To add more: I see grandparents who want to help wind up helping too much. They end up parenting more than they should and the actual parents don't even know what they are missing. I realize that they only want to help and that they want to help ease their own child's burden... It's like the butterfly, if you help them out of the cocoon they will never fly. It's painful to watch, but they will never fly if you help them out. I am not saying you should never help her. Also, take everything I am saying with a grain of salt. I don't know you. I don't live with you and I don't see the actual dynamics in your relationships. I could be way off base.
To be fair to OP, we see lots of new moms who are told that it's a good idea to "delegate" some feedings to their husbands or others. I tend to think it's actually better and easier to just nurse the baby, and not delegate too many feedings. But our society is always telling moms that they need to "take a break," and that other people should have the chance to feed the baby, etc.
So I don't see this as any different. OP wants to help, and she's doing it in a way that is completely in line with a lot of advice out there. We're here to say that actually, we're not sure that's the very best advice for a breastfeeding mom. But OP's heart seems to in the right place.
Some newborns sleep all the time, so it can be a surprise when your newborn doesn't hardly sleep at all! While this is actually pretty normal, in the sense of nothing being wrong, it's not every baby. So maybe OP's babies were more sleepy babies and she's just surprised to see such a wide awake one! I know my baby was WIDE FREAKING AWAKE, whereas my sister's baby slept 22 hours a day - both were breastfed, etc. It can be a bit of a shock if you have sleepy drowsy newborns, and then suddenly a wide awake one comes into your life! (Plus, I think we tend to forget the harder parts of handling even our own newborns!)
So anyway, OP - I think it's great that you've come on here to ask questions! I know you want the best for your daughter. We disagree with some of the ideas about what's "helpful" but that doesn't mean we don't see you wanting to help.
ETA: I think the most helpful thing you can do is help your daughter so that she can take care of her baby. Feed her, dote on her, baby her, etc. Make sure she's getting lots of water and encourage her to take naps. When you have a baby, you realize, no one is going to baby YOU anymore. But, wait! Your mom still will! Because you're still her baby! That's awesome.
You can call me JoMo!
Mom to baby boy Joe, born 5/4/09 and breastfed for more than two and a half years, and baby girl Maggie, born 7/9/12.
Thank you JoMo. Said much more nicely than I said it.
Yeah Thanks JoMo.
To OP if you want some examples of what would/did really help us immediately post partum we would be happy to share. We do want you to be able to help your daughter we just want it to be in a way that supports her breastfeeding.
proud but exhausted working mammy to two high needs babies
- my surprise baby: the one and only D-Man born 3 weeks late (5/5/08) at 9 lbs 14 oz and 21.5 inches, and
- the shock H-Girl born about a week late (10/7/09) at 8lbs 15oz and 20.75 inches.
If I am here I am covered in baby (probably two) and fighting for control of the keyboard.
Family beds are awesome
Wondering if you have PPD? Take the screening and see your doctor. You deserve to feel better.
Mama to my all-natural boys: Ian, 9-4-04, 11.5 lbs; Colton, 11-7-06, 9 lbs, in the water; Logan, 12-8-08, 9 lbs; Gavin, 1-18-11, 9 lbs; and an angel 1-15-06
18+ months and for Gavin, born with an incomplete cleft lip and incomplete posterior cleft palate
Sealed for time and eternity, 7-7-93
Always babywearing, cosleeping and cloth diapering. Living with oppositional defiant disorder and ADHD. Ask me about cloth diapering and sewing your own diapers!
I appreciate all the feedback. I took to heart your advice about giving my daughter a 7-hour 'break' to sleep being a mistake. She was letting me get 4 hours of uninterrupted sleep from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m., basically being up with him and feeding frequently. I was then responding for the next 7 hours, giving a breastmilk bottle twice. I felt I needed to give her the break because she has a sleep disorder and, prior to this birth, slept 10-15 hours a night. However, as I said, I did listen! We decided her responding to baby's cry, going to get him, nursing him, and taking him to me to burp and settle into bed again would work. She's doing fine on that schedule. We both get about 7 hours of sleep a night, albeit in 2-3 hour segments, between feedings. Sometimes I don't even wake up when she gets up with the baby.
She and he are living with me. When she goes back to work, I'll be taking care of him during the day and it just seemed to make sense, since we don't want to shuffle him back and forth from her house to mine, esp. during the winter. She, he, and her 2 dogs are living with me temporarily. She will probably start going with him and them to her house on the weekends, as he gets older.
He is doing well at night now. He does seem gassy and cries a good deal during the day. As someone mentioned, it may be my memory of how my 3 breastfed babies were. It may be the natural differences among babies; some sleepy, some wide awake.
I do take to heart your advice not to make her feel she's doing something wrong and that's why her baby is fussing. She is very sensitive to any comment like that. He is the love of her life, after all. I just worry. Maybe too much.
Sounds like things are going much much better!!!
I was always told to swaddle baby and put something that smells like mom in the bassinet like a shirt she wore that day or even a used nursing pad. The smell of mom is comforting and can help baby sleep. I sometimes have that issue with my LO and have found that cosleeping is the best solution. It is also good to cosleep for night feedings. Personally I love waking up and nursing without having to get out of bed to get baby! Good luck!
Wow. I have talked to lots of grandmas, (and to moms about their moms & MILs,) & know that some are helpful, some are not, and there are many who want to be helpful and are not sure how to best do that. (I have even talked to new moms whose moms are LLL Leaders. Sometimes those poor moms suffer the worst-the pressure! lol) Anyway, I am really impressed that you came on here, asked for suggestions, listened and tried some to see what would work for your daughter. You are being such a good mom to your daughter, and being lovingly mothered is so very important for the new mother and something we don't see enough of.
I wonder if there is a La Leche League Group with meetings near you. You would be welcome to attend with your daughter if that is something she is interested in. You both deserve the support, it's fun to see all the babies and it's free.