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- By: Claire McCarthy, MD,
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I’ve had 3 children, breast fed all, all 3 shared our room for several months each and I have some thoughts to add.
My first born slept through the night for the first 3 wks, 8 hours min. He slept in a bassinet and when he made movements or tiny noises – did not get him up – checked on him, but he was sleeping. We learned that babies make noises but don’t wake up until they wake up – don’t help them. When he grew too large, he kept waking himself up, that’s when he went to his own room, in crib. Wether nursing or bottle feeding, wait for the baby to wake, espec in the middle of the night – do not train them to sleep erratically. Only when they were going through growth spurts did any of them eat every 2 hours, other than that, it was at least 4. Learned, each will be different, work with it as much as possible. They get accustomed to life rhythms very quickly without needing a rigid schedule. Get a good book on nursing, even if you don’t, learn the physiology of how a baby eats. My third nursed right away, but of course, I had no milk yet. So, alone, in my room at the hosp, I gave her formula from the kit they always provided me. She took an ounce and went right to sleep. Then proceeded to nurse regularly after that. Also, let nursing babies nurse til they’re done (within reason), you’re body will produce to fill the demand. When you have too much, express/pump it, date the bag and freeze it and you’ll have in an emergency. No nipple confusion…a hungry baby will eat. Question, observe and learn. Most nurse for the same length of time, are pleasant, alert and will sleep for a good block of time. If they don’t nurse for more than 5 mins, have a trained professional check if child is tongue tied…yes, it’s a real thing, ask me how I know.
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