I'm 20 weeks with my second now-due in June. With DD (my first) I nursed on demand- and actually still do. We tried to use a paci in the car because she HATED the car and would scream, scream, scream any time we were in it for more than a few minutes (which unfortunately, was often). It took her a long time to take it (like we offered it for about a month before she actually started using it), and then when she did, she only ended up using it for about 2-3 mos. After that she completely rejected it again- and she pretty much would never accept it when what she REALLY wanted was to nurse. She mostly would only take it in the car.
I am lucky enough (well, I think) to be a SAHM- so I have always been able to nurse on demand. I don't own a pump (I bought one when DD was born just in case, never opened it, and returned it), and have never used one. When DD was small I used to try to hand express now and then- especially when I was feeling quite full, and I'd get like 2oz at a time. I ended up with about 20oz in the freezer that never got used AT ALL (we moved continents, and so it eventually got tossed). DD never had a bottle in her life.
As you can imagine though- this also means that I have never been away from DD for more than say 6 hours in her life. And even that didn't happen until she was over 1 year old. Now, the truth is, I never WANTED to be away from her for longer. It was honestly over the summer when she was about 15 mos old that for the first time I said something like, "Gee, it'd be nice if I could leave her with a sitter tonight!" Call me co-dependent or something...but that's just how I felt. My husband however, doesn't like that we've never been able to leave DD at bedtime because of the need to nurse/no bottles thing- we have been on a very rare date now and then, but mostly only in the afternoon. His parents are coming to visit in a week, and we will finally probably go out on a proper night time date for the first time since before DD was born- and the lord be with them when it comes to dealing with DD at bedtime!
Anyway... I'm babbling...
My questions are these:
1) Does/did your EBF baby take a paci? When did you introduce it if so? Do you feel like it ever interfered with nursing?
2) If you are a mom that doesn't otherwise really NEED to pump (like cause your kid is at daycare)- do you pump anyway? Did you introduce your child to bottles just so you could do things like go on dates or use sitters? When did you introduce bottles in this case? Was it hard for you?
Thanks for your experiences and opinions and advice. I know it may seem silly to some, but these decisions feel like a very big deal to me- which is why they are on my mind already 5 mos before my baby is due to be born!
Mara & Joel, 2009
1. No, we never introduced a paci. I am not a fan of sucking on plastic, all three never used one.
2. I am a SAHM who pumped. I go on weekly dates with my husband and frequently left my babies to play golf or other events which would require them taking a bottle. As per my LC, I introduced it at 3 weeks. All took to it well. I loved their Dad or grandparents being able to feed them on occasion, and pumping once in the morning was just part of my routine, I actually enjoyed it as my 10 minutes of quiet time. I had tons of milk so I also pumped to donate and donated milk after my second and third pregnancies. The only advise I have is if you introduce a bottle keep it up, even if just once a week once they are used to it. With my third I got lazy when golf season ended and he had such an early bedtime that we would just go on dates once I nursed him and put him to bed ~ he didn't have a bottle for several months.....when I needed him to take one as DH and I were going away for 5 days, he completely refused, and it was extremely stressful. For us the decision to pump/have a bottle available was integral to my and our health ~ as individuals and as a couple. I love nursing and have successfully nursed all of my babies, but I love my marriage too, and would not have been willing to go the past 5 years (as I have been nursing since Feb 07) without legitimate dates or vacations away from the kids.
With my first I had a cheapie medela single delux, worked great. With my second and third (as I knew I was going to be a donor) I upgraded to the medela that was fancier than that, but still a single and not a PIS or anything nearly as expensive as that. Can't remember the name. Good luck!
1. No pacis here. I was adamantly against them. Though, DD hated the car viciously and I did try briefly to get her to take one just for car rides. No go. I doubt I'll introduce one with my next kiddo.
2. So, I'm kinda the opposite of the mom you had in mind. I did need to pump but DD never really took a bottle. I strongly believe its because I waited too long to introduce a bottle and my DD was/is a boob hound. I had read everywhere to wait at least 6-7 weeks to introduce a bottle. So I started trying at 6.5 weeks. Only at about 10 months did she ever start taking a bottle with some kind of frequency and that was only about 2 two ounce bottles per day and I started cutting back on pumping about a week later . My advice is to try the bottle once you feel nursing is well established. Since this will be number two for you, it should be easier. For us, that would have been about 4-4.5 weeks. Then just give a bottle here and there to keep it in mind. You might find you have one of those magical babies that has no issue with the occasional bottle.
I offered paci's to all 3 of mine in the hospital. DD1 and DD2 would occasionally take them until about 3 months. DS, will only take one if I'm wearing him in the k'tan. All other times he refuses.
I pumped once a day with DD1 so I could go to the gym. It was more difficult to pump with 2 kids though, and I tried to give DD a bottle around 2 and 3 weeks and she refused every time I tried. Not even trying with DS. I will leave them for longer periods once they're eating real food and taking a sippy cup of water/juice. DD2 I left when she was about 7.5 months old for about 5 hours or so. She did fine with my MIL, but in the end did refuse to go to sleep but wasn't mad about it. She has always sucked her fingers though, so has something other than the boob. I left her for large amounts of time when she was 11 months old when my DH was in the hospital too, and she did fine. But she was never my crazy boob baby, DD1 was. I would have never THOUGHT about leaving her for more than 6 hours before she was 2. And only then did I think about it because I went into the hospital to have DD2.
I think DS will be like DD2 and will be fine to be left alone around 7 or 8 months for 4-6 hours if I time it right.
If you didn't use a paci, how did you avoid the dreaded "human paci syndrome"? Are you kids just too cool... or did you have some other tools in your belt?
Also, anyone else have a husband who, bless his heart, is just lost when it comes to the littles? My DH seems to think that a lot of issues or problems we've had with DD are because she doesn't take a paci and/or bottle. But, I think he kind of uses it as an excuse for not having to deal with her in certain situations- when she's really upset, etc. When she was really little pretty much any time she cried he would just hand her over, I would nurse... all good- but he never learned any of his own ways to deal with her. But we also had a weird thing where he was gone for her 3-8th weeks of life, and I think they missed out on some bonding (one reason I was so adamant about trying to plan for this baby to be born when it will be- so that once the baby is born, we won't have to separate as a family any time soon). He left when she was 2 weeks old and just ate and slept. He came back and she was a wailing 2 mos old, and I think it totally freaked him out. I'm excited for him to experience the whole process this time! He's a fabulous father to her now, when she's almost 2. He plays with her way better than I do. But.... ask him to comfort her in the middle of the night and the blood drains from his face... because she doesn't take a paci or a bottle.
Mara & Joel, 2009
i was lucky my second sucks her fingers. I think my DS is going to be a finger sucker too if he can ever figure out how to get them to his mouth.
DH doesn't do any of the middle of the night stuff or bedtime stuff until they're 1+. Luckily we've never been in a situation that would make that necessary, He also doesn't really "get" babies until they're older and hands them over when they get fussy. He will bounce DS or walk him around and talk to him if I'm busy, but usually he's walking around saying "you're mommy will be done in a minute! just be cool a little longer!" haha and crap like that. He's great with the older 2 though and does bedtime for them and goes to them in the middle of the night if he magically wakes up before me.
The human paci thing was just never an issue, I wore my young babies almost the entire day long, so I think that that took the place of them wanting to use me as a paci, they had me as a walking pillow instead
I am the typical human pacifier. I didn't mind up until she hit about 10 months. I'm also successful using backrubs and shushing. DH is clueless as to how to soothe her to sleep. And I mean freaking clueless. He'll go in and when I peek in he has her sitting up in his lap and he's just bouncing her. I'm just going to have to give him time to figure out what works for him. That's really what men need. Their methods will have to be different from ours and they'll just have to figure it out. I wasn't born knowing how to soothe a baby. I figured it out. Our first night together was the scariest thing ever. I asked the nurse for help like 10 times because I had no idea how to hold her!
I never used a dummy, we tried as DS wanted to suck constantly but he wanted nothing to do with it most of the time. I tried so many different kinds as well.
I had to go back to work so we introduced a bottle, but we did it a bit later than most, maybe around 10 weeks. I was lucky he took it and did well with it and i was able to successfully combine bottle and breast feeding. Until he was 5 months old he had never been away from me at all. Even now other than daycare he is barely away from me and only once has he been away from me at night and that was 3-4 hours when he was 14 months old and my Mum had a terrible time getting him to sleep and he was unsettled for the entire week after. We then went out together the next week and I wore the same outfit again and he started cracking up so I just don't go anywhere at night anymore without him.
My DS did the hman dummy thing as well, and hubby is still clueless on how to soothe him, he doesn't do any of the child care stuff unless DS happens to be sick on one of his days off and even then it's sketchy.
Don't have much time on here, but wanted to say that my DH has NO CLUE how to deal with babies. I got lucky that I was having a rough time recovering with DS#2 and he actually changed most of his diapers while still in the hospital, but as soon as we got home, the baby was all mine. He'll hold Evie when she's crying, but doesn't do anything to try to calm her down or soothe her. He says he tried and it didn't work. Whatever. You have to keep trying and you have to do it repeatedly. Sometimes if you start bouncing and patting she'll calm down right away, sometimes you have to do it for a little while before she starts calming down. But he'll just sit there with a crying baby, or eventually put her down and let her scream herself to sleep. I HATE it. Then he says "well, she was just tired and fighting sleep".
Janelle and Brad 8-25-01