Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Brinley Summary: Week 20

Brinley with Santa
This is a summary for Brinley's 20th week. She was 19 weeks old.

NURSING
Typically, nothing exciting really changes with nursing at this age or older really until you wean. But something did change this week. I decided to start taking Fenugreek. I tried it when nursing McKenna, but I never noticed a change so I didn't stick with it because Fenugreek can give you the runs and it is not worth it if you see no difference. 

Despite the fact that I haven't ever had supply issues, it is a concern I have always had. I don't want to lose my supply. I decided to try Fenugreek to see if it made any difference in my supply.

Oh yes it did! I took it one nigh before bed, and the next morning I felt twice as full as I had been previous mornings. I just have a lot of extra milk now. But something else interesting happened. With the larger quantity of milk, Brinley went back to taking longer to eat. She has moved back up to usually 10 minutes per side instead of 10 minutes total and sometimes even spends 20-30 minutes on one side alone. Then it just perpetuates the cycle of more milk--she eats longer, which brings in more milk, which continues her eating longer. Needless to say, I am a Fenugreek believer. I don't notice a drop when I don't take it--in fact, often when I skip some I actually have more milk after that (could be coincidence), but I think it definitely has increased supply overall. 

Why did I try it? I was talking to a friend at my church Christmas party who is expecting her fourth and was telling me about her nursing experiences and how she has a hard time keeping supply up. She told me how much Fenugreek helped her supply. Since I live in concern over it, I thought I would try Fenugreek out again. I have a new factor in my nursing life I never had with other kids, and that is PCOS. PCOS can reportedly hurt milk supply (though I have also read it can help...so you never know). 

SOLIDS
This week, we added oatmeal to Brinley's menu. She doesn't love oatmeal alone, but she will eat it mixed with bananas or pears. She really likes the combo of pears and oatmeal.

4th NAP
One night this week, as I mentioned, we were at a Christmas party at our church. While we were there, Brinley just skipped her fourth nap. By the end, she was obviously quite tired, but she made it a very long time happily awake. Most babies will drop that fourth nap around 4 months old. This happens either by skipping the nap and doing feed, play, feed or by moving to a four hour schedule.

I decided to give the skipping of the nap a try. I figured she wouldn't be able to skip every night because my other babies would skip some nights and not others, but she just skipped it and never looked back .So she is now up for a longer stretch and it is a lot of fun to have her around more, especially at that time of day because it is when the whole family is home and together.

NAP CUES
Speaking of naps, Brinley seems to have nap cues. I haven't really ever searched for them because my other kids did not keep nap cues long. But she starts to get a bit jabbery--jabbery in a frustrated or discontented sort of way. It is so great because rather than watching the clock, I just pay attention to her. 

SWADDLING
I had been keeping one arm out for Brinley's fourth nap since it was just an hour long anyway. She initially took a while to fall asleep--18-20 minutes instead of about 5-10. Then one night this week, before the dropping of the nap, she started taking only 5 minutes to fall asleep with one arm out. Success! It is exciting to move forward on the road toward no swaddle.

SCHEDULE
Our schedule typically looks like this:

7:30--feed
8:35--nap
11:30--feed
12:45--nap
3:00--feed
4:15--nap 
5:00 or 5:30--feed
6:30--nap (80 minutes after waking) until it was dropped
7:30--feed, then bedtime

22 comments:

A said...

Hi there, my daughter Cayla is about the same age as Brinley (5 months and 2 weeks). Is Brinley napping straight through from her naptime until the next feed? Cayla rarely does this, but is content to be very close to a 4 hour feeding schedule. I waver between thinking I should follow a routine of eat, play sleep, eat etc. But then that gives every day a different rhythm. So should I just pay attention to her feed times and let her nap when needed instead? It's a funny phase we're in. Depending on the rhythm of the day we can either be at 5 or 6 feeds (including the dreamfeed - we haven't dropped it yet). Feeling a little lost right now.

Christina Dittrich said...

I wish I would have started reading your blog when my 13 month old was younger! However, this will be helpful for the next child! Thanks for sharing :)

Jessie said...

I will be curious to see what Valerie says, but with my daughter, we simply played for a bit after her nap if she was happy before eating when we started going to more of a four hour routine. In retrospect, I'm glad we did this because then, when she wanted to, she could take a longer nap and not wake because of hunger, and also, now that she's older(14mo) she will get up from a nap and be content to eat lunch 30-45 min later. Your routine will always continue to change!

darylee83 said...

I have the same exact question as A.

Chris & Jen Hulme said...

Hi Val! What brand and kind of Fenugreek did you use? I'm nursing 8 mo old twins and feeling like my milk is decreasing...I haven't been able to get a good recommendation for Fenugreek from any moms I know, so I'd really appreciate a recommendation. Thank you!
Jen Hulme
jenhulme@gmail.com

Elizabeth said...

IF you over-produce and have to freeze your milk and don't end up needing it, please consider donating it to someone who is unable to nurse their baby. Our son is adopted, and he has been fed donated breastmilk from birth due to donations of generous mommas who over produce! :-) Just a suggestion from a grateful mom. :-)

Jen said...

Just wanted to share that I used fenugreek with my first and it allowed me to bf for 13 months! It's amazing stuff! It made me have the faint smell of maple syrup all the time, which is a strange side affect, but I guess it could be worse :) Glad it's working for you too!!

I am at a loss about my 6 month old. He has yet to sttn, but he went from waking up once at night to eat, to now waking every 2-3 hours. LOTS of things have changed since he started waking more often. He has 2 new teeth, started on solids, the holidays and traveling, and I started slowly moving him from a 3 hour routine to a 4 hour. Our feedings (exclusively bf) are now at 7:30,11,2:30/3,6:30,7:45. Since I have been slowly moving him towards a 4 hour routine and dropping the 5th nap, his nights have gotten even worse.

I know I have read somewhere in your blog to not drop naps until baby is sttn, but he had outgrown the 3 hour schedule and I know he is getting plenty of calories...especially now he is eating solids. So, my question is do I follow my gut and continue to move him to a 4 hour schedule OR is he waking more frequently at night because he isn't to adjust OR is the night waking from something else?

Thank you!

Garrett and Denise Stone said...

Hello.. My baby is 18 weeks almost 4months.. We've never had great napping, always kinda of inconsistent. Worked awhile on wake time and always assumed it was the problem but not sure it really is/was. We've been doing CIO since Saturday for day sleep as her nights are great she sleeps from 730-545/6 and goes back asleep till wake time at 8am.. I haven't seen much progress with our CIO for day. She goes down no problem or crying at about 1hr 20min wake time. I've been letting her cry when she wakes after 45min-1 to the next feeding time.. Usually about an hour, she'll cry on and off.. Wondering how long CIO takes when doing it mid nap? Feeling very discouraged and wonder if I need to adjust

Valerie Plowman said...

A, I would probably do a 3 hour schedule unless she just wouldn't eat at three hours. It really just depends on your personality and what you prefer.

Valerie Plowman said...

A--Jessie has a good idea--and I have a post with more on that called:

Eat, Wake, Sleep Cycle

Valerie Plowman said...

Jen right now I am just using the Spring Valley brand you can get at Walmart. I wanted it ASAP and walmart had it close. We have an herb shop that sells other brands, and that is the brand I used with McKenna. I honestly did no research--I just grabbed what was available to me.

Valerie Plowman said...

Elizabeth that is a great suggestion!

Valerie Plowman said...

Jen there are so many possibilities! I hate it when there are so many factors to work out. What I would do is try to get the factors gone.

I think I would go to a three hour schedule and see if that fixes the night. It is a simple thing to do and it will give you your answer right away. I think in most cases, a baby that age wouldn't need a three hour schedule, but some do. Then you will know if that is the reason for the night waking or not and can go from there.

Valerie Plowman said...

Denise, I haven't ever done CIO mid-nap, so I am not sure how long it would take. Now, if Brinley wakes early I will usually give her 10-15 minutes to see if she is going to go back to sleep, and often she does. But if not by that point, then I will either get her up and feed her or move her to the swing. At that age, I actually would move your baby to the swing or rock back to sleep (so long as you know she isn't hungry). She is probably waking because of wonder week stuff.

Garrett and Denise Stone said...

Thank you! Feel I might be at end of wonder week madness! How long do I do that for? I don't want the rocking Back to sleep to be a sleep prop. She goes down so easy, maybe trying 1.30 wake time also?

Every Moment Counts said...

After putting your baby down at 7:30 do you feed her at all during the night? How many hours can breastfed babies go without eating at 5 months? Thanks for a great blog.

Chelseaann Green said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I am having the HARDEST time with my baby sttn. He is 20 weeks old and wakes up 2-5 times per night. Lately it has been every hour and a half. I follow babywise and do a 3 hour schedule. He is a VERY content baby, but sleeps horribly at night. He used to sleep from 11pm to 6 am. Now I put him down to bed at 8 pm. He wakes up at 9 and then at 10. I dream feed him at 11 ( I have found that he sleeps the longest at this time). He wake up at 2 and then 4 and then 6 (sometimes more in between). I need help, please.

Cambria Stockman said...

PLEASE HELP! I started taking fenugreek right when we came home from the hospital with our son.. 3 capsules a day, 3 times a day. This was before my milk even came in. So I have been taking it since then and he is now 3 weeks old. I only started taking it because I wanted to produce extra milk to create a stock pile in the freezer, which was a big mistake because now I don't want to take it anymore and am worried that my body thinks it needs it in order to produce milk. I haven't been pumping the last few days because my baby has been in a growth spurt and has been drinking it all! He went from 7lbs 3oz to 9lbs 4oz at his 3 week checkup yesterday. Am I giving him too much milk? Should I back it down and pump at each feeding to let my body know there is still a demand? Or will my body adjust ad still give my baby enough milk if I back it down and eventually stop taking it? Thank you in advance for any answers. I don;t want a stock pile any more, I just want to feed my baby from my breasts.

Valerie Plowman said...

I answered this where you asked it on the spring break post so see that for the answer :)

Every Moment Counts said...

Hello,

Thanks for the blog! Just wondering about going 12 hours without breastfeeding. I thought I had read not go to over 10? What are your thoughts on this?

Valerie Plowman said...

I have heard some moms can't go more than 10 hours without breastfeeding without compromising supply. If you are that way but you baby is a 12 hour sleeper, you can pump just before you go to bed.

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