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Thread: 2 hour sessions. Is this normal?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2013
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    Default 2 hour sessions. Is this normal?

    Sorry this is so long. I just wanted to make sure I am giving all relevant information.
    My daughter will be 17 weeks on Thursday and has been in day care for about a month. She is EBF and I pump a little more than what she eats every day.
    After a little hiccup in the beginning where she did not want to nurse when I got home from work we are back to a really good nursing relationship with one small issue at night.
    Here is our basic schedule:
    5:30AM Pump right side- usually about 4oz
    6:15AM BF left side for 20-25 min (she will only nurse from the left first thing in the morning)
    10:30AM Pump both sides - usually about 5-6oz total
    3PM pump both sides- usually about 5 oz total
    6:30PM nurse both sides 30 min
    8PM-10PM Nurse pretty much non-stop- both sides
    She gets pretty drowsy between 9:30 and 10 and typically sleeps through the night.
    This has remained the schedule since daycare started and she gets a few bottles on weekends from DH but mostly nurses. She does not do the 2 hour nursing thing on Saturday or Sunday nights if I have been with her all day.

    She gets dropped off at daycare around 7AM and picked up around 5PM. During this time she has 4 3oz bottles. 3 bottles at daycare and 1 that my DH gives her around 5 when he picks her up.
    I have tried giving her a small bottle (1.5oz) after about an hour of nursing in the evenings but she still wants to comfort nurse. If I dont let her go for at least and hour and a half she will not sleep.
    We do not co-sleep and that is not an option for us. She also does better if I put her down a little drowsy and let her put herself to sleep.
    My problem is that I am up every night until Midnight trying to get stuff done around the house and I am exhausted. I have a few medical problems and need to get some more sleep. My husband is great and does a lot but he cant do it all either.

    I am having surgery in a few weeks and I do not know if I will be able to keep this up while I am recovering. I just need some help with other ways to help her relax at night and get some sleep. Unfortunately bath time gets her very excited and we have to do that much earlier. She has never been great at napping during the day so i really want to make sure she is getting enough sleep at night. We have tried putting her down earlier but that has not worked. I also tried putting her in the ring sling so I can try to do some stuff while she is nursing but she just fusses until I stop moving around.
    Has anyone been through this or have any suggestions for comforting her faster at night or modifying the schedule? I can send more milk for her during the day but I am not sure that is really the issue since I think this mostly comfort nursing. I dont know how much longer I can reasonably function on 5 hours of sleep.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    2,209

    Default Re: 2 hour sessions. Is this normal?

    Hi mama, this actually does sound very normal. My LO is 15 months and spends much of the evening between my arrival home and her bedtime nursing! It's just a normal way for baby to reconnect with mama. As you've seen, your LO doesn't do it on the weekends, presumably because she's been with you all day and therefore doesn't have that intense urge to reconnect in the evenings. The thing is, that evening nursing is really important for keeping up your supply, too, especially with your LO sleeping through the night. Do you think you could pump one more time at work? That way maybe you could move the 5:30 AM pumping session to a daytime session and get a little more sleep? And is there any way you could go to bed as soon as your LO goes to bed? Then even if you keep the 5:30 session, you are getting 7 hours of sleep - many mamas dream of getting 7 hours uninterrupted!! Yes, you will be losing some of that weeknight time, but you could try to arrange things so that during the week you minimize household chores, etc. For example, cooking ahead on the weekends, taking care of the bills, etc. And letting your house be a little messier. Infancy is short. So what if the house is a little messy for the next few months?

  3. #3
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    Apr 2013
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    Salt Lake City
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    Default Re: 2 hour sessions. Is this normal?

    Normal. This is my life right now. Both of my (15-week-old) babies prefer to spend the entire evening at the breast. I take turns nursing them from about 6-9 when I finally nurse them to sleep. And they still wake up in the night. Last night I got 5 straight hours and was overjoyed. I don't actually get things done. When I have a minute between when I get home and when they start nursing or if they will stay asleep for a bit in the evenings I quickly wash the pump or clean up a mess here or there, but other chores are not an option. My husband helps with the laundry and dishes if he's able to put his twin down and everything else just sits there for the weekend or a rare free hour. Most of our meals are out of the freezer or the drive-thru. If we go out, they'll sometimes nap in the stroller, but I'm typically still nursing them at the mall, the inlaws, or a restaurant. I'm fine with it. This is such a short time in my life and I want to enjoy them every moment, even if nothing else is ever accomplished. I have my whole life to clean. In a year, my babies will be completely different and this time will have passed (though I still expect them to comfort nurse. I hope they will, anyway.) Take advantage of the fact that your baby sleeps so well at night and leave things undone.

  4. #4
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    May 2013
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    New Jersey
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    Default Re: 2 hour sessions. Is this normal?

    Thanks bfwmomof3. It should make me feel better that I am not alone in this but knowing this might last another year is tough to think about! I dont know how some of you moms handle so much night nursing! I dont think I could keep working the same hours/job if I was doing that a few times a night.
    I know I am really lucky and should not complain about 5 uninterrupted hours. I cant really add a pump session during the day and if i dont pump in the morning I will be leaking and in pain until i can pump anyway. I might try pumping in the car on the way to work which I have done when i missed a session but not on a regular basis.
    One of my concerns is that she is eating more on the weekends because she is nursing on demand and then she is really hungry at night during the week. I dont think that is the case but I also dont know how to judge that. If it is really comfort nursing and reconnecting that I will keep on with the schedule but if she needs/wants/should have more during the day I want to give it to her. I have enough oversupply that it I can up her bottles to 3.5 or 4 oz or some combo but I know in the beginning she was getting too much and that was partly why she wasnt really nursing at night. I just cant figure out how to find the right balance. Or maybe I already have found the right balance and I just need to adjust my schedule?
    I am going to try going to sleep earlier tonight and only do what absolutely has to be done. unfortunately a lot of what I do at night is for the next day i.e. washing bottles for day care, picking out clothes, taking a shower so it is either at night or get up earlier.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: 2 hour sessions. Is this normal?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*MaeganAlberta View Post
    I have my whole life to clean. In a year, my babies will be completely different and this time will have passed (though I still expect them to comfort nurse. I hope they will, anyway.) Take advantage of the fact that your baby sleeps so well at night and leave things undone.
    This is what I need to remind myself everyday. Thank you for the perspective.

  6. #6
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    Oct 2012
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    Default Re: 2 hour sessions. Is this normal?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*elliemommy View Post
    T Or maybe I already have found the right balance and I just need to adjust my schedule?
    To me it sounds like you are doing great, other than going to bed too late! The amount baby is being fed during the day is perfect. I wouldn't try to force more on her - because then she'll nurse less with you and your supply will take a hit and you'll have to pump more - and wouldn't you rather nurse more than pump more? I mean, bottom line, your breasts need a certain amount of stimulation per day to keep up their supply, and if you can get her to have a nice long nursing session in the evening then that's pretty ideal! As for washing bottles for day care - if you can afford it, think about investing in some more bottles. Then keep a big pail of soapy water - throw the bottles in there - and only wash every few days. Same thing for the pump parts. One of the moms on here has a set of pump parts for each day, so she only washes on the weekend. Are you picking out clothes for yourself or baby? If for baby, again, maybe pick out 5 outfits on the weekend. These little tricks can go a long way!

    And, didn't mean to scare you into thinking things will never change! It's very, very different to have a 15 month old than a 17 week old. For example, my toddler sits at the table and eats while I eat! But these little ones need you and they keep needing you! So you have to figure out what to let go or how to arrange your life so that you can have some degree of rest and sanity, because you're absolutely right, you cannot stay sane on 5 hours of sleep indefinitely.

  7. #7
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    May 2013
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    New Jersey
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    Default Re: 2 hour sessions. Is this normal?

    I think investing in some more bottles and pump parts and picking out clothes for my LO on Sundays is probably my best bet. Too bad I cant shower for the week on Sundays
    I absolutely prefer nursing to pumping!
    Thanks again for the feedback and support!

  8. #8
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    Apr 2013
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    Salt Lake City
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    Default Re: 2 hour sessions. Is this normal?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*elliemommy View Post
    Too bad I cant shower for the week on Sundays
    Uh, that's not necessarily true... Okay, I do shower more than once a week, but not by much. Dry shampoo is a dear friend of mine.

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