Some moms may think that they can’t create a schedule and routine when breastfeeding. They may also think that they can’t do any kind of sleep training or sleep conditioning. This is absolutely not true. Here at Arizona Baby Services, we teach that baby can be sleeping well and be sleeping for a 12 hour stretch at night by the time they are 12 weeks of age. Breastfeeding and sleep training really can go together. You don’t have to be a zombie during the day and be completely sleep deprived because you are breastfeeding. A schedule can help to give your day some structure and predictability. Here are some tips on how you can create a breastfeeding schedule and make sure your baby is getting enough to eat!
Use A Cycle
One of the easiest schedules to keep is an eat, awake, sleep cycle. In a typical schedule, you can expect to feed your baby about six times during the day, depending on their age and then however many times they need to feed at night. This depends on their weight and age.
Watch Your Supply
When following a schedule, you may notice that your milk starts to get low. Depending on your goals, as far as how long you are wanting to give your baby breastmilk, you will most likely need to pump at night, if your baby is sleeping longer stretches at night. Pumping after nursing is another option to help stimulate supply. It all depends on the ” milk storage capacity” of each of your breasts. Some breasts may be big on the outside but have a small milk storage capacity. Some breasts may be small on the outside and have large milk storage capacities. Many women will find that each breast will produce a different amount if they were to pump when they are full. This is completely normal. * PLEASE NOTE: If you want to pump in order to get an idea of approximately how much milk your breasts are producing, be sure and use a good hospital- grade pump. Many local hospitals rent them monthly. Also, please note that no pump is going to be as efficient as your own baby, so best to leave some ” margin for error.” If you really start to worry about your supply, it’s best to speak to your doctor, lactation consultant or other trusted professional.
Don’t Get Obsessed
A final note here is too not get obsessed with the clock and your schedule. It’s a good idea to be flexible, and respond to what your baby needs, even if it doesn’t line up with your set schedule. A structure is great for keeping track of how often baby is eating and can help to give you some sanity, but don’t worry if the wheels occasionally fall off the wagon. It happens to us all.
It’s all about following your own intuition. Sometimes everyone can use a helping hand. Contact us today to learn about our services and how we can help you with your little. Each family will get a personalized sleep plan depending on goals of the family, goals on protecting your milk supply and commitment to continue breastfeeding if that’s what your wish is and your plans on returning to work.