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Old 04-13-2012, 01:57 PM   #1
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I have a 5 weeks old (my first) who I'm breastfeeding on demand. She is eating about every 2 hours during the day and will go about two stretches of 3 hours at night.

I'm home from work until she is 12 weeks old and then will be going back.

I met with my midwife yesterday and she said baby should be eating every 3-4 hours and to work on putting her on a schedule, especially since I will be returning to work. She recommends "crying it out" which I'm very against.

What are your thoughts? Should I let her get older and just do her own thing in regards to sleeping and eating? Should I work on a schedule? If so, how do I go about doing that?


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Old 04-13-2012, 02:08 PM   #2
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Your midwife suggested that?

A bf baby is supposed to eat every 1 1/2-2 hours. Their stomachs are the size of their fist and bm is very easily digestible.....which is why it is the perfect food.

I never scheduled my children's naps, but they were always ready to go down about 1 1/2 hours after the first time they woke. Even if it was before they showed signs of being tired. When they shows signs they are already overtired. The next time they woke up it was about 2 hours later and that continued the rest of the day until bedtime.

Pumping about 45 min after the first morning feed is the best time to pump to acquire a supply for when you o back to work. You can also pump again in mid afternoon 45 min after that feed. Bf babies only need 3-4oz every 2-2 1/2 hours and the bottle feed should be very slow, the time should mimic the time it takes for them to nurse. The bottle automatically drains in their mouth and they end up drinking it too fast on accident b/c of it. Just stop and burp every ounce or so.
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Old 04-13-2012, 02:37 PM   #3
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Re: scheduling?

No way would I listen to her! Your baby sounds like she is nursing on a very healthy, normal newborn schedule. And I can't believe she told you to let a newborn CIO.

I'm not going to offer advice, simply because my son is a terrible sleeper so I have no business helping other in that department, haha. But I'm shocked at her advice and it makes me sad that she's likely offered it to others who trusted her opinion.
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Old 04-13-2012, 02:43 PM   #4
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I apologize in advance for my longgg reply. Im very passionate about BF working mothers.

I went back to work when my DS was 12 weeks also. I was worried about the same thing. IMO and experience you should not put your baby on a schedule. Continue to feed on demand. Don't force a schedule because not only will you stress baby out, but you will stress yourself out and it could result in supply issues as well as low weight gain and development for your baby. Just as every baby is different, so is every mom's BM content. Trust your baby and follow its hunger cues as you are already doing. Your LO will start stretching out feedings eventually. Could take months, but thats okay. My DS is 10 months and still wakes 2-3 times a night to nurse. It's hard but his needs are worth it and I keep reminding myself that he won't be nursing forever.

Also, if you haven't already done so, start introducing the bottle to your baby. Once your LO has mastered it, continue to reinforce this skill by having someone give your baby a bottle a couple times a week.

I recommend finding a caregiver who is willing and receptive to feeding your LO expressed milk. If they arent familiar with BF babies and feeding on demand, you will need to explain to them your LO hunger signs, how to mimic bottle feeding like breastfeeding (look up the SIMPLE method) how to handle and store breast milk. If you can find a caregiver who nursed her own children, even better! My DS refused a bottle so we eventually taught him how to drink from a sippy. Was very stressful until then!

Don't worry too much about pumping now. I pumped once a day starting around four or five weeks old to build up a decent freezer stash prior to returning to work. I was in the Army (out now), so I needed a big supply in case I had to go to training and was going to be away from my DS for a few days. If you don't have to worry about that, then pumping isn't that big of an issue. It us good to practice and figure out if your pump will work for you. Though pumping and building a stash now while your milk supply is still really high could be beneficial if once you return to work you have supply issues. There are lots of things you can do to help this. As long as you are able to pump and/or feed your baby every few hours upon returning to work, your supply will be fine.

Have you looked at the La Leche Leagurwebsite? If not, I highly recommend you browse through it. Lots of good and helpful info. I found a working moms LLL group that met monthly in my area and loved being able to relate and get support from other working moms.

So once again I apologize for such a lengthy reply. Keep doing what you are doing and trust your own instincts

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Last edited by momma_dna; 04-13-2012 at 02:45 PM.
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Old 04-13-2012, 02:47 PM   #5
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Re: scheduling?

FWIW, my daughter has always eaten on a 2 hour schedule. She started it at birth (with exception of growth spurts), continued after I dried up and switched to formula, continued after we added solids and at 18months old, must eat every 2 hours.

Small amounts more frequently is healthier anyways. There's no reason to force your child to cry and refuse foods. Especially during the '4th trimester' aka, first 3-4 months of life.
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Old 04-13-2012, 02:51 PM   #6
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Re: scheduling?

Uhmmm..CIO at 5. weeks. old!!? Please, do NOT do that. I can't even believe that was suggested.
I wouldn't expect a 5 week old to be on a schedule, and I'd continue to feed her on demand.
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Old 04-13-2012, 02:53 PM   #7
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Re: scheduling?

We are a scheduling family and even I think your midwife is nuts. . At 5 weeks, your LO should be eating every 2.5-3 hours IMO and IME. No CIO is necessary. If you watch your LO, they will show sleep cues about 15-30 minutes after eating at 5 weeks. A fuss, a yawn, an eye rub. Many babies will happily and easily put themselves to sleep at the first sleep cue. GL!
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Old 04-13-2012, 02:58 PM   #8
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Re: scheduling?

Yikes! The schedule your baby is on is just fine for her age. By 12 weeks your baby will most likely have stretched her feedings out a little longer (on her own). Just keep doing what your doing and tell your MW that you are very against CIO and hopefully she won't bring up any more of that non sense.
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Old 04-13-2012, 03:04 PM   #9
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Re: scheduling?

That's a bit much. My son is 15 months tomorrow and still nurses on demand at night. I watched him closely a couple of weeks before I went back to work and he determined what his schedule was. He ate about every 2 hours so I sent that many bottles to daycare. Your doing a great job and do what feels right for you little one.
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Old 04-13-2012, 07:59 PM   #10
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Re: scheduling?

Please do not put baby on a schedule, they don't need a schedule, they need to eat when they are hungry. Their tummies are really small and my almost 5 year olds eats around every 3 hours. A BF baby needs to eat every 1-2ish hours. Breastmilk does not stay in their tummies as long as formula does, and that is good. Even at a daycare the baby should be fed on demand and not on a schedule. CIO is NOT even suggested at that age by pro-CIO people.
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