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Thread: getting on a 'schedule'/what I eat

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    34

    Question getting on a 'schedule'/what I eat

    Hi, I have a 5 1/2 week old son and he's been having some reflux-like symptoms, most likely, IMO, caused by an overactive let down (I posted in that section, too). My mom is insistent that at this age I should be getting him on a schedule of eating every 3 to 4 hours and that would help. She didn't breastfeed, so I'm thinking this is mostly speculation because my sister had OALD and breastfed on demand for 18 months and had a very fussy baby the whole time, so she figures if I don't do that I won't have a fussy baby.

    Also, how long does it take for the food I ate to be "present" in my milk? My mom's also convinced that there's something I am eating that is bothering him. I have eaten ice cream and had it REALLY bother him (well, when I ate 2 scoops FOR supper with nothing else....oops) but usually have no effects. My sister (with the "fussy" baby) pretty much gave up all food when she breastfed because she thought it would help the baby's fussiness, and I really don't want to go down that road if I don't have to.

    So, yeah, when are they supposed to be on a "schedule," and after how many hours does food start to affect your milk?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    2,609

    Default Re: getting on a 'schedule'/what I eat

    I think food is passed fairly quickly through your milk, maybe a few hours? I don't believe babies should ever be on a feeding schedule. Get to know your baby's communication and what their early signs of hunger are and nurse when they ask. If you try to stretch it out it will just hurt your milk supply and make you less in tune with your baby, more in tune with a clock. I really think it's important for babies to know that mommy is always available and they can nurse when they want. It's for nutrition and also for emotional bonding reasons, too. If ice cream bothered your baby, maybe there is a little bit of milk intolerance, it's really hard to tell just from one meal. If you eliminated it for 48 hrs and noticed a big improvement then yes maybe you'd suspect there was a correlation. But other than fussiness (which many/most babies have) are there any other signs of food intolerance? How are the poopy diapers (color, frequency)?
    Nursed my sweet daughter 3 years, 3 mos.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,598

    Default Re: getting on a 'schedule'/what I eat

    Babies are never SUPPOSED to be on a schedule, unless the baby eats too infrequently and mom needs to encourage baby to eat more. Some moms choose to put their babies on schedules, and they typically do nothing more than make everyone miserable and decrease milk supply (remember, supply = demand, so if you reduce demand you decrease supply). In the worst case scenario, they can cause inadequate supply and lead to a baby failing to get enough calories to grow and thrive. Nursing every 3-4 hours is typically not enough for a very young baby: under 6 weeks you want a baby to eat every 2-3 hours during the day, or at least 10-12 times a day, allowing a 5-6 hour stretch of sleep at night only if the baby initiates it and is growing well. After 6 weeks you should continue to nurse on demand, but you can be a little more flexible about timing, allowing baby to go 3-4 hours between feedings and sleep through the night if he wants to. If he doesn't, there's a good reason for that: breastfed babies typically take in small amounts of milk very frequently, and increase their nursing frequency during growth spurts or when an increase in milk volume is required. The breast is not like the bottle- you don't know how much your baby eats when he's nursing, and he probably eats less than he would from a bottle, since bottle-fed babies are routinely overfed.

    So no, don't put your baby on a schedule, and let your mom know that her advice on the subject is not welcome. You don't have to remind her that she didn't choose to nurse, but if she gets on your case you can inquire where she picked up her extensive knowledge on how to breastfeed a baby!

    WRT to foods getting into your milk... Maybe a day or so? But please don't go down the food intolerance avenue unless you have to. Food intolerances are way over-self-diagnosed. It's really easy to mistake correlation for causality. Babies fuss for many, many reasons, usually unconnected with mom's diet. If your baby does have an allergy/intolerance, you'd likely see not just fussiness but also gas, green and mucousy poops, possibly bloody poops, excema, hives, even poor growth... At 5.5 weeks, you do not want to think about this stuff, provided baby is growing and developing normally.

    ETA: just saw in your other thread that you suspect OALD. OALD usually stems from oversupply of milk, and that can cause some of the same symptoms as allergy/intolerance and is significantly more common. Green stools, frothy stools, and bloody poop are all possible when mom has OS/OALD. So that's even more reason to not go down the allergy/intolerance road right now!
    Last edited by @llli*mommal; July 27th, 2012 at 01:04 PM.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Shakedown St.
    Posts
    1,176

    Default Re: getting on a 'schedule'/what I eat

    with PPs. I just wanted to add that nursing MORE frequently is better than less frequently for OALD.

    I had terrible OALD. I needed to give a tummy massage then bicycles my son's legs between every single feeding for the fussiness. A warm bath every evening helped too.
    K. Sophia - Mama to my little lactivore, the amazing Mr. X (11/10).

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