This is going to be a little long... It's been a while since I've been on here so I have a few questions I've been putting off asking. If you want to skip my looooooong writing, you can skip down to the * with the heart of my question.
My daughter is 2mos2wk old and it seems she is eating a lot less than usual the last few days and sleeping a lot more. I'm not sure what to make of it. I have few concerns... She doesn't seem to tell me when she's hungry anymore. She used to try to eat her hands, but lately she started doing this for fun and stopped using it as a hunger cue. Or she'd do this little whimper to let me know she wanted to eat, but now she either doesn't do it at all and goes 4+ hours without "asking" for food or she skips those usual cues and goes straight to crying. Maybe I'm missing the cue somewhere in there, but it seems one minute she is great and the next she is screaming for boob! Like a true woman, she is sending mixed signals! () I am worried she is not eating enough so I've been offering her the breast when she gets to 4 hours whether she "asks" or not and she eats very well. She doesn't garf it down as if she's starving; she just eats like normal. Without her giving me her normal cues, I'm wondering is I should start trying to establish a schedule. How many times a day should she be eating and how long in between? I heard it is normal for the frequency of feedings to be less around this time, I just want to be sure she is getting enough nutrition. This also makes me a little concerned about my milk supply. I've been getting engorged more often lately since she is eating less frequently. I had a significant dip in my supply once before and I'm afraid for it to happen again.
Which brings me to my next question: sleep. She is sleeping (no joke) 12 hours a night! We have a nightly routine somewhere between 9 and 10pm. We go upstairs to change into pj's, change the diaper, nurse on both sides as long as she wants, burp, swaddle and then put her in the bassinet to sleep. She wakes in the night to nurse after 6-8 hours (it's not always consistent when she wakes up and sometimes she wakes after only 4 hours if she didn't get enough to eat before bed) and then she goes back to sleep to get a total of 12-ish hours. Is this normal or weird? Am I blessed or cursed?! I haven't paid too much attention to her daytime naps because they're so different every day. She'll nap anywhere from 15min to 2+ hours throughout the day. Sometimes she needs one of us to help put her to sleep and other times she just falls asleep where she is. When she's awake, she is fully awake and alert -eyes open, lots of activity and "talking" to us. Should I wake her a little earlier? Should I start a nap schedule during the day? I try to keep her engaged and interact with her during the day, but I also can't sit and play peek-a-boo all day long so I get up to clean and cook and shower, etc... and sometimes when I walk away for a few min and she is in the bouncy seat or on the floor in her little play gym she just dozes off right there. (As I type this little essay she is sleeping on my shoulder after eating.)
*Both these questions (long-winded as they might be -sorry!) boil down to: should I establish a schedule or just let her eat/sleep on demand no matter how long or how often she wants it?