All posts by Deanna

Daily Schedule

As I’m writing this, Elliott is 19 days old (almost three weeks!). I thought I would go over what a day in my life looks like right now.

Elliott will sleep for 1 to 3 hour stretches throughout the day and night. He sleeps the best if he is lying on someone, but we try to avoid having him do that because we don’t want to start any bad habits. He also likes to be swaddled but he needs to have his arms out.

During the night I try to keep the room dark and I have my white noise machine going. During the day we try to keep things noisy and bright so he can start to learn the difference between night and day. I’m hoping this will come in handy later when he starts sleeping longer stretches.

Once he wakes up I will change his diaper (it always needs to be changed). Then I will feed him which generally takes 30-60 minutes. Next I will try to get him to sleep back in his bed or on one side of my body so I can use my breast pump for another 20 minutes.

After I get him back to sleep around 7-8 am I will get out of bed and wash the bottles and my pump from the previous night so I can get new ones ready for the rest of the day. Right now I am washing and sterilizing after each use. I’ve read that you should sterilize until they are 4 months old, but then I also read a lot of people just wash them.

I will then get myself breakfast before Elliott wakes up and the routine of change, feed, sleep, begins again. Now that he’s getting older he’s starting to have more awake time. I will try to talk to him, read him some nursery rhymes, or put him down on his belly for some tummy time (which he generally hates but is getting better at).

I will also try to get laundry or any other chores done while he’s sleeping. I have gone from doing laundry once a week before having a baby, to about every other day. The loads are lot smaller now though. He is always peeing, pooping, or spitting up on something.

Around 6-7 pm I will wash my bottles again and start getting things ready for the night. Elliott usually goes to bed around 8 or 9 pm. I will make sure my night stand is stocked with my water bottle, a few snacks for me to eat during the night, my breast pump, and my phone which I use to track his feedings, diapers, pumping, medicine, etc (the app is called Glow Baby and I love it). I will make sure I pump around 9pm so I don’t have to do it again until about 1 or 2am (not supposed to go more than 5 hours without pumping).

I was originally giving him ready-to-eat bottles but they are really expensive. One box of 24 bottles, on sale, costs about $33. When I first started tracking his feedings on the app he was 5 days old and eating 50 ml of formula per feeding. A couple days later we were giving him 60 ml which is how big the ready-to-eat bottles have in them. At 10 days old he increased his appetite to about 75 ml per feeding which means I would now have to give him two bottles at a time.

In our first two weeks we had spent around $500 on formula. I knew we would not be able to afford to keep doing that.We have now switched over to powder formula which is a better deal.

At first I was a little bit concerned because the powder formula bottles need to be kept in the fridge until you are ready to use them. I didn’t want to have to go downstairs to the fridge in the middle of the night every time he was hungry. But I was running out of the ready-to-eat bottles and didn’t want to go to the store. For the last two nights I’ve been going down to the fridge, and it actually hasn’t been too bad.

I’m starting to feel pretty confident in our routine right now. I’m surprised at how much energy I have with only getting an hour or two of sleep at a time. Some days I will try to take a nap while he is sleeping, but usually I find something around the house that I feel needs to be done instead.

I don’t know what I’m going to do once Elliott decides to change the routine we currently have going. But with parenting you have to expect things to be constantly changing I guess.

Breastfeeding Journey

Before having a baby I didn’t realize how difficult it was to breastfeed. When Elliott was one week old he had his first doctor’s appointment. He was weighed and checked out by his new doctor. He was already past his birth weight which I was very happy about.

We discussed my struggles to get my milk to increase and he wrote me a prescription for Motilium. He also set up an appointment for me to see a Lactation Specialist.

My first appointment with the Lactation Specialist was the following day and I really didn’t want to go. At this point I really just wanted to give up with breastfeeding. The only reason I really wanted to do it in the first place was because it was cheaper. But giving Elliott bottles was so much easier and I didn’t have to be the one to always feed him.

Going to the appointment was my first outing alone with baby which I was nervous about. At the appointment we talked about what our routine was so far and she was not happy to hear that I was sleeping at night. She told me that I had to take over all the feedings and make sure I’m pumping at least once throughout the night, making sure not to go more than 5 hours without pumping.

I did already know this so I wasn’t surprised to hear it. And I was planning to move Elliott back upstairs to my bedroom (he was currently spending his nights in the living room with his dad).

At the appointment we also tried a Supplemental Nursing System (SNS). It’s basically a syringe hooked up to a tube that you tape to your boob. You put the formula in the syringe. You latch the baby onto the boob and feed the formula through the tube while the baby is sucking from the breast.

The nurse sent me home with the SNS to see if it would help but I found it very difficult to use. I already was having troubles multitasking with a baby in my arms. I used it once at home but he just started sucking on the tube like a straw instead of my breast. I gave up on trying again with that set up.

The day after my appointment I did break down and cry about wanting to quit breastfeeding though. My boyfriend told me it was my choice and that he would support me with whatever decision I made. Although I did already know this, it was nice to hear and helped calm me down a little bit. I decided I would keep trying at least for another week when I had a follow up appointment with the Lactation Specialist.

Up until this point I was only producing milk from my left side. When I pumped I would only end up with about 3-5 ml combined for the whole day. At about 8 days postpartum I finally started leaking from the right side as well.

During my first few nights with Elliott in my room things went pretty smoothly. He sleeps in 1-2 hour spurts which gives me a little bit of rest. I wasn’t as tired in the mornings as I thought I would be.

By the time of my follow up appointment one week later I was able to pump milk from both sides and I had gone from 3-5ml of milk per day to about 20ml a day. However it had started getting very difficult to latch baby again. He would scream like he was starving until I gave in and fed him a bottle. He would push me away with his hands which kind of hurt my feelings haha.

The following day or two was better though. I was able to get him to latch on for about 10 minutes per side whereas before it was only about 3-5 minutes. I feel like if I was producing more milk he would stay on better. Right now he is drinking about 75ml of formula during each feed. He also falls asleep pretty quickly when I’m breastfeeding which is very frustrating.

Just after two weeks postpartum my boobs had finally started to feel full and lumpy which I guess is a good sign. Now I’m starting to get worried though because if I miss a feeding (which I sometimes do at night because I’m so tired) I’m scared I will get Mastitis. There is always something to worry about.

On a side note, my postpartum bleeding was stopping around a week and a half after having baby. We will see if it starts up again. I had a little bit of spotting about 5 days after it stopped but it only lasted a couple of days.