Sucking is a primal need. Babies need to suck. And guess what -- you have the equipment. If you want to try a pacifier for those times that maybe you get a little sore or you need to go pee or something, there's nothing wrong with it. Just realize in these very early weeks, any sucking is helping to build and establish your milk supply.
Back to my advice -- if he is sleeping and it's been 4 hours, let him sleep. He'll wake up and eat again soon. Cover the clock. Does it really matter what time it is? Eat when you are hungry too. You need 500 more calories a day then before to make milk so have that extra sandwich and snack! Go to the library and get a few good books, and a boppy pillow. If you get things arranged right, you can read a book when he is nursing for those 40 minutes. Maybe you will get like me and not want him to wake up so you can keep reading. Your husband can wait on you.
"Honey, he's sleeping on the boob, I can't get up. Can you get me another cookie, honey? And maybe could you do another basket of laundry? I hate to wake him"
**wink** Ah, think of the relaxation! If you want to hold him, hold him! Believe me he won't want to sit still on you for very much longer. If you want a break, give him to your husband or your mom or the neighbor. Or put him in his bassinet for a little bit if that is what you want to do. If you sleep better with him in bed, do it. Don't listen to unsolicited advice, and don't heed any advice that goes against your instinct. You will never say, "Oh I wish I didn't follow my heart", "I wish I didn't hold him," or "I wish I did more laundry."
Take him outside everyday, either holding him, or in a carrier/sling/baby carrier/frontpack/stroller -- however you both are happiest, and get some fresh air and sunshine. It will do great things for your mood and it will help him adjust to night and day.
The time of my nursing relationship with my son is quickly coming to an end. He doesn't want to nurse in the daytime anymore unless he gets hurt and even then rarely. He still nurses at night a bit and I know that will be going away soon as well. I am not weaning him; I am letting him wean himself.
My son was one of those every 45-minute-nursers in the early days, and the best thing I ever did was throw away the advice books.
My husband said, "We are stressing over nothing -- what do they do in India? They have no clocks, they don't write every poop he makes on a piece of paper. Just let him be. Let him eat when he is hungry and sleep when he is tired and he will figure out what to do. There are a billion people in the world. If it was so hard mankind would never have made it".
That was probably the most stunning revelation my husband has ever made. My son has never had a bottle, a pacifier or formula. I never let him cry it out. He has slept with me in some way from the beginning (currently he is in his room on the floor on a mattress and comes to my bed at 2-3 a.m.). I have never stressed over things like sleep and schedules and all the nonsense my friends and neighbors are obsessed with.
We live in the present. I enjoy every minute of him, and motherhood has been wonderful thus far. We sleep when tired. We eat when hungry. We go out when we feel like it. I took it further to find confidence and joy in my body -- to trust that God and Mother Nature have created my body solely to create, birth and feed/sustain/nurture my child. My son is smart, healthy and strong, and he grew from one cell in my body and then was fed nothing but my milk for 6 months. He grew and thrived and look he's almost two! I am very sensitive lately that my baby is now on the threshold of little boy ness. Can you tell?
Anyway, I never thought my son would make it an hour without nursing. Now when daddy is home, he pushes me to the door and gives me my keys, saying "Bye mommy. Go?" and sends me off with a kiss.
Every cell in your body knows what it needs to do to sustain your baby. You just need to find yourself and learn to trust yourself. Trust yourself, follow your heart, and find peace. Nursing is the most precious gift you can give your baby.
Zombiemommy is the mom of a two-year-old son and has another baby on the way. Before being a mom, she was an ICU/trauma nurse.
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