Author Topic: Babies... some people make it sound so easy  (Read 47638 times)

FLA

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Re: Babies... some people make it sound so easy
« Reply #150 on: October 01, 2015, 08:44:02 PM »
I am glad to read things sound overall a bit better.  As for your wife not eating enough, I had a friend like that.  She wasn't depressed, just always felt she was forcing food down.  Her OB and her Ped both suggested adding in Boost or Ensure 1-2 cans depending on how much she ate that day. Or Carnation Instant Breakfast but then you have the dairy issue.  2 weeks later she was eating everything in sight

little_brown_dog

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Re: Babies... some people make it sound so easy
« Reply #151 on: October 02, 2015, 08:11:41 AM »
i struggled with my appetite throughout the first few months of pregnancy, and again due to indigestion towards the end. that feeling of "forcing food down" was exactly it. i found that easy to make, bland foods were best, and I would just make myself eat whenever i wasn't feeling off. if it wasn't easy/fast, i was in trouble because in the time it took to make a meal, my feelings about eating could change. i would recommend having a lot of easy to grab food stocked up so she doesn't have to make the effort to prepare things. bowls of whole grain/low sugar cereal, oatmeal, whole grain french toast, smoothies, and fresh fruit were perfect when i didn't want to eat. they're easy, fast and have a lot of fiber. use almond milk if you are cutting out dairy and soy (whole foods has a great organic store brand). also, some women find that regular cow's milk bothers them and baby, but fermented dairy (like kefir) or goat's milk doesn't so those options might be worth a shot if you don't want to give up dairy just yet.  if you have a whole foods, there is also a brand of high quality vegan cheese called kite hill that many vegans really like. it's made from almond milk and might be a good snack along with apple slices and crackers.
« Last Edit: October 02, 2015, 08:16:47 AM by little_brown_dog »

jeromedawg

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Re: Babies... some people make it sound so easy
« Reply #152 on: October 11, 2015, 10:43:45 PM »
So things have gotten better than before but my wife is still struggling through the frustrations of enough of an 'on-demand' supply, pumping, blisters, etc... If she relies on on-demand BFing, he's on her like every hour. Otherwise, she can pump maybe a few ounces *max* at this point in time... I just don't think we'll be able to get by without supplementing on formula. And we actually have started doing so. Weird thing is we think he has food allergies (in addition to reflux) to dairy at least. My wife started cutting soy and wheat out too. His #2s were pretty disgusting when she was going all out on eating without any restrictions. Ever since cutting back things have been more tame. But to test the dairy theory out, we actually fed him milk-based formula last night. He hasn't been fussy at all. And we haven't notice anything too out of the ordinary with his #2s either. So we're pretty confused... maybe he's not allergic to dairy anymore? Or maybe he never was? And was just allergic to soy and or wheat this whole time? My wife has been keeping a food journal to try to track it down. And we're still left wondering what was up....

I don't know how we're going to tackle supply once she goes back to work. Should we expect for her supply to really increase *that* much by the time she goes back? I have serious doubts. Anyway, for those of you who have been in this situation where you have to pump at work or before going back to work while still on leave, how do you strategize and prepare for it? How do you build up a 'sustaining' supply that long in advance? And what are the rotations to work through? It's all very overwhelming thinking about how things are going to be once I'm at home with the kid and my wife is at work all day.

asiljoy

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Re: Babies... some people make it sound so easy
« Reply #153 on: October 12, 2015, 05:15:15 AM »
So things have gotten better than before but my wife is still struggling through the frustrations of enough of an 'on-demand' supply, pumping, blisters, etc... If she relies on on-demand BFing, he's on her like every hour. Otherwise, she can pump maybe a few ounces *max* at this point in time... I just don't think we'll be able to get by without supplementing on formula. And we actually have started doing so. Weird thing is we think he has food allergies (in addition to reflux) to dairy at least. My wife started cutting soy and wheat out too. His #2s were pretty disgusting when she was going all out on eating without any restrictions. Ever since cutting back things have been more tame. But to test the dairy theory out, we actually fed him milk-based formula last night. He hasn't been fussy at all. And we haven't notice anything too out of the ordinary with his #2s either. So we're pretty confused... maybe he's not allergic to dairy anymore? Or maybe he never was? And was just allergic to soy and or wheat this whole time? My wife has been keeping a food journal to try to track it down. And we're still left wondering what was up....

I don't know how we're going to tackle supply once she goes back to work. Should we expect for her supply to really increase *that* much by the time she goes back? I have serious doubts. Anyway, for those of you who have been in this situation where you have to pump at work or before going back to work while still on leave, how do you strategize and prepare for it? How do you build up a 'sustaining' supply that long in advance? And what are the rotations to work through? It's all very overwhelming thinking about how things are going to be once I'm at home with the kid and my wife is at work all day.

One thing my ped. told me is that kids grow. Expect weird shit to happen during a growth spurt; anything from gross poop to not sleeping to crazy fuzzy/clingy to eating anything under the moon.

I pumped while at work for 6 months. My supply actually went up because of the consistent double pumping vs my ADD baby. Have a plan to take care of the milk and clean the bottles. We always had a least a days supply in the fridge in bottles, oldest milk to the front. The rest of it went in storage bags, laid flat until they froze, then again stacked by age. The lovely people on Pinterest had examples for days of methods of organization.

Some days it was stressful, but once we got the hang of it, mostly it was just another thing in our day.


catccc

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Re: Babies... some people make it sound so easy
« Reply #154 on: October 12, 2015, 07:21:18 AM »
My supply went down a bit when I returned to work after my second baby, but she didn't even consume what I was pumping during the day.  (Much to DH's distress.  She hated the bottle.)  So she started "reverse cycling" and caught up at nighttime, which is quite common.  Slightly annoying, but I just cared that she was getting enough.  Plus I felt slightly guilty that I wasn't home with her during the day, so she kinda got a pass on night nursing.  And we kinda co-slept, so it didn't hamper my sleeping very much, if at all, to nurse her at night.

I had built up a stash pumping between feedings with my second.  I was a SAHM with my.  So I only pumped very occasionally for a night with a babysitter (MIL), and to ensure that she "knew" how to use a bottle.  But I'm glad I did test out storage of my breastmilk with my first. 

It turned out I had excess lipase in my breastmilk.  It's an enzyme that helps baby digest milk by breaking down fats.  And it works while the milk is in storage.  The result, if you don't deactivate the lipase by heating the milk, is milk that tastes soapy or metallic within a day of storage.  Safe, but most babies will refuse to drink it.  So I had to scald all my milk to deactivate the lipase!  I'd pump into glass bottles, stick a kitchen thermometer in it, pop into a bottle warmer, ignored the instructions to only put x amount of water in the warmer, and basically have my milk in boiling water until it was at 150 degrees or so.  IDK how common this is, I'm the only mom I know that has had to deal with this, but I've read horror stories of moms with gallons stashed away during maternity leave, only to go to work and find out their baby won't touch the stuff.  Heartbreaking!

I also stopped sterilizing all the bottles, nipples, caps, and rings after about a month of pumping, bottle feeding.  I had been doing it every single day.  DH reasoned that our kid stuck a million things in her mouth, none of which were sterilized.  That really made the evening routine easier.  She is alive and well.

And if you end up supplementing with more formula anyway, please appreciate that you did your best with this whole feeding thing.  It's quite evident from this thread that you didn't just throw in the towel after the first speed bump.

MayDay

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Re: Babies... some people make it sound so easy
« Reply #155 on: October 12, 2015, 08:37:20 AM »
Coming at this from the angle of it being your (her) desire to exclusively BF:

1.  STOP supplementing formula unless an IBCLC tells you to.  Nursing every hour is how you build up the supply.  It is normal to only pump 2-3 oz- that is all the baby needs.  You are screwing all that up if you are giving formula bottles.  You need to stop formula immediately and have a professional evaluate whether your wife is producing enough (the answer is most likely yes).  The number 1 way people screw up nursing is by thinking they don't have enough milk, giving formula, and then ending up with not enough milk because they gave formula!

2.  Yes, small babies nurse every hour.  Its normal.  It sucks.  If she wants to nurse, that is life.  Set up camp on the couch with a book, a drink, a snack, and some Netflix.

3.  The dairy allergy thing is a total head game.  Very few babies have an actual sensitivity.  Many mothers are willing to try ANYTHING to make the fussing and crying stop.  It doesn't hurt to try as long as she can still get plenty of calories.  But be aware that this is mostly a case of trying anything because its better than trying nothing. 

4.  I went back to work at ~10 weeks with kid 1.  Starting at ~6 weeks, I nursed baby every morning at around 8 am.  He would fall asleep for a nap.  I would pump at ~8:30 for a long time- well after milk stopped coming out.  At first I got basically nothing.  But within a week of that, I was pumping a couple oz. and by the time I returned to work I got ~10 oz. every morning to stock the freezer.  This worked well for several reasons.  Supply is highest in the morning so its the easiest time to pump lots.  I did it daily, so my body started to figure out "this kid is super duper hungry every day at 8:30 am!".  I let the baby nurse so he was fed, and did it well before another feed, so by the time he nursed again at 9:30 am, I had filled up again. 

5.  Even if baby wants to nurse constantly, he isn't "starving" and there is not "no milk there, because he just nursed, so we better give formula".  Your wife is constantly producing.  If he is still nursing, he is still getting milk- and if she feels empty, baby is getting the really good high fat milk!  She never runs out. 

Ok, that was long.  Ignore it all if you guys are happier on formula.  But don't kid yourself that a bottle of formula a day is no big deal- most women will lose their whole supply if they go down that road.  Make sure you are making a conscious choice to switch to formula.  And it is a perfectly fine choice- but make sure it is a choice.  Ask me how I know- kid #2 ended up 100% formula fed at 7 months! 

FLBiker

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Re: Babies... some people make it sound so easy
« Reply #156 on: October 12, 2015, 10:05:26 AM »
But don't kid yourself that a bottle of formula a day is no big deal- most women will lose their whole supply if they go down that road.  Make sure you are making a conscious choice to switch to formula.  And it is a perfectly fine choice- but make sure it is a choice.  Ask me how I know- kid #2 ended up 100% formula fed at 7 months!

Totally support exclusive breast feeding, but just to add another experience -- my wife also struggled w/ supply.  Baby was just @ birthweight at 1 month.  We met w/ two IBCLCs.  We've been supplementing w/ 2 oz of formula per day for 3 mos (we're 6 mos in).  Her supply has remained the same.  That said, she does try to pump at least this amount everyday -- so we mix 1/2 and 1/2 formula and breastmilk, making 1 4 oz bottle that we use for supplementing.  So, for us, supplementing a little hasn't been a big deal.

bogart

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Re: Babies... some people make it sound so easy
« Reply #157 on: October 12, 2015, 11:08:39 AM »
I don't know how we're going to tackle supply once she goes back to work. Should we expect for her supply to really increase *that* much by the time she goes back? I have serious doubts. Anyway, for those of you who have been in this situation where you have to pump at work or before going back to work while still on leave, how do you strategize and prepare for it? How do you build up a 'sustaining' supply that long in advance? And what are the rotations to work through? It's all very overwhelming thinking about how things are going to be once I'm at home with the kid and my wife is at work all day.

My supply was up noticeably from immediately post-partum, by about a month in, but I'm not sure it ever increased noticeably after that despite my persistent BFing-followed-by-pumping, etc.

I used formula, as mentioned previously in this thread, from one week in, to be sure the LO was getting enough to eat (he wasn't getting enough from me).  That never changed.  I pumped at work (and of course saved what I pumped at home, though I never had to freeze anything or built up a stash -- it got used almost as soon as it emerged...), and saved and used that too, of course, but I also always used formula.  It frustrated me at the time, but ~8 years later, I don't give it a second thought.

Good luck to both of you.  In my experience, parenting gets easier as the LOs get older.

Gin1984

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Re: Babies... some people make it sound so easy
« Reply #158 on: October 12, 2015, 12:07:50 PM »
I don't know how we're going to tackle supply once she goes back to work. Should we expect for her supply to really increase *that* much by the time she goes back? I have serious doubts. Anyway, for those of you who have been in this situation where you have to pump at work or before going back to work while still on leave, how do you strategize and prepare for it? How do you build up a 'sustaining' supply that long in advance? And what are the rotations to work through? It's all very overwhelming thinking about how things are going to be once I'm at home with the kid and my wife is at work all day.

My supply was up noticeably from immediately post-partum, by about a month in, but I'm not sure it ever increased noticeably after that despite my persistent BFing-followed-by-pumping, etc.

I used formula, as mentioned previously in this thread, from one week in, to be sure the LO was getting enough to eat (he wasn't getting enough from me).  That never changed.  I pumped at work (and of course saved what I pumped at home, though I never had to freeze anything or built up a stash -- it got used almost as soon as it emerged...), and saved and used that too, of course, but I also always used formula.  It frustrated me at the time, but ~8 years later, I don't give it a second thought.

Good luck to both of you.  In my experience, parenting gets easier as the LOs get older.
I was similar.  The daycare gave her formula during the day.  I pumped right before starting work and every 2.5 hours (including right after work while DH got our daughter).  That was barely enough to feed her breastmilk in the evenings and weekends. 

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

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Re: Babies... some people make it sound so easy
« Reply #159 on: October 12, 2015, 01:46:16 PM »
Milk-based formula is not the same as milk. Both my kids thrived on milk formula (hey, I tried... made it the first time till I got knocked up again and the second time until I started an internship/day care when baby was about 7 months) and both developed eczema during the whole milk transition. The proteins and whatnot are different, so it is totally possible that baby could have problems with dairy but not with formula.

Some moms can pump enough to exclusively breastfeed and there are all sorts of tricks online. And some of us just can't. Putting bottles of formula in the daycare fridge next to the other baby's bags of breastmilk was not my finest moment, but it all worked out.

mm1970

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Re: Babies... some people make it sound so easy
« Reply #160 on: October 12, 2015, 02:09:42 PM »
So things have gotten better than before but my wife is still struggling through the frustrations of enough of an 'on-demand' supply, pumping, blisters, etc... If she relies on on-demand BFing, he's on her like every hour. Otherwise, she can pump maybe a few ounces *max* at this point in time... I just don't think we'll be able to get by without supplementing on formula. And we actually have started doing so. Weird thing is we think he has food allergies (in addition to reflux) to dairy at least. My wife started cutting soy and wheat out too. His #2s were pretty disgusting when she was going all out on eating without any restrictions. Ever since cutting back things have been more tame. But to test the dairy theory out, we actually fed him milk-based formula last night. He hasn't been fussy at all. And we haven't notice anything too out of the ordinary with his #2s either. So we're pretty confused... maybe he's not allergic to dairy anymore? Or maybe he never was? And was just allergic to soy and or wheat this whole time? My wife has been keeping a food journal to try to track it down. And we're still left wondering what was up....

I don't know how we're going to tackle supply once she goes back to work. Should we expect for her supply to really increase *that* much by the time she goes back? I have serious doubts. Anyway, for those of you who have been in this situation where you have to pump at work or before going back to work while still on leave, how do you strategize and prepare for it? How do you build up a 'sustaining' supply that long in advance? And what are the rotations to work through? It's all very overwhelming thinking about how things are going to be once I'm at home with the kid and my wife is at work all day.
Every baby is different and every mom is different.  Plus, growth spurts can really freak you out.  How old is the baby?  Because my kids hit growth spurts right on schedule.
I know moms who nursed twins and built up a stash.
My supply actually was fine while working - I would nurse in the morning, and then pump until it was all out.  Then I'd pump at work, and then I'd nurse the rest of the time, including holidays and weekends. On weekends, I always pumped in the morning after the first nursing.

Some moms might not make enough milk.  Formula is only going to make that worse.  On the other hand, I have mom friends who had to pump only for a few weeks due to nursing issues (and supplemented with formula), but were able to go back to breastfeeding exclusively.  You just never know.

My first son never had formula.

My second son - I had plugged duct issues (with both really), and at 8.5 months, I was just over it.  So I stopped pumping and started supplementing.  For both boys, they weaned themselves, almost exactly 6 weeks after I stopped pumping.  For my older son, that was 6 weeks after he turned 1 year old.  For my second, it was 10 months, almost on the nose.  I think that when I stopped pumping, my supply gradually went down and both boys said "eh, not worth the effort".

How old is your baby?  Seriously, it sounds like you've been trying really hard.  Sometimes you get past 6 weeks, or 3 months, and it's easy street.  Sometimes it's not.  I loved nursing when it went well but it was such a relief to stop pumping.  I hated that damn thing, and the plugged ducts.

Cognitive Miser

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Re: Babies... some people make it sound so easy
« Reply #161 on: October 12, 2015, 02:40:16 PM »
It might be that the people for whom breastfeeding is going well CHOOSE not to talk about it.  I know I felt like a braggart when I said I had oversupply, but I had to go to BF support group to learn how to deal with it.  My baby was gagging from all that milk.  I didn't talk about it a lot because for me it was so special and so easy, and I had so many friends who were NOT having an easy time of it.  I never had plugged ducts, blisters, infections, or even chapped nipples.  Just a little bruising from a hard latch.

And it might be that they forget the fog of those early weeks.  That's also a factor here :)

My baby was born small but gained at a fantastic rate.  I credit my high-protein high-fat diet - it produces very calorie dense milk.  My BF support group leader pulled me aside one day after the meeting and asked me if she could publicly ask me about my diet every time I came to meeting, kind of as a "plant".  She'd been a lactation consultant for decades and had noticed that the vegetarians and low-fat dieters were much more likely to have trouble maintaining supply, or even if they had good supply, sometimes their babies wouldn't gain enough.

Edited to add:  My supply did drop once when I had a stomach flu.  It took a week to recover, during which I nearly entirely depleted my freezer stash.  But it did come back.  I never had oversupply after that though - just adequate supply.

YES it is hard, even if breastfeeding goes well.  NOTHING about having a child is truly EASY.  Your life is forever, irrevocably complicated.  Nobody should feel bad for struggling.  That is the essence of parenthood.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2015, 02:47:56 PM by Cognitive Miser »

jeromedawg

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Re: Babies... some people make it sound so easy
« Reply #162 on: October 12, 2015, 06:13:23 PM »
So things have gotten better than before but my wife is still struggling through the frustrations of enough of an 'on-demand' supply, pumping, blisters, etc... If she relies on on-demand BFing, he's on her like every hour. Otherwise, she can pump maybe a few ounces *max* at this point in time... I just don't think we'll be able to get by without supplementing on formula. And we actually have started doing so. Weird thing is we think he has food allergies (in addition to reflux) to dairy at least. My wife started cutting soy and wheat out too. His #2s were pretty disgusting when she was going all out on eating without any restrictions. Ever since cutting back things have been more tame. But to test the dairy theory out, we actually fed him milk-based formula last night. He hasn't been fussy at all. And we haven't notice anything too out of the ordinary with his #2s either. So we're pretty confused... maybe he's not allergic to dairy anymore? Or maybe he never was? And was just allergic to soy and or wheat this whole time? My wife has been keeping a food journal to try to track it down. And we're still left wondering what was up....

I don't know how we're going to tackle supply once she goes back to work. Should we expect for her supply to really increase *that* much by the time she goes back? I have serious doubts. Anyway, for those of you who have been in this situation where you have to pump at work or before going back to work while still on leave, how do you strategize and prepare for it? How do you build up a 'sustaining' supply that long in advance? And what are the rotations to work through? It's all very overwhelming thinking about how things are going to be once I'm at home with the kid and my wife is at work all day.
Every baby is different and every mom is different.  Plus, growth spurts can really freak you out.  How old is the baby?  Because my kids hit growth spurts right on schedule.
I know moms who nursed twins and built up a stash.
My supply actually was fine while working - I would nurse in the morning, and then pump until it was all out.  Then I'd pump at work, and then I'd nurse the rest of the time, including holidays and weekends. On weekends, I always pumped in the morning after the first nursing.

Some moms might not make enough milk.  Formula is only going to make that worse.  On the other hand, I have mom friends who had to pump only for a few weeks due to nursing issues (and supplemented with formula), but were able to go back to breastfeeding exclusively.  You just never know.

My first son never had formula.

My second son - I had plugged duct issues (with both really), and at 8.5 months, I was just over it.  So I stopped pumping and started supplementing.  For both boys, they weaned themselves, almost exactly 6 weeks after I stopped pumping.  For my older son, that was 6 weeks after he turned 1 year old.  For my second, it was 10 months, almost on the nose.  I think that when I stopped pumping, my supply gradually went down and both boys said "eh, not worth the effort".

How old is your baby?  Seriously, it sounds like you've been trying really hard.  Sometimes you get past 6 weeks, or 3 months, and it's easy street.  Sometimes it's not.  I loved nursing when it went well but it was such a relief to stop pumping.  I hated that damn thing, and the plugged ducts.

He's at 7 weeks now. My wife only produces a few ounces at most during her pumping sessions. And between that, trying to feed him directly is frustrating since it seems there's just not enough. As a side, I've been hearing a lot of people talking about how quantity improves upon quantity and supply increases with demand like it's the golden rule.... however, we're just not seeing that. And I'm sure lots of other mothers out there don't ever see that. That's why I'm starting to get irked whenever someone mentions it like it is the golden rule (sorry, I don't mean to lash out at anyone but it's super-frustrating trying to figure out what works for you when there are a million possible reasons and solutions).

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

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Re: Babies... some people make it sound so easy
« Reply #163 on: October 12, 2015, 06:31:12 PM »
It must be really frustrating for your wife to be making these dietary changes and working so hard to pump and not getting results.

You guys are his parents. You get to decide what is best for him! And that includes your own needs, of course.

jeromedawg

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Re: Babies... some people make it sound so easy
« Reply #164 on: October 12, 2015, 06:40:16 PM »
Right now my wife is going crazy with the dietary restrictions and trying to figure out what he's allergic to gauging on the color of his poop etc. It's pretty green and slightly yellowish these days so now she's wanting to pick-up some alimentum and or nutromigen to feed him. It's just confusing when some people say don't supplement with formula if breastfeeding while others say mixing the two is completely fine.

Another added frustration is when we do end up feeding him breast milk from the bottle to soothe his whining and then he ends up spitting a lot of it back up... such a waste. smh

firelight

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Re: Babies... some people make it sound so easy
« Reply #165 on: October 12, 2015, 07:39:57 PM »
My daughter had allergies to dairy, soy, corn, fish and eggs. I breastfed her exclusively and we found traces of blood in her poop. That is usually a very good sign of allergy. Also, when your wife is eliminating these food groups make sure they are completely eliminated. I removed all the usual culprits of dairy but was eating a biscuit that was dairy free but had whey in it :( and my daughter continued having bloody poop! We ended up with a specialist that made me realize that not even one drop of dairy in any form can get into my body.... And it took two weeks for all traces of dairy to get off my/her system. So if your wife is eliminating food groups, she also needs to give it enough time to totally get off her/the baby's body (it could still be in her blood).

We tried nutramigen and alimentum but my daughter hated the taste of both. We also tried a few more hypoallergenic formulae in market with no luck. Since I ended up being her sole source of food, I ate (from the limited list) almost every two hours and drank gallons of water, fatty soup and juice. In short, keep hydrated!! I also drank mother's milk tea (not sure how much it helped, but I was ready to try anything to increase supply). Also, I pumped three times a day and my daughter consumed all what I produced.

Till she hit 6 months it was touch and go every day. Whatever she didn't eat, I freezed. Once she was able to eat solids, she took to them like a champ. After 6 months, her allergies went away as her gut matured and now she (and I) is able to eat everything. She still doesn't like milk or eggs much but now its more a taste issue than true allergy.

TLDR: keep an eye on baby's poop for traces of blood. That would help you figure out if she is allergic. You can ask your ped to test poop for blood too. Try giving formula, if baby takes it well and good. Please don't stress about breastfeeding. PM me if you need more info.

bogart

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Re: Babies... some people make it sound so easy
« Reply #166 on: October 12, 2015, 08:09:32 PM »
He's at 7 weeks now. My wife only produces a few ounces at most during her pumping sessions. And between that, trying to feed him directly is frustrating since it seems there's just not enough. As a side, I've been hearing a lot of people talking about how quantity improves upon quantity and supply increases with demand like it's the golden rule.... however, we're just not seeing that. And I'm sure lots of other mothers out there don't ever see that. That's why I'm starting to get irked whenever someone mentions it like it is the golden rule (sorry, I don't mean to lash out at anyone but it's super-frustrating trying to figure out what works for you when there are a million possible reasons and solutions).

I'm sorry you're dealing with this and finding it so (understandably) frustrating.

I needed extensive medical help to get pregnant, something many women achieve "without even trying."  Though I don't see a lot of discussion of this issue/possibility, I have to assume that just as is true of other bodily parts/systems (e.g. my reproductive tract, our ability to nurse babies and produce enough milk ... isn't always functional (or fully functional).  We are (truly) fortunate in the contemporary developed world that we have nutritionally sound, safe options.  I don't mean to diminish the struggles you are having or your wife's difficulties in deciding how to proceed -- those are real, and they matter.  Yet at the same time, you and she do have other options -- not perfect ones, and not ones that seem satisfactory, perhaps, but ones that can work for you and your LO. 

Hang in there.  You'll get through this.  And I really am sorry this is so hard.

Little Nell

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Re: Babies... some people make it sound so easy
« Reply #167 on: October 12, 2015, 10:37:26 PM »
My son was born two months early, so we had some challenges. We also had some advantages, including my wonderful SIL, a pediatrician, who kept telling me "you do what works for you." I nursed my son for almost three years but supplemented with formula regularly. Once she gave me the go-ahead, I didn't worry any more. Son was probably 80% breast fed. But not having to worry about supply made things a lot easier. I'm all for nursing (it made plane flights so much easier) but I'm all for NOT WORRYING ABOUT IT. And her advise was the best ever. Son is now seventeen and working on chemistry homework with his father as I type. DO WHAT WORKS FOR YOU and get some sleep.

andystkilda

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Re: Babies... some people make it sound so easy
« Reply #168 on: October 12, 2015, 11:32:58 PM »
Only recommendation I can give on all of this is:
Schedules
i.e. Save our Sleep by Tizzie Hall

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Re: Babies... some people make it sound so easy
« Reply #169 on: October 12, 2015, 11:36:57 PM »
My son was born two months early, so we had some challenges. We also had some advantages, including my wonderful SIL, a pediatrician, who kept telling me "you do what works for you." I nursed my son for almost three years but supplemented with formula regularly. Once she gave me the go-ahead, I didn't worry any more. Son was probably 80% breast fed. But not having to worry about supply made things a lot easier. I'm all for nursing (it made plane flights so much easier) but I'm all for NOT WORRYING ABOUT IT. And her advise was the best ever. Son is now seventeen and working on chemistry homework with his father as I type. DO WHAT WORKS FOR YOU and get some sleep.

Thanks, the other thing we're pretty concerned about is the amount of sleep that *he* is getting. He's probably getting 11-12hrs max on a given day. The interwebs says 18 hours is optimal... uh that seems pretty unlikely at the rate we're headed.

asiljoy

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Re: Babies... some people make it sound so easy
« Reply #170 on: October 13, 2015, 06:22:36 AM »
Right now my wife is going crazy with the dietary restrictions and trying to figure out what he's allergic to gauging on the color of his poop etc. It's pretty green and slightly yellowish these days so now she's wanting to pick-up some alimentum and or nutromigen to feed him. It's just confusing when some people say don't supplement with formula if breastfeeding while others say mixing the two is completely fine.

Another added frustration is when we do end up feeding him breast milk from the bottle to soothe his whining and then he ends up spitting a lot of it back up... such a waste. smh

Oh, actually yeah, that brings back suppressed memories.  We actually had the opposite problem as you guys where the lactation consultant told me to pump directly after feeding him to get up supply because he had a bad latch. So I did, but never stopped and by the time he was 3 months old I was producing enough for triplets. He'd get too much of the foremilk and then yak it up. He'd end up fussy because he didn't get any of the hind milk so he was hungry... it was a frustrating mess. Fun fact, that imbalance also turns a kid's poo green.

I know this is off topic, but ECFE classes were a life saver for me. Being able to bounce all these issues off of other sleep deprived parents in a similar state was awesome.




mm1970

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Re: Babies... some people make it sound so easy
« Reply #171 on: October 13, 2015, 09:44:40 AM »
So things have gotten better than before but my wife is still struggling through the frustrations of enough of an 'on-demand' supply, pumping, blisters, etc... If she relies on on-demand BFing, he's on her like every hour. Otherwise, she can pump maybe a few ounces *max* at this point in time... I just don't think we'll be able to get by without supplementing on formula. And we actually have started doing so. Weird thing is we think he has food allergies (in addition to reflux) to dairy at least. My wife started cutting soy and wheat out too. His #2s were pretty disgusting when she was going all out on eating without any restrictions. Ever since cutting back things have been more tame. But to test the dairy theory out, we actually fed him milk-based formula last night. He hasn't been fussy at all. And we haven't notice anything too out of the ordinary with his #2s either. So we're pretty confused... maybe he's not allergic to dairy anymore? Or maybe he never was? And was just allergic to soy and or wheat this whole time? My wife has been keeping a food journal to try to track it down. And we're still left wondering what was up....

I don't know how we're going to tackle supply once she goes back to work. Should we expect for her supply to really increase *that* much by the time she goes back? I have serious doubts. Anyway, for those of you who have been in this situation where you have to pump at work or before going back to work while still on leave, how do you strategize and prepare for it? How do you build up a 'sustaining' supply that long in advance? And what are the rotations to work through? It's all very overwhelming thinking about how things are going to be once I'm at home with the kid and my wife is at work all day.
Every baby is different and every mom is different.  Plus, growth spurts can really freak you out.  How old is the baby?  Because my kids hit growth spurts right on schedule.
I know moms who nursed twins and built up a stash.
My supply actually was fine while working - I would nurse in the morning, and then pump until it was all out.  Then I'd pump at work, and then I'd nurse the rest of the time, including holidays and weekends. On weekends, I always pumped in the morning after the first nursing.

Some moms might not make enough milk.  Formula is only going to make that worse.  On the other hand, I have mom friends who had to pump only for a few weeks due to nursing issues (and supplemented with formula), but were able to go back to breastfeeding exclusively.  You just never know.

My first son never had formula.

My second son - I had plugged duct issues (with both really), and at 8.5 months, I was just over it.  So I stopped pumping and started supplementing.  For both boys, they weaned themselves, almost exactly 6 weeks after I stopped pumping.  For my older son, that was 6 weeks after he turned 1 year old.  For my second, it was 10 months, almost on the nose.  I think that when I stopped pumping, my supply gradually went down and both boys said "eh, not worth the effort".

How old is your baby?  Seriously, it sounds like you've been trying really hard.  Sometimes you get past 6 weeks, or 3 months, and it's easy street.  Sometimes it's not.  I loved nursing when it went well but it was such a relief to stop pumping.  I hated that damn thing, and the plugged ducts.

He's at 7 weeks now. My wife only produces a few ounces at most during her pumping sessions. And between that, trying to feed him directly is frustrating since it seems there's just not enough. As a side, I've been hearing a lot of people talking about how quantity improves upon quantity and supply increases with demand like it's the golden rule.... however, we're just not seeing that. And I'm sure lots of other mothers out there don't ever see that. That's why I'm starting to get irked whenever someone mentions it like it is the golden rule (sorry, I don't mean to lash out at anyone but it's super-frustrating trying to figure out what works for you when there are a million possible reasons and solutions).
No, it's totally true.  See, you only know your own experiences, and everyone else is the same.

The "textbook" is - obviously, if you supplement, it is not going to help your supply.  If you want to breastfeed, you need to breastfeed.  And pump.  (And FYI, 6 weeks is a classic growth spurt).

But only YOU know how it's going for YOU. I know several people who had problems nursing.  I belonged to a new mom's group with 50 women in it.  And there were two who could not breastfeed.  They didn't make enough milk, they tried everything thrown at them by the LC's.  More nursing, more pumping, mother's milk tea, fenugreek, etc. etc. etc.

And they quit.  And my one good friend shrugged and said "I did my best".  And she was happy.
And a couple of women were sobbing SOBBING because they felt they had failed.  Honey, it's okay.  You are okay, the baby is okay.
Of course there were many many women who nursed and supplemented with formula (exactly what I did with #2).

A lot of people will give you advice on how to make it work, or will judge you in person or secretly for what you are and aren't doing.  That's true of everyone.  YOU guys know if you've tried everything, WE don't.  (And by "everything", I mean "everything you are willing to try").  Seriously, don't let it stress you out.  Do your best and if you need formula, you need it.  What's important is a healthy happy baby, and mama and daddy.

(You know, my mom was grossed out by breastfeeding. I was 100% formula fed.  I turned out okay.)

historienne

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Re: Babies... some people make it sound so easy
« Reply #172 on: October 14, 2015, 10:30:59 AM »
I breastfed for 18 months.  I was lucky; it was easy.  But there's really very little scientific research that indicates any longterm benefit from breastfeeding.  And to the extent that there is any benefit, it's from *some* breastfeeding, not *exclusive* breastfeeding.  On the other hand, there's a very strong research base for the importance of a mother's psychological wellbeing on infant development.  So if trying to breastfeed - and particularly, trying to breastfeed exclusively - is creating anxiety, it really might not be worth it.

A few articles, if you want to read more:
http://www.babble.com/baby/benefits-of-breastfeeding-baby-formula-feeding/ (the author of this has a book that lays out the research in more depth)
and http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2009/04/the-case-against-breast-feeding/307311/

Also, if you are considering formula feeding (including supplementation), this is a great resource for support: http://www.fearlessformulafeeder.com/

I loved breastfeeding, so I don't want to diminish the desire that your wife has to keep at it.  A good (IBCLC) lactation consultant can be worth her weight in gold, if that's the goal.  But really, your kid will be 100% fine regardless of what percent of their diet is breastmilk.

On a smaller note, green/yellow poop is pretty normal.  Green poop with mucus can be a sign of mild allergy or oversupply.  Black or bloody poop is when you get concerned. 

And are you getting good medical advice on the reflux?  Spitting alone is not a problem, even in pretty large amounts, but if it's causing distress, then it might need to be medicated.  My experience of parenting got about 100% better when we got my daughter's reflux under control.

elaine amj

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Re: Babies... some people make it sound so easy
« Reply #173 on: October 14, 2015, 03:03:57 PM »
That's so frustrating. So sorry to hear you guys are still struggling.

I am a pro-breastfeeder. I nursed both my babies - my son until 16 months. If it's not working, IT'S OKAY TO QUIT.

I put my son (after successfully nursing #1) through a lot of unnecessary torture. We did make it through and like I said, nursed until 16 months. But, IT WAS NOT WORTH IT. I still wonder if it contributed to him being such a difficult, fussy baby (he was a challenge throughout his baby and toddler-hood). My heart breaks when I think of how horrible that time was, both for him and for me.

Yes, give it your all (sounds like you are). And please, please, please, see a professional lactation consultant. If #1 doesn't seem to be helping, try #2 (they vary a LOT in abilities and knowledge). It is worth every penny. I thought I could manage without (after all, I had nursed #1 for 10 months). I talked to a lot of "experts" until I found my consultant - she made all the difference in the world.

But, I repeat again...if it's not working, IT'S OKAY TO QUIT.

Allie

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Re: Babies... some people make it sound so easy
« Reply #174 on: October 14, 2015, 03:23:26 PM »
That's so frustrating. So sorry to hear you guys are still struggling.

I am a pro-breastfeeder. I nursed both my babies - my son until 16 months. If it's not working, IT'S OKAY TO QUIT.

I put my son (after successfully nursing #1) through a lot of unnecessary torture. We did make it through and like I said, nursed until 16 months. But, IT WAS NOT WORTH IT. I still wonder if it contributed to him being such a difficult, fussy baby (he was a challenge throughout his baby and toddler-hood). My heart breaks when I think of how horrible that time was, both for him and for me.

Yes, give it your all (sounds like you are). And please, please, please, see a professional lactation consultant. If #1 doesn't seem to be helping, try #2 (they vary a LOT in abilities and knowledge). It is worth every penny. I thought I could manage without (after all, I had nursed #1 for 10 months). I talked to a lot of "experts" until I found my consultant - she made all the difference in the world.

But, I repeat again...if it's not working, IT'S OKAY TO QUIT.

+1 to the infinity power

For many reasons, my first had a combination of breastmilk, bottle, boob, and formula.  I wanted for him to be a content breastfeeder so badly.  Wanted those moments where we sat calmly and he nursed and we bonded.  Like many things in life, the actual expierence was nothing like it had been advertised.  One of the NICU nurses reminded me that regardless of whether we fed him breastmilk or formula from a bottle or nursing, he was going to be just fine.  The difference in outcome for a breastfed baby vs a formula fed baby may be statistically significant, but in reality - either one is fine.  There are so many things that effect development - having 2 caring parents who will move mountains to do what is best for him is the one that really counts. 

AlwaysLearningToSave

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Re: Babies... some people make it sound so easy
« Reply #175 on: October 14, 2015, 04:23:12 PM »
Right now my wife is going crazy with the dietary restrictions and trying to figure out what he's allergic to gauging on the color of his poop etc. It's pretty green and slightly yellowish these days so now she's wanting to pick-up some alimentum and or nutromigen to feed him. It's just confusing when some people say don't supplement with formula if breastfeeding while others say mixing the two is completely fine.

Another added frustration is when we do end up feeding him breast milk from the bottle to soothe his whining and then he ends up spitting a lot of it back up... such a waste. smh

Thanks, the other thing we're pretty concerned about is the amount of sleep that *he* is getting. He's probably getting 11-12hrs max on a given day. The interwebs says 18 hours is optimal... uh that seems pretty unlikely at the rate we're headed.

I'm sorry to hear this is going on JPlee3, and know what you are going through.  My wife struggled to breastfeed our daughter due to our daughter's food protein allergy.  My wife went to a strict elimination diet-- she was hardly eating anything-- and we still could not find a diet that worked for daughter because she reacted to pretty much anything through breast milk and would spit up most of what she ate.  We had similar problems with sleep-- they say a baby should sleep 18 hours a day, ours screamed in pain for 18 hours a day.  She went from 50th percentile in weight at birth to below the 10th percentile and lost weight from three months old to four months old.  We had to give up on breast feeding.  The hypoallergenic formulas, like allamentum (spelling?), available in stores did not help.

Our family doctor gave us a very knowledgeable referral to a pediatric gastroenterologist who specializes infant food allergies.  The doc diagnosed the condition and prescribed a special formula not available in most stores that daughter could tolerate.  After a few days on the formula, it was like having a different child.  She slept better, did not scream in pain, and ate eagerly.

Please feel free to PM me if you want more details. 

Hang in there!  Try to get as much sleep as you can and try to stay positive.  Support your wife in whatever way you can because she will need it--there is no feeling that will mess with a mother's head more than the feeling of not being able to feed her child. 


labrat

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Re: Babies... some people make it sound so easy
« Reply #176 on: October 14, 2015, 06:51:19 PM »
OP - so sorry to hear about this.  I was in an almost identical situation last year and shed many tears.  From the moment my milk came in I never seemed to have enough to satisfy my LO - tried nursing every hour to increase supply at the beginning and also tried pumping.  Had latch issues due to my anatomy.  Ended up with a plugged duct and mastitis - nursed and pumped through that and was left with very little supply.  It was heartbreaking that I couldn't provide enough for LO and the hormonal roller coaster did not help.  When we broke down and supplemented LO was instantly a more content baby and started sleeping better, and had more energy for play during the day.  We had some trial and error with the formula but ended up feeding LO Gerber Goodstart Gentle which was tolerated very well. 

LO's pediatrician also was incredible during this process and not judgmental about me not being able to BF.  They also explained what to expect with formula poo and that the digestive system is still developing during the first 6 weeks  - they recommended formula and said to stick with one formula for at least 2 weeks then gradually ease into the next formula (1/4 new + 3/4 old, then half and half, etc.) unless there was a clear allergic reaction/LOTS of vomiting.  LO did not tolerate Similac so switched to Gerber.  After about a week (~5 weeks old) the diaper situation started to settle down.  Sure enough, at 6 weeks old LO settled into a predictable #2 pattern and hasn't had a blow-out since.

Until my friend delivered, everyone I knew, including my mom, never had issues with BF and nobody really understood what I was going through.  If your wife wants someone to talk to who has been in the trenches, feel free to PM me. 

jeromedawg

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Re: Babies... some people make it sound so easy
« Reply #177 on: November 11, 2015, 06:22:59 PM »
Here's another curve ball - now he's been getting *super* fussy at the breast and just whines presumably because he's taking the preference of the bottle over it. My wife is going back to work in about a week and is all concerned about her BFing efforts. So in a scenario like this where he starts disliking breastfeeding, what do you guys recommend doing? Just switching over to formula and supplementing with pumped (or as much as can be pumped) breast milk? She's just starting to wonder if it's even worth it to bother with BFing when it seems to pay no dividend at this point in time.

Super frustrating...
« Last Edit: November 11, 2015, 06:26:25 PM by jplee3 »

serpentstooth

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Re: Babies... some people make it sound so easy
« Reply #178 on: November 11, 2015, 06:36:52 PM »
Here's another curve ball - now he's been getting *super* fussy at the breast and just whines presumably because he's taking the preference of the bottle over it. My wife is going back to work in about a week and is all concerned about her BFing efforts. So in a scenario like this where he starts disliking breastfeeding, what do you guys recommend doing? Just switching over to formula and supplementing with pumped (or as much as can be pumped) breast milk? She's just starting to wonder if it's even worth it to bother with BFing when it seems to pay no dividend at this point in time.

Super frustrating...

My daughter hated hated hated nursing. Like, she'd fight to get away from the breast. I finally gave up and formula fed. I'm not in the business of making my daughter miserable for what, at best, are minimal benefits.

Neustache

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Re: Babies... some people make it sound so easy
« Reply #179 on: November 11, 2015, 07:12:02 PM »
Dang - I'd pump if she can handle it, just because it's frugal, but I hated pumping and bottle feeding with a passion - so much crap to clean, plus you do double duty in pumping/feeding.  Hated it so much that I just didn't do it, and pretty much just left for a short period of time or took the kid with me always. 

If she's going back to work, and he seems happy with the formula, I'd really just do it.  You guys are having such a rough go of it - something needs to give - and I'm generally pretty encouraging when it comes to breastfeeding. 

One option is to pump until she has a letdown (milk comes quickly and that weird sensation happens) and then see if he's fussy.  He probably is ticked because the flow is slower until letdown happens. 

okits

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Re: Babies... some people make it sound so easy
« Reply #180 on: November 11, 2015, 08:13:17 PM »
How long has this been going on?  It could be a temporary "nursing strike" phase that will pass.  If your wife would prefer to continue breastfeeding she could look into ideas on how to get through a nursing strike.  If she'd like to wean, returning to work seems like a good time for it.  A lot depends on how she, you, and baby are feeling.

jeromedawg

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Re: Babies... some people make it sound so easy
« Reply #181 on: November 11, 2015, 08:23:08 PM »
How long has this been going on?  It could be a temporary "nursing strike" phase that will pass.  If your wife would prefer to continue breastfeeding she could look into ideas on how to get through a nursing strike.  If she'd like to wean, returning to work seems like a good time for it.  A lot depends on how she, you, and baby are feeling.

It started recently in the past few days. Her concern is with wanting to keep BFing despite returning to work and if she even should if he's going to end up being on the bottle most of the time. Like, what's the point of continuing to BF if he's being fussy AND if she's not going to be able to BF exclusively as much in another week...

golden1

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Re: Babies... some people make it sound so easy
« Reply #182 on: November 12, 2015, 06:40:36 AM »
BFing is tough for sure and requires ditching almost all of your expectations of how parenting an infant works.  I read all sorts of books about what babies should do in regards to feeding and scheduling while I was pregnant.  Oddly enough, my baby didn't get the memo.  Once I stopped reading those books and started feeding on demand, and yes that meant every hour sometimes for hours at a time, things got a lot better.  What I realized is that modern society and breastfeeding don't mix well; it is isn't the mechanics of breastfeeding that is the problem most of time.  I was fortunate enough to be able to stay home with my kids when they were infants and I can honestly say that if I had to work, I would not have been able to BF.  Personally, I could never really get much milk with a pump, so that would not have worked out and I would have had to switch to formula or get breastmilk donated (another option if you are not opposed to it). 

There is a lot more to parenting than breastfeeding, so if it is not working out, no sweat.  Don't let the "I shoulds" take over your brain.  Trust me, in a year, you will wonder why you ever worried about this. 

elaine amj

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Re: Babies... some people make it sound so easy
« Reply #183 on: November 12, 2015, 07:45:51 AM »
Honestly, with all the struggles you guys are having - I would advise you to wean the baby (and I'm very pro-breastfeeding). It doesn't sound like it's working out well. You've both been giving it a ton of effort and time. Plus she is going back to work (where the logistics of pumping takes a very dedicated breastfeeder).

Pat yourselves on the back for getting this far and give yourselves a pass. Formula fed babies do great...and if this reduces your stress and makes you better parents, baby will benefit far more than a few extra months on breastmilk.

If your wife wants to give it a last-ditch effort, I really, really, really recommend spending the money on a lactation consultant. A good one can really be worth her weight in gold (especially since breastmilk is much cheaper in the long run than formula).

Easye418

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Re: Babies... some people make it sound so easy
« Reply #184 on: November 12, 2015, 08:51:27 AM »
I'm just happy my wife got accepted at the best hospital in our area... just need to wait to read over the benefits to figure out about how much it will cost to have a baby with their insurance tho.  :)  Hopefully free.

jeromedawg

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Re: Babies... some people make it sound so easy
« Reply #185 on: November 12, 2015, 11:31:27 AM »
My wife noticed that he seems to be going for BFing but *only* when she's engorged :T We think he's just super impatient and the slow let-down isn't helping.

I'm not sure how, if at all, one can "cure" an impatient baby.... if anyone has tips though, please send them along!

Neustache

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Re: Babies... some people make it sound so easy
« Reply #186 on: November 12, 2015, 02:15:31 PM »
Jplee - if she expresses first or pumps a bit until the letdown, then latches him on, then that might work. Prime the pump so to speak, so he gets the letdown right off the bat.
  I actually used to do that for the opposite reason, my daughter was small and the letdown was like a fire hose in her mouth so I would have her nurse until the letdown and then have her latch after the pressure was released a bit. 


inertia

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Re: Babies... some people make it sound so easy
« Reply #187 on: November 12, 2015, 03:43:31 PM »
My wife noticed that he seems to be going for BFing but *only* when she's engorged :T We think he's just super impatient and the slow let-down isn't helping.

I'm not sure how, if at all, one can "cure" an impatient baby.... if anyone has tips though, please send them along!

If she does breast compressions while nursing that will cause the milk to flow faster.  Breast compressions can also help with pumping output. 

I haven't read a lot of the earlier posts.  Are you guys feeding on demand or based on a schedule?

I nursed both my children (daughter until 27 months and son until 21 months).  With my first, I was a militant BFer.  By that I mean no supplementation, very careful not to send bottles that were too large to daycare, very focused on my supply, etc.  With my second, I really didn't have the drive to be that way anymore.  LOL.  I was exhausted.  I did what I could, but did supplement with formula at daycare after being back at work for a few months and I weaned off the pump when he was around 8 months old and started just sending formula to daycare.  I have to say, of the 2 experiences, the second was better.

How many bottles is the baby getting right now?  If your wife wants to continue, it doesn't have to be all or nothing.  If she wants to combo feed, the best way is to nurse when mom and baby are together and keep the bottles at daycare.  She's more likely to make it long term the more she nurses/pumps now while the baby is younger, but it's a completely valid choice to decide to take it as it comes and be happy with that.  If she just wanted to nurse in the mornings when her supply is the highest, then she could do that and leave the ball in the baby's court as when to wean completely. 

Basically, it just depends on what your wife wants to do.  If she's tired of it all, she could just quit.  It would be OK.  If she really wants to make it a certain amount of time, then she needs to nurse/pump as much as possible and then she can relax after her supply is more established.  If she just wants to relax now, she can certainly do that and just go with the flow.  Honestly, the most enjoyable nursing is when the whole thing is relaxed.  I always say that the best time nursing was when my children were over a year old because I didn't have to worry about being their main food source anymore.  :)

Hugs to your wife.  These seem like such huge decisions when you're in the thick of it, but after you get a little removed (my youngest is almost 4), you remember very little of it.

jeromedawg

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Re: Babies... some people make it sound so easy
« Reply #188 on: November 12, 2015, 04:15:54 PM »
Jplee - if she expresses first or pumps a bit until the letdown, then latches him on, then that might work. Prime the pump so to speak, so he gets the letdown right off the bat.
  I actually used to do that for the opposite reason, my daughter was small and the letdown was like a fire hose in her mouth so I would have her nurse until the letdown and then have her latch after the pressure was released a bit.

Thanks for the advice - I let her know about this tactic and she'll try it next time. But from what she's observed, her flow is just slow in general.

Addendum: to add flames to the fire, she asked one of her friends if she needed regular formula (since we can't give him the dairy-based stuff) and her friend was like "Oh, no thanks. I don't need it - my supply is pretty good" - couldn't she have just said a simple "No thanks" without explaining why? Arg.... do people just not get it or something?

jeromedawg

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Re: Babies... some people make it sound so easy
« Reply #189 on: November 12, 2015, 04:18:53 PM »
My wife noticed that he seems to be going for BFing but *only* when she's engorged :T We think he's just super impatient and the slow let-down isn't helping.

I'm not sure how, if at all, one can "cure" an impatient baby.... if anyone has tips though, please send them along!

If she does breast compressions while nursing that will cause the milk to flow faster.  Breast compressions can also help with pumping output. 

I haven't read a lot of the earlier posts.  Are you guys feeding on demand or based on a schedule?

I nursed both my children (daughter until 27 months and son until 21 months).  With my first, I was a militant BFer.  By that I mean no supplementation, very careful not to send bottles that were too large to daycare, very focused on my supply, etc.  With my second, I really didn't have the drive to be that way anymore.  LOL.  I was exhausted.  I did what I could, but did supplement with formula at daycare after being back at work for a few months and I weaned off the pump when he was around 8 months old and started just sending formula to daycare.  I have to say, of the 2 experiences, the second was better.

How many bottles is the baby getting right now?  If your wife wants to continue, it doesn't have to be all or nothing.  If she wants to combo feed, the best way is to nurse when mom and baby are together and keep the bottles at daycare.  She's more likely to make it long term the more she nurses/pumps now while the baby is younger, but it's a completely valid choice to decide to take it as it comes and be happy with that.  If she just wanted to nurse in the mornings when her supply is the highest, then she could do that and leave the ball in the baby's court as when to wean completely. 

Basically, it just depends on what your wife wants to do.  If she's tired of it all, she could just quit.  It would be OK.  If she really wants to make it a certain amount of time, then she needs to nurse/pump as much as possible and then she can relax after her supply is more established.  If she just wants to relax now, she can certainly do that and just go with the flow.  Honestly, the most enjoyable nursing is when the whole thing is relaxed.  I always say that the best time nursing was when my children were over a year old because I didn't have to worry about being their main food source anymore.  :)

Hugs to your wife.  These seem like such huge decisions when you're in the thick of it, but after you get a little removed (my youngest is almost 4), you remember very little of it.

I'll also recommend that she use 'compressions' but I feel like she has tried that and nothing seems to help much. Anyway, she's so close to calling it quits with this now, of course with all the burden of guilt that "she's unable to supply for her baby on her own" etc. What's going to stink is that the specialized formulas cost quite a bit more than the regular stuff... I wonder if you can DIY make this stuff (obviously outside of the context of breast milk supply) :(

inertia

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Re: Babies... some people make it sound so easy
« Reply #190 on: November 12, 2015, 04:45:58 PM »
My wife noticed that he seems to be going for BFing but *only* when she's engorged :T We think he's just super impatient and the slow let-down isn't helping.

I'm not sure how, if at all, one can "cure" an impatient baby.... if anyone has tips though, please send them along!

If she does breast compressions while nursing that will cause the milk to flow faster.  Breast compressions can also help with pumping output. 

I haven't read a lot of the earlier posts.  Are you guys feeding on demand or based on a schedule?

I nursed both my children (daughter until 27 months and son until 21 months).  With my first, I was a militant BFer.  By that I mean no supplementation, very careful not to send bottles that were too large to daycare, very focused on my supply, etc.  With my second, I really didn't have the drive to be that way anymore.  LOL.  I was exhausted.  I did what I could, but did supplement with formula at daycare after being back at work for a few months and I weaned off the pump when he was around 8 months old and started just sending formula to daycare.  I have to say, of the 2 experiences, the second was better.

How many bottles is the baby getting right now?  If your wife wants to continue, it doesn't have to be all or nothing.  If she wants to combo feed, the best way is to nurse when mom and baby are together and keep the bottles at daycare.  She's more likely to make it long term the more she nurses/pumps now while the baby is younger, but it's a completely valid choice to decide to take it as it comes and be happy with that.  If she just wanted to nurse in the mornings when her supply is the highest, then she could do that and leave the ball in the baby's court as when to wean completely. 

Basically, it just depends on what your wife wants to do.  If she's tired of it all, she could just quit.  It would be OK.  If she really wants to make it a certain amount of time, then she needs to nurse/pump as much as possible and then she can relax after her supply is more established.  If she just wants to relax now, she can certainly do that and just go with the flow.  Honestly, the most enjoyable nursing is when the whole thing is relaxed.  I always say that the best time nursing was when my children were over a year old because I didn't have to worry about being their main food source anymore.  :)

Hugs to your wife.  These seem like such huge decisions when you're in the thick of it, but after you get a little removed (my youngest is almost 4), you remember very little of it.

I'll also recommend that she use 'compressions' but I feel like she has tried that and nothing seems to help much. Anyway, she's so close to calling it quits with this now, of course with all the burden of guilt that "she's unable to supply for her baby on her own" etc. What's going to stink is that the specialized formulas cost quite a bit more than the regular stuff... I wonder if you can DIY make this stuff (obviously outside of the context of breast milk supply) :(

It's much easier said than done, but she needs to let that go.  I struggled with infertility and it's hard to get past the anger/guilt that your body doesn't do what it's "built to do."  People have gone nuts over breastfeeding and the perfect birth, etc. and it's really a detriment to mothers.  Focus on that sweet little face and try to forget about all the noise.

As far as the formula, I would not try to DIY.  (Funny story, I found a formula recipe in my father's baby book and it was not what I would have expected, especially the orange juice!?!)  Just bite the bullet and buy it.  The first year flies by.

Acg

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Re: Babies... some people make it sound so easy
« Reply #191 on: November 12, 2015, 04:53:42 PM »
Whether it's breastfeeding (which is the current dilemma my wife is in - not seemingly producing enough and feeling like she may need to supplement with formula) to how well/much the baby sleeps at night. My wife is discouraged because it just seems like quite a few people haven't really had these issues; I know it's not something to feel bad about and I'm sure I'm gonna hear "It's never actually what people make it out to be" etc but it really sucks. I guess this is part of the whole postpartum depression thing... or adds onto it if anything. The whole [lack of] breast milk supply is really a revelation to us - either a lot of our friends aren't telling us something (out of shame maybe?) or they all have an abundant supply of flowing milk... *confused* I guess it's sort of a private thing for most people, but for something that can affect someone as much as this, I think it's good to share these disappointments and expectations and to be up front with anyone else who is an expecting mother.

Again, just another rant as a new/first-time parent.

I'm a first time dad with 3 month year old twins.  So multiply what you're feeling X 2.  Yeah.

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Babies... some people make it sound so easy
« Reply #192 on: November 12, 2015, 04:57:24 PM »
This is a tough age. I think it was at five months that I truly felt my daughter was happy and that we were doing a good job. You're more than halfway there and the growth over the next couple of years is astonishing and wonderful.

okits

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Re: Babies... some people make it sound so easy
« Reply #193 on: November 12, 2015, 10:54:13 PM »
Jplee - if she expresses first or pumps a bit until the letdown, then latches him on, then that might work. Prime the pump so to speak, so he gets the letdown right off the bat.
  I actually used to do that for the opposite reason, my daughter was small and the letdown was like a fire hose in her mouth so I would have her nurse until the letdown and then have her latch after the pressure was released a bit.

Thanks for the advice - I let her know about this tactic and she'll try it next time. But from what she's observed, her flow is just slow in general.

Addendum: to add flames to the fire, she asked one of her friends if she needed regular formula (since we can't give him the dairy-based stuff) and her friend was like "Oh, no thanks. I don't need it - my supply is pretty good" - couldn't she have just said a simple "No thanks" without explaining why? Arg.... do people just not get it or something?

Aww...  That friend probably just felt like she had to give a reason for refusing free formula, not realizing it would be a punch to your wife's gut.  Unless that friend is a known jerkface, in which case, jerkface comment.

If you think the guilt will really burden her, try the lactation consultant before throwing in the towel.  A friend of mine really wanted to breastfeed but couldn't, and I think knowing she had given it every effort took away a lot of the guilt that she couldn't breastfeed as she'd planned and wanted.

jeromedawg

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Re: Babies... some people make it sound so easy
« Reply #194 on: November 12, 2015, 11:42:48 PM »
Jplee - if she expresses first or pumps a bit until the letdown, then latches him on, then that might work. Prime the pump so to speak, so he gets the letdown right off the bat.
  I actually used to do that for the opposite reason, my daughter was small and the letdown was like a fire hose in her mouth so I would have her nurse until the letdown and then have her latch after the pressure was released a bit.

Thanks for the advice - I let her know about this tactic and she'll try it next time. But from what she's observed, her flow is just slow in general.

Addendum: to add flames to the fire, she asked one of her friends if she needed regular formula (since we can't give him the dairy-based stuff) and her friend was like "Oh, no thanks. I don't need it - my supply is pretty good" - couldn't she have just said a simple "No thanks" without explaining why? Arg.... do people just not get it or something?

Aww...  That friend probably just felt like she had to give a reason for refusing free formula, not realizing it would be a punch to your wife's gut.  Unless that friend is a known jerkface, in which case, jerkface comment.

If you think the guilt will really burden her, try the lactation consultant before throwing in the towel.  A friend of mine really wanted to breastfeed but couldn't, and I think knowing she had given it every effort took away a lot of the guilt that she couldn't breastfeed as she'd planned and wanted.

Thanks, yea she probably didn't intend anything by it.

My wife has consulted with a few different LCs and they've all said the latch is fine and it seems like he's feeding fine too. We think the LO is just putting on a show for them, that little.... Haha

Anyway, she's pretty close to giving up. Especially at the thought of reclaiming dairy, soy and wheat :)

Freckles

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Re: Babies... some people make it sound so easy
« Reply #195 on: November 13, 2015, 04:01:28 AM »
It seems to me that, and there is no judgment in this statement, that all the worry and concern and just being new at it all are making everything worse and harder.  I really feel for your wife; she's so obviously trying her damn best to do everything right and figure it all out and fix it.  But, here's what I'm seeing after reading the whole thread so far:

Expectations are way off-  You mention she only gets a few ounces at pumping sessions.  That's completely normal!  That is not a failure!  It's OK!  Also, I'm not sure why she's been pumping all this time anyway, when she wasn't at work.  Really, if she was set on breastfeeding, the best thing to do is just nurse, nurse, nurse.  If the lactation consultant said baby's latch is fine, then, just nurse.  Yes baby will fall asleep.  When they are tiny, you wake 'em up and let them nurse more.  They get better at not falling asleep instantly, but they still fall asleep when nursing for a good, long time.  Yes, that means she spends most of her time just nursing.  It's OK, it's how it is in the beginning.  That's how they get good at it, it's how they grow, it actually sets you up for easier times in the long run.  Yes it sucks,  Yes sometimes it would be easier to just give a bottle of formula, but that really just interferes with nursing, with milk supply, with hunger vs. milk output, nipple preference for baby, amount of food vs. the amount of work it takes to get it expectations on baby's end.  Supplementing (if it's not medically necessary)  actually makes so much more work in the long run.  It starts a whole cycle of "not being good at nursing."  It's hard to get the nursing just right, but it's not forever.

-Lots of babies are fussy. It doesn't necessarily mean anything terrible, a problem that needs to be fixed.  They get better.  Just nurse them and try a million different ways to soothe them until you find one that works.  I can't even tell you all the crazy things we did.  We had to run the vacuum, when no vacuum available, run water.  We had to wear her and march around.  We had to hold her in certain positions and swing her just so.  We sang, we bounced, we patted, we swayed.  Sometimes she just cried anyway.  I say she because this was my daughter.  My son was easy and never fussed.  Who knows why?  They all come with their own stuff.

I really think if your wife could fix the breastfeeding relationship by dedicating herself to nursing and leaving the formula alone that would solve most of your problems.  I'm sure she's worried about having enough for when she goes back to work, but it really will be easier if you can get the breastfeeding solid before she goes.  I think you guys are making it harder with the supplementing and the dietary restrictions.  Stop the formula, stop the pumping, stop any bottles.  Sit on the couch and nurse all friggen' day, and eat and drink, and nurse some more.  Not fun, but it works.  And the long-term payoff is worth it.

I recommend The Happiest Baby on the Block (DVD is better than reading the book, IMO) for soothing strategies, and also, like your annoying brother-in-law, to chill out.  ;)  But mostly, to nurse and nurse only.
« Last Edit: November 13, 2015, 04:04:50 AM by Freckles »

jeromedawg

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Re: Babies... some people make it sound so easy
« Reply #196 on: November 13, 2015, 11:01:32 AM »
It seems to me that, and there is no judgment in this statement, that all the worry and concern and just being new at it all are making everything worse and harder.  I really feel for your wife; she's so obviously trying her damn best to do everything right and figure it all out and fix it.  But, here's what I'm seeing after reading the whole thread so far:

Expectations are way off-  You mention she only gets a few ounces at pumping sessions.  That's completely normal!  That is not a failure!  It's OK!  Also, I'm not sure why she's been pumping all this time anyway, when she wasn't at work.  Really, if she was set on breastfeeding, the best thing to do is just nurse, nurse, nurse.  If the lactation consultant said baby's latch is fine, then, just nurse.  Yes baby will fall asleep.  When they are tiny, you wake 'em up and let them nurse more.  They get better at not falling asleep instantly, but they still fall asleep when nursing for a good, long time.  Yes, that means she spends most of her time just nursing.  It's OK, it's how it is in the beginning.  That's how they get good at it, it's how they grow, it actually sets you up for easier times in the long run.  Yes it sucks,  Yes sometimes it would be easier to just give a bottle of formula, but that really just interferes with nursing, with milk supply, with hunger vs. milk output, nipple preference for baby, amount of food vs. the amount of work it takes to get it expectations on baby's end.  Supplementing (if it's not medically necessary)  actually makes so much more work in the long run.  It starts a whole cycle of "not being good at nursing."  It's hard to get the nursing just right, but it's not forever.

-Lots of babies are fussy. It doesn't necessarily mean anything terrible, a problem that needs to be fixed.  They get better.  Just nurse them and try a million different ways to soothe them until you find one that works.  I can't even tell you all the crazy things we did.  We had to run the vacuum, when no vacuum available, run water.  We had to wear her and march around.  We had to hold her in certain positions and swing her just so.  We sang, we bounced, we patted, we swayed.  Sometimes she just cried anyway.  I say she because this was my daughter.  My son was easy and never fussed.  Who knows why?  They all come with their own stuff.

I really think if your wife could fix the breastfeeding relationship by dedicating herself to nursing and leaving the formula alone that would solve most of your problems.  I'm sure she's worried about having enough for when she goes back to work, but it really will be easier if you can get the breastfeeding solid before she goes.  I think you guys are making it harder with the supplementing and the dietary restrictions.  Stop the formula, stop the pumping, stop any bottles.  Sit on the couch and nurse all friggen' day, and eat and drink, and nurse some more.  Not fun, but it works.  And the long-term payoff is worth it.

I recommend The Happiest Baby on the Block (DVD is better than reading the book, IMO) for soothing strategies, and also, like your annoying brother-in-law, to chill out.  ;)  But mostly, to nurse and nurse only.

Yea, maybe my wife 'tricked' herself into thinking she isn't making enough. Thing is, the kid won't go down without 4-5oz+ of milk OR formula at this point in time. Not sure if that's a result of supplementing where they're hungrier OR if it's just him being hungrier than what a baby 'normally' would eat. Either way it's frustrating that he is impatient with the latch and still ends up being hungry *after* my wife feeds... and most of the time, she lets him fall asleep (which probably also isn't good). But I think for her it's life-sucking that at that point she's zoned out of it and wants him off. She's been physically and emotionally exhausted from all of this. At this point, I'm not sure that telling her to "push forward, suck it up and go 100% breastfeeding" would be the best thing to do with her going back to work in a week. I think she may break down and have a panic-attack if I were to do that. I think we might be too late in the game to even try with going back to exclusive BFing... unless she just quits her job flat out. 

charis

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Re: Babies... some people make it sound so easy
« Reply #197 on: November 13, 2015, 11:28:38 AM »
It sounds like you guys need to do yourselves a huge favor and embrace your decision to stop (not pushing either method - I'm a veteran nurser who had to use formula with my first).  Stock up on some formula and a bottle of wine, put the baby to bed and enjoy an adults' only dinner!

elaine amj

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Re: Babies... some people make it sound so easy
« Reply #198 on: November 13, 2015, 01:06:50 PM »
It seems to me that, and there is no judgment in this statement, that all the worry and concern and just being new at it all are making everything worse and harder.  I really feel for your wife; she's so obviously trying her damn best to do everything right and figure it all out and fix it.  But, here's what I'm seeing after reading the whole thread so far:

Expectations are way off-  You mention she only gets a few ounces at pumping sessions.  That's completely normal!  That is not a failure!  It's OK!  Also, I'm not sure why she's been pumping all this time anyway, when she wasn't at work.  Really, if she was set on breastfeeding, the best thing to do is just nurse, nurse, nurse.  If the lactation consultant said baby's latch is fine, then, just nurse.  Yes baby will fall asleep.  When they are tiny, you wake 'em up and let them nurse more.  They get better at not falling asleep instantly, but they still fall asleep when nursing for a good, long time.  Yes, that means she spends most of her time just nursing.  It's OK, it's how it is in the beginning.  That's how they get good at it, it's how they grow, it actually sets you up for easier times in the long run.  Yes it sucks,  Yes sometimes it would be easier to just give a bottle of formula, but that really just interferes with nursing, with milk supply, with hunger vs. milk output, nipple preference for baby, amount of food vs. the amount of work it takes to get it expectations on baby's end.  Supplementing (if it's not medically necessary)  actually makes so much more work in the long run.  It starts a whole cycle of "not being good at nursing."  It's hard to get the nursing just right, but it's not forever.

-Lots of babies are fussy. It doesn't necessarily mean anything terrible, a problem that needs to be fixed.  They get better.  Just nurse them and try a million different ways to soothe them until you find one that works.  I can't even tell you all the crazy things we did.  We had to run the vacuum, when no vacuum available, run water.  We had to wear her and march around.  We had to hold her in certain positions and swing her just so.  We sang, we bounced, we patted, we swayed.  Sometimes she just cried anyway.  I say she because this was my daughter.  My son was easy and never fussed.  Who knows why?  They all come with their own stuff.

I really think if your wife could fix the breastfeeding relationship by dedicating herself to nursing and leaving the formula alone that would solve most of your problems.  I'm sure she's worried about having enough for when she goes back to work, but it really will be easier if you can get the breastfeeding solid before she goes.  I think you guys are making it harder with the supplementing and the dietary restrictions.  Stop the formula, stop the pumping, stop any bottles.  Sit on the couch and nurse all friggen' day, and eat and drink, and nurse some more.  Not fun, but it works.  And the long-term payoff is worth it.

I recommend The Happiest Baby on the Block (DVD is better than reading the book, IMO) for soothing strategies, and also, like your annoying brother-in-law, to chill out.  ;)  But mostly, to nurse and nurse only.

Yea, maybe my wife 'tricked' herself into thinking she isn't making enough. Thing is, the kid won't go down without 4-5oz+ of milk OR formula at this point in time. Not sure if that's a result of supplementing where they're hungrier OR if it's just him being hungrier than what a baby 'normally' would eat. Either way it's frustrating that he is impatient with the latch and still ends up being hungry *after* my wife feeds... and most of the time, she lets him fall asleep (which probably also isn't good). But I think for her it's life-sucking that at that point she's zoned out of it and wants him off. She's been physically and emotionally exhausted from all of this. At this point, I'm not sure that telling her to "push forward, suck it up and go 100% breastfeeding" would be the best thing to do with her going back to work in a week. I think she may break down and have a panic-attack if I were to do that. I think we might be too late in the game to even try with going back to exclusive BFing... unless she just quits her job flat out.

Based on everything you are saying, I seriously suggest you find what works for YOU and your baby. It's completely normal as new parents to stress about whether you are doing things the "correct" way. There really isn't one correct way. And honestly, if there's something I've learned - it's that it usually isn't worth it if it gets you so completely stressed. What your baby needs more than breastmilk, more than a proper number of hours of sleep, more than sleeping in the "correct bed" and more than all those things you are getting stressed out about - are parents who love him and are able to enjoy him. He picks up on all your stress and that stresses him out.

I am a pro-breastfeeder - but I regret "torturing" my son for his first two months when I pushed so hard with breastfeeding when it was not working. I was miserable, and so was he. Looking back, I still wonder if that caused long-term effects. He was not a happy baby and rarely smiled and laughed. Once he got past 3/4yrs, he turned into a happy, cheerful kid and is now a fabulous 13 yr old (amazingly, not an ounce of tween/teen sass and rebellion yet!). Thankfully I didn't ruin him (like I said, kids are amazingly resilient) - but it's sad to wonder if my absolute fanatical insistence on nursing contributed to an unhappy babyhood. 

inertia

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Re: Babies... some people make it sound so easy
« Reply #199 on: November 13, 2015, 01:39:01 PM »
I recommend The Happiest Baby on the Block (DVD is better than reading the book, IMO) for soothing strategies, and also, like your annoying brother-in-law, to chill out.  ;) 

Seconded!  I meant to mention HBB before.  Someone gave us the DVD as a shower gift and it was so helpful with our first, who was a fussy baby at times and a horrible sleeper.

I'm not one to recommend a bunch of baby products, but as far as sleeping we had great luck with a combination of swaddling and using the Rock 'n Play sleeper with our second.  I really wish the RNP had existed when my first was an infant.  When the baby moves, it causes the sleeper to rock, which settles the baby, and the back is also at an incline, which helps with reflux.  Everyone who has tried it based on my recommendation has found it to be magical.  LOL