On schedules…

When I say that Bean isn’t on a perfect schedule and that schedules don’t work for us, I’m partially lying.

She is on a very loose schedule.

First of all, she doesn’t always wake up at the same time each day. When she wakes up she’s usually doing the I’m-starving-feed-me-now scream. If that happens at 6:30 our day is on even numbers. If that happens at 7:30 our day is on odd.

And maybe the experts would tell me that we should be consistent and I should be waking her up at 6:30 on the days she wants to sleep in. Well, skip you experts. If she sleeps in until 7:30 I am too and I am going to enjoy every single minute of it.

And just because I’m not on a “schedule” doesn’t mean I’m totally on-demand about feeding either. It’s not like I put her on the boob every 15 minutes.

I would die.

If it hasn’t been at least 2 hours since her last meal I try other things… distraction, changing the diaper, moving to a different room, introducing a new toy, cuddling, etc. I know this is more frequent than some people would feel comfortable with, but I also know it is less frequent than others do. I’ve tried stretching out the feedings (I know most people do four hours at this point) and it just a cryfest that I do not have the temperment for.

This is how our days usually look (for an odd numbered day just shift everything forward one hour)…

6:30am – up for the day and wanting to be fed. I feed her and then change her diaper.
8:30am – Feeding #2
10:30am – We nap for two hours
12:30pm – Lunch (Feeding #3). Bean gets some solids if I’m feeling up to dealing with it, otherwise I just nurse her.
2:30pm – Feeding #4 and nap #2. This one is usually short, but every now and then she surprises me and it is another two hours.
4:30pm – Feeding #5. If she took a short or no nap at 2:30pm she will usually go down for another nap at this point.
6:30pm – Dinner (Feeding #6). If I am not feeling well or feeling rushed with dinner I don’t bother with solids, but she almost always gets them at least at dinner time.
8:30pm – Feeding #7 and bedtime for Bean.

And with the exception of one crazy night in San Diego this weekend she’s been back to only waking 1 or 2 times at night. Usually with at least 4 hour stretches in between. I can live with that.

Oh and on an unrelated note, I miraculously started feeling a little better after our nap today which is glorious. Since then I’ve folded three loads of laundry and washed the guest room linens. But I am starting to feel a little yucky again right now so I’m going to try and have a snack to cut it off early.

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7 Comments

Filed under Family, Parenting

7 responses to “On schedules…

  1. Just curious – have you talked to your pediatrician about her “schedule”, sleeping and eating habits. I’m not one to bow down to drs exclusively but they might be able to give you some insight?
    In my humble lil opinion it seems to me like she might not be getting enough to eat? Real food I mean. It’s been so long since my kids were this young but when I did daycare it seemed that the babes were having less bottles and more solid foods at this age.

  2. lwuertz

    Solid foods actually have lower caloric and nutrional value than breastmilk. Until they hit a year solids are more about the social exercise of eating than actually using them for nutritional value.

  3. I was just thinking that food might keep her full/content longer than breastmilk? I understand the nutritional value of breastmilk trumps ‘real’ food. Plus sitting in her high chair would be another way of distracting? Even if she wasn’t really eating much.

  4. Ruth

    Looks suspiciously like a schedule to me. πŸ™‚

    I think once you start giving her solids more consistently, she will probably drop a couple of her feedings. Eating from a spoon, feeding herself, etc. will give her lots of oral input and she will probably require less of *you* for that input.

    Your schedule looks a lot like mine did with “Lizzie” before she started eating a lot of solids. By nine months, she was eating three solid meals a day, 4-8 oz of pureed food at each meal plus finger foods that she would feed to herself. Once she got to this point, I was only nursing her four times a day – in the AM, before her two naps, and before bed. I really do think it makes a difference, not because they are getting better nutrition from the table food vs. breastmilk, but because it is giving them a lot of oral stimulation: different textures, sensations, use of their teeth/gums, swallowing different consistencies, etc. In that way, developmentally, I think it is more satisfying than just a drink, if that make sense. But, I’m obviously no expert either. πŸ˜‰

  5. Liz

    This is just my opinion, but hey I have two little boys so maybe it is worth something. πŸ™‚

    With my older son (now 2 1/2) we let him set the schedule. He nursed on demand, slept to his schedule, etc. We loved it, although it was a bit exhausting considering he was still getting up 4-5 times a night to nurse when he was 18 months. I know that isn’t a popular thing, but I don’t care, nursing on demand was important to me. It all worked out, though. He eats beautifully, and goes to bed at 8! That was his own scheduling again. Awesomeness. πŸ™‚ We have lots of routines that help him get ready for bed and stuff, but WE don’t schedule him.

    Fast forward to my second (who is a week younger than Jillian). We swore that things would be different with him. Ha! We are totally doing things the same way because that’s what works for our family. He eats on demand, sets his own sleep schedule, etc. The best part is that he follows his big brother’s lead and they nap at the same time and go to bed at the same time. (He does take a short morning and late afternoon nap that my older one doesn’t take.) My little guy only gets up 1-2 times a night to nurse, so he’s already doing better than the older one (who doesn’t wake up at night anymore, by the way.)

    We follow their lead, and that’s what works for our family. We like routines, but are not set to schedules. We like flexibility.

    Anyway, that’s just my thoughts on schedules or lack thereof.

  6. lwuertz

    Yeah, I know this looks a lot like a schedule… but this is sort of what she has put herself into. I didn’t make the schedule.

    And some days it doesn’t go anything like this.

    Like today… she woke up at 7:30, but by 9am it was clear that she was ready for a nap (fussy, clumbsy, rubbing her eyes). I tried nursing her, but she wasn’t into it. So I just curled up on the couch with her. After about 15 minutes of fighting it she drifted off and we slept till 11.

    I am starting to get a little more serious about the solid foods, and so is she, but up until now she just wasn’t into it. I didn’t want to fight or force her into eating. Now she’ll eat about 2 ice cubes worth of pureed food and 2 tbsp of rice cereal at a meal. And she actually wants to eat it, not just spit it back out and make a mess.

    Plus, once she hits 9mo she can start having some meat. So next month should be more interesting in the food department.

    And I’m still trying to figure out where to stick that third solids meal in there since her first feeding of the day usually happens when I’m half awake and still in bed and the next one is usually for naptime.

  7. Kendra

    I think it sounds like she’s getting plenty of solids. I made Gracie’s baby food like you’re doing and for her it was 2 cubes and some rice or mixed grain cereal. She did fine like that at one to two solid meals a day (again, just like you’re doing), and the rest were bottles. I started her on turkey puree between 8-9 months and I would just add 1/4 cube of it to the other two. At 12 months her ped gave her the all clear to eat meals just like us and now she’s getting 3 meals a day, plus a snack with water/juice for extra fluids, and no more formula, just whole milk. She eats like a champ – I can put anything in front of her and she’ll eat it up.

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