Breastfeeding

Scheduling 6-week old?

After a rough start and marathon cluster feeds (record was 7 hours!), my 6 week old and I have mastered breastfeeding. It's going so great and I'm so glad i didn't quit at week 4 like I wanted to. hang in there moms still in the newborn trenches!

But now, I'm facing another problem--returning to work in July and needing to nail down somewhat of a schedule. Nighttime is very well scheduled (last bottle around 9 p.m. from Daddy and she feeds twice--between 12 and 1 a.m. and again around 2-3 a.m.), but everything else is totally unpredictable. Sometimes she goes 3 hours between feedings, but more often it's every 2... I worry that sometimes it's just for the comfort/flavored pacifier, but I can't tell.

Ideally, her first feeding would be at 5-5:30, then again around 8 a.m., before I leave for work. She will be at daycare from 9 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. so I'd like the schedule to resume with a 6 p.m. feeding and keep that 9 p.m. bottle.

Anyone have any suggestions to getting into a schedule? Someone suggested pushing her to every 2.5 hours during the day.. increasing that to 3, etc. while also holding tight to the times I want above and "pacifying" until that time is reached. Anyone done this with success?

 Also -- baby is gaining weight VERY well, is completely happy/content 99% of the time and has no health issues oncesoever.

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Re: Scheduling 6-week old?

  • You don't need to get her onto a schedule to go back to work. You'll need a pumping schedule for yourself - but daycare can feed her when she's hungry. I wouldn't bother pushing anything on such a young baby.

    You can choose to feed her at 5:30 and 8. That's not so much a "schedule" as just offering the boob. If she refuses at 5:30, try again later. Do NOT push to 2.5 and then 3 hours. Not feeding a hungry baby is how problems start. Babies end up with "failure to thrive" when parents refuse to feed them when they ask. 

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    You don't need to get her onto a schedule to go back to work. You'll need a pumping schedule for yourself - but daycare can feed her when she's hungry. I wouldn't bother pushing anything on such a young baby.

    You can choose to feed her at 5:30 and 8. That's not so much a "schedule" as just offering the boob. If she refuses at 5:30, try again later. Do NOT push to 2.5 and then 3 hours. Not feeding a hungry baby is how problems start. Babies end up with "failure to thrive" when parents refuse to feed them when they ask. 

     

    All of this.  Daycare kind of scared me into wanting to schedule, but I resisted.  They really wanted me to fill out a "meal form" for her, and her teacher kept asking "so every 2 hours? 3 hours?"  Like she wanted a specific number.  I finally wrote her meal plan so they could feed "on demand" but no more often than every 1.5 hours (because otherwise I think they'd give her a bottle every time she cried, even if it was every hour).  After a few weeks, she ended up setting a daycare schedule herself, and basically eats every 2-2.5 hours there.  At home she's still all over the place... anywhere from 45 minutes to 3 hours between feeds - I just do what she wants... Trying to force her to a certain time frame sounds like a headache to me! 

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    You don't need to get her onto a schedule to go back to work. You'll need a pumping schedule for yourself - but daycare can feed her when she's hungry. I wouldn't bother pushing anything on such a young baby.

    You can choose to feed her at 5:30 and 8. That's not so much a "schedule" as just offering the boob. If she refuses at 5:30, try again later. Do NOT push to 2.5 and then 3 hours. Not feeding a hungry baby is how problems start. Babies end up with "failure to thrive" when parents refuse to feed them when they ask. 

     

    All of this.  Daycare kind of scared me into wanting to schedule, but I resisted.  They really wanted me to fill out a "meal form" for her, and her teacher kept asking "so every 2 hours? 3 hours?"  Like she wanted a specific number.  I finally wrote her meal plan so they could feed "on demand" but no more often than every 1.5 hours (because otherwise I think they'd give her a bottle every time she cried, even if it was every hour).  After a few weeks, she ended up setting a daycare schedule herself, and basically eats every 2-2.5 hours there.  At home she's still all over the place... anywhere from 45 minutes to 3 hours between feeds - I just do what she wants... Trying to force her to a certain time frame sounds like a headache to me! 

    Our experience was pretty similar to this.  Yes, it's kind of a pain to not be able to "plan" when LO will eat, but I guess my opinion is they are only infants for a short time.  Why not enjoy the experience instead of stressing over a schedule.  Not to mention, "refusing" to feed a hungry baby can lead to early weaning. 

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  • My experience and most of the people I talk to is that everytime you get think you have a schedule they change it.. sometimes for the better - sometimes for the worse.  Unfortunalty especially as a BF mom - you just end up having to roll with it.  We had nights all worked out around 7 weeks and then it got better.. until she was sleeping 10 hours.. and then it all went to hell when I went back to work.  There are 400 variables.. so if you can just go with what is working right now.  I can tell you during the day we were stuck on a 2 - 2.5 hour schedule for months on end.. then she went up to 3 hours recently at daycare.. but if I feed her it can be 20 minutes or 3 hours depending on her mood.. :(

     I know thats unlikely to be what you want to hear - but if you can be prepped for it then if its better for you it will be great ;)  That said - I do pump every 3 hours at work .. I don't think I could do more often and its the longest I feel comfortable going between (sometimes I'll go ever 2 - 2.5 hours and squeeze in four sessions - but when it takes me 20 minutes each session...)

    SO what I do is feed her on demand thorugh the evening / night - then the latest I feed her is 5:15 (though of course this morning I fed at 5:30) to give me enough time to get to work on time.  DH stays home with her in the morning until 9 or so (she generally sleeps in our bed with him during most of that time :) ) - so sometimes that means she feeds at 3:30 or 4 - sometimes its five (which is the "scheduled" time) - I leave a dry erase note on the mirror for DH as to when she last ate.  

    Then I pump sometime between 7-8 (schedule is 7:30) depending on last feed - and then every 3 hours after - trying to pump no later then 1:30 so I have enough milk for her when I pick up - as my daughter demands to eat from me regardless of last bottle when she sees me :) 

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  • I wouldn't try to feed your LO on a schedule at this point. The last thing you want is a baby screaming for an hour because she's hungry but it's not time for her to eat. She doesn't know what time it is! You might hurt your supply too if you're not feeding on demand.

    My DD started daycare at 6 weeks, she was breastfeeding on demand. She had never went more than 2.5hours without eating. First day in daycare she did not eat for 5 hours! Whatever schedule you try to get her on at home, you have no idea how she will adjust once she starts daycare. Besides you still have plenty of time before you return to work, your LO is only 6 weeks old, things will change a lot in the next 2 months and she will likely space out her feedings by then anyways.

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  • I would put your energy more on creating a schedule for you, for example offer to feed in the morning at whatever times and then pump at these times and put them in your calendar. Then if for some reason your schedules don't match up you can add another pump or offer to feed anyway if you are engorged.
  • I would agree with everything the PP's have said... you can't really force a 6-week old onto a schedule.  You can let daycare know you want them to feed her when she shows hunger cues, but not more frequently than every 1.5 or 2 hours (or however frequently she normally wants to nurse).  I explained to daycare that we didn't really have my LO on a schedule and asked them to make sure they are using other soothing methods first before immediately feeding her.  I told them when she started that at home she normally nursed every 2 hours, but sometimes it's every 1.5 and sometimes it's every 3. 

    When you're at work, just be sure to pump every 2-3 hours and you'll be fine.  

  • I'm confused....you are going back to work, but why does that mean your baby needs a schedule?

    Our first DCP fed DD on demand - every 2-3 hours.  Our next DCP put DD on a schedule and it worked for her. 

    DD still isn't on a schedule at home. Not even the daycare schedule.  It honestly has not been an issue.

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  • I am mostly worried about getting all of us out the door... I prefer to work out in the morning and figure I'll do so after her a.m. feed (4 or 5 a.m.), but I just worry that she'll want to eat right away again (she does have a tendency to cluster feed in early a.m. hours) and i'll be stuck nursing and missing a shower.

    I can't rely on my husband as back-up to give a bottle because his schedule is never the same and often has him out the door before 6 a.m. traveling.  

    It is very possible that I am overreacting and things will fall into place once we get there... or maybe variety in a schedule will be better than the mundane morning routine we're used to!

    BabyFruit Ticker
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