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Old 04-26-2012, 12:46 AM   #1
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I Am NOT A Pacifier! ...or am I?

Need some input from the mommas here.

MY dd is 8 weeks old. She was born 7.4 perfect little pounds and because of a GREAT pediatric/LC team, she and I had rather minor bumps on the breastfeeding road. She lost only a few ounces and was back up to her birth weight within 10 days. At her last appointment (April 20th), she weighed 11 pounds, ten ounces, putting her in the 80th percentile. She is average height. The nurse says that is great and I shouldn't worry about a fat baby.

No problem. I'm not really worried about a fat baby as I've read on her plenty of times that toddlerhood pretty much remedies that. What does bother me, though, is that she is extremely hard to diaper. She is in sposies now after blowing through our newborn and small stash, and the size 1s are too tight on her thighs. The size 2s fit good on her thighs but are severely droopy between the legs - onesies are difficult to snap. At the moment, I am gathering prefolds and wool but it will be a couple weeks before i get enough to start using them.

In the meantime, I'm thinking 'okay, she is chubby and I am happy with that, but I know for a fact I am overfeeding her so maybe I should cut out the unnecessary feedings?' And by that I mean pacifier feeding and nana feeding.

Today, I gave it a try. Before today, she would only fall asleep on the nipple (she won't take a pacifier) and I've been happy to let her have it, especially if it meant momma got a nap. She isn't fussy or colicy but she is high maintenance/energy because she will not stand even a bit of mess in her diaper. So even if she is eating every 3 hours, I am changing her 2-3 times inbetween that, and often feeding her back to sleep on top of it. I have a fast flow, too, so she's not getting dribbles.

She ended up falling asleep twice today without nipple. Both times there was mild to moderate crying/fussing and it took me about 30 or so minutes each time. It broke both of our hearts, I am sure. I noticed it took her much longer to fall into a tranquil sleep, as well. If I moved her, or if she partially woke, she still whimpered/shuddered/whined. I'm pretty certain she wasn't hungry either time I put her down.

So I guess we are having some success in the 'mommy is not a pacifier' issue but I am second guessing my decision to do this. Overweight babies aren't a problem, my pediatrician is happy with us so I shouldn't give it much thought. But it's different when you know for a fact you are overfeeding. Not only am I paci-feeding, I'm feeding when she's not really hungry because it has recently gotten hard for me to tell when she is. I have a fairly calm tempered baby. She displays all the normal hunger signs, and I used to know she was ready to eat because she would start kicking a lot.

Lately, she has developed a habit of sucking on her hand, and she is kicking more because of her age (I think), so now it is almsot impossible for me to tell whether she is hungry, whether she is just exploring her body, or whether she just wants cuddle sucking. So I end up giving her my boob just in case. Since I have a fast flow, I think she is getting too much milk inbetween her "real" feedings. I take her off if it's clear she's not too serious about mealtime.

I can't even give you a current feeding schedule. A couple days ago, it was still every 2-3 hours. The last couple days, she's started actually sleeping inbetween her night feedings (bless her little soul) and I've been confused by her daytime signals so I'm sure I've been offering every 1.5 hours or so. Since she's getting so many unintentional snacks, who knows when she 'really' eats. I do know that if I wait 3 hours in general, she chows good - even through my letdown.

Sorry for the hella long and somewhat jumbled post. My confusion is a bit obvious, I think. Any mommas with input please?


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Old 04-26-2012, 01:13 AM   #2
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Re: I Am NOT A Pacifier! ...or am I?

First congratulations on successful breastfeeding. Only problem is pacis were invented to replace the mother. YOU are the original paci. They are just a poor imitation of mommy. Bottle fed babies do need pacis because otherwise their sucking needs would cause them to eat to much. Not only is it natural it is also normal for babies to comfort nurse. All of my babies have nursed to sleep. It often results in a happier more content baby. As she gets older her feedings will naturally begin to space out. Babies don't have schedules they eat when they are hungry and comfort nurse when they need the closeness. As she gets older her signals will leave you in no doubt of what she wants. My 10 month old now pulls on my shirt when he wants to nurse and actively tries to lay himself down.

My baby was 13lbs at 8 weeks old so I know what you mean about the diapers not fitting. My babies shirts were pulling at his belly so we were sizing up in everything. Just remember when looking for prefolds the premiums may be to long and to narrow. I had been given 5 dozen premium prefolds. By 4 months we were having trouble snappiing and pinning them. We switched him to GMD toddler green edge diapers. We could probably have used the brown edge but at the time money was in short supply so we bought what we were sure would go aroung his waist even if we had to fold down the rise several inches. Now they have the wide baby diapers which probably would have fit nicely. You may want to try on the prefolds you already have to make sure you are not buying diapers that will not fit.
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Old 04-26-2012, 02:02 AM   #3
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Re: I Am NOT A Pacifier! ...or am I?

I'm so glad you posted this! I'm feeling the same way. My baby was 5lbs 11oz at birth and now at 9 weeks, she's almost 11lbs. I wanted to keep feeding her because she was so little at birth and didn't gain back to her birth weight til 2.5 weeks later. Now she loves to comfort nurse and we don't have a feeding schedule at all. It varies week to week.
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Old 04-26-2012, 02:15 AM   #4
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Re: I Am NOT A Pacifier! ...or am I?

For the first 5 months, all I was was a living pacifier. Fortunately, you can't overfeed when breastfeeding. Overfeeding via bottle is possible, but not when nursing. Your breast is both comfort and nourishment. At 8 weeks, DD nursed on demand. Sometimes, it was every 30 minutes for a couple hours, other times it was every 3 hours.

If you can get her to fall asleep without nursing her down, that's great. My DD must nurse to sleep. She'd cry herself ragged for over an hour and fall asleep from exhaustion without a nipple.
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Old 04-26-2012, 06:28 AM   #5
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What everyone else said times 1000!

But I'll address the other half - my son was 9#5 at birth. Gerber onesies were useless - they ran small and didn't stretch very well. Circo (target brand) were much better and much more comfortable feeling.

As for diapers - your daughter may have wide hips. My son's dipes would always be folded down in the front and barely reach around his hips. Even as a toddler his prefolds would be folded down a couple inches but at the end of diapering we were struggling to get diapers wrapped around his hips.
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Old 04-26-2012, 06:30 AM   #6
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I nurse as much as baby wants. My 18 month old still nurses to sleep unless he is in the car. It's totally normal! Babies like to nurse, it is soothing to them.
Eleanor, mama to Maren (07.05.08) and Grant (10.20.10)
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Old 04-26-2012, 07:39 AM   #7
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Re: I Am NOT A Pacifier! ...or am I?

I agree, it is not possible to overfeed a breastfed baby. They will regulate how much they actually drink. And your DD isn't overweight at all . . . just think, if she's 80th percentile, that means that 20 percent of all baby girls her age are BIGGER than her. DS definitely nursed at least every 1.5 hours and was pretty much constantly at the breast, but eventually it got better. I would change his diaper every hour, more often if needed. He never took a paci and would use me for comfort sucking. He always nursed to sleep. Basically everything you describe sounds 100% normal to me. If I were you, I wouldn't change a thing.
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Old 04-26-2012, 10:23 AM   #8
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Re: I Am NOT A Pacifier! ...or am I?

At 5 weeks we are already fitting into 3-6 month onesies. Micah has gained 1 pound per week since birth, so he's 12 pounds now, which seems to put him off the growth chart?! Anyway, follow your instincts. My first was and still is a chunk, even when she was only nursing 3 times between 7 and 4, when I was working in an office and she refused to take a bottle. Nursing on demand may not be the main factor in his size.
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Old 04-26-2012, 11:56 AM   #9
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Re: I Am NOT A Pacifier! ...or am I?

At 8 weeks I wouldn't try and reduce feedings... My pedi says you can't overfeed a breastfed baby.
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Old 04-26-2012, 06:15 PM   #10
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Re: I Am NOT A Pacifier! ...or am I?

Comfort nursing is normal. Some babies do it more than others, though. And breastfed babies often grow really fast in their first 6 months, then slow down in their growth from months 6 to 12. That's a totally normal pattern of growth and I wouldn't worry about it.

A mother's breast is not a pacifier; a pacifier is a silicone or latex substitute for a mother's breast. I'm not knocking pacifiers--my DS takes one--but there is nothing wrong with nursing for comfort. In fact, it is really good for mother and baby and your nursing relationship.

I love this quote from Paula Yount:

You are not a pacifier; you are a Mom. You are the sun, the moon, the earth, you are liquid love, you are warmth, you are security, you are comfort in the very deepest aspect of the meaning of comfort…. but you are not a pacifier!
Catherine, mama to Preschooler Girl 9/08, Toddler Boy 3/11, and Twin Girls 2/14!
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