“We are not put on earth for ourselves, but are placed here for each other. If you are there always for others, then in time of need, someone will be there for you.”
I agree with all the mamas that 2 hour stretches (even at night) for a 3-month-old is perfectly normal. My 7 m.o. still usually goes 1.5-2 hours during the day. But your health comes in a very close second behind your baby's, and if you feel your functioning is impaired, it's important that you make some changes so you can fully be there for your students, your family, and yourself.
You said he sometimes eats up to 20 oz. in a 7 hour work day, right? That sounds like a TON. From what I have read from others (though I don't work full-time myself) babies normally eat 1-1.5 oz for every hour away from the breast. So you would be looking at 7-11-ish oz. I only bring this up because it does sound to me like your LO should be getting enough calories during the day that perhaps he doesn't need quite as much at night. Maybe what he is really looking for are cuddles, burps, clean diapers, or just reassurance that you are still there. Have you tried rocking (bouncing, singing, etc.) him back to sleep without nursing him? Is there someone else available to soothe him in the night for at least one of the wakings so you can get a longer sleep stretch? Could you cut back the number of oz. he gets during the day and have a small bottle of EBM your partner can offer during one of the wakings? A caveat: I would consider these options only if your LO maintains a good number of wet & poopy diapers and if his weight gain stays on track.
Also, you didn't mention if you co-sleep. From what I've read, this has been a life-saver for some working moms who get that extra time to cuddle with baby and stay in bed instead of trudging down the hall with lead feet.
SAHM-WAHM to lovely Lizzie, born at home 9/14/2010
My first went every 3-4 hours nursing. I have 9 months old twins (6 months adjusted as they were three months early) and they are nursing/eating 10 times a day, but that is compacted from 6am to 9pm. They sleep mostly through the night. I pump in the morning while working part time from home and breastfeed the rest of the daty. The problem I have is that they want tons every 1 1/2 to 2 hours like 3-4 ozs and pumping I cannot keep up with.
So, to clarify: we do co-sleep and my DS DOES eat a lot during the day. I have HUGE capacity of BM and always have. I often pump 8 ounces at a time 5 on one side, 3 on the other. I have been pumping 20 ounces in 7 hours at work and often my DS will finish it. So, yes, it seems like at night he must be fussy. The problem is: when I wake up every 45 minutes like I do now, I just put him on the boob and wait till he's done. He's done quickly, but the ups and downs are exhausting. He sounds like he's just doing it to be soothed, right? Not because he's fussy.
Tonight we're going to try having my DH in between my DS and I. That way, I can't just instinctively feed him and then lay down again. He's going to soothe him if he's up before 2 hours and once he times it at 2 hours without a feeding, we'll try it. Obviously, we're not going to let him cry forever! But, it seems like he might be fussing for other reasons other than hunger.
Thanks EVERYONE for your reassuring words! We'll maintain the every 2 hour feedings round the clock (plus more frequent ones right before bed even though it doesn't make him sleep longer). But, it's reassuring to know he MIGHT STTN at least by kindergarten!
Thanks again, ladies! You're awesome!
Mama to baby Sunshine, May 14, 2009
Successfully BFed until DD was 14 months old (while I was pregnant) and she decided she didn't like the taste of the milk anymore.
New mama to my Earth baby boy, January 31, 2011. Going for at least another 14 months or more!