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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For the last week or so, my now-26-day-old DS and I had finally started to get the hang of the side-lying nursing position, so that we were actually sleeping peacefully through the night with only the mildest of interruptions to feed about every 2-3 hrs. I'd awaken to his little hungry squeaking noises, move him to the other side, then start feeding him. (For the most part-- sometimes I lost track of which side he'd fed from last, and sometimes it was more like 1 hr instead of 2-3, probably because I'd forgotten to switch sides or he'd unlatched mid-feeding and I'd fallen asleep and didn't help him relatch.) Occasionally, if I was awake and motivated enough, I might also change his diaper, but mostly I was just relieved to get what felt pretty close to a full night of sleep, amazingly.

That changed suddenly a couple nights ago.

Two nights ago, DS and I went to bed at 10pm and started feeding... for TWO HOURS
. Even though he took breaks and wasn't suckling continuously, he stayed there the whole time. (Usually he finishes in about 30-40 minutes.) Then he refused to fall asleep and started fussing instead, so DP and I went into our barrage of soothe-the-baby tricks, changing his diaper, holding him in his favorite position, bouncing him, and walking him around the house. This lasted until about 1:30am or 2am, when he started to show signs of hunger again. Thinking that maybe he hadn't really gotten much milk at the last feeding but was just hanging out happily at my breast, I went ahead and started feeding him again. From then until 6am, DS never settled in to sleep-- he kept rousing me when I thought he was done feeding, rooting around and pecking at me for more. I was a little surprised that he seemed to be having more trouble finding and latching on to the nipple when lately he'd been getting better about latching himself on independently, but I didn't bother thinking about that further in my sleep-deprived state. At 6am I woke up DP in desperation to get some help soothing DS, who just refused to settle in to sleep. We finally broke this pattern when we had to leave the house for a morning appointment, and DS fell asleep in the car.

Over the course of an exhausting day of never-ending appointments and errands, I had the chance to reflect on the previous night and thought that perhaps DS hadn't really been hungry but was merely comfort nursing. So last night, when DS started fussing and pecking at me again, I had the wherewithal to consider that maybe he had to pee. We'd managed to catch an increasing number of pees recently during diaper changes (holding an unused corner of a cloth diaper or a wad of toilet paper over him), so I'd become more familiar with his pattern of fussing when he had to pee. Well, with this realization, last night I hit jackpot
. Every time DS started pecking instead of nursing (i.e., instead of latching on to my breast and eating, he would root around frantically and keep heading above the nipple, toward my armpit, so that it felt like he was giving me tiny kisses), I would take him out of bed, check his diaper, and cue him to pee. It worked EVERY time. Between the two of us, DP and I caught at least 4 pees overnight.


What's even better is that this success emboldened me to try to hold DS over a potty again, even though he'd previously squirmed, kicked, and screamed over it so much that I'd given up on trying. Now that I knew that he usually cried right before he had to pee (poor thing
: ), I had a sense of how long I should wait to see if his fussing was pee-related or something else. So after this morning's nursing session, I held him patiently over the removable bowl from the BBPC, and he finally did pee into it! Thankfully his fussing and crying before peeing has lessened slightly (as he's gotten more used to being cued to pee and peeing without wearing a diaper, I think), so it wasn't as hard to hold him over the potty this time. Score potty catch number three!

I have to admit that nighttime EC wasn't quite where I'd intended to start. I thought I'd focus on daytime first, and work in nighttime later on when things settled. But now that DS is more aware (and unhappy) about his peeing needs, it obviously isn't working just expect him to sleep through his nighttime pees. The tough part now is to figure out how to calm him down after his pees so that he does go back to sleep the way he used to (please?). Also, I need to pay more attention to the clock when nursing to gauge whether he's done feeding or not. Right now I'm kind of stuck in a cycle where he'll nurse, then pee, then go back to nursing, then pee again, and never settle in to sleep for a long time. I have to decide if the post-pee nursing session is hunger or just comfort nursing, because if it's the latter, it's doing the opposite of helping him sleep.

Now that I can better recognize DS's peeing signals during nighttime feeding, I'll have to pay more attention to see if he makes similar signals in other feeding positions and during the daytime.

So that's how DS helped us to jump-start our EC practices!
:
 

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That is really interesting! As he gets a little older he'll probably settle into a "better" nighttime routine where he sleeps more at night. My baby is 9 months old and he STILL wakes about every 2 hours to nurse though- but I don't think that is typical.

Are your cues verbal or do you just hold him in a certain position? If they're verbal you can try wedging a prefold between his legs while nursing laying down and then do the verbal cue. He should pee like that. That is what I did when baby was really tiny.

He also might be going through a growing spurt where he'll nurse more often than usual.

At that age, my baby use to sleep very well laying on my chest at night, rather than right next to me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I look forward to the time when DS sleeps more at night! At the very least, I'm eager for the time when he falls back asleep quickly at night. I didn't mind waking every 2-3 hours to feed when he went right back to sleep earlier this week.

I do use verbal cues, but I'm never sure whether he's actually responding to them as opposed to the physical cues (taking off his diaper, pointing his penis down or gently prodding it with tissue or the diaper, positioning him over a potty). Maybe later on I'll have the guts to try cuing while nursing (probably when I'm sick of getting out of bed every time!).

Judging from the chubby cheeks, I think DS may indeed be going through a little growth spurt.

Which way does baby face when lying on your chest?
 

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That's so impressive that you've started nighttime already! Very cool that your ds initiated it! It sounds like your ds is a lot like our dd--if she latches on and eats, that's all she needs, but if she latches on and off pecking around, then she needs to pee. The quieter and less disruptive I can keep it, the more chance I have that she'll stay in that same sleep zone as when she latches on to eat (I keep the lights off, voice in a whisper, and make the cue noise VERY quietly--nowadays the position alone is enough of a cue...I also practiced getting the diaper only 1/2 way off to pee so that I could get it off enough to pee and back on again really quickly with minimal disruption). Also, we keep a "potty" plastic mixing bowl right next to the bed and just pee her into that during the night, so we don't even get out of bed...
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Well, given a choice between taking DS to pee and getting no sleep, it was pretty obvious which route was preferable! Of course, after having such great success yesterday morning, my timing was THOROUGHLY off all day yesterday and last night.
I didn't notice obvious signaling last night like I did the previous night (of course maybe I was too exhausted to tell), so I didn't pressure myself to take DS to pee after every feeding. Sleep is definitely at a premium here! But what I find hard after that is that if his diaper's already wet, I'm not as confident whether he has to pee again, so I don't wait as long for him to pee... hence the multiple missed sprays and clothing changes yesterday [sigh]. Of course, then other times I'll be too proactive, and wait forever with a dry diaper and no catch. All part of the learning process, I know.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Two dry diapers last night! Of course, he wet them afterward during the diaper change, but that was "on cue" and expected. Meanwhile I've learned that DS is reluctant to pee even when the diaper is open if it's already wet and he can still feel its wetness on him. And I think I've confirmed that 4 hrs is beyond the capacity if his bladder (either he slept through it or I slept through his signals). It also seems that he's pooping less overnight-- could this really be true or did I just get lucky last night? But it's so encouraging after yesterday's little disappointments.
 

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DD turned 10 weeks old yesterday... she started prompting us at 5 days old and we didn't catch on until she was week and a half. She definitely pops on and off the nipple when she has to burp or pee... and she will hold it at night as long as she can- up to 6 hours! We regularly wake up with dry diapers and get up to pee her usually 2 or 3 times a night. And she almost never poops at night!
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by mommadotta View Post

Which way does baby face when lying on your chest?
We would lay tummy to tummy, me on my back with him laying on top of me, his head turned to the side. It wasn't so bad when he was only 10 pounds... well now he sleeps fine beside me anyways. He was born in the winter so there was the added bonus of a snuggy lil' youngin on me keeping us both cozy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by IntoTheBliss View Post
We would lay tummy to tummy, me on my back with him laying on top of me, his head turned to the side.
I see-- thanks!

Quote:

Originally Posted by mtn.mama
DD turned 10 weeks old yesterday... she started prompting us at 5 days old and we didn't catch on until she was week and a half.
How was she "prompting" you? Very cool about her elimination control!
 

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At that time it was little fusses, then peeing as soon as we opened the diaper. Now its getting herself worked up (arms pumping/legs kicking, vocalizing, scrunching up face, sometimes crying), and she'll hold it til we put her on the potty or she can't wait anymore. Last night she woke me up out of a dead sleep. First I thought she was hungry so I gave her the breast, but she kept spitting it out. So I got up and put her on the potty and she pooped and pooped and pooped. Then she stayed up for 45 minutes, I think because she was so proud of herself and had our attention, and then pooped again. I hope nighttime poops aren't a new cycle because it takes alot more energy and we lose alot more sleep... but it sure is cool that EC really works!
 

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DS is pretty good at holding it at night, but I am usually too lazy to get up a lot to pee him.


Last night he threw a fit when I wouldn't let him comfort nurse, finally I gave in so he wouldn't keep DH up. I just worry that he's getting into that habit already at 2 months.
 
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