Wednesday, December 30, 2009

That's What I Get For Bragging

Isabel Update.

For the first two weeks of Isabel's life, I pretty much let her call the shots. She ate when she wanted and slept when she wanted to, and because we hadn't given her a pacifier yet, I was her pacifier! After two weeks, I couldn't take anymore of being the human pacifier, so we gave her one and boy did it make things so much easier. I was under the impression you needed to wait until they are about six weeks before introducing the pacifier so there is no nipple confusion, but I found out that is just silly. As long as they are well established and doing well with latching and nursing there is no reason not to give them the plug!

After the two weeks I was ready for a more structured approach, so I began working to get her on a schedule so she'd be eating every 2 1/2 to 3 hours and sleeping longer at night. She took to it really well, it fact so well that when she was only about 3 weeks old she slept one night for 7 hours. I thought it was great, but didn't let it happen again until she was a little older. She still hadn't gotten her metabolism balanced and established like it needs to be when you breastfeed. So, I started setting an alarm to get her up and feed her at night. Now, getting her to eat during the day meant waking her when it was time to eat, and so many people say to never wake a sleeping baby. But, I say wake on! Better to wake a sleeping baby during the day, than to wake the sleeping Mommy at night! ;) I got my scheduling help from the Babywise books.

I got a wonderful resource from my friend Shelley that worked wonders to help her adjust to not having me as a pacifier and it is called, The Happiest Baby on the Block. This was a lifesaver! I would recommend these two items to every new parent. Now, some people aren't real fond of the Babywise method, but you have to look at it and still be flexible. It's not always cut and dry that your baby cannot eat unless a certain amount of time has passed. That's why they call it Parent Directed Feeding. You use your common sense and read what signals your baby is giving you to determine when to feed them. Some people also say it doesn't work if you breastfeed, well I'm hear to tell you that it does!

So things are going along so nicely for us, I'm bragging about what a wonderful baby Isabel is. She is eating well, taking full feeding at the appropriate times. She sleeps well at night, she is very rarely every fussy....And them something changed. Around 3 months or so, she started having these little fits of screaming mad crying. The first time it happened I was in Helen Fitzgerald's eating with Mom and Dad. That time, I believe that she got scared by the loud noises in the restaurant. It happened again a week or so later when we had Meredith over for a movie night. We were watching Transformers 2 and it was very loud with lots of action sequences, you know the ones I mean, where the TV gets so loud during some exciting part and then you can't hear when they are just talking and them, BAM, it's mega loud for the next action sequence. And when I say screaming fits, what I mean it that she cries really loudly, has real tears in her eyes and it takes about 15-20 minutes to calm her, even using all 5 S's from Happiest Baby.

And now, she isn't eating real well either. The three weeks that I worked, she sucked the bottles down like she'd been doing it for weeks. She was drinking about 4 ounces each time and that's a lot for breastfed babies. She took to the bottles so much better than Alexis did. Which kind of concerned me that she would like the bottle better than the breast. So, after my 3 weeks of work, I was hoping she would go back to eating normally again. And by normal I mean that she eats on each side for at least 10-15 minutes. Alexis was no problem to breastfeed. She took the first side and after 15 minutes I'd switch her to the other and she'd take that one for 15 minutes. Isabel on the other hand, 7 minutes hear, then 5 or 6 over there and she seems done. I keep telling myself that maybe she is just more of an efficient nurser than Alexis was, but it still seems weird to me. But, she seems to be thriving still, she looks bigger everyday!

Now, she is at the stage where she isn't eating on a schedule very well. I try to feed after 3 hours and sometimes she takes a little and sometimes she doesn't want any at all and won't take anything off the second side. It may not be a big deal, but she sleeps for 8-10 hours at night now, so I would really like for her to get at least 6 good feeding a day and right now it's more like 5. I'm just not sure that's enough for a 3 1/2 month old. What do you think Mommies?

With all of this being said, she does have the sweetest smile and giggle in the world! She does seem to be a little spoiled too! She'll be in her bouncy seat and she'll start fussing and the instant you pick her up she stops. She's gotten a lot more fussy over the past few weeks and I'm not really sure why either. Last night was one of the roughest nights we've had in awhile. She was up 3 times during the night. She finally got a good nursing in at 7 and has been sleeping ever since.

We are looking forward to more fun stuff to come! And big sister really loves her a lot!


Mrs. Haid said...

I think that maybe that is enough feeds. At four months, you should go to the 4 hour feeds. That was hard, but now my baby is exactly 5 months and he is on a 4 hour schedule, easily. He also doesn't eat much around the afternoon... but gobbles at 2 am and 5 am and 8 am.

I loved the Happiest Baby book and have learned SO MUCH from Tracey Hogg's Baby Whisperer. However, I used to balk at the idea of Babywise... but now, I now that attachment parenting really IS NOT the way I see the parent/child relationship, and think Baby Whisperer is golden. I haven't read all of Babywise, but I do read the blog that you also read...

Do you still dream feed? I have a hard time with this. It seems like if I do or don't it doesnt' matter. He is still up around 1 am no matter if I do... though if I do, he is up at least a half hour later.

Lara Anne said...

While I don't know about breastfeeding, as both of mine were bottle babies, could Isabel be teething? Shawn had major issues teething and was very fussy and not eating well! It's just a thought.....

Don't fret too much! She'll be just fine. They all have their moments!

Jessica said...

Lara Anne, I have considered the fact that she is teething. She is constantly chewing on her fingers and drools a lot, but she isn't showing any other symptoms yet, so she may just be one of those babies that teethes forever before she gets teeth.

Mrs. Haid, thanks for the tips. And you'll have to enlighten me about dream feeding, I'm not sure what that is. Isabel usually takes her last feeding anywhere from between 10 and 12 depending on our schedule that day and then she sleeps until 7am. That's why I would like for her to get 6 feedings. I remember when I was breastfeeding my older daughter that she stayed on the 3-3 1/2 hour schedule for a long time. I just don't remember her eating this frequently at this age like Isabel is.

I'm not at all about attachment parenting, I just really like the concept of parent directed feeding in the Babywise book. I haven't actually read it all yet, I'm finding it harder to get through a whole book at one time these days!