Question about returning to work and breastfeeding/expressing/sleep

Natalie - posted on 12/09/2010 ( 2 moms have responded )

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Hi all,

Our son is 7 1/2 months and I'm returning to work early Jan.....I've been exclusively breastfeeding him since birth with no problems or mastitis (thankfully!). I'm starting to stock the freezer with expressed milk for the days I won't be with him (he'll be with daddy for 2 days and child care for another 2...I'm really lucky my partner has been able to pick up some more weekend and get weekday shifts off as I work for the government and only have the option of weekdays so we don't need to use childcare as much!).

From 8 -16/17 week he slept through from 10pm - 8am without fail, from then on he now wakes one/twice a night for a feed.

So, he's on 3 meals a day and we have a routine, which I must admit I'm not REALLY strict on! I was trying to stick to the 'Save your Sleep' routine but he's a little out of wack and it's been working while I'm off work! Generally he akes between 4-6am for a milk feed, then sleeps till 7-9am (hence why I haven't wanted to change his routine!!!) gets us and doesn't want milk (maybe just a little drink for 30 sec's from one boob) and then we get up and I make his solids....He has his baby cereal with fruit and a piece of toast with vegemite. We then have playtime/etc and about 2 hours later he'll go down....most days he'll nap for 2-2.5 hours but every so often (I'm assuming it's a growth spirt day/week) he'll only do 45minutes....so he'll then be up anywhere between 11am-1pm and will have the boob and then about an hour after that his solids. Then he'll be awake another 2-3 hours and he'll have his afternoon nap which is usually only one-two sleep cycles (45mins-1.5 hours).....he then wakes and has milk and then at about 5-6pm his solids and then at about 6.30-7pm his milk feed and bed.....on a good night he'll wake for a dream feed around 9.30-10.30pm but on a bad night he;ll only go into one sleep cycle and will then need the boob after being down for 45mins....he then has a feed at about 2-3am and then we start all over again!!

He is generally really good in the day and goes down without a fight, just puts himself to sleep, with the odd bad day....the worst is trying to get him down at night!

I'm completely coping with him, I try to make him have a routine but am not stringet on it as that works for me, my health nurse doesn't give much help because he's so healthy, putting on so much weight and we're both content (my son and I!!!)....

Even with my return to work I wil be doing his am (6am feed) and his pm (6pm feed) but am hoping to have enough milk in stock for my fiance' to use on his 'daddy daycare' days and on the childcare days!! I know Ive done well to get to 8 months without needing to use formula and would really prefer not to use it but if I have to for the feeds I'm at work then so be it....it's sad but if I can't have enough milk for those feeds then so be it and it is onyl 4 months I suppose!

So my questions......
1. Now he's almost 8 months should I be dropping his 2-3am feed, and replacing with water/resettling?
2. Has anyone done the pick up-put down method (and how did you find it/how many nights did it take to work?)??
3. Can I drop the feed after his afternoon nap (I think it's 'usually' the 2pm feed) before the recommended 10months if he's putting on ample weight??

Any advice/opinions/personal stories welcome!

Many thanks,
Nat

2 Comments

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Natalie - posted on 12/09/2010

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Thank you so much Amy!

That's a fab idea about expressing between feeds. He went down at 6.30pm, woke at 8.30pm, then again at 9.30pm and I feed him at all times....then he went to 1.30am and then through till 5.45am and then we got up at 7.45am...so some nights he is having more feeds, like last night!

He hasn't had any juice yet, but LOVES his water! People have told me if he's not used to botles and like his sipper cups then offer his milk in sipper cups so that's what we're going to do....

Thanks so much again!
Nat :)

Amy - posted on 12/09/2010

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1) If that 2-3 feeding he is hungry then If you want to do the on-demand feeding I'd stick with it. At 8 months once a night should be just fine. My 8 1/2 week old has only woken once a night for several weeks now.

2) I tried it and it didn't work for my son, I haven't had to need it for my little girl. We let them cry, after about 5-10 min my little girl will fall back asleep unless she needs something. My son on the other hand at 2 1/2 years still crys for hours about going to bed.

3) I don't see why not, although I find when ever my kids wake from any nap there always hungry.

If your worried about how much milk you'll have, have you tried pumping more in between feedings to increase your supply? Using a little formula a day isn't the end of the world, but you can always try water as long as he's getting enough through other foods and your milk. I think we waited for about a year to give our son Juice, although he did get it once or twice before the year mark. I found giving our son a snack and water if I was running low it worked just fine.

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