Wednesday, October 20, 2010

4 Months and Counting!

We've been exclusively breast feeding for 4 months!

He is taking a pacifier now, but it was his choice. At about 3 1/2 months old, he was fussing and noticed me holding the "binky." He actually reached up his little hand for it. As soon as my hand holding the binky was within his reach, he grabbed my hand and pushed the binky into his mouth. It hasn't hindered our breast feeding at all.

At the doctor's visit, I was encouraged NOT to start solids until at least 6 months since it was obvious by the little chubby boy on my lap that breast feeding is going so well. This feels SO good after having such difficulties with my older two. I now know that the reason I lost my milk was because of misinformation, fear and stress about the whole situation.

Moms-to-be who may be reading this, remember these points:

1. Forget schedules. Forget making baby sleep through the night. A baby should eat when he wants, as often as he wants, and as much as he wants. Don't watch that clock. If he only wants a 2 minute snack, then fine. If he wants to suckle for 1/2 an hour, let him.

2. Don't let hospitals freak you out about nursing. If the nurse is complaining that you haven't fed your baby in 4 hours because he's too sleepy to feed, just ignore her. He'll eat when he's hungry, but also encourage baby, too. Try to get him to nurse. If he doesn't retry every 1/2 an hour. If he really is just going to sleep and sleep, let him sleep at your exposed breast to at least allow stimulation. Squeeze colostrum into his mouth. I did this with Baby Boy. He was so lethargic from jaundice that he wouldn't wake up to eat, so I just squeezed what I could into his mouth.

3. Don't give into formula unless your baby is NOT gaining weight after your milk comes in. Just increase healthful caloric intake, try some mothers milk tea, rest and feed feed feed feed feed your baby.

4. Don't be afraid of growth spurts. Baby's gonna be fussy. Baby's gonna be hungry. Baby's gonna eat all the time. Baby Boy would cluster-feed for hours at a rip and sleep on a breast all night long and then a day or two later, he'd sleep for 5 hours straight during the day.

5. Now, this is just my personal opinion, but don't bother with solids at 4 months unless it is blatently obvious your baby wants more. With my oldest, I got on the solids bandwagon and started him on rice cereal. He wouldn't take it on a spoon, so the only way to get him to eat it was to mix it in formula or breast milk. Well, as soon as he took a bottle, he refused the breast. Long-term breast feeding was sabotaged. From what I've been reading, we moms should avoid cereals and grains for first foods, anyway.

6. If for some reason breast feeding is NOT successful, do NOT beat yourself up. Yes, breast is best, but what is also best is for our child to be fed and nourished, loved and cherished.

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