Monday, January 14, 2013

...more on filling up that tiny tummy

After writing my last post on my favorite feeding essentials and some of our habits, I thought about some more feeding related details.

Since starting solids at 6 months, Ashlynn is total hit or miss in her interest.  This doesn't bother me in the slightest since I'm a bit in the camp of "Food before One is Just for Fun!".  I know she's getting her main and necessary nutrients from nursing.  However, I don't plan on nursing forever.  Ideally, I'd like to wean around her 1 year mark.  So keeping that in the back of my head, I know we need to start reducing our feedings and letting her interest in solids grow.

For the most part, I'm an "on-demand" parent.  I nurse on demand and let her nap when she's tired.  We don't adhere to a strict schedule, which works for and against us.  I didn't want to be tied to a set in stone nap time and be pressured to run out of appointments, errands, or get-togethers in fear of a nap time meltdown, but it also means it's hard to make plans not knowing when she'll be napping each day.

This has also explained the up to 8 daily nursing sessions and sometimes three, even four, 30 minute naps.  I started reading Bringing Up Bebe around the holidays and had some game changes almost immediately.  To coincide with the whole, we are going to need to start the weaning the process soon so I don't just quit cold turkey - as I think that would be torture to us both - I want to cut back on the amount of times I nurse.  I like the mindset of the French where it's common place for children to be fed at 8am, 12pm, 4pm, and 8pm.  Otherwise known as breakfast, lunch, snack, and dinner.  I mean what a novel idea, apparently Americans' common sense get's thrown out with the placenta!

Within a few days I was able to stretch her nursing time to 4 hours, one day she even went 4.5 hours without ever complaining.  On average now our schedule looks something like this:

4-6: Morning wake up fed (if she wakes before 6 she goes back down, if after it's usually up for the day)
7:30: Breakfast - Baby Oatmeal mixed with Fruit
8-8:30: Nurse
8:30-9: Nap
12:00:  Nurse
1:00 Lunch - Veggie puree, puffs
3:00: Nurse and Nap
5:30: Dinner - Veggie, Puffs, and trying to add proteins
6:20: Bath
7:00: Nurse and Bed

And I'm still feeding her around 1-2am for a middle of the wake up.

That brings us to 6 solid feedings a day.  And the best part, the feedings are no longer short distracted ones, they are serious "give me a meal" deals.   I hope once we move into the new house to drop the 4am one first and get her to sleep until 6:30-7am daily.  And maybe a month after that drop the middle of the night.  That brings us to 4 (daily, as in during the day) feedings by 10 months old.  At that point, if we can begin to wean the afternoon session and replace with a snack, by 1 year I hope we can swap the "meal time" feedings with whole cows milk, or almond milk if she still shows intolerance to dairy.   This could all be wishful thinking, but I think having some sort of goal or direction is needed at this point.  She's getting too old for this to be a free for all and getting acclimated to our family schedule is important.  We want to operate as a unit and not to a dictatorship of a infant.

I have to say, since getting this schedule underway, she's been eating solids better and taking longer naps.  I'm still not rigid on set times, but I try to keep the routine the same and doing things within a 30minute-ish window.  It's only been a week, so I know this could change tomorrow, but I'm really pleased so far.

For the experienced moms out there, how did you transition from a baby or bottle schedule into a toddler schedule?  Do you still feed your child separate meals from the family meals or does everyone eat the same thing at the same time?


  1. That sounds great!! We also found that when we got rid of the night time feeds, my son's daytime feeds were much better and less snack-like.

    1. It's nice that she isn't so easily distracted, fill up the tank!

  2. I read Bringing up Bebe too and loved the idea of 4 feedings a day, but then realized that they bottle feed formula in Paris, so I'm not sure it's super realistic for breastfeeding? But I'm glad that it's serving as a great guideline at this stage in A's life. Can't believe she'll be a year old in a blink of an eye!!

    1. Definitely a good point, and not something I would have attempted 4 months ago or anything. A friend of mine has a 6month old who bottle feeds 4x a day, so that makes sense. I'm still working on it, we go anywhere from 3-4hr stretches now which is nice especially when out and about, it's not like she's starting to get antsy around the 2.5 hr mark anymore. I just know we need to get a better routine and I need to take the driver seat back on scheduling or it'll be a long toddlerhood with Little A in control!

  3. Love these posts---I have a similar one drafted but apparently it's not writing itself these days. ;)

    So everyone eats at the same time over here and it's been that way since Truman was at least a year? Maybe sooner? I'm talking about solid meal foods---I would still nurse him on top of the 3 meals per day , but I think even giving him a bottle of whole milk (after the year mark) might have been just right before bedtime and then with meals (and sippy cups, too). Actually, yes---I know we got rid of the bottle around a year and also the pacifier (horrible). I guess I'd have to read my own blog to remember the logistics of feeding a baby-to-toddler.

    I honestly would NOT worry too much about a rigid schedule just yet. You are doing an amazing job with her and she is still SUCH a little baby! Toddler hood may seem right around the corner but just enjoy her while she is a little gal. I had to chuckle at your comment about needing to take the driver's seat right now to avoid a long toddlerhood with A in control. HA! Toddlerhood is SUCH a freaking ride no matter how rigid you are. I have friends who are super strict with their babies and their toddlers, and those kids STILL run the roost. It's bound to happen but it's seriously still so much fun.

    Anyway, you are doing great! Go with your gut. If you are only worried about a 'schedule' for future implications on toddlerhood I wouldn't worry too much. Definitely thinking that only 4 feedings per day for nursing would spell disaster for your supply, even at this 'later' stage in the game. Just my $0.02, obviously!

    1. Well clearly, A will be pulling the puppet strings on mommy and daddy her whole life! I guess I just felt lately, and maybe it's because we are living with family and the little of routine that we had prior has been shot to sh!t, I just felt like I needed to do SOMETHING to get back on track. Eating, sleeping, even pooping has been off! Reading your comment is making me realize that I guess its a lot of the outside influence that's been affecting me. I just have no clue how I'm going to (ideally) get her weaned and sleeping through the night by around a year. She's 9 months on Friday!! (where has time gone??)

      And the schedule is definitely not strict, I just hate that we literally had zero schedule. She'd normally nap at 830 am and eat dinner at 530pm and those were the only givens for the day. I just would love to general naps (with a consistent length), consistent meal times (where she's hungry), and be able to make plans without guessing if it'll be during that day's random nap...

      I guess between her fussiness at the highchair and still on demand feeding around the clock, I felt I would never be able to make a switch for eating or sleeping. Good thoughts on supply too, but I guess, how do you transition if you don't reduce the number of feeds? I really don't want to stop nursing cold turkey. I'd love to get to just morning and night before quitting.

    2. I guess, I guess, I guess.... wow, that was annoying. Time to find a new verbal crutch!

  4. Mini G weaned herself off. We had always mixed bottles in because of jaundice & also a rough start to breastfeeding. At about 5 months she only took the breast at the 1st and last feeding. One day she just pushed it away altogether. I don't know if bf was a tough time for her & just easier for her w/the bottle or what. I would love to have a schedule, but my work schedule is erratic. I don't know how ppl do a schedule only because there always seems to be some regression. Once you think you have something dialed in, they take a step back.

    We do family meals and she eats what we eat. Once she moved toward solid food, we just gave her what we were eating. We never went to the later stage baby purees or whatever they are. Initially, we had a great eater. Then she rejected meat and now is rejecting solids almost altogether. I wish we had let her do more food exploration, instead of feeding her ourselves (with her baby utensils). I figure the food rejection is just a stage and things will change. We have more teeth that need to come in and maybe they're bothering her a little. She's loving the bottle right now & will only drink water from a sippy. From the way she's developed, I don't worry that she'll be on the bottle forever. But of course I would love to get her 16 month self moving off of it in the next few months. We'll see!

    You daughter looks so cute. You're doing a great job. Good luck w/sleeping thru the nite. It's amazing once they do.


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