BFing and Schedules - let's talk — The Bump
May 2011 Moms

BFing and Schedules - let's talk

Hi everyone... 

All of the nap talk got me thinking.  Our little guy used to be a good napper, but it's been a struggle lately.  He rarely sleeps longer than 45 minutes (I'm going to read about the 45 minute intruder, thanks to Lisa mentioning it in another post - no clue what it is right now) and since the 3 month growth spurt (approx 2 weeks ago it started), he wants to eat at least every hour.  

So I'm wondering if now he is actually still eating every hour, or if it's a comfort thing (he won't take a pacifier).  He used to nap every 1-1.5 hours, but now he is napping maybe 2 or 3 times a day and he has started this SCREAMING until he gets mommy/the boob.  He doesn't scream all day or constantly or anything.  But it does happen anywhere from 1-3 times per day, I'd guess.  

So our days used to be pretty predictable - needs a nap every 1-1.5 hours, eats approximately every 2-3 hours.  Our days now... geez.  Eats every 45 minutes or so and naps... well, no telling when a nap might happen, despite efforts to get him to nap.  All of this since the 3 month growth spurt.  Just a couple weeks before that I went back to work and the nanny started being "in charge" of naps and play.  I work in our home, so I still BF.

I always wanted to let him decide when he eats, because I don't want my supply affected.  Until about a month old, he also decided when to nap... once he hit about 5 weeks, though, he was too aware and would fight his naps, so they started being dictated, I guess.  But now I'm wondering if I need to start outlining a schedule for our days.  I guess I could still let him decide when he eats and just force the nap issue with him.  My mind is so muddled right now, I guess, because I don't know if he's nursing because he's actually hungry (my mind is going through possible supply issue thoughts now) or if he just wants to get away from the nanny and just wants mom or if he's tired and cranky and wants to nurse to sleep.  It's the screaming that really confuses me - he has never screamed like this before and he'll settle once he's handed off to me and knows I'm getting ready to nurse him.  But I guess I just can't tell WHY he wants to nurse.  Most times, only 45 minutes will have passed since his last session and sometimes he woke from a nap less than an hour beforehand too.  So hunger and being overtired don't seem like obvious options... 

Anyway - I'm confused and just don't know what to think.  If you BF and schedule your day, would you mind giving an example of your schedule?  We need to be flexible - I can't be tied to his crib for nap times.  How is your supply?  What do you do if your baby is SCREAMING and nursing seems to be the only thing to soothe him?  It's the intensity of the scream that has me confused and worried... it even worries our dog.  She learned to ignore his noises VERY early on, but any time he screams like this, she comes flying over to lick him and try to soothe him.  The first time he did it, I flew into the other room to see if the nanny was hurting him.  No joke.  

Advice?  Anything?  I'm confused, like I think I said a few times, so I hope this whole post makes sense...
Boy #1, born 6/5/2011
Boy #2, born 8/27/2014

Currently... Pregnant with mo/di BOY TWINS!  Due September 15.  Latest induction will be 37w.

Re: BFing and Schedules - let's talk

  • Well, first of all, it's normal to feel like once you get everything figured out, everything changes.

    Our normal day (but I'm not working) is wake up about 8 am, feed him, first nap around 9:30-9:45 (sometimes I feed again before the nap, I offer pretty frequently now because he never seems to remember to ask to eat). He sleeps 30-45 min (but I'm trying to get him to nap longer by going in if I hear a peep at that point and putting the soother in and singing again). Then it's usually nurse again, up until around noon, nap again. I try to put him down after 1.5 - 2 hours, as that's usually when he starts acting tired or losing it.

    I would guess the terrible crying might be related to being over tired or over stimulated or both. When I pick DS up around the time I think he needs a nap, he burrows into my chest and tries to block out the world. Maybe your nanny can try putting him down for a nap a little sooner?

    For me, nursing as a parenting tool is not a problem. If I'm calming down a screaming toddler with the boob, I will not be upset. I think it's a powerful thing and I'm not going to consider it a bad association as long as he can sleep on his own.

    I would also work out a nap routine for the nanny - how to set up the room (like, I pull the blind and turn on the white noise), pick one song to sing, I do give one little toy to keep his hands busy (otherwise he flails more). And then get both of you doing the same thing every single day. 

  • image tokenhoser:

    Our normal day (but I'm not working) is wake up about 8 am, feed him, first nap around 9:30-9:45 (sometimes I feed again before the nap, I offer pretty frequently now because he never seems to remember to ask to eat).

    LO screams bloody murder sometimes and the only thing that calms his down is the boob- even if he ate 45 min or so ago.  I think sometimes he just takes the edge off and gets distracted.  

    Pedi suggested feeding him in a dark room with no distractions.  I'm not really sure how possible this is- but it's worth a try.

    image Lilypie Second Birthday tickers image
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  • image tokenhoser:

    For me, nursing as a parenting tool is not a problem. If I'm calming down a screaming toddler with the boob, I will not be upset. I think it's a powerful thing and I'm not going to consider it a bad association as long as he can sleep on his own.

    Ditto.  If he's "just" nursing for comfort, that's fine.  I mean, hell, I'm his mother - what am I for if not to comfort him when he's upset?  That's part of the job.  And if nursing makes him feel better, I'm all for it.  

    Anyway, I'm guessing that if he was just transitioned to a nap schedule, the schedule is leaving him exhausted and cranky.  Maybe have the nanny add in an extra nap for him?

    We do things more or less on demand, but a typical day looks like so: Up around 7am, nurse right away, nap from 8:30ish to 9:15ish, nurse again, nap from 10:30 to noon-ish, nurse again, nurse again at 2:ish, then nap until 3:30 or 4:00, nurse again, nurse at 6:ish, nurse at 8:00, bedtime.  If he's reluctant to sleep, there might be another nursing before he passes out around 9:30.  Sometimes there's another nap later in the evening if his earlier naps are short.

     With the naps, my goal is generally to make sure he gets at least four hours of nap per day - that seems to keep him happy and lets him sleep okay at night.  I put him down for a nap whenever he seems cranky, but it usually works out as I said above.  I nurse him whenever he wakes up and any time he seems like he wants it.

  • When DD was younger and always sleepy, we were on a perfect 3 hour routine, because I had to wake her just to feed her.  Now I feel like she is nursing more and more and if I put her in her crib she only naps for about 30 minutes.   I also tend to nurse her even when she isn't hungry, just because she's a slow gainer and I need to feed her around my toddler's schedule.  I will nurse her before naps, after naps, before we head out somewhere, and also when my toddler is sitting down at a meal.     

    A day generally looks like this:

    7am wake and nurse (though she's probably been laying next to me nursing off and on since 4am).


    9am- nurse down for a nap in crib (she wakes after 30 minutes and then I'll put her in the ergo and she will finish her nap while I take my toddler to the park).

    I sometimes nurse her again before we head to the park.

    12ish, she nurses while DS eats lunch.

    1pm, I nurse her down for a nap in her crib while DS naps.

    she usually wakes by 1:30 and then I nurse her back down with me on the couch.

    She naps until DS wakes up (about 3:30 or so), then she nurses.

    we run errands and I nurse her again about 5 or 5:30, so then she's full while I start dinner.  She will hopefully nap in her swing for about 30 minutes while I make dinner.

    6:30-7pm, yup, she's hungry again, so I nurse her while I eat dinner.

    8pm, nurse and bedtime (she wakes about 1am and 4am to eat on a good night). 

    image Liam Henry: 9/5/09 Emmeline Claire: 5/23/11
  • I agree with almost everything above. Once I think I have his schedule down-- he changes it. for the last month or so....

    9:30pm - 9:30am sleep with 2-3 feedings at night (sometimes in my bed ;/)

     he feeds about every 3 hours and naps in 30 minute stretches.

    DS  Desmond Alexander 6.9.11

    DD  Vivienne Elena   12.16.13

    ? EDD 3/29/2018



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