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Thread: Help! Feeding preemie- should they be on a feeding sched?

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    6,959

    Default Re: Help! Feeding preemie- should they be on a feeding sched?

    Hi,
    When we make general assumptions about the reasons a parent may have for behaviors, we hurt our ability to offer support. Were it me I would clarify first whether the mother was given information regarding some sort of schedule. Mothers who are less than sure, or scared for the well being of their baby, feeling ill themselves, unsupported, confused, suffering from the beginnings of ppd or other things may be too overwhelmed to go outside of dr's orders. It is the offering of nonjudgmental evidence and information to the new parent where we make the greatest change.

    Just another perspective, we can see you feel strongly about the matter.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    2,866

    Default Re: Help! Feeding preemie- should they be on a feeding sched?

    w/Carpentergirl.

    Is this a new schedule to the family? Is this something they are trying to adopt? It sounds like maybe the mother was doing things differently, but then switched to this new schedule in the hopes of more restful nights. Is that correct?

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    422

    Default Re: Help! Feeding preemie- should they be on a feeding sched?

    Quote Originally Posted by aka.poppins View Post
    I am a loving nanny who is caring for an infant who was born 26 weeks early and weighed 2 pounds. She is 4 months according to birth time and 7 in preemie term. They want the baby to be on a feeding/sleeping schedule consisting of 3 1hour naps a day and 3 feedings of 5 oz. a day too. This concerns me so much and I am unsure what if anything I should do. I am not a fan of scheduling a baby and I didn't with my children. They ate when they were hungry and slept when they were tired. They were not born prematurely. The baby isn't responding well to the schedule she's hungry throughout the day and she likes to 'snack' during the day even though she drinks more right after her naps. She is also tired more often too. Her mom is very sleep deprived and desperate to get her to sleep during the night- I completely understand that. I am not able to help over night because of my own family and her husband doesn't help at night either.
    I want to help this family - I care for them especially baby- so please tell me if I should butt in or butt out and if you can suggest where I can find written info on this subject too.
    thanks-T.

    Wow, this family is very lucky to have found a nanny who cares not only for their baby but also for them as parents! And you're wise to recognize that chronological age and actual gestational/due date age can have implications for this infant's development.

    There's a lot of info we don't have -- is mom at home when you are there or is she employed outside the home? What brought about the change in baby's feeding and sleeping routine -- did the mom read or were family/friends suggesting this routine or was mother simply desperate?

    As a concerned care provider, it would seem inappropriate to say nothing or ignore your own inner voice if you think the current schedule is not in the baby's best interests. At the same time, this is their child and, ultimately, they make the decisions about these things. (If your philosophy is far from theirs and remains far from theirs, you may ultimately have to decide if this position is worth the emotional turmoil -- but that's a way off!)

    I'd think the place to start is with your last paragraph -- you care for them as persons and new parents. You see how sleep-deprived they are, and you can identify -- you've been there yourself I'd bet. However, you're also concerned about the baby because this little one is immature and still adapting to life outside the womb -- cannot "interpret" what is seen or heard and cannot be expected to "fit" with adult ideas or sleep patterns.

    You could share exactly your objective observations re: baby's behavioral response to the new routine. I would think inflexible scheduling, which may include limiting the timing of feedings, possibly overloading a former premie's tummy, restricting naps, etc. could actually exaggerate night waking -- creating a worse sleep scenario for parents. Also, these "extreme" premies are more at risk for neurodevelopmental issues, GERD, etc. Could anything else be going on that is affecting this baby's sleep-wake, etc. cycles? Is something being missed?

    I'd probably come back again to what may be "driving" this new schedule -- is mom's "instinct/heart" suggesting it to her or is it from outside influences? What are her long-term goals for this child -- what kind of person does she want this child to grow to be? Is this present schedule likely to achieve the long-term goal when doesn't seem to be working -- when the baby seems to be saying loudly and clearly that it is causing distress?

    It also makes sense to let the parents know the effect this is having for you -- how torn you feel ignoring baby when baby is communicating loudly and clearly.

    When something's working, babies usually adapt without distress so it can make sense to keep doing it. But if something is not working, why keep repeating it over and over? That's the time to try something different. What is keeping these parents repeating a strategy that is not helping and may be hurting?

    Good luck! I hope you'll let us know how things are going... And don't forget to take care of yourself!

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    4

    Unhappy thanks to all for advice on preemie feeding schedule

    Confidently armed with well informed info, I spoke up about the feeding/sleeping schedule last week and how I would not be able to support them with the schedule and why. I knew that the opposition to the choices they were making as parents could only end our relationship but, I was devastated with the outcome of this conversation. I won't be caring for this precious preemie any more. I offered to stay until they filled my position. Sadly- they have let me know that 'friends' will take over until then. =..(
    The lump in my throat is huge and I am 'grieving' the loss of my relationship with my little friend. Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.
    Tina

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    422

    Default Re: thanks to all for advice on preemie feeding schedule

    Quote Originally Posted by aka.poppins View Post
    Confidently armed with well informed info, I spoke up about the feeding/sleeping schedule last week and how I would not be able to support them with the schedule and why. I knew that the opposition to the choices they were making as parents could only end our relationship but, I was devastated with the outcome of this conversation. I won't be caring for this precious preemie any more. I offered to stay until they filled my position. Sadly- they have let me know that 'friends' will take over until then. =..(
    The lump in my throat is huge and I am 'grieving' the loss of my relationship with my little friend. Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.
    Tina

    I am sorry to hear of the outcome. I imagine your little friend is also grieving the loss of you...

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    2,631

    Default Re: Help! Feeding preemie- should they be on a feeding sched?

    I am terribly sorry.

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