Breastfeeding

When to breastfeed?

Okay, I'm probably way overthinking this, but I'm trying to figure out how to cut down on the number of sessions of breastfeeding each day (we are seriously at 14-18 a day right now (2 of those are at night) but some of them are just snacking), still have some sort of normalcy in a modified EASY schedule, and still feed on demand... I was feeding her when she woke up from naps, but then she started getting hungry before her next nap when she started staying up longer, so then she was snacking after her naps that she ate right before. I think this is just because she was used to eating at that time so she would want to nurse but isn't really hungry. Then she is still getting hungry before her next nap or waking up early from her naps hungry... so basically we have been all screwed up since she started staying up longer and getting hungry again before her next nap (the sad thing is that she is only up for 2 hours at a time and has only been taking 30-45 minutes naps lately... this kiddo likes to eat frequently :P). For those of you with babies 4-5 months old or those that have older kids and have been through this stage: do you just wait till baby fusses/shows signs their hungry to feed them every time and not worry about how it coordinates with naps, or do you feed around their nap schedule somehow? I want to keep feeding on demand, but I think we are in a weird mess of habit-feeding plus hungry feeding which means we just have a ridiculous number of feedings and its getting hard to tell when she is actually hungry... Thank you!!

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Re: When to breastfeed?

  • I just nursed him all the time. Nursing met all his needs, well beyond just "I'm hungry". It also helped him if he was tired, cold, wanted to be held, wanted to make sure I was there, etc. If he wanted to nurse, we nursed. If I needed him to be quiet, we nursed.

    EASY wasn't going to work with my kid, he wanted to eat before going to sleep. 

  • In the beginning I nursed all the time. Sometimes constantly in the evening! You didn't say how old your LO was? If you are still working on building your supply, don't try to schedule. Nurse on demand or you could impact your supply.

    Eventually she got into a routine where she went every 2.5-3 hours. It just takes some time and if you listen to baby, they will work out their own schedule. Also I figured out that I was misinterpreting sleepy cues as hungry cues, which was why I was feeding so often.

  • image tokenhoser:

    I just nursed him all the time. Nursing met all his needs, well beyond just "I'm hungry". It also helped him if he was tired, cold, wanted to be held, wanted to make sure I was there, etc. If he wanted to nurse, we nursed. If I needed him to be quiet, we nursed.

    EASY wasn't going to work with my kid, he wanted to eat before going to sleep. 

    Did you end up with crazy numbers of feedings also then? Its not really that big of a deal I guess since I SAH but I guess I just wish she would go a little longer than  1 1/2-2 hours between wanting to nurse sometimes... and its not a growth spurt. This is her normal...

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  • image oneyedsally:

    In the beginning I nursed all the time. Sometimes constantly in the evening! You didn't say how old your LO was? If you are still working on building your supply, don't try to schedule. Nurse on demand or you could impact your supply.

    Eventually she got into a routine where she went every 2.5-3 hours. It just takes some time and if you listen to baby, they will work out their own schedule. Also I figured out that I was misinterpreting sleepy cues as hungry cues, which was why I was feeding so often.

    Sorry she is 4.5 months old so supply is well established now

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  • How do you know she is hungry? Is it rooting, crying, sucking on hands? My DD is 4 mo and just discovered how yummy her hands are. DH thinks she's hungry all the time but I think she's just checking them out. I don't know if all babies are like this, it sounds like yours might be too, but it doesn't matter how recently DD just ate, she will always nurse. Even if it's just for a few minutes. So if I offer, she will go for it. Maybe if it's just been an hour try to distract her for 10 min or so. Go by her cues, if she starts crying for it then feed her.
  • image oneyedsally:
    In the beginning I nursed all the time. Sometimes constantly in the evening! You didn't say how old your LO was? If you are still working on building your supply, don't try to schedule. Nurse on demand or you could impact your supply. Eventually she got into a routine where she went every 2.53 hours. It just takes some time and if you listen to baby, they will work out their own schedule. Also I figured out that I was misinterpreting sleepy cues as hungry cues, which was why I was feeding so often.

    Can I ask what cues you were mixing up? I can't even figure out when my 4 month old is hungry. EVERY TIME I hold her in a craddle or even most the time I set her on my lap facing out she will automatically turn and lean back and start grabbing me until I feed her. We all have to be careful how we hold her or she wants to nurse. But she's also tired a lot because she never sleeps so I wonder if Im ready cues wrong.

    OP I wish I could help but my LO is kinda similar. You could offer her a paci after her naps instead and see if that works.
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  • image JandACoffee:
    image tokenhoser:

    I just nursed him all the time. Nursing met all his needs, well beyond just "I'm hungry". It also helped him if he was tired, cold, wanted to be held, wanted to make sure I was there, etc. If he wanted to nurse, we nursed. If I needed him to be quiet, we nursed.

    EASY wasn't going to work with my kid, he wanted to eat before going to sleep. 

    Did you end up with crazy numbers of feedings also then? Its not really that big of a deal I guess since I SAH but I guess I just wish she would go a little longer than  1 1/2-2 hours between wanting to nurse sometimes... and its not a growth spurt. This is her normal...

    It didn't bother me to have "crazy" numbers of feedings, as I could still do what I wanted. I never felt like it held me back - he'd often go longer if we were out doing things than he would if we were around home by ourselves. As he got older and more interested in other things, he naturally started seeking out things other than the breast.

    You can always try other soothing methods before feeding if you think it hasn't been long, but for me, breastfeeding is the easy way. I didn't want to do it the hard way, so I didn't. 

  • She's been doing the hand chewing since just before she turned 2 months. That one threw me for a couple weeks but I know that doesn't mean anything anymore. She rarely ever roots anymore either, and actually the last couple times she looked like she was rooting I don't think she really was. I think she was trying to "eat" something she saw out of the corner of her eye and wasn't really hungry. I think that is a big part of the problem. DD doesn't have many hunger cues that I can tell. She usually only fusses though if she is bored, tired or hungry, so I usually try a change of scenery first, and if that doesn't work and she doesn't appear tired then I feed her, and those feedings she usually does well with. They are just all over the place random and frequent. The feedings when she wakes up are because she will usually fuss and get cranky right after waking up and doesn't calm down till she nurses. I can try giving her a pacifier after she wakes up but she usually won't take one unless she is really tired and going to sleep. Otherwise she just spits it out and does the "do you think I'm crazy?" look. I know one of the questions on the personalities quiz things for babies is do you have a hard time interpreting babie's hunger cues, and I definitely do and sometimes I think she does herself :)
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  • Dd makes a "nnaah" kind of noise when she's hungry. I know its for hunger when I can hear the n in there


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  • We never tried to follow any schedule...I just feed my baby on demand, and always have.

    When she was that age, we fed before and after naps.

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  • Something else to think about - 4 months is the "4 month wakeful" time.  Which was when my son also went from nice long naps to super crappy short naps. 

    AND when he started "distracted nursing" where he would snack instead of eating full meals.  (From my blog at 4.5 months:
    "During the day, feedings take forever because he likes to chatter.  He takes frequent breaks to tell me all about how his night went.  The first meal he is also distracted by DH.  Subsequent meals he is distracted by the dog, his reflection, a lamp, a computer, the dresser, his bed, a shadow.......")

    For us, it really helped if I'd nurse him in a dark, quiet place (in his room with the lights off) so he would focus and get a good meal in.  Then he'd be less likely to "snack" or be hungry later)

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