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Thread: Help! Start school next week with 4 mo old!

  1. #1

    Default Help! Start school next week with 4 mo old!

    I have a lot of questions and would really appreciate any advice from everyone here. Reading through the forums has been very informative but I still have some concerns:

    1. I'll basically be gone 10 hours a day (planning to pump 3x). My daughter just turned 4 months yesterday but is already 17 lbs--so fairly large I suppose. Does that change how much milk I should leave her? I was planning on either 12-14 oz, and to nurse her as soon as I get home.

    2. I haven't done well in getting her to take the bottle. We were going to try this week but she got sick. She'll play around with the nipple but won't drink, and eventually gets upset and starts screaming for the breast. Honestly, I would've started way earlier but I'd given her the bottle with no trouble at 2 months and she got it again a few times from the in-laws at 3 months. In-laws never told me until much later that it took them 2 hours of coaxing each time! Her daddy will be the primary caregiver while I'm going to school and he's bracing himself for a rough first week. What should we do in the 3 days we have left to ease this transition?

    3. Despite our efforts at the No Cry Sleep Solution, she still much prefers to nurse to sleep and to sleep on me. What is the least stressful way to manage this during the day when I'm not there?

    Hope someone can help me here and extra advice is always appreciated! I'm the only one I know who's exclusively BFed this long. Family is supportive with whatever I do but short on experience to help me here.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    20,962

    Default Re: Help! Start school next week with 4 mo old!

    1. Rule of thumb is 1.5 oz per hour of separation, throughout the first year. For a 10 hour absence, you'd be looking at more like 15 oz.

    2. keep trying the bottle. Have dad offer it, preferably while you are out of the house- baby will not understand why you don't feed her in her preferred fashion if you are present. Try different bottles, different nipples, and different milk temperatures. If you've been using stored milk, make sure you taste-test the milk before giving it to baby- some moms have lipase issues which can affect milk taste.

    3. Have dad wear baby in a sling for naps or take her for long rides in the stroller. And give him space to figure things out- I know that's hard when you are used to being the baby's primary caregiver. But he and baby will find a rhythm.
    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!"

  3. #3

    Default Re: Help! Start school next week with 4 mo old!

    Hi! Yeah maybe I'm over-stressing about it...probably because she's such a needy baby and definitely knows how to scream ad infinitum if she doesn't get exactly her way. She started out a very colicky newborn crying 12+ hours a day and I'm honestly terrified of repeating that (both for her and for me). Spouse can't wear the sling because of back issues but I'll definitely give him the stroller idea.

    Aaaaaand yes, 15 oz, will do.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    NY
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    583

    Default Re: Help! Start school next week with 4 mo old!

    It is actually 1 to 1.5 oz per hour, so anywhere from 10-15 oz would be reasonable intake while you are gone. I am gone 9.5 hrs a day for work, and my baby averages 11-12 oz while I am away. I think your plan to leave 12-14 oz is fine! I would leave small bottles to minimize waste. 2-3 oz portions. You'll get a sense of what works best over time.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    5,427

    Default Re: Help! Start school next week with 4 mo old!

    How much: Size of baby does not change how much a baby needs to eat. But every baby is an individual and reacts to separations their own way, so how much milk your baby will take while you are gone will depend a bit on your baby. It will also depend on how much baby nurses when you are together.

    To get an estimate to start with, besides the 1-1.5 ounce per hour of separation rule of thumb, you can also look at this kellymom article and calculator: http://kellymom.com/bf/pumpingmoms/pumping/milkcalc/

    Also dad can feed baby in a way that helps prevent overfeeding with bottles and also should know how to handle milk correctly so it is not wasted. See: http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...fyour_milk.pdf (2 page document)

    Bottles: The ideas for bottle feeding in above doc can also sometimes help with baby refusing bottle. Most important-cue feed. (Offer before baby gets overly fussy!) So I suggest teach dad feeding cues if he does not recognize them already. If baby gets fussy, dad can try comforting baby before offering the bottle again.

    baby can be cup fed. Some babies seem to handle this better than a bottle. Cup feeding video (be aware mom in video has no shirt on, video was taken during a lactation consult) http://www.breastfeedinginc.ca/conte...me=vid-cupfeed

    Sleep: A four month old baby prefers to be held most of the time. That is just normal. So I never thought the suggestions in the no cry sleep solution are much help for this age, but you may find them very useful later.

    If dad can comfort baby to sleep and then wait a bit until baby is in a deeper sleep before putting baby down, that may help dad get a little time of baby sleeping alone. But don’t count on it!

    If dad is working himself (on the computer or something) it may help to have a pallet or other safe sleeping place for baby in the same room where dad will usually be. My babies always slept better when close to mom or dad if they could not sleep actually ON mom or dad.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Help! Start school next week with 4 mo old!

    Ah, ok, maybe I'll try that. Either way, spouse will have access to freezer stash if more is needed, and that shouldn't be too hard to defrost quickly.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Help! Start school next week with 4 mo old!

    Ah, ok, maybe I'll try that. Either way, spouse will have access to freezer stash if more is needed, and that shouldn't be too hard to defrost.

    @llli*lllmeg: Thanks for the tips! Yeah ironically the no cry sleep solution said my baby was on the cusp of being too late to set proper sleep habits at 3 months.

    The idea of cup feeding is very cool--I didn't know that was an option.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    548

    Default Re: Help! Start school next week with 4 mo old!

    My DH was not the primary caregiver, but had to watch LO many times during naps or bedtime when I went back to work, and we had a nanny watching her and helping her sleep, as well. For both of them, we found success trying to replicate as close as possible the nursing-to-sleep experience that she had with me. During my maternity leave, I'd usually nurse her on the nursing pillow, and she'd fall asleep like that and I'd let her nap on the pillow on my lap while I watched TV or (sometimes) fell asleep sitting up! So DH or nanny usually gave her a bottle right before her nap or bedtime, and often she fell asleep during the bottle. Then they'd hold her on a pillow while watching TV during her nap (rocking her to sleep if she didn't fall asleep right away). As she got a little older, if DH held her in his lap on the bed, he could sometimes put her down in the bed once she was asleep -- then she got better at being placed in the crib. If you don't have success with the bottle, perhaps still having the milk (via cup or other method) right before naps will help.
    Mom to my sweet little "Pooper," born 10/12/11, and "Baby Brother," born 6/23/2014, and married to heavy metal husband. Working more than full-time, making healthy vegetarian meals for family, and trying to keep up with exercise routine.

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