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Thread: Putting DS on a schedule at 1 mos.?

  1. #1

    Red face Putting DS on a schedule at 1 mos.?

    My DS, who turns 1 mos. on Monday, has been breastfeeding almost around the clock since birth. As soon as he starts crying, if he can't be comforted within a few minutes, I bring him to the breast to feed. I'm uncertain if he is actually eating or not, but I know this works well to comfort as well as feed, so this is what I do. Question is, since we have been spending at least 14 + hrs. on the breast, not exagerating here either, would it be unheard of to start spacing his time at the breast some. Say if he starts at the breast at 1 pm and I give him an hour to feed between both breasts, can I safely wait until at least 3-4 pm before even thinking of bringing him to the breast again?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    Default Re: Putting DS on a schedule at 1 mos.?

    I know it's hard right now, and exhausting, but by nursing so frequently your baby is helping build your supply. If you try scheduling him, you risk a couple of things: one is that he won't get enough to eat--that's not good--and the second is that you put your supply at risk. Generally around 6-8 weeks your supply begins to level out, and the 6(ish)-week growth spurt happens, which pretty much involves nonstop nursing (there's one of these around 3 weeks too, and more later). The best thing you can do to maintain your supply, and to make sure your LO is getting plenty, is to feed when he's hungry. If you wait until he's crying, which is actually a late indicator of hunger, you may find that he has a harder time calming enough to latch well. It may help to look for the earlier signs of hunger--sucking on fingers, etc--and feed him before he gets to the point of crying. His tummy is still tiny, and breast milk is digested quickly (and completely), which is why he's eating so much. Hang in there!!

  3. #3
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    Oct 2008
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    Default Re: Putting DS on a schedule at 1 mos.?

    Hi mama...I have a sleeping baby in my lap so sorry if this is short!

    At the age your LO is now, he's still establishing your milk supply. They feed very very often in the first 6 weeks (and much longer, in some cases). They have a ton of growth spurts in these early days, and the way they let your body know to make more milk is to feed LOTS. If you try spacing out feeds this early you could potentially damage your supply if your body isn't getting the message that baby needs more milk. Breast milk digests in about 90 minutes, so if your baby acts hungry an hour and a half after you STARTED the last feed (count feed times from the beginning, not the end of each feed) then it's very likely that he does actually need more.

    I know it's very tiring in the early weeks, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel! As they get older they will naturally space out feedings as they get more efficient at the breast - they don't take as long to take a feed. It does seem like the first few months you do nothing but nurse, but it's totally normal. Hang in there, you're doing the right thing by offering your breast often. It's exactly what he needs. You're doing great!
    Mama of two precious girls
    DD1 born 23 July 2008 and
    DD2 born 14 January 2010

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    1,710

    Default Re: Putting DS on a schedule at 1 mos.?

    I agree with everything the previous posters said.

    Is he gaining nicely and plenty of pees and poops? It may be that the latch is still not perfect so he's not a very efficient nurser. This should get better with time though, so if you're not in pain and he's getting enough to eat, it's not a problem (other than being frustrating for you!).

    If he's really nursing for that long at a time, you can try unlatching him (do you know the technique for this? You need to stick your pinky finger gently into his mouth to break the latch so you don't hurt your nipples as he pulls off) after it's clear he's not getting any milk and see if he can be distracted from nursing (if he's not asleep). You really don't want to refuse him the breast right now though as this could be dangerous for your milk supply. Remember, crying is really a late signal for hunger.

    I know it's frustrating, but it won't last forever!!

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Putting DS on a schedule at 1 mos.?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*manitobamommy View Post
    If he's really nursing for that long at a time, you can try unlatching him (do you know the technique for this? You need to stick your pinky finger gently into his mouth to break the latch so you don't hurt your nipples as he pulls off) after it's clear he's not getting any milk and see if he can be distracted from nursing (if he's not asleep). You really don't want to refuse him the breast right now though as this could be dangerous for your milk supply. Remember, crying is really a late signal for hunger.!
    I had one of those eat all the time babies, and it would get exhausting. If baby is just comfort nursing -- like not actually swallowing, just fluttering there at your breast -- try gently removing baby by breaking the suction, using your finger to gently push his chin up and then seeing if you can keep him asleep or distracting him in some other way, like walking around, a change of scenery, putting over your shoulder, something.

    But a month..prime time for growth spurts. A month old baby is still practically a newborn. There is a time and place for trying a loose schedule, and at a month postpartum is not it.
    Susan
    Mama to my all-natural boys: Ian, 9-4-04, 11.5 lbs; Colton, 11-7-06, 9 lbs, in the water; Logan, 12-8-08, 9 lbs; Gavin, 1-18-11, 9 lbs; and an angel 1-15-06
    18+ months and for Gavin, born with an incomplete cleft lip and incomplete posterior cleft palate
    Sealed for time and eternity, 7-7-93
    Always babywearing, cosleeping and cloth diapering. Living with oppositional defiant disorder and ADHD. Ask me about cloth diapering and sewing your own diapers!

  6. #6

    Default Re: Putting DS on a schedule at 1 mos.?

    It's quite the shocker when new moms find out that it seems like babies nurse all the time, day and night.

    Probably in societies/cultures where families live together, new moms aren't quite so shocked by this, since they see their mothers/cousins/aunts/sisters tend to their newborns this way.

    I know I was sure that something was wrong when my firstborn was on me pretty much 24/7. And unfortunately I tried to "fix" the non-existant problem by feeding her formula, thinking there must be something wrong if my baby was nursing so often.

    It might help to think of the first three months of your baby's life as the "Fourth Trimester". But instead of being attached via umblical cord, you're attached via boobs #1 and 2.

    Keep up the good work and remember that this is exactly what babies were designed to do!!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    Default Re: Putting DS on a schedule at 1 mos.?

    Hi

    and momma you are doing soooo well.

    I could NOT believe it when my DS was born what a shock to the system BF was. He nursed every 2 hours round the clock for the first 10 days. I was so tired and so bloody hungry all the time. This led to tears and tantrums gallore for my husband to deal with-and that was just from me!!

    Have you tried bringing baby into bed with you to feed? If you don't feel confident cosleeping perhaps bring your LO in with you during the day? Take some snacks up (cereal bars are great and filling) and plenty of water and just doze when feeding. You can also do loads of skin to skin contact this way without worrying about baby getting too cold and you are both snuggled up in bed.

    Do you feel up to accessing a BF group in your local area? Perhaps the hospital gave you some details of local groups? I attended my first BF group at 5 weeks and it helped me pull through that exhausting time. Just to see other new Mums look as shattered as me, even when it was their second baby, made me realise we were normal and gave me hope. If you don't feel up to leaving the house then try the LLL phone line. The forums are great but sometimes it is nice to hear another voice.

    The other Mums are so right it does get so much easier. My DS is now 3 and half mos old and all of a sudden he does not always need to nurse for ages. Sometimes he will take just 10 minutes to feed, especially when we are out and about. At first I couldn't believe it and was still putting him to the breast so much I was making him cross. My DH had to suggest very gently that perhaps DS wasn't actually hungry and was crying for another reason.

    In terms of a schedule, this is a very western idea that a lot of Mums (including me at first) believe is the best way to manage their babies. However, what I have learned from the LLL and the BF group is that this is a formula based thing, not a BF thing. When I asked some of the BF Mums with 8 mos old babies about whether they were in a routine yet they laughed at me!! (in a nice way)

    Remember that when you BF your baby is more likely to work out day and night for itself because it is not on a rigid schedule. You may find that your baby cluster feeds at night, as LO gets a bit older they will suddenly sleep quite a bit longer.

    Also, once you get the hang of it BF is so much more flexible when you are out and about. No need to clock watch, just respond to your baby. I never have any idea about when baby last fed. My response when people as is something like 'erm...11ish, erm...what was on TV...oh yes it was 10.30'. As my family is not that BF experienced they think I am mad!!

    I know when I was 1 mos in I really thought that formula would be the magic answer to all my problems, especially because my step sister has a baby the same age and was out and about with her baby FFing away. Now I am soooo glad I stuck with it. No worries about finding a kettle or timing how long a feed has been made up or all that extra weight in the changing bag. No travel steriliser if we visit far away family and no buying new teets all the time.

    Sorry, I have rambled on a bit. Having just come out of that 'battle field' stage I wanted to promise that it DOES get better and so much fun xx xx
    Amy, very proud Mum to beautiful Gabriel, born 11/12/2009. We are looking forward to baby number 2 arriving in January

    We loved , but stopped after 9 months because I went back to work. We think that cloth nappies rock

    Could not have breastfed without the fab support of husband Chris and of course the LLL!!!!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    20,944

    Default Re: Putting DS on a schedule at 1 mos.?

    Congratulations on the new baby! It sounds like you've done a terrific job being responsive and giving so far. And while I'm sure it's not what you want to hear, I really do think you should continue to do what you've been doing. Schedules are the perfect recipe for an unhappy mama and a miserable baby, and in the worst cases they can lead to reduced milk supply and a baby who isn't growing because he isn't getting enough to eat. Milk supply works on the supply = demand principle, so babies who aren't allowed to demand enough can have trouble maintaining a good supply.

    As the PPs pointed out, breastmilk digests fast and completely, and newborn tummies are tiny. Many breastfed babies are hungry about 90 minutes after they started eating, and if they take a long time to feed, one feeding often runs into another.

    My only concern is that your baby's very long feedings and frequent demands to feed are related to some sort of difficulty transferring milk. (This is my hang-up because it happened to me.) An accurate diaper count and a weight check can help you to gauge whether or not this is a problem for you. Have you seen a lactation consultant, preferably an IBCLC? I think you might really benefit from some hands-on help.
    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!"

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Putting DS on a schedule at 1 mos.?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*mumtothomas View Post
    I know it's hard right now, and exhausting, but by nursing so frequently your baby is helping build your supply. If you try scheduling him, you risk a couple of things: one is that he won't get enough to eat--that's not good--and the second is that you put your supply at risk. Generally around 6-8 weeks your supply begins to level out, and the 6(ish)-week growth spurt happens, which pretty much involves nonstop nursing (there's one of these around 3 weeks too, and more later). The best thing you can do to maintain your supply, and to make sure your LO is getting plenty, is to feed when he's hungry. If you wait until he's crying, which is actually a late indicator of hunger, you may find that he has a harder time calming enough to latch well. It may help to look for the earlier signs of hunger--sucking on fingers, etc--and feed him before he gets to the point of crying. His tummy is still tiny, and breast milk is digested quickly (and completely), which is why he's eating so much. Hang in there!!
    Megan/Meg
    Married to James 1/3/09
    SAHM to Aiden Joseph 5/31/09
    PG with #2 EDD 10/3/10

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    332

    Default Re: Putting DS on a schedule at 1 mos.?

    your baby will space out his feeds on his own, in his own time.

    why would you want to put him on a schedule if this is working well? is it outside pressures?

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