Re: 5 Month Old-Short Day Nursings & Up All Night
Welcome to the forum!
My first thought is that the public health nurse should be fired. Or at least not allowed to work with nursing moms any longer. First of all, average weight gain in the 4-6 month range is either 3.25-4.5 oz per week or 4-5 oz per week, depending on who you reference (see http://kellymom.com/bf/normal/weight-gain/). Your baby gained 3 oz in 2 weeks, but that's still not indicative of a problem because weight gain can vary quite a lot if you zoom in on the data. Some weeks baby will gain more than the standard, some weeks less. What is important is that he continues to grow overall. I would also be very reluctant to base any conclusions off of measurements taken on 2 different scales, as scales are frequently off in their calibration (which is why I weigh 10 lbs more at my family's doc's office than the ob's). Also, supply is clearly not a problem for you, given the amounts you pump after nursing, and your baby is a nice weight. It's not like he's underweight, though he is a smaller baby.
Second, the nurse's advice about scheduling was dead wrong, and potentially damaging. Scheduled feedings do NOT result in a baby taking "full" feedings. Milk supply is created by demand, and any time you stretch the baby's demand out to some artificial interval, you're risking a decrease in supply. When you're concerned about a baby's weight gain, the first thing to try is to feed him MORE often, not less.
With a distracted baby- and 4-6 months is the peak of distractibility!- moms often end up with short, infrequent daytime feedings and frequent nighttime ones, i.e. reverse cuycling. Baby is too busy during the day to nurse really well, so he makes up for it at night. Ha ha! Fun times for mom, right?
The best thing to do for a distracted baby is to remove him from the distractions, try to nurse him in a dark, quiet place. Of course, this is just not always possible when you have 2 toddlers in your house! If you have a sling or a shawl, you might want to try nursing him in/under that, since if he has some fabric pulled over him he may be less distracted by those fascinating toddlers.
I am sure that the lack of sleep is driving you bonkers. Been there, done that! But please don't worry that it is hurting your baby. Babies naturally have shorter, lighter sleep cycles than adults, and it is entirely normal for them to wake frequently and require adult help to get back to sleep. Being up 10 times a night will not harm a baby's brain development AT ALL.
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!"