Tuesday, January 25, 2011

This and That

My Humps, My Lovely Lady Lumps: I think I'm getting mastitis. Again. In Ms. Righty this time, just for something completely different. I'll put in a call to my OB/GYN tomorrow and ask if he can phone in a script. Crikey. And things were just starting to look up.

Doctor Feelgood: The 4-month pediatrician appointment went well. Round 2 of vaccinations went off without a hitch, and growth and milestones are all on track. Then we talked about the next steps for feeding and sleeping habits. Lordy. Can we really be here already?

Sleepyhead: The Era of the Swaddle is over. The swaddle is dead, long live the sleepsack. Tonight is the first night we're switching from the increasingly ineffective swaddle to an arms-free sleepsack. We're not sleeping well anyway, having to get up many times per night to shush or feed, so we figured we'd just go cold turkey and see what happens. According to the pediatrician, a 4-month-old should be able to sleep for 8-10 hours without a feeding. What the shit? So this weekend we will return to our sleep training roots, the methods that worked for us at 2 months to get 6-hour stretches without any cry-it-out torture, and hope for the best. It worked before, it can work again. We think. And hope. Yeesh.

Peaches Come in a Can, They Were Put There By a Man...: We now also have the good doctor's blessing to start rice cereal anytime we feel like it. Hmmm. I'm in no hurry to start solids, but I do want to give us lots of time to slowly introduce new tastes and textures without worrying about the nutritional contribution, so by the time the nutrients are needed from solid food, we'll be in a comfortable place in which eating purees from a spoon is a funtime activity and not gawdawful torture. I've watched friends struggle to make their picky eaters take solids, and don't want to end up going down that road. I also asked about the recent increase in nursing and/or bottle-guzzling frequency, from every 3-4 hours during the day and night (except for that lovely 6-hour nighttime stretch we used to enjoy) to more recently, every 2 hours like clockwork. This has been declared either "snacking" behavior and/or a result of not getting enough sleep at night with too much nighttime feeding. Thus, if we sort out the nighttime sleep habits, the daytime feedings should fall in line with more consumed less often. We shall see.


Once Upon A Time said...

Good luck with the cold turkey! Just remember you know your baby best. When we first tried, we knew Sam was ready. After 4 nights with no improvement with CIO+ no swaddle with Anna, we knew she wasn't ready. So she was swaddled until she was 7 months old until she let us know she was finally ready and we got rid of the swaddle then without a hitch.

Solids- you are on the right path to not be itching to start yesterday. Trust me. If you start now, pretty soon you'll be thinking "Man, I should have waited." You've got plenty of time to explore different tastes/textures. We started at 5 1/2 months and even now I wish we had waited until 6 months. So much less mess.

I hope the mastitis clears up fast! Ouch! I can't imagine.

Lauren said...

Here's a huge pile of assvice comin' atcha!

4 month olds might be able to sleep 8-10 hours at night, but that doesn't mean they will - obviously! And I wouldn't feel too stressed about getting Jackson to go quite that long. I'm an adult and I have a hard time going 10 hours without eating overnight (I eat a snack when I nurse my son in the MOTN). A lot of pediatricians are way too quick to encourage night weaning and CIO, so don't feel pressured just because of what your pediatrician said. However, you do need to do what YOU need to do. Just don't do it because your ped made you feel like you should.

(Here's a sleep site I've found VERY helpful in managing expectations as opposed to feeling like your baby should fit in a one-size-fits-all program:
and an article on the 4 month sleep regression:

And eating every 2 hours really is not that big of a deal, in my opinion. 3-4 hour schedules were meant for formula fed babies. Breastfed babies should be expected to eat more often because breastmilk is more easily and quickly digested. My 10 month old has never gone longer than 2 hours between feeds and I've never cared and neither have any of his health care providers.

Solids - it's fine if you want to start soon, because Jackson is getting formula anyway (right?? or wrong?). I was reading from a widely renowned BFing expert that the recommendation is to BREASTFEED exclusively for 6 months. If you have to supplement with formula, there's not really a major reason to delay the introduction to solids, because formula is already not breastmilk, and is basically just a liquified solid.

BUT, I wouldn't worry too much about the age and the pickiness. My son refused and was disgusted by ANYTHING other breastmilk straight from the boob until he was almost 7 months old. I didn't push it, and he ended up LOVING solids. Although he's still mostly breastfed, he will eat almost anything I give him. Every kid is different, and early introduction of solids doesn't mean you won't have a picky eater, and late introduction doesn't mean you WILL have a picky eater. The baby books are a bit ridiculous when they say/imply that.

JB said...

We're exclusively breastfeeding here, trying like hell to not supplement (shitty pumping and mastitis be damned). :)

I want to wait a little longer before experimenting with cereal or solids, but my plan is to just tinker with it -- try a little here or there just to give him the social experience of eating with us and the opportunity to explore taking food from a spoon. No rush. He's doing just fine on breast milk, so we'll take our time. I don't out a lot of stock into statements that begin with "at xx months, your baby *should* be..." since I know every kid is different. Jackson is thriving and happy, and that's what matters. We strive to be laid-back parents, a real departure for most first-timers. :) (And a challenge for this neurotic lady.)

As for sleep...our pediatrician has actually never steered us wrong with assvice (maybe I should dignify the professional nature of it by calling it advice...nah) but we have certainly modified his suggestions to suit our comfort and preferred approach (i.e., I don't want to try CIO methods now, or hopefully ever). Our modified methods worked wonders at 2 months, so we're taking the same approach this time. It is definitely time to ditch the swaddle, though. Jackson has been breaking loose from it every night for several weeks and then waking up pissed off about it. He's been asleep for 2 hours tonight in his sleepsack, so we're crossing our fingers that tonight will at least be no worse than the last few weeks. If we can get back to the 6-hour stretches (and once-per-night wakings), that would be good enough for me. Anything better is just icing on the cake.

And the 2-hour stretches between feedings? If that continues even after we sort out his sleep habits, so be it. I have been an on-demand proponent from the beginning and don't feel any pressure to "put him on a schedule" any time soon. He is fed when he's hungry and put down for naps when he's sleepy. No schedule needed, he sorts it out pretty well himself. If he can start waiting longer in between nursing sessions, great. If not, okay. The teachers at daycare don't mind, so I'm not overly worried about it.

I do really appreciate having experienced moms chime in -- it's both helpful and validating that I'm doing okay here. :)

Anonymous said...

When I was dreading mastitis (had it before pregnancy), my midwife told me to try compresses with cottage cheese (in Germany it is called quark, basically cottage cheese with cream). Since I already smelled (still do) of cheese, and willing to try anything, I did. And guess what? I felt better. And the lumps were gone. The situation was a bit different, I had oversupply and this is still more or less of an issue. But putting the tiny hungry mouth to stimulate drainage where the lumps were (actually the chin does the stimulating bit) (bf lying in bed with the baby with the feet by my head - giving a very literal meaning to 'Ain't that a kick in the head' song) AND the creamy cheese, along with massage and warm compresses before bf - mastitis free until now, touch wood.
Of course, it might also be just luck (compensating for the sleep issues).
But I had to share it. Who knows? Maybe there is some truth to these old wives tales.

bunny said...

Just the *idea* that a 4 month old might sleep for 8-10 hours without a feeding is really comforting, even if the reality is not so much like that. I hope it all falls into place quickly, and that your right breast is just fucking with you and turns out to be totally fine.

Kelly said...

Ahhh... no, righty, no! I hope that clears up soon. You poor thing.

Lauren said...

That's great that you're still able to provide EBM. I thought from a few posts back that you had started having to supplement with formula because of pumping issues, but I must've misunderstood.

And I'm the same way about schedules. Noah eats when he's hungry and sleeps when he's tired. I think I would find it very annoying to have to do everything on a rigid time schedule. But some scheduled moms love it, so what do I know. :)