I had my first baby and shes 2 months old. i return back to work in a month and im worried about her eating habits. she is exclusively breastfed and eats on demand or on cue as some call it. should i put her on a feeding schedule? if so hpw? please help.
going back to work, help with feeding schedule?
Ditto what PP said. Feeding on cue, especially in the early weeks, is the best way to establish your supply and make sure your DD is getting just the right amount of milk for her when she needs it. It can be challenging, though, to think about the schedule you'll need to keep once you return to work when baby's feeding isn't predictable. Most moms find that as baby gets older, she develops a more consistent routine. You'll start to notice patterns - she usually wakes at a certain time, eats at around the same time, etc. It's great to start watching for those patterns and share them with your DD's caregiver for ideas about when she's likely to be hungry. And don't worry if her eating routine doesn't follow your pumping routine at work; your body will adjust to her needs when you're at home and nursing (still on cue!).
Hello. I think I might have written this same post 5 months ago! I went back to work briefly when DD was 11 weeks, I was off for the summer, and then went back full time in Sept. I too nurse on demand (still do!) when I'm with her. I was stressed about a schedule, but my husband, bless him, is home with her and told me to relax and that he would simulate her pattern when she's with me. In the beginning, I think the most important thing is to nurse whenever she's interested to keep your supply up. Your baby and her caregiver will work out their own schedule.
I am away from her for 8 - 9 hours, and even though I pump 2x while I'm gone, DH usually gives her a little upon each waking (2-3 oz) and then a bit more (2-3 oz) before she goes down for her next nap which is/was around 2 hours later. She had bad reflux so I think, for her, having small meals was sort of adaptive. The transition was way easier than I thought it would be. Other aspects were/are hard, but this wasn't. I coslept with her and she nursed as much as she wanted at night. This got us both the most sleep until she was around 6 months and then it stopped working as well and we changed it up. But in the beginning this arrangement allayed any concerns I had about not pumping enough.
You don't need a schedule, but I would keep the bottles small so that you can account for her being hungry at different times in the day and going through growth spurts without wasting milk. In the very beginning I used 2.5-3 oz bottles and left 4 home during the day (though he rarely ate that much) and as he got older I changed it to 3.5-4oz bottles, I left 3 a day and some days he didn't drink the last one so we'd save it for the next day. I was able to pump 12 oz a day so over time I would donate all my extra freezer stash. We did a LOT of morning, late afternoon, evening, and during the night nursings in order to get most of his nutrition from the breast.
It was my experience that patterns at 2 months were just so different from what my babies were doing by 3-4 months.
As my babies got older, they each consolidated their sleep into longer periods, their wakefulness into longer periods, and were interested in nursing at more regular times. By the time I went back to work (part time, mornigns), after 14 weeks, they had both settled into a routine that wasn't exactly a schedule, but was somewhat predictable.