My breastfed baby and my idea of schedules

I’m one of those people that really really wants to be super organized but am not. If you could see my desk, you’d understand. I somehow make it all work, but here is an example: I bought a couple of plastic containers and some folders in order to organize my desk. One of the containers is dedicated to personal stuff, specifically tax information. Yet, all of my receipts and tax stuff is in the bin “to be filed” and has been there since January 2013. So, yeah…. neither is my baby.

I had a big plan for Ellie when she came into this world. I was going to put her on a schedule – she would eat every 2 1/2 hours, she would nap at 10 in the morning and 2 in the afternoon, and she would go to bed at 8. Yes, this was going to work. And then I had Ellie. And she wasn’t interested in that schedule. My pediatrician told me in the hospital, “now feed her every 3 hours, and don’t let her go past 4 hours”. I thought, oh okay – no problems there. Ellie wasn’t interested in 3 hours, she wanted to eat every hour and a half. Ok, we’re eating more frequently than I thought, but I’ll just go with it.

My thoughts: “why does this baby scream when she gets hungry, jeez”

I read all of the books that said, catch your baby before she gets hungry, look at hunger cues, etc – This was my baby’s hunger cues: tongue, tongue, SCREAAAAAMMMMMMMM. Oh, she’s hungry. Or it would look like this, “sleeeeppp…sleepppp…. WAKE UP SCRREAAAMMMIINNNGGG…”

So yeah – that’s when I decided, the schedule will come later, I just need to focus on getting food in this baby ASAP.

Then we had the food allergy and it made sense why she was so hungry, her little tummy was irritated. Some babies eat more when that happens and some eat less. I got the baby that ate more and more and more. But even after getting my diet straightened out, the periods of time in between feedings has only varied by about an hour in 6 months. In the beginning, she ate about every hour and half. Now, she eats between 2 – 3 hours, it varies depending on naps, where we are, and how interested she is in a toy. I asked my pediatrician when Ellie will start spacing out her feedings, and she said, “you know, some babies just eat every 2 hours and that’s it”.

I said, “Oh.”

She said, “yeah, sorry.” (She actually has said that to me a lot. Like, when she told me I can’t eat any dairy or soy which basically meant, all delicious food. And when she found out Ellie had reflux. and when we found out that she still had blood in her stool even after cutting out all the good stuff in my diet).

A side note, my lactation consultants (I saw several while in the hospital, as well as in my breastfeeding class) felt very strongly that if you want to breastfeed, you must breastfeed on demand. She said that schedules DO NOT WORK FOR BREASTFED BABIES. I told her that I had read the book, Babywise, and that I planned on attempting that. She looked at me like I had a third eye. I didn’t realize that the American Academy of Pediatrics had actually come out with a statement AGAINST that book for the amount of babies who failed to thrive due to that book. Whoops…

And when I logically think about it, I eat when I’m hungry. On some days, I may eat lunch at noon. Some days, I may eat lunch at 1:30, but it’s always different. I don’t know if that’s just me, or if it’s the world, but I doubt as adults, we eat the exact same time every. single. day. So why do I expect my baby to do the same? And I really don’t mind. I’ve found that her sleep has developed the same as all the other babies I know of, without me really trying to force her to do anything, so I’m just going along, trusting the process, letting baby lead the way.

So all you breastfeeding mamas, please know:

  • It gets better
  • You’re doing a good job
  • Listen to your baby, she/he know what they need
  • Their cries do mean something, listen to them
  • It gets better
  • You’re doing a good job

One thought on “My breastfed baby and my idea of schedules

  1. Hahaha. So exactly what I went through when Wesley was born. Guess I could have told you all of this and saved you the aggregation – since I’m on the 3rd. Ady is finally, finally spreading out her feedings. And only because she’s crawling and very excited about that! Ahhh- the demands of a baby…

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