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Thread: A Couple of Questions!

  1. #1

    Default A Couple of Questions!

    Hi all!
    I'm a first time poster and would really like a little advice. I'm currently breastfeeding daughter #2 who is 4 1/2 months old. I only lasted 4 weeks bf'ing daughter #1 due to what was just ignorance on my part. At the time I felt that I wasn't producing enough for her and it was extremely painful. I also had my mother and husband telling me she wasn't getting enough from me and that she needed formula, so that's what ended up happening. Since I knew what to expect the second time around, I was determined to stick with it with daughter #2 with a goal of 6 months and here we are (almost there)! I'm so glad I found this site when I did and so glad I didn't give up, even though there were many times I wanted to! So here are my questions:

    When we went for our 4-month check up, the pediatrician said that my baby should be sleeping through the night, at least 8 hours by now. I currently nurse and rock her to sleep at night and she'll wake up 1 or 2 times to nurse again. The doctor seems to think that she's waking up at night looking to be rocked and fed again for comfort and suggested laying her down while she's still awake so she can learn to put herself to sleep. I never had to deal with this issue with daughter #1 as she slept through the night beginning at 3 months old (again she was formula fed so I believe that helped). I would tend to think that because breastmilk is digested quicker that my baby would be waking up needing to eat because she is truly hungry and not just looking to be "comforted." She's always eaten every 2-3 hours. Should she be sleeping through the night already? Should I stop the rocking to sleep and try letting her fall asleep on her own? I'm not familiar with any of the methods to get your baby to sleep since I've always just nursed her and rocked her. Does this mean my milk is not filling enough for her? She was 9lbs 7oz at birth and was 16lbs 7oz at her check up so I know she's at least gaining.

    Also, any advice for nursing while baby is teething? She's been super fussy because of it and in the afternoons when she is feeding, she tends to pop off the nipple after only a minute or two and will put her fingers in her mouth, then will latch back on. She repeats this over and over even after switching sides so I'm really not sure if she's getting enough. Is she just comfort nursing?
    Sorry for the long post, but any advice will be greatly appreciated!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,999

    Default Re: A Couple of Questions!

    Welcome to the forum and congratulations on making it to 4.5 months of nursing! Sounds like you're doing great- you are nursing on demand and your baby is a nice healthy weight. So why ignore your instincts and change things?

    When we went for our 4-month check up, the pediatrician said that my baby should be sleeping through the night, at least 8 hours by now.
    Stop, I'm laughing so hard it hurts...

    Seriously, doctors are supposed to confine themselves to offering medical advice. Advice about sleep is parenting advice- and when it comes to parenting your baby, YOU are the expert. The doctor sees her for 20 minutes every couple of months. You spend all day, every day with her, and if you decide to stop nursing/rocking/parenting at night, you're the one listening to her heartbreaking cry.

    There's no reason to think you need to "teach" your baby to self-soothe- that is something that will come in time. And frankly, I don't believe that 4.5 month-old babies are able to self-soothe. I think that they can shut down when their bodies tell them that continuing to cry is a waste of calories, though. Teaching a baby to soothe isn't really a positive if you view it that way.

    Regarding your milk being "filling enough"- well, first of all you are correct that breastmilk digests faster and more completely than formula, and it's rare for breastfed babies to be able to go without eating overnight. Second, breastfeeding is more than food- it's comfort, too. So your baby wakes at night- which is developmentally normal and appropriate- and because she's a nursing baby she asks you not just for comfort but for her favorite and the most effective form of comfort. Third, kids are different when it comes to their need for nighttime parenting. Just because you had one baby who slept through at 3 months doesn't mean your second baby will be the same, regardless of how or what you feed her. And plenty of formula-fed babies wake at night- I just talked to a friend who has been formula-feeding her baby since 3 months and guess what? At 13 months, he's still demanding 2 bottles at night!


    Also, any advice for nursing while baby is teething? She's been super fussy because of it and in the afternoons when she is feeding, she tends to pop off the nipple after only a minute or two and will put her fingers in her mouth, then will latch back on. She repeats this over and over even after switching sides so I'm really not sure if she's getting enough. Is she just comfort nursing?
    Sorry for the long post, but any advice will be greatly appreciated!
    Advice for teething: nurse, nurse, nurse, nurse. Offer some cold teethers to chomp on (frozen damp washcloths are good, and so are ice chips made from breastmilk and served in a mesh feeder). And if the night-waking gets really bad, a dose of pain reliever before bedtime may help.

    Re: getting enough. If baby's diaper output is normal and her weight gain is normal, she is getting enough. One thing to be aware of is that many breastfed babies will drop percentiles on the weight-for-age charts as they get into the middle of their first year. As the baby becomes more mobile, she devotes more calories to action and packs fewer on as fat.

    Re: nursing for comfort. This is a positive, not a negative! You cannot bottle-feed a baby for comfort because you will overfeed her. But the breast is a multi-purpose mothering tool- food AND comfort, wrapped in one pretty package.
    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!"

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