How to stop breastfeeding on demmand and increase time between feeds (bf)(10 Posts)
My 9 week old DS weighed 8lb 3oz at birth and is now 15lb. He put on a 1lb in his first week when most babies lose weight or stay the same.
I've been breastfeeding him on demmand but it's killing me, and to be honest I want my life back a bit. His weight gain shows he's clearly not missing out and I really want to establish a routine, but he just keeps screaming and screaming if I don't feed him every hour! Any advice on eeking him out a bit? Cooled boiled water doesn't work!
You cannot give a 9 week old boiled water, so don't bother with that.
I would say go with it for now, he will gradually go longer between feeds (until a growth spurt hits anyway) and then you can tweak the patterns you observe into a routine.
If he is screaming you can't deny him, can you?
Don't give a newborn baby boiled water! He's crying for food and you want to cut down his intake?
Oh, 9 weeks is so little to try and do this. I thought you might be talking about a much older baby. Please don't try filling him up with water at this stage - it's milk he needs.
Sorry to hear you're having such a tough time, but it will space out eventually if you wait it out. Do you have any help with other things - like cooking or nappies?
9 weeks is very young. He needs lots of feeding, cuddling and love. Will using a carrier or sling help? The feeds will space out on its own. As you have found out, you can't easily force a baby into a routine. They will develop one of their own in time. Just go with the flow, knowing this newborn period won't last long.
I was a bit rushed typing that. I'd never leave him screaming, but he just cries so loudly if he's not picked up straight away when he wants feeding.
In 9 weeks, I can't even go to the supermarket without him screaming the place down half way round. Is demmand feeding really my only option? I've got more than enough milk and DS has excellent (if not excessive weight gain).
I've been taking him to the local baby cafe since he was a week old! One of the reasons I was asking is because there is more that 6 babies born the same week or week after him, and he is the only one that is still feeding hourly during the day and every 2 hours at night. And he dwarfs all of them, even those with similar birthweights!
Well, you can't overfeed an exclusively breastfed baby, so there's no such thing as excessive weight gain in this context.
It does sound really hard, though, that amount of feeding. But I can't see how spacing out the feeds would possibly work, if the issue is that he is crying to be fed too often. You might hate me saying it, but I'd go the other way and get yourself a good sling that you can feed him in, see if the increased bodily contact is what he's after and maybe not the food? I know that 7-9 weeks was the absolute apex of my DD's neediness as an infant, and she just would not tolerate being put down, basically ever. She wanted body contact and movement and snacks all the bloody time. Well, she still does, frankly, at 3, but at least I can delegate now!
Have you tried looking at it the other way - it's not that he's big because he's feeding too much. Maybe he's feeding so often because he's designed to be big? As Tortoise says, you can't overfeed a breastfed baby.
The advice about the sling is good. You might find he goes off for a decent nap of a couple of hours if you get him in a nice cosy wrap sling or similar (not a Bjorn, as it's not as snuggly). That would give you time to get round the supermarket in one go, etc (BTW, online shopping is your friend during this stage).
Stop comparing your baby to other babies. Quite a few mums lie about what their babies are doing especially at baby cafes, because they all want to fit in. Your LO is feeding as much as he needs to feed. He can't manipulate, all he knows right now is survival and you are his survival mechanism. He sounds absolutely normal to me.
Eat chocolate cake, have a glass of wine tonight. Get DH to bring you pizza or cook you dinner and run you a bath.
Have you thought of expressing some milk to give yourself a break from feeding? The night time feeds are still really important for supply, but your partner could feed in the evenings.
Keep going, in a few weeks time he will be dropping feeds naturally anyway.
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