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Thread: Anyone else on a tight schedule?

  1. #1
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    May 2013
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    Default Anyone else on a tight schedule?

    My little one is 18 weeks and she is still eating every hour and a half. I am struggling to get her to take an hour and a half nap when I can even stretch it that long and after only about an hour awake she always starts to show signs that she is ready to go back to sleep. I try to stretch it to hour and a half in the morning and 2 hours almost of awake time in the afternoon evenings but it is really overwhelming to not be able to make plans or do anything right now. ( she is also at this point where in order to even attempt to get her to get a proper nap in, she needs to be in our room with her sleep sheep and dimmed lights with no distractions. So, no longer able to sleep when we are out and about. ) I am always hearing moms talk about a 3-4 hour schedule at this age. I mean they do not force it but their babies eat at those times. Anyways, sorry for the ramble but I was just wondering if I was alone or anyone had any suggestions as to how to deal with this kind of situation and still lead a life (not be stuck only in the house all day ), or how long this stage lasts where they cant sleep at all unless they are in their space ( if it is just a phase that is ).

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Anyone else on a tight schedule?

    A 3-4 hour schedule makes me laugh, and my LO is almost 11 months old! I don't know if it's a temperament thing (I've only got 1 child), but she has always eaten and slept whenever and wherever, and definitely not going that long between feeds. There was a period a few months ago where I could count on her having one morning nap and one afternoon nap, but that's about as close as we've ever gotten. She can sleep in the car, on my lap, or in a baby carrier. Do you have a baby carrier? It's been my best tool for getting stuff done while I'm out and about. Baby getting tired but I still need to grocery shop? No problem, pop her in the Ergo and there we go.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Anyone else on a tight schedule?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*carm3 View Post
    A 3-4 hour schedule makes me laugh, and my LO is almost 11 months old! I don't know if it's a temperament thing (I've only got 1 child), but she has always eaten and slept whenever and wherever, and definitely not going that long between feeds. There was a period a few months ago where I could count on her having one morning nap and one afternoon nap, but that's about as close as we've ever gotten. She can sleep in the car, on my lap, or in a baby carrier. Do you have a baby carrier? It's been my best tool for getting stuff done while I'm out and about. Baby getting tired but I still need to grocery shop? No problem, pop her in the Ergo and there we go.
    Same here! My baby is 7 months old and has no "schedule", never has. She's pretty much different every day. Feedings are different every day. Sleep can be radically different every day. At first it was hard to get used to because my oldest wasn't like that, but I've gotten used to it. It's just the way her body works, I'm guessing your baby just isn't ready to stay awake that long. Can you have friends come visit you instead? We did that a lot.

    Then one day she just started being happy awake for 3 hours or so, but when she was about your baby's age she definitely got tired after just 2 hours. All the time. She needed 3 naps. I think some babies are just different.

    I would say that if your baby isn't sleeping when you are out and about anymore, that probably won't change. My oldest daughter stopped napping in the car/carrier about the same time you are describing (4-5 months old).

    As for the 3-4 hour eating schedule, that is a very individual thing. All women have different breast storage capacities, meaning that your baby may need to eat more often than another mom's baby or less often. There is definitely no general rule for how often babies nurse. On demand whenever and wherever is the only way to ensure that your milk supply stays up. For example even tonight, my baby was hungry at 5pm, I knew she'd need to nurse to bed at 5:30pm but I didn't make her wait until then. I knew it'd be harder for her to go to sleep but she did eventually (nursing twice in a row so close together sometimes keeps her more awake than sleepy...).

    Hang in there, in a few months your baby may very likely be able to stay awake much longer! In the mean time, maybe have people come visit you or have Dad stay with baby at night if you can get out a little bit on your own?
    and Mama to two little girls

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Anyone else on a tight schedule?

    Same. 12 months, maybe a pattern (like she's generally tired for naps around the same time, but that's not reliable) and sleeping 3 to 4 hours straight? I wish. Nope, never, not even overnight. I work during the week but when I'm home she nurses whenever she wants and when we head off to sleep (together) she nibbles all night long. Never had much luck leaving her alone to sleep. Woke/Wakes up as soon as the warm body is gone.

    I'm hoping for some sleep or longer breaks by the time she's 2.
    1st time mom over 40 to Alex(andra) b: 7/14/12

  5. #5

    Default Re: Anyone else on a tight schedule?

    In my experience, it is not all that typical for a 4 month old to have a regular a nap scedule, let alone a regular nursing scedule. I dont care WHAT other moms SAY, a four month old nursing "every 4 hours," or every anything, entirely on their own, is rare. Many mothers "soft scedule" by delaying feedings without even realizing they are doing it.

    Why can't you make plans or do anything? So what if you go out and baby does not sleep during that time? Won't baby just sleep later? Are your worried your baby won't sleep enough overall?

    With my first baby, I knew how often he nursed. I got into the habit of recording nursing sessions early on when we were having breastfeeding issues and never got out of it. And while I loved nursing my son, (at least after the first two months which were a nightmare but that is another story) I always worried it was *maybe* too often, right into toddlerhood.

    With my next two, I stopped thinking about how often they nursed or how long they slept. I just nursed when they wanted. (or encouraged them to nurse because sometimes I want them too-nursing is a great way to entertain baby while on the phone, to help get a nap, etc.) I helped them get to sleep when they seemed tired, otherwise, I did not worry about it. If I make myself go back and count, they nurse about the same frequency as my oldest. But I never think it is "too much," and it never feels like a burden as it sometimes did with my oldest. I also learned long ago to not try to scedule outings around a baby's supposed scedule, because just when I did, the "scedule" changed. I suggest, Just GO. Do what you want to do, with baby along. That is one of the best things about breastfeeding, you can just take baby and go without worrying about when/how/what you are going to feed baby.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Anyone else on a tight schedule?

    Hey thanks everyone for getting back to me. It feels good at least to not be alone and worried I am just doing something wrong.
    I do have a carrier and we used to use that all the time but now she wont sleep in it cause when we are out there is too much too see.

    I do worry about her overall sleep but also, she screams really bad so it makes the outing really stressful for me. If she cannot get at the very least an hour nap after she gets tired she screams and cries almost nonstop till she does go to sleep. So, if i am out shopping or at a lunch I end up having to leave cause I am getting stressed out and she is too. When we do have visits it is nice but also very hard cause again, once she gets tired she is screaming and I can no longer talk or anything and have to go to our room to put her to sleep ( then it is iffy if I will even be able to get out of the room ) So, I feel bad when people come over cause they may come when she is asleep and wake her or I cannot leave her to come down or they come when she is up but her happy up doesn't last long and I just feel like lately I have not been able to manage anything anymore. We do well with the feeding I think cause I don't really super mind her eating often it literally is that she seems to need a pretty set napping schedule ( only in that she needs at least an hour or so once she has been up for about an hour and a half or so not set times or anything yet ) and if she is not able to get that you can kiss your day goodbye. Sometimes even if I do it all as she likes she wont get a proper nap for some reason and is just crying and fussy most of the day then, which is also super hard for my older daughter as she gets even less time. I suppose it must just be her temperament for right now and at least when she gets older it might spread out to more time or less strict.

    Daddy takes her for me on the weekends some (right after a nap and feed usually ) but it is hard to go anywhere far as she is pretty serious about when she wants the breast as well and she doesn't take bottles or anything. Now that she sleeps in a hammock my husband can get her to take a bit of a nap but she sleeps best for me ( he is mostly not around in the week cause of work so though she loves daddy she is not used to him doing naps or anything. He used to be able to take her out for a walk in the carrier and she would sleep the whole time also.

    Such a blessing and curse to have such a smart alert baby who knows what she wants eh?

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Anyone else on a tight schedule?

    I think you might just have to ride this out, mama. Babies seem to change up their habits (especially sleep ones) just when you think you've got it figured out. So hopefully this stage won't last long, and your LO will stretch out her awake hours. Then you'll be thinking 'gosh, please go to sleep, you've been up all day!'

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Anyone else on a tight schedule?

    Hi Babybean, just FYI, 4 months is a notoriously rough time for sleep ... they don't call it "the 4 month sleep regression" for nothing! It's really common for babies to suddenly get erratic, fussy, specific, or high needs (or all of the above!) about sleep at that time. Mine did -- it was like someone flipped a switch in him, and suddenly he needed to be GLUED to my body for every sleeping moment. I'm not gonna lie, he's always had to be "parented to sleep" for naps and bedtime, but around 4 months, it got much more intensive. And I came on this forum completely desperate for help... But then that phase passed. It's rough when you're in it though.

    Some of the things that helped me during that rough period:
    -During bedtimes, hubs and I would trade off rocking/laying with baby in the early evening hours (so that the other could eat dinner, do chores, etc)
    -Helpful mantra: "Cold food is still nutritious food."
    -Embracing early bedtimes - so I would usually be in bed by 9ish, cosleeping with baby, because it was just easier (plus it helped me "make up in quantity what I was missing in quality" as far as night time sleep, because the night waking got more frequent at that phase as well)
    -I stopped fighting it and just accepted my baby's sleep needs at that time. So instead of going through the endless rock/transfer/wakeup/rock/transfer/wakeup battle, I would just settle in with baby and a good book for his naps, or take a nap with him if possible. So instead of feeling drained by it, his sleep became a time when I could recharge a little too. And I would just take sleep whenever it came and decided to stop stressing about when it happened.

    Also, for what it's worth, mine was a serial cat-napper for the first, oh, 7-8 months? There wasn't really a schedule, he napped frequently throughout the day, and none of the naps were long -- like I was lucky if I got a 45 minute stretch, and 30 was much more common. It wasn't until 1 yr old, when he consolidated down to 1 nap/day, that the naps got longer and more consistent. I say that just to normalize your baby's eating and sleeping pattern. I think it's pretty normal for babies who are breastfed on demand to do a graze-nap-graze-nap thing. In fact there's some convincing research on primate behavior (baby primates, riding on their mamas all day long, nursing as often 4x/hr and catnapping very frequently) that it's a more normal and healthy pattern than what we've been culturally conditioned to believe babies are "supposed" to do (ie the feeding every 3-4 hr thing ... clearly my baby never read those books!). There's just so much variety in each baby's growth needs & patterns, appetite, nursing preferences, etc as well as variety in each mom's storage capacity. I just decided to trust that my baby knew what he was doing, and was nursing in exactly the way that he needed to in order to grow and get his needs met, and that I would listen to him and follow his lead.

    Good luck mama, hope you get some ideas here on the forum to help you manage and reframe the situation.
    Last edited by @llli*mercystreet; July 19th, 2013 at 09:46 AM. Reason: added more info

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Anyone else on a tight schedule?

    My 4-month-olds change their schedules from day to day, but naps longer than an hour are not common. Yesterday evening my older twin slept two hours straight and I hardly knew what to do! I started to miss her! And they like to nurse every hour or so. You just have to work around it. Go out after a nap. Try to get baby to nurse to sleep in her sling. Does she like the stroller? Ours are usually happy to watch things from their stroller and even take short naps. And I always take the carrier along, too, just in case. When they are really tired, my babies prefer to nurse to sleep in the bed, but sometimes they'll allow Grandma or an Aunt to rock them to sleep, so if you're out with others who like to hold the baby, let them give it a try. They don't usually let me rock them, because they so strongly prefer nursing anytime they get the chance and they know that I'm the one with the goods.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Anyone else on a tight schedule?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*lllmeg View Post
    That is one of the best things about breastfeeding, you can just take baby and go without worrying about when/how/what you are going to feed baby.
    True...unless you have issues like forceful letdown requiring a side-lying position or a distractable baby. Then it's not so easy. But, it sounds like this isn't babybean31913's issue so I agree that just going out might work.

    My daughter was very similar, screaming from tiredness. It was very stressful for many months. She did outgrow it, mostly because she could nurse to sleep after my oversupply went away.
    and Mama to two little girls

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