeding to accomplish this.

Pump: Once your little one is sleeping through the night and no longer taking the late night feeding (dreamfeed) you may only be breastfeeding 4 times a day. I tried doing that, but my milk supply started to dip. I added a 5 feeding, but I pump this feeding right before I go to sleep between 10/11pm. I save the milk that I pump and use it in his cereal for the next day. Once I added the 5 feeding back with pumping, I was able to maintain a healthy milk supply.

Here is what my feeding schedule looks like with my 7 month old currently:

  • 7am Breastfeed/ breakfast
  • 10am nap (1.5 hours)
  • 11:30 breastfeed/ lunch
  • 2:30 nap (1.5 hours)
  • 4:00 breastfeed
  • 6:00 Dinner
  • 7:00 Breastfeed
  • 10/11:00 Pump (save breast milk for cereal next day)

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There are various reasons that babies refuse to nurse. I am in the mist of my son refusing to nurse. It can be really frustrating. As they get older, they are  more aware of their surroundings and less focused on nursing. I noticed that nursing became more difficult once my son Cooper turned 4.5 months old. It can be so frustrating, especially when he totally refuses to nurse at times. According the the book The Nursing Mothers Companion, nursing refusal/ strikes usually only last a few days but can sometimes last as long as two weeks.

Here are some strategies I have used. Some of these strategies come from the book The Nursing Mothers Companion and other strategies are ones that I have personally tired and work.

  1. Try to change positions, nurse in a quite, dark room.
  2. pump and express your milk if you baby refuses to take nurse- to keep milk supply up
  3. try nursing with skin-to-skin contact
  4. nurse when baby is sleepy- this will help prevent him from becoming distracted
  5. nurse more frequently- to keep milk supply up
  6. try to determine if your milk supply is too low- if this is the case- you will have to do something to help correct this problem
  7. swaddle your baby before feeding- this helps to keep them from thrashing about and more focuses on nursing
  8. drape a colorful cloth or scarf over your shoulder for your baby to look at

Other Things to Consider

  • If your baby is young, 0-3 months, and is fussy and has greenish poop, your child may have a food alergy (something you ate) or colic. Discuss this with your doctor or lactation specialist.
  • Thrush- a yeast infection that can be passed from mom to baby. Baby may be fussy at the breast. They will have a white coating around the lips and cheek and may be more gassy than normal. There might be bright red dotting around your babies genitals and your nipples. Consult your doctor to discuss proper treatment for you and your baby.
  • Menstruating- this can cause your milk supply to decrease and the flavor of the milk to change.  See my post for more suggestions http://blogginaboutbabies.wordpress.com/2009/04/20/milk-supply-during-menstruation/
  • Illness- common cold and ear infections can make nursing difficult
  • Perfume- baby may not like the smell of the perfume you are wearing
  • supplemental bottle- sometimes if you supplement with a bottle, your milk supply will decrease, thus making the baby less interested in nursing.
  • teething- this can make a baby uncomfortable while nursing

More Resources

http://www.llli.org/NB/NBNovDec92p173.html

http://www.kellymom.com/bf/concerns/baby/back-to-breast.html

http://www.breastfeedingbasics.com/html/nursing_strike.shtml

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If you are one of the lucky mom’s who has still not had the return of her monthly period- then count yourself luck! My menstrual cycle returned when my son Cooper was 6 months old. Prior to that, I had one fluke period when Cooper was two months old. I have had my period three times and each time the week leading up to my period my milk supply decreased significantly. I was terrified that I was drying up. My son was fussy because he was not getting enough milk. The first time this happened I went searching the internet for help. Here is what I discovered has helped me and I hope it will help you:

  1. calcium/magnesium supplement: take one a day and this is suppose to help with maintaining your milk supply levels prior to your period
  2. Nurse more frequently: because your supply level is lower, it will mean your child will become hungrier faster. My son is on a 4.5 hour schedule. During the week leading up to my period  sometimes feed him every 3.5 hours or less (if needed). Yes, this messes up the schedule somewhat, but it helps him get enough to eat.
  3. Supplement with frozen breast milk: This I read no where, but I started to do it on my own. I found that I was just not producing enough milk and after each feeding I would offer my son a few more ounces of warmed breast milk that I had  stored in our freezer. I stored the milk in ice cube trays. Each ice cube is equal to 1 oz of milk. It was easy for me to take 2-3 cubes out and warm them to account for the decrease in my supply. This method worked the best for my son and I.
  4. Pump:  Your milk can have a slightly different flavor due to the hormonal changes in your body. My son does not nurse well because of the change in flavor. He often will pull off and refuse to relatch even when I have milk left. In order to keep my milk supply up, I often pump after he is done nursing to keep my milk supply up and running. I would then offer him some warmed frozen breast milk that I had previously pumped because it does not have the strange taste he is resisting. Seems to work.
  5. Funugreek capsules/ more milk plus: I have found both supplements to help increase my milk supply at various times while I have been nursing. I have found the most success at taking more milk plus. I bought it at an organic market. It comes in a liquid form. I took it for 36 hours and saw a huge different in my milk supply. This is not something you would want to take long term, so just do it leading up to your period. http://www.motherlove.com/product_more_milk_plus.php

Other Problems with Breastfeeding while menstruating

  • Baby can be more fussier than usual
  • might refuse to nurse or shorten length of nursing
  • sore nipples
  • flavor of milk can appear more sour or bitter- causing baby to refuse nursing or nurse less

Yes, I know it is frustrating that you have to put all this extra work into breastfeeding during your menstration. I know I have had moments when I am totally ready to throw in the towel and say the hex with breast feeding, let’s just switch to formula. But then my period comes, my milk supply returns, and Cooper and I go back to nursing as usual. No one ever said that breast feeding would be easy. And if you are an unlucky one like me, your nipples are so sensitive while mentrating, making breast feeding even more difficult. But hang in there- breast feeding is the best food for your baby and it is worth it!

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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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