breastfeeding has been somewhat of a gateway parenting choice for me leading to other choices such as baby wearing, co-sleeping and cloth diapering. while baby wearing and cloth diapering are going great, co-sleeping is starting to pose a possible problem. boo has become fond of the nightlife. a few weeks ago i could count on a pretty good nights sleep with one or two interruptions (usually at 2am and 4:30am). during week 16, i was lucky if boo stayed down for 3 hours straight. making it worse, at each nightwaking she wanted to eat. my nights were full of flipping boo from side to side and feeding her. i wondered if i was now feeding her too much at night. i emailed my lactation consultant Susan and she responded saying "this is typical at FOUR months due to developmental changes". she forwarded an attachment aptly titled sleep.doc which contained the following:
Parents need to “set the stage” for better sleep and then accept what their own little baby is capable of. Remember they are NOT getting up at night just to annoy you. It is not a conspiracy! Setting the stage involves:
- Making sure the baby is getting adequate calories during the day. Power nursing between 5 PM and 10 PM allows the baby to get more of the rich hind milk to “hold them over”
- Working towards not over doing the calories at night. Bottles at night make babies want to get up more at night. Trying to “stuff” your baby at 1 AM will just make the baby pee and poop more in the middle of the night. Babies go through light sleep phases about every 90 minutes so if they are wet or dirty, they may come to be fully awake. We need their tummies to be as quiet as possible in the middle of the night- this is why I never PUSH feeds between 11 PM and 5 AM.
i love sleeping with boo and i dont want to give up co-sleeping, but i wonder if co-sleeping is the problem. i've read that babies sleep longer in their own crib. an exhausted me is not a good thing. in my constant sleepy state, im less focused (and constantly yawning) at work, my memory is close to gone and just the other day i backed into boo's daddy's car (no damage done). in my desperation i bought a stuffed sheep that makes white noises (heartbeat, waves etc), downloaded a few baby einstein and beethoven lullabies from itunes and rounded it off with the no-cry sleep solution by elizabeth pantley. i hope to be able to report some improvement in next weeks post.
in my never ending quest to read up on all things breastfeeding, i found one of my (now) favorite pro-breastfeeding magazines: mothering. their latest issue has a great article on breastfeeding in mongolia.
misty (aka babygaga's breastfeeding hero) gave me a great link to share with anyone needing a list of reasons to breastfeed. http://www.promom.org/101/index.html
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