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Thread: Spacing feedings for leisurely nurser?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    Default Spacing feedings for leisurely nurser?

    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?
    Last edited by jcclowen; August 12th, 2007 at 01:12 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    126

    Default Re: Spacing feedings for leisurely nurser?

    Are you liberally using Medela PureLan after every nursing session?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    11

    Default Re: Spacing feedings for leisurely nurser?

    I am just experimenting with this with my 3 month old son. I'm not sure he has a similar disposition (this was to combat his flailing, fighting and kicking during feeds which I *finally* realized was because I was offering him a feeding at the first sign of discomfort when I really should have been trying other things first).

    But - I think your three day plan is a great idea. I'm just a beginner at this breastfeeding thing, but I think 3 days is enough time for her to become accustomed to it if it's going to work and little enough time to not cause any serious problems.

    I would say experimenting is better than up and quitting (which is what I was so close to doing, myself...) to save your nipples.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    Default Re: Spacing feedings for leisurely nurser?

    My son was like that for the first three months and then everything got upside down and we had to battle constant nursing strikes so I am a little biased on the side of nursing on demand as long as the baby likes the breast but of course you have to save your nipples. If you are going to space out the feedings, I was going to suggest 2 hour intervals instead of 3 though since BM is digested within 1.5-2 hours. 3 hours maybe too much hungry time for your baby.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    112

    Default Re: Spacing feedings for leisurely nurser?

    Actually I haven't tried Lanolin. Instead I usually put milk on my nipples afterward and let it air dry (per the advice of my LC and data from controlled studies that show that this works better than Lanolin, as the latter soothes but does not "heal" unlike milk). But I do have some Lanoline so I will try putting that in BEFORE the feeding and use the milk afterward. Thanks for the suggestion. I also have the luxury of going topless almost 24/7 as I am a student and only have class 2 days/week.

    My 3 hour space was based on the fact that sometimes she "self-stretches" to 4 hours during the day. (As I said, she stretches 7-10 and sometimes 12 hours at night all on her own.) But you are right. Though she got a TON of milk yesterday (much more than usual, actually) she was pretty cranky. I might try a 2.5 hour stretch and then if that takes, gradually increase from there.

    I know that every mother/baby pair is unique but, on average, how many hours/day did you (do you) spend at the breast around 3 months of age? Thanks.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    589

    Default Re: Spacing feedings for leisurely nurser?

    My lo is 3 1/2 months and we try to be as close to a 3 hour schedule as we can. Sometimes we are 2 1/2 and we go about 7-8 hours at night. At this age, according to "BabyWise" a parent directed feeding book, they should be able to get to 3 hour intervals without a problem. We demand fed at first, to help my ds asjust, help establish my supply, etc. but then we are working "towards" a schedule, for my sake and his! A well rested well fed baby is a happy baby and that makes a happy momma! While I have been attempting working "towards a schedul for the last month and a half, we are only now at 3 1/2 months getting close to one, but that's ok! He is doing great! I think whatever works for mom and baby is what you should do. I am not a fan of making a baby go hungry, but I think all too often I would offer the breast first, adn that's not what he even wanted. Flexible scheduling gave me peace of mind that he was getting enough because he is getting FULL feedings everytime and I don't have to worry about how "snacking" is interfering. And he even sleeps so much better now too. Since he has been eating on more of a schedule, he is taking a 2 hour nap in the morning and a 3 hour nap in the afternoon! (as opposed to a million unrestful catnaps!) So, anyway, HTH! Keep it up, if 3 doesn't work, try 2 1/2, then stretch it to 3 when she is ready. Her body will adjust and as long as you pay attention to her needs, you will be fine! (Sorry so long!)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    Default Re: Spacing feedings for leisurely nurser?

    So I am wondering about the amount of times your baby is actually nursing now. Between eight and twelve times a day is usually pretty ideal for a smaller baby. Keep an eye on her diapers if you start to remove feedings. You should see somewhere between 5-6 wet disposable diapers, more if you are cloth diapering.
    Also i want to mention to you that at around 3, 6, 9 and 12 weeks old ( and so forth) babies go through these amazing growth spurts where they really need more calories. The do this thing called cluster feeding where its like they never turn the boobie loose. While you may have an oversupply right now, keep in mind that the amount of milk necessary to feed your baby will also be increasing as your child gets older. Can you tell us why you think you have an oversupply> What things have you been trying so far?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    953

    Default Re: Spacing feedings for leisurely nurser?

    Ignore the LC and get some lanolin. My daughter was a constant nurser and a chewer in the early days, and the breastmilk just didn't cut it. You need something to soothe while the BM is healing, kwim?

    I would also be very wary of trying to impose some kind of spacing on your baby's feedings. Babies nurse a lot. They suck a lot. They need their mommies. It's great that your DH is committed to on demand feeding; is he able to help you out with things to make it easier for you?

    I know the return to school seems important and overwhelming, but if you can I'd reccomend postponing it a bit. I had my daughter mid-semester and only missed a couple of classes, but I wish I had just skipped school all together. I took her with me every day, but it was just so much stress that took away from my time with her.
    Rachel

    Mama to my precious girls, Abigail and Naomi


    "When we consider that women are treated as property, it is degrading to women that we should treat our children as property to be disposed of as we see fit." - Elizabeth Cady Stanton in a letter to Julia Ward Howe, October 16, 1873. Recorded in Howe's diary at Harvard University Library.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
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    74

    Default Re: Spacing feedings for leisurely nurser?

    My DD was also a constant nurser (including a lot of comfort sucking). For our sake, we had to try something different because I was about to quit. So far, for the last month, we've been trying the Babywise technique with a little bit of Elizabeth Pantley suggestions, with flexibility. DD is now doing 2 hours and a half streches to 3 hours, sometime 3 and a half. At first, DD was fighting a lot because she wasn't use not to be one me. So I used a pacifier for the 3 minutes just after I unlatched her and then I was trying to distract her and entertain her as much as possible. And now, 4 weeks later, after each 15-20 mins sessions of feeding, she plays alone with a lot of fun for about an hour. Then, she gets tired and needs to sleep... that's the main problem for right now because she has a lot of problem to get to sleep on her own even tough she is tired (sometimes overtired). I don't want to nurse her to sleep for daytime so usually ride her in the stroller or rock her and I would say it works 75% of the time and she usually gets 1 hour nap.

    What I can suggest is keep going up your good work. You need patience and a lot of confidence but overall it worth it because baby gets use to the routine and they like it a lot because they know what to expect.
    DD1 for 9mo and DD2 for almost 12mo
    (using a Hotsling, ringsling, and Chimparoo but my favourite one is a Mei Tai)

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