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LLL question - will my breasted baby fall into a routine?

(29 Posts)
liney80 Wed 05-Nov-14 21:28:23

I'm reading the Womanly Art to Breastfeeding, thanks to tips on MN (love it!) and it says just nurse whenever he/I feels like it, which I'm doing and it's actually more relaxing - while I'm at home.

My 4 week old feeds very frequently during the day and evening. He sleeps 2-3 hour stretches at night, which is nice! The book sounds like this could be normal for the next six months! I don't mind going with the flow but feeding hourly at times will make life very limiting indeed as I'd like to be able to get out without having to stop and feed all the time. I can imagine that being a challenge even when I do get more confident at breastfeeding in public. I'm hoping feeds will naturally space out - is this likely to just start happening at some point? Thanks!

ohthegoats Wed 05-Nov-14 22:00:04

I'd like to know the same info. Currently at 3 weeks with a similar 'schedule' as you have. If it's like this beyond 3 months or so, I'll have to rethink breastfeeding since it's life limiting, even if it's nice to do.

SweepTheHalls Wed 05-Nov-14 22:04:12

I fed on demand, and found that when I looked in Gina Ford retrospectively, he had put himself perfectly onto her routines!

Messygirl Wed 05-Nov-14 22:06:10

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ghostvitruvius Wed 05-Nov-14 22:10:51

Both of mine fed 2-2.5 hourly in the day until they were on solids.

I found breastfeeding the opposite of life limiting really as you can go anywhere whenever you want and the baby just feeds and sleeps when they need to without much planning or preparation.

Like Sweep, by the time they were 6 months+ they had pretty much Gina Forded themselves grin Short morning nap, long afternoon nap, meals at 8, 12, 5, breastfeeds in between. They had night feeds til around 8-9 months though.

AnythingNotEverything Wed 05-Nov-14 22:15:12

I fed in demand we definitely fell into a pattern, but I fell in as much as Dd did, if you see what I mean.

From about 8 weeks we'd feed first thing (7/8 ish), then shower, get dressed and have my breakfast etc, feed again during/after breakfast at 9.30 ish, go out in he car/bus, stop for lunch/feed at 12 ish. Home by 3ish - feed and cup of tea and packet of biscuits.

I hope that helps in some way. Still regular feeds, but big enough gaps to get stuff done in between.

I also found she'd feed less but better when out - if we were home she'd happily snack all day where if we were out she'd nap in the car, wake up, have a good feed, go back to sleep with her full tummy etc.

OliviaRinHerts Wed 05-Nov-14 22:23:20

I thought that bf would be limiting as well if it was to carry on every hour or few hours like it was in the beginning. I has a bad birth and struggled to breastfeed but my little one is now 11 weeks and is breast feeding exclusively now 3 to 4 hours in the day And he has slept through the night (boy did my boobs hurt that morning- not recommended!) although 4 to 5 hours is more often the case

We tend to feed more between 5 and 10am as we have the time and I don't have other children so it's a nice thing to do but really think he would go longer between feeds but as I say it's nice all snuggled up cuddling

I do understand it can seem never ending and I was ready to give up bfeeding after two weeks of sore nipples and exhaustion but I stuck with it and it seems to easy Now compared to the countless bottles to sterilise. Some people also find that formula doesn't make babies sleep longer and they will need feeding when you are out whether it's breast or bottle but my advice would be to carry on for the time being. You seem to be doing so well and enjoying it. That said, everyone has different opinions and circumstances so do what is best for the two of you.

Good luck with your new babies

museumum Wed 05-Nov-14 22:31:13

Feeds naturally space out a bit and also get much shorter as the baby gets older so yes, you do have to stop to feed but only for 5-10mins. It's great if you are out for longer than you think you'll be or get stuck in traffic or something and don't have to worry about having bottles with you.

liney80 Wed 05-Nov-14 23:00:18

Thanks for the replies. I haven't been out much so hopefully he will sleep more and feed less.

As for the nights, one of my closest friends said she found bfeeding her second child much less tiring than ff with her first...

Imeg Thu 06-Nov-14 15:26:13

I haven't read this book but I also found I ended up feeding a lot less during the day when we were out and about as baby was distracted. In fact I found by trial and error that if we were out a lot it was better to offer even when he wasn't asking as otherwise he would go too long between feeds (eg 5 hours) and even though he was quite happy he would wake up more often at night to make up for it which I wasn't so happy about...

Heatherbell1978 Thu 06-Nov-14 17:37:43

The feeding does get easier. DS1 started going 3 hours between feeds during the day from 7 wks. Now at 11 wks he sometimes goes 4 hours. Since he likes his bottles warmed to the point of almost scorching....it's so much more convenient breastfeeding I think as I'd need to find somewhere to warm his bottles whenever he wants fed otherwise!

flymo79 Fri 07-Nov-14 04:41:27

I know how you feel, op, in the early days if we went out I was constantly searching for cafés/benches (it was warmer then!) to feed at. It did help to build my confidence though. Have you tried a baby-au-lait type breastfeeding cover? Or big scarf/ muslin? I swore by them in early weeks to get me out and feeding in public. I also mix feed my LO, she goes a little longer after the bottle but not much, it bought me a three hour stretch of sleep from about week four though and helped us get into a bedtime routine. Night feeds have stretched out too now (at 13 weeks), so don't lose heart! Congrats and well done for persevering, I found I was taking each feed as it comes and congratulating myself for each one grin

SurfsUp1 Fri 07-Nov-14 04:46:00

If you want a routine you can set a routine. Or you can wait and see if one just emerges of it's own volition. Up to you really. Both options work fine, but different people suit different styles.

AnythingNotEverything Fri 07-Nov-14 08:06:59

And different babies, Surf - there are babies who fit routines and babies who don't smile

bronya Fri 07-Nov-14 08:24:13

Both of mine did. 2 hourly or so at first, then 3 hourly. The trick I found is to ensure that baby feeds for a decent amount of time for each feed, and that they are swallowing milk so not just using you as a dummy. With mine, if they fed for 10 minutes it'd be roughly an hour later for the next feed. 20 mins, 2 hours. 30 mins or longer, 3 hours. DS just needed a little stroking of his head to keep him awake to feed until he had taken a decent amount, DD likes a little break between breasts to be winded and changed. If they've fed for a good amount of time and are then hungry again quickly, it's probably a growth spurt and I don't mind!!

bronya Fri 07-Nov-14 08:27:04

Just to add, I feel completely normal with 2-3 hour stretches of sleep during the night. The bf hormones drop me straight back into dream sleep after feeding, and we have a co-sleeping crib so just scoot her to me to feed (lying down!), then slide her back afterwards.

Justgotosleepnow Fri 07-Nov-14 08:34:14

Hi please don't force a 'routine' on your baby. My mum convinced me my baby didn't need feeding other than every 4 hours by 6weeks. Of course she was wrong & my milk supply dropped, and I had one very screamy unhappy hungry baby hmm

By 6 months we had a vague routine. And she's still not a great sleeper, but cosleeping and it's all fine.

If you can get comfortable with bf out & about you & baby will actually be really portable and flexible. It's great, spare nappies and off you go grin

mrsmugoo Fri 07-Nov-14 09:33:41

Our feeds didn't space out until about 7 months when I imposed a loose schedule around meal times. I fed on demand and he fed on and off all day, sometimes hourly. If we were out he'd go 2, maybe 2.5 hours but if we were at home he knew where the boobs were and he'd want it.

It only got a bit restrictive towards the 7 month mark as he also wouldn't take a bottle so everything had been on me.

ShadowKat Fri 07-Nov-14 09:51:01

DS2 naturally fell into a pattern where he typically cluster fed in the evening - so wanting to feed very, very frequently between about 7 / 8pm till midnight - then he'd have a good big sleep, a big feed first thing in the morning, and he'd only want a couple of feeds during the day. And as a pp mentioned, DS2 would often go longer between feeds when out because he'd get distracted by all the exciting new things to see.

But also, once breastfeeding was established, I found going out and about much easier with DS2 than I had with bottle fed DS1 with regards to feeding, because I didn't have to worry about all the carry on of getting the bottle ready and at the right temperature (DS1 refused milk at anything other than body temperature).

ohthegoats Fri 07-Nov-14 09:55:37

Part of my issue with breastfeeding isn't about feeding in public, but about actually having clothes I can wear that allow me to do that in a subtle way. I've got big boobs and low er than I'd prefer nipples - I can't just open a slit in clothes, or lower a vest neckline. I have a negative issue with my boobs anyway, let alone feel happy about getting them out in public all the time. Especially when I'm also wearing sack-like clothes that seem all to he available in unflattering horizontal stripes. Urgh, I'm hating the whole process, but feel too guilty to stop.

RiverTam Fri 07-Nov-14 09:59:09

depends on the child, and on you to an extent. At around 12 weeks I noticed that DD had naturally fallen into a 3-hourly routine. I was very grateful for this as she was a very slow feeder and I am someone who likes to know what I'm doing when, so I then stuck to a 3-hourly routine. Others just fed on demand and they were happy with that.

DownstairsMixUp Fri 07-Nov-14 10:01:52

DS2 is 10 weeks now. He seems to be in a "routine" but it does restrict. Day time I'd say he feeds every hour to every hour and a half. He slows down not till about 7pm where he will have maybe a two hour gap feed at 9pm, 3 hours then feed at midnight, another 3 - 4 feed at four am then up again at around 730am then back to the usual day time stuff. (btw he only goes that long at night during the second night feed as he has one bottle of formula but don't recommend introducing that to later so as not to effect supply) it is hard work but i tell myself it's for the best!

AnythingNotEverything Fri 07-Nov-14 10:03:51

Goats - I'm the same. Bf means getting a whole boob out and using both hands. I think I went up to a K and with downward facing nipples I couldn't leave DD to latch herself on.

I always wore a vest under a loose t shirt. A bump band can similarly cover any post bump wobble. I used to undo bra cup, get baby into position (still covered up), lift top and lift boob into baby's mouth (baby's head covers anything that could be seen). Then there was a slightly tricky manoeuvre hoicking boob onto upper arm so I could support boob and baby with one arm, leaving the other free to eat cake.

I found H&M great for cheap, loose jersey tops for nursing in. I never got on with any official nursing clothes. The holes never seemed big enough for my boobs.

Justgotosleepnow Fri 07-Nov-14 10:27:20

Ohthegoats have you tried wearing a normal long sleeve top with a vest top underneath?
Put the vest top bra lengtheners to their longest.
Unclick bra, pull down bra cup & vest top, then pull up the long sleeve top from the hem. This is possible to do very discretely.

And it means you can wear totally normal tops. I'm finding the essentials tops from oasis really stretchy and nice colours, and no scary stripes in sight!

squizita Sat 08-Nov-14 07:03:48

I use a strapless top or vest under normal clothes. The only thing I can't wear is a crew neck tight dress but my belly would prevent me anyway! Save them for next year!
I also bought a "palm and pond" nursing apron thing. Not to hide BFIng but to hide my belly from view and for fussy days when she'll expose me and milk spray everywhere!! grin I was loathe to as they are a rip off - and mainly takibg advantage of shyness and the need to feed- but these ones are under £10 from eBay, I don't mind that- more reasonable. It has a wire structure in the top you look down to fiddle/latch baby and a halter style strap.

I also express and take a bottle when out with DH. Don't bother just for me obvs ... but if she feels happy taking milk in public that way he can take her out without having to ask me if me and my boobs are free! grin and I can sleep at home

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