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Thread: Breastfeeding schedule

  1. #1

    Default Breastfeeding schedule

    Please help- im exhausted! Im ebf my 4.5 mo baby/ her routine is as follows: she wakes up from a nap, feeds for around 7 mins, plays, then feeds for around 7 mins and then goes to sleep. All this is within a 2 hr period. So the problem is that instead of nursing her at a single time with a consolidated feed, she has divided her feeds into 2 parts which doesnt give me a chance to rest. Also, if shes feeding like this during the day, she adopts a similiar pattern at night. How do i consolidate my feeds? Please help

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Breastfeeding schedule

    I am not sure where the idea of "consolidated feeds" comes from? It is normal for meals at the breast to vary in size and for baby to nurse pretty frequently. From what you are describing this sound like a normal nursing pattern, but it hard to know with the info you have provided. Generally a 4.5 month old nurses between 8 and 12 times in 24 hours, with baby nursing overnight, on cue rather than on any set schedule, and many nurse more often and it is normal. What is interesting at this age is that many 4 month olds start nursing more often than they did a month or two earlier. This is normal.

    This is not to say being a new mom is not exhausting. It is. Babies require a great deal of hands on work, so whether they are nursing or not, many moms find that enough rest is hard to come by. There are many strategies for increasing your own sleep that may help at this age. But it is hard to make suggestions without understanding more about your daily and nightly routine, other responsibilities, and what amount of help you have from others. A good book on the subject is Sweet Sleep.

    If you think getting baby to take in more milk when baby nurses is going to help, there are things you can try. I will list a few. But they may not work and even if they work, they may not change your child's nursing patterns appreciably. That happens eventually but probably not progressively as baby ages.

    Breast compressions
    switching sides
    Actively encouraging baby to nurse longer.
    What about encouraging baby to nurse the second time in a tighter time frame (So instead of nursing at 1pm and then again at 1:45, see if baby will instead nurse for a top off at 1:20?
    Last edited by @llli*maddieb; March 11th, 2017 at 08:44 PM.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Breastfeeding schedule

    I am also confused about what a "consolidated feed" is. 2 quick feedings in 2 hours sounds completely normal for a 4.5 month old. Can you explain a bit more what you expect, and why what you're doing now is so exhausting? Maybe we can identify a way to make the routine a little more pleasant.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Breastfeeding schedule

    Yeah. When feeling frustrated about how often your baby feeds? Keep in mind that her stomach is now just a bit larger than the size of a grape. So. She's probably eating all she handle a time. And then because of how quickly breastmilk absorbs into her always growing tissue and organs? She gets hungry again and wants more. And her asking often enough is giving your body the right number of ques to keep producing the amount she needs for her growth. Which- in the 1st 6months? Is pretty amazing since she is expect to at least double if not triple her birthweight. So it sounds like it's all going exactly as it's supposed to.
    When looking for time to get things accomplished as well a break from my child at that age? I looked to my spouse. We had a set up that after dinner every night I would get a 2hour break. I would pump one bottle a day for that period and he would take the baby and I would do whatever I wanted. So like read, or nap or shower. If you want to use your break to do dishes or fold laundry you can. I wouldn't. But I was perfectly content to live in squalor in my PJs after I had a baby. If ever my husband dared to complain about his long work day. I was clear with him that even if he was working 12hour days (& sometimes he was) that was still 10 hours a day LESS THAN ME because my baby? Never shut off or clocked out. No one told him that people don't eat between Midnight and 5am! He didn't get the memo! So HERE HOLD THIS BABY I HAVE TO GO. And we did that pretty much forever. It morphed into my DH being repsonsible for his bedtime routine, PJS teeth brusing ect when he was old enough. But that 1st year? It really helped to know that I had that 2hour break to look forward to and it also helped with their bonding. But scheduling his nursing time? That didn't work until I wasn't his main source of food. Which was well AFTER the year point. While you are your child's only source of food and you know that you are in fact providing perfect nutrition? You have to trust her to be able to tell you when she needs to eat.

    Way too lazy for formula

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Breastfeeding schedule

    I'm a FTM so let me start off by saying I know little to nothing about this, however, everything I've read says that a baby's stomach grows very quickly. My baby is 4 months old and is capable of eating for 30 min and then going for 2-3 hours until she needs to eat again so I see no reason why you shouldn't be able to consolidate those feedings. If you're really wanting more of a schedule maybe you should try reading the Babywise book. It's really a sleep training type of thing but it has a section that talks about breastfeeding and scheduling your baby's day. It talks about letting your baby "snack" all day as opposed to taking in a full feeding. It may not be for everyone and I don't do it exactly like they outline but it has definitely impacted how we operate day to day. Good Luck!

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Breastfeeding schedule

    Oh No. DO NOT read babywise. That book is horrible. It's not breastfeeding friendly in any way shape or form. LLL DOES NOT recommend that book. At all. In fact there have been some fairly tragic results resulting in that book being revised more than once I believe. And you are right that a babies stomach does grow quickly. But it's not big by any means at 4 months old. And no 4month old who is EBF should be put on a feeding schedule. They are still totally in the zone where they should be allowed to feed on demand.

    Way too lazy for formula

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Breastfeeding schedule

    Well granted I only have 4 months of experience but I have done a lot of research online. I dont know anything about revisions to the book but I can't imagine how anyone who actually read it could end up with tragic results. Anyone who read it would know that Babywise doesn't recommend disregarding hunger cues and doesn't support a rigid schedule. They want you to find a balance between a free for all and regid schedule. The biggest difference with their approach is they don't think it's necessary to let your baby get into the habit of feeding multiple times in a 2 or 3 hour cycle because actually a 4 month old baby's stomach is quite a bit larger than a grape. In fact by 10 days old it is already the size of a large chicken egg and it peaks at 6 weeks where it will hold steady in size until around 6 months of age. I find it hard to believe that a baby that can take 4oz of expressed milk in a bottle (which from my research a 4 month old should be able to do around that much) can't breastfeed longer than 7 minutes and must eat again in an hour. I didn't see anything that wasn't pro BF although they did give advice to formula moms as well. All babies are different and what works for one may not work for another. Like I said earlier, there's a lot in the book that I don't follow but it did have some good suggestions that I use in our daily routine and I have a happy healthy 4 month old. If you have read the Babywise book then by all means have your opinion, but if you haven't then maybe you should refrain from giving your opinion over how horrible it is and just stick with relaying the LLL's recommendations.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Breastfeeding schedule

    Who really knows how big zaraf's baby's tummy is? No one's measured it, I assume?

    As I understand it, Mama's breast storage capacity is also extremely important and very variable. It may be ( or may not, just a possibility) that the capacity is smaller than some other Mums, therefore her baby needs to feed more often in order to keep the supply at the perfect amount, and to get the perfect amount of food she needs. It could also be cluster feeding during a growth spurt, pain from teeth coming through gums, need for comfort. Who knows? The baby can't tell us, so we don't know.

    In any case, in my opinion, 4.5 months is waaaaay too young to start trying to stretch feedings, or consolidate feedings. Baby is still so young and at this age wants are needs.

    If continuing to exclusively bf is important to you then please try to feed the baby when she wants! I know it's relentless and exhausting and different to what you thought it would be. And also, I know lots of other mums only feed their babies every 4 hours. But that's not what this baby wants.

    It will pass. She will not feed like this for ever. She'll put herself on her own schedule at some point.

    I don't want to sound militant about it, so of course you could try formula if you wanted, to see if that fills her up longer? If you really don't want to feed her like this?

    But please believe me, she will change on her own anyway as she gets older, then you won't have to try to force an unhappy baby wait.

    And definately do a quick google of 'problems with babywise method' before implementing anything. Always good to get both sides of the story.

    Oh and lastly, that 4 month sleep change is very, very hard, but it will get better aswell!

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Breastfeeding schedule

    Information about Babywise: http://www.ezzo.info

    Seriously, this is probably the most dangerous book out there. The most common outcome from using the "techniques" in that book is failure of milk production. But babies who have been placed on Babywise schedules have also been diagnosed with failure to thrive and, in some cases, have died.

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