My >12 lb. 2-month-old daughter really cracks me up. She will (and often) lies all day on the breast - napping with my nipple in her mouth and, when she's done, holding my breast between her little paws like a teddy bear. Unfortunately, this habit has some drawbacks.
As much as I'd like to indulge her during this early newborn stage, my nipples are really wearing out (from the 80/20 comfort/nutritive sucking and when she pulls back, tugs, looks around, smiles, "chews", etc.) and also I have to start back to school soon. While I wish I could just read a book while she nurses, unfortunately, my little chewer/tugger/puller needs a little more "supervision" in order to save my breasts and keep her on the nipple. (She's got good head control but still needs me to offer the breast with my hand.) Also, I've got an oversupply "problem" and this doesn't help. (Of course she won't take a paci.) Fortunately for me, even though we co-sleep, she's weaned herself from nighttime feedings (yes, I'm just grateful for every night of the past 2 weeks of 7-10 hours of sleep) but daytime feedings are spaced from 30 min. to 1.5 hours. If it didn't kill my nipples, I would just let her eat in the sling all day but we're not quite that advanced as of yet.
Yesterday I began to "encourage" her to space her feedings. Rather than offering her the breast as the first resort, I waited and distracted her with toys, walking, bouncing, singing etc. I made it to about 3 hours every time (this is about the longest space I am comfortable w/ - unless she does it on her own, of course). This irritated her (I got some of those directed shouting cries) and my husband (he's committed to on-demand nursing) and she slept less (which also probably contributed to the fussiness) BUT she did nurse like a champ - all pump and suck for 10-20 minutes, a burp, and then 5-10 minutes more of relatively good sucking each time - it was heaven! My nipples got a break. Also, she had much less gas (from less gulping of air, which she very much prone to doing).
Not letting her drive the nursing seems to go against everything I've read/been taught. But, when is this OK? I am committed to trying this approach for three days but I'm eager to know, does anyone blessed with an infant of similar disposition have experience with mother-driven spacing of feedings? How did it work out?