I’ve spent countless hours googling whatever burning question I had about sustaining the life of my newest offspring. Because in 5 years, I had mostly forgotten exactly how to keep a new human alive. I mean having a baby is all fun and games until you’re trying to establish a good milk supply, getting said baby to sleep for a decent chunk of time, and ensuring your body is keeping up with her growing calorie needs.
When I first had her, I was pretty cocky right up until they pulled her out and set her on me all squishy and slippery. I mean walking into the OR I was like, “psshhht, been there and done that. I even fed twins and still donated ridiculous amounts. I’ve got this.” But as soon as her wiggly, tiny, and slippery body was clinging to mine, all prior knowledge and confidence flew out of the room. Back to square one.
I remembered enough to start pumping after every time she nursed. Even if nothing was coming out I pumped like a soldier for 10 minutes. Every two hours. These are the two “know hows” my mind hung onto. Which is baffling now that I think about how many hours I’ve been tethered to the pump in the last 7 years of my like. I’m pretty sure I have I’ve spent more quality time with the Medela than I have my spouse. I digress…
So anytime I felt I wasn’t producing enough, or the baby wasn’t sleeping for long enough, or she was acting weird, or nursing shorter/longer I would grab the phone and call my mom while googling the issue at the same time. (Enter the budding addiction to my phone) Mostly I was looking for a real life example. Someone who had written it down TO THE T what they did, when they did it, for how long they did it, and why they did it, then how doing that worked! And ya know, in the vast chasm of Google, I never found what I was looking for.
So I’m here putting down my story for those late night, panic driven mommas looking for someone’s tale of what worked for them.
Newborn Feeding Stats
Nursed every.two.hours during the daytime hours (6am-10pm) I would feed her on one side for about 10 minutes, burp, then repeat on the other side.
Pumped for 3-8 minutes immediately after each feeding. After Every Feeding!
My milk came in the first night in the hospital so I really got strict about pumping after each time she ate. I started out getting about 2-3 oz each pumping. Also I had to keep stripping her clothes off and rubbing her back to keep her awake to eat. During those first 2-3 days I fed her On Demand (which up until this kid I had no idea what On Demand even was.)
I sorta used some “babywise” methods, but sort of not. I would nurse her right when she woke up and she would stay awake for about 35-40 minutes then back to bed she went. And would sleep for an hour-1.5 hours. I never let her go more than two hours in between the times she ate. So even if she was sound asleep, if she ate last at 9 am, I’d be waking her up at 11. This was my key to getting her to sleep at night. Fitting all her feedings in during the day. It was super hard waking her up as she was snoozing oh so peacefully, but mamacita wanted to snooze oh so peacefully at midnight, thus squashing the hesitation to let a sleeping babe sleep. Helpful tip:Strip that baby naked if needs be to get them to wake up and eat.
Nursing: I kept the babe on the rigid every 2 hour nursing schedule during the day. She got faster at each feeding only taking about 15 min total.
Pumping: I pumped after every feeding still and during her long nap. I also pumped right before I went to sleep and once at like 5am-ish before she woke up. I was getting about 68-70oz extra every day and wanted to keep up my supply which is why I kept up with the nightly pumping. Plus it is just suuuuuuper uncomfortable to sleep with full milk jugs.
Sleeping She would sleep from about 6pm-7:30am. She would stay awake for about 45 min then go right back to sleep for an hour. Around noon she would take a good 2-3 hour nap(we were always changing what time of day this was because of the older kids demanding us changing up the schedule all the time).
She started sleeping from 11-5:30 when she was 5 days old. And has since slept through the night for 14+ hours.
At 9 months old Sadie sleeps 10-12 hours a night. She nurses about 5 times a day still and eats some real food a few times a day. I didn’t start her on “food” until she was 8 months old. Mostly because I’m a lazy beast and didn’t want the extra mess or preparation. Whippin out the tit is sooooo much easier. I only pumped now before bed and right when I woke up. Sometimes I would in the middle of the day if She was taking a longer than normal nap. Lt it be known that at this time, my bra size started to go down. And yes…tears were shed.
I weaned her on the night of her 1st birthday. I stopped pumping about a week later and it took me 2 full weeks to dry up. She still sleeps 12-14 hours a night and now only takes one 2-3 hour nap a day.
I gave her a sippy cup of whole organic milk on her birthday and she’s been on that ever since. Since she’s never had it in a bottle, we don’t have to break that habit. But she is addicted to her pacifiers so I anticipate lots of fights in about 6 months.
I hope this helps some of those moms out there searching through the wee hours of the morning for some guidance, assurance or example. I’m on the other side now, trying to tame the disaster havoc-reeking escape artist, missing those quiet mornings and afternoons spent in the rocking chair with the bitty baby.