Post # 1
My infant is 9 days old. I started breastfeeding in the hospital almost immediately after birth and have been breastfeeding exclusively since then.
I may have had some problems with getting a good latch in the beginning, though I think I may have mostly overcome that. Latching on is no longer excruciating but I wouldn’t say it’s exactly free of all discomfort. My nipples look like they’ve healed.
However, a new problem has arisen: my baby often falls asleep within 10 minutes of latching on. Most of the time I’m able to keep her awake by various methods so that she nurses for a good 20 to 30 minutes. But sometimes I’m unsuccessful, and she’ll be hungry again 20 or 30 or 60 minutes later.
Some people, including my pediatrician and my hospital, advise nursing on demand for the first few weeks. My baby has also discovered her thumb just today, and right now she seems to be contentedly sucking on it after crying and rooting for the breast. We haven’t used a pacifier yet because our pediatrician advised us against that during the first month.
She was 8 lbs, 8 oz when she was born. She was 7 lbs, 14 oz at discharge two days later. And two days after that, she was back up to 8 lbs, 6 oz. at her first pediatrician visit. So, she appears to be getting plenty of nutrition. She’s also pooping and peeing well.
I know it’s still very early. I’m OK with nursing on demand for a little while, especially if people tend to think that she’ll get on a schedule soon enough.
So, the questions are: do you think the nursing will normalize in time? Would you dissuade her away from the thumb?
Any thoughts on this would be welcome. Many thanks!
Post # 3
GREAT JOB! You made it through the first week! That’s the worst part.
Falling asleep: Feed the baby with clothes off, switch positions from side to football to whatever to keep the baby awake.
Demand: Babies need to feed every 2-3 hours, but they do go through several phases where they cluster feed and will want to feed every 30-60 minutes. I know it’s frustrating, and I’m sorry. It is a normal phase all kids go through and it does pass, but will re-appear several times as the baby goes through the big growth spurts.
Thumb: I would prefer my baby rely on a pacifier rather than a thumb because I can take away the pacifier. 🙂 DD did not ever take to her thumb, thank goodness, but we also provided her a pacifier after a couple of weeks. We were also advised against the pacifier because of nipple confusion, but DD was drinking breastmilk from bottles at 5 days old with no issues, so we saw no reason not to give a pacifier since she was still nursing just fine. Your pediatrician advises you, but use your intuition. Not every baby needs to wait a month for a pacifier.
Again, GOOD JOB! It’s a sacrifice that is well worth it!
Post # 4
DS is 24 weeks, EBF, and I am still nursing on demand. He does tend to nurse around the same times everyday, but that is the schedule he put himself on and it works out really well for us. I do work part-time, and I am still able to nurse on demand (he gets an expressed bottle while I work and I pump at work).
He also fell asleep in the begining while nursing, but was just like you daughter in terms of weight gain…7lb 7oz at birth, 7lbs 0oz at discharge 2 days later, and back up to 7lbs 6oz 4 days after birth. It was at this point I was told not to worry about waking him every 2 hours to nurse since he was gaining weight just fine and to only feed him when he was hungry/feed on demand aka if he wanted to sleep 5 hours, let him sleep 5 hours. Our pedi also reassured me by saying that they do not expect a baby to be back to their birth weight until ~2 weeks of age, which was comforting.
As far as the pacifier goes, I wanted to resist since I heard so much about nipple confusion, etc. However, after a few days of doing such, I gave in and started using it (DS has reflux and food allergies so he was/is basically colic and there was nothing I could do). At his 10 day weight check I meantioned to my pedi about how I know he shouldn’t have one since I’m breastfeeding and she said that he has figured out by now that there is nothing coming out of the pacifer and not to worry about it. Honestly, some babies just like to suck and it was either the pacifer or my nipple 24/7. We never had any latch or breastfeeding issues and now he only takes the pacifer when he is very tired and he doesn’t suck his thumb. (We did wait until 6 weeks to introduce a bottle, and I still have yet to give him one myself, but I know plenty of mom’s who EBF on here have introduced the bottle right away with no problems)
Not sure if any of that helps you, but I would just follow your gut. You know what’s best for your daughter. If a schedule is something that you think would work better for your family, then go ahead and try to get her on a schedule. If you want to give her a pacifer, give her one. There is no right or wrong way.
Post # 5
- Wedding: September 2010 - MacLean Park
So I was horrible at the start and did everything wrong, becuase initially I did not want to breastfeed so I didn’t read up on it at all. For some reason despite all my “bad” things (bottles, pacifiers, not switching boobs), my daughter is a champ at bf-ing and we’ve been going strong for 7 weeks now. One thing that saved me was pumping and bottle feeding. I was able to still feed her on demand, but the most important part was that other people could feed her too and I can get a break. I breastfed most of the day, but if I was tired or at night when she doesn’t eat so much and my boobs needed relief I would pump into a bottle and she would eat from that stash later. We had absolutely no problems with nipple confusion. In fact, she can go from bottle to breast back to bottle in the same feeding with no issue.
With a bottle, she could eat as much as she liked, fall asleep, then wake up and feed from what was leftover. No need to keep whipping out my boobs and getting milk-soaked again five minutes later. I didn’t do it all the time, but it was nice to have a break now and then. But I’ve never been in the “breastfeeding is a magical bonding experience” camp, and if you’re feeling those emotions, then you may not want to take any breaks.
Post # 6
Great job on the nursing!! I know it is hard. My son didn’t get back up to birth weight until he was 3 weeks old..I was so upset and many times thought I should switch to formula but my FI and mom kept encouraging me to stick with it (pediatrician said he was fine too). I am SOO happy I did. I nursed him on demand for the first month..he would fall asleep all the time and we would try EVERYTHING. The boy wouldn’t even wake up when wiped with a baby wipe! However, he did get use to it and so did I..and he started eating about every 2 hours around 2 months. Now, he’s 8 months old and still eating every 3 hours..but that’s not bad because now he’s on solids as well. Keep up the good work though! It’s hard now but so worth it later!
Post # 7
My son is almost 8 months old and I still nurse on demand but it does eventually get onto a realtively dependable schedule. I would say by around 8 weeks he was nursing about every 2 to 2-1/2 hours pretty regularly. As he’s gotten older he nurses (or takes a bottle at school) every 3 hours or so. Hang in there and it will get better.
I wouldn’t worry about discouraging thumb sucking. We introduced a pacifier at 5 weeks and sometimes before that he found his thumb but it didn’t seem to be an issue. If you’ve got latch figured out and baby continues to nurse and gain weight it should be just fine.
Post # 8
Sounds like she’s getting a lot of good food! Almost back to birth weight after 2 days is great. Nursing a lot at first I think probably helps develop a good milk supply.
It is crazy at first, I would change my little ones diaper sometimes if she fell asleep. She also would cluster feed like that before bed, which was terrific because it enabled her to sleep for a longer period. We didn’t have any issues with nursing so I introduced bottles of pumped milk at 2 weeks, usually about one a day from dad, and it helped alleviate some of the craziness of all the initial nursing. She didn’t have any problems with confusion, though maybe we just got lucky. My little girl is now 4 1/2 months and she’ll get a bottle of pumped milk occassionally but will go for hours without eating during the day, especially if mommy isn’t around, so breastfeeding is a lot more manageable now. It’s just really hectic those first couple months. Also I wouldn’t worry about the thumb, if shes hungry she’ll let you know and it doesn’t sound like you’re having supply issues or anything like that so I wouldn’t worry about her sucking on something else occassionally.
Post # 9
I wouldn’t worry at all. It sounds like you’re both doing a great job. I had a similar experience. My baby is 12 weeks now, but i’ve exclusively breast fed since day one. I was really worried the whole first week about his latch (it’s hard to know what it’s supposed to feel like…), especially once my milk came in and i was super engorged. at first he ALWAYS fell asleep within a few mins of latching on no matter what i did – tickle his spine, tickle his feet, take off his clothes. he was just a sleepy baby! but over time he stayed awake longer and longer and now he sometimes nurses for 30-45 mins straight and doesn’t get hungry again for 3 or so hours (he just started sleeping 7-8 hours through the night sometimes, so there’s something to look forward to!). i’ve also nursed on demand from the beginning and yes sometimes they get hungry frequently but she’ll most likely space the feedings out more over time as he gets the hang of latching and gets more efficient during feedings. your baby knows what she needs 🙂
Also about the thumb sucking, I wouldn’t worry about that either. Some people warn about nipple confusion and that you’re baby will fulfill their need to suck by sucking their thumb and not want to bf, but that hasn’t been my experience. My son had a pacifier since day one, and sometimes sucks on his hand, but has never had issues with nursing. at the end of the day, he would much rather nurse than anything else, but mainly uses his paci to soothe him when he’s upset of to fall asleep sometimes (i nurse him to sleep often).
Post # 10
I nursed on demand and after a while DD put herself on a schedule that was every two hours and now at 6 months she is every 3 hours like clockwork. She did it herself and I’m I’m happy I followed her lead- I had to. I wasn’t planning on BF but she latched immediately and we just went for it from there. I had no idea what the hell I was doing so I just followed her.
We also gave her a paci AND bottle from the first night in the hospital and there was no nipple confusion or whatever.
It’s really hard the first few weeks/ months and I wanted to quit every day but I eventually started to LOOOVE nursing-which was so shocking because I had no plans to do so.
Post # 11
Thank you all so much for the encouraging and reassuring words. I feel so much better after reading your responses.
It really is a labor of love but I believe it’s the best thing for her, and I’m certainly motivated to giving it all I’ve got.
Many thanks again.