Today is an update on “Project Breastfeeding”.
Read my first installment on this here.
In my breastfeeding timeline my last update was when Ky was 2 months old. He’s now 7 months old so a few things have changed.
He’s got 2 x teeth in the bottom row and he enjoys his regular mashed solids.
My initial goal was to breastfeed Ky for at least 12 months and at the rate I’m going I think I going to achieve this but it’s not without it’s challenges.
I wrote earlier about my previous challenges in regard to breastfeeding:
- Running out at 6 months with my daughter
- Running low at the 4th month with Ky due to my diet plan and stress
- Trying to lose weight
- Trying to introduce a regular exercise program
- Planning my day/week/month so I can manage my time effectively
Here are my 3 main bits of advice I would give myself I were to go through this again:
- Don’t assume
- Little hacks
- Sleep is a priority
1. Don’t assume
Let me paint you a picture.
Imagine you’ve given birth and your new baby is sleeping well, feeding well and there aren’t any ‘problems’ in the early days.
That’s the Honeymoon Period.
Like all new marriages it’s all good early until your first argument 🙂
Same situation but with a baby.
My honeymoon period lasted about 3 months and into the 4th month the real world hit me.
I just assumed that everything would continue to be awesome.
Ky started demand feeding almost every 2 hours around the early days of his 4th month. He would wake and scream and cry like someone was pulling his arm and the only way (I thought) was to give him what he wanted.
Well that’s what I assumed anyway.
Fast forward a couple of months and I continued to demand feed him at night and I’ve now reinforced this behaviour – BAD MAMA 🙁
“Every time I cry my Mama will come and save me” is probably what Ky’s thinking the smart little bugger! 😉
So the result? I have this child who cries every 3-4 hours wanting to be fed or comforted which was made worse when he started teething around month 5 (after Thailand).
If I had my time again I would get on the front foot and conduct some research on what might happen.
Not just assume that everything will remain awesome!
I’ve made it my goal to help Ky with self soothing at night.
We feed him well with mashed solids for over 2 months now and he’s a happy camper during the day.
Just struggling with the night time and I blame myself for reinforcing this idea that it’s ok for him to cry and I’ll come to save the day!
2. Little hacks
There’s a couple of things I’d like to update you on compared to my early days.
(a) My diet and supplements remain the same
I continue to eat a wholesome varied diet – modified paleo is what we follow.
On top of that I supplement with a morning ‘booster shake’ which I make myself with various ingredients and finally I add 2 x Fenugreek tablets with water at breakfast.
(b) I have spaced out Kyneton’s breastfeeding
Now that Ky is eating mashed solids at breakfast, lunch and dinner I try and space out the breastfeeding from 4-6 per day to 2-3.
It has been a welcome change as I have more volume within each feed plus it gives my nipples more of a chance to ‘recover’ as Ky can sometimes gnaw and chew on it with his little 2 x teeth OUCH!
(c) Dream feeding
I have come to learn about this thing called dream feeding.
Apparently it’s when the baby is fed when he’s a alseep.
For the most part I’ve been working on pushing Ky’s last feed to as late as possible (my next point) but I will trial dream feeding if my latest strategy doesn’t work out for me.
(d) Pushing the last feed as late as possible
In our daily ‘wind down routine’ I’m washing and feeding the kids by 6pm at the latest.
By 7pm our 3yo Eme is in bed and she can put herself to sleep by 8pm most nights… YAY!
As I’m juggling Ky around Eme I feed him ‘dinner’ at the same time as Eme (who can mostly feed herself) at around 6pm.
I try and stretch the last breastfeeding effort to 9pm so that he’s ‘full’ for longer and I actively avoid feeding him at 2am-3am when he stirs and needs just a quick positional change. If that fails I’ll trial the ‘dream feeding’ I mentioned earlier before he stirs at 2am-3am as my Plan B.
So if I put him down at 9pm I try and get him to sleep right through until 4am-5am where I usually breastfeed him again then Leki takes over and looks after him in the morning.
I then get the rest of the morning off as Leki is usually up early after his good night sleep. He then cooks our hot breakfast at 7:30am and we eat together at 8am.
All this is made possible with how we closely monitor Ky’s sleeping behaviour and the level of his irritability.
Work in progress 🙂
3. Sleep is a priority
I know I might have touched on this earlier but sleep is no.1!
I have not been good in following my own advice as Ky is dictating my quality of sleep.
In the last 2 months I have been getting very tired waking over 4-5 times per night as he continues to demand feed.
As a result I’ve been feeling woozy throughout the day and I have chosen not to sleep during the day.
This can sometimes leave me feeling resentful to Leki and Ky because I’m not getting the sleep I need.
But I come back to our original plans when we decided to have another baby and how our home situation would look like.
Leki works full time and I’m at home full time.
He’s agreed to help as much as he can but the priority is to be healthy for work and provide. My part of the deal is to be happy at home and think about ways to make my job as easy as possible for myself.
I’ve really let myself down with the sleep side of the deal so I have done my own research and now working on finding the best method that works for me and my family.
I can only rely on people around me to do so much but ultimately this is my primary job so I need to get my act together.
Leki helps and that’s great. Together we’ve worked hard on Eme and she’s running very efficiently. So I just need to work harder on Ky… and myself.
Self soothing with Plan B being dream feeding.
You can see there’s a consistent theme here – self soothing.
As you know we’ve managed to get both Ky and Eme into their own rooms.
Eme continues to do really well.
Ky is a work in progress.
I will be giving myself 2 weeks to see how it goes before reviewing my results.
It’ll be tough and Leki is supportive of my effort but I feel I need to get over this hurdle and then I’m down the home stretch!
I’ll report on how I get past this little road block next time I update “Project Breastfeeding” which will be mostly likely after Ky’s first birthday in Jan 2019.
If I achieve my original goal of breastfeeding for 1 year then I’ll have to make new goals 🙂
The struggle continues!