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Reverse cycling--experiences/advice?

591 Views 3 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  liam's mom
I started back WOH (8-5 M-F) on Monday and while things are going ok, I have a couple of questions.

I feed Liam (4.5 months) at 7:30, leave for work, pump around ten, come home for lunch and feed him (dh watches him during the day). pump again around 3-3:30, home by 5:15. He then eats whenever he wants for the rest of the evening/night.

He has taken bottles before, but has always preferred the boob. Now, though, DH attemps to give him a bottle in the midmorning and the midafternoon. This whole week, the most he's taken has been 2 oz at a feeding.

I *think* he's reverse cycling. We cosleep and I really don't know/remember when or how many times he nurses at night. I guess I'm just wondering, should I expect this to continue? Is there a possibility he'll start taking more from the bottle? Or should I assume he'll reverse cycle for the duration I WOHM?

He's obviously not starving during the day (I think?), so I'm not terribly worried. I'm just slightly concerned and more curious more than anything else.

Thanks! I'm looking forward to reading about your experiences with this.
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Hi MB. Morgan was a major reverse cycler from day one. When she was younger, some days she took no EBM, some days she took a few ounces, and some days she took a whopping 6 ounces or so. Now, at 14.5 months (and still eating few solids), she pretty consistently takes about 5-6 ounces a day.

She has always just made up for it at night. When she was Liam's age, that meant -- almost literally -- nursing her from the minute I walked in the door in the evening until when I left the next morning. Now that she is more active, I generally nurse her as soon as I come home, then maybe once before bed, and then several times during the night (she's usually on and off the boob from about 4 a.m. on). I have learned to function on very little, and very restless sleep.

Is it easy? No. Is it worth it? YES! I am actually GLAD that she reverse cycled. I wouldn't trade anything for our nursing time together, and it's a great way to reconnect after being gone all day.

That doesn't mean that sometimes I'm ready to pull my hair out during all-night nurse-a-thons, and beware that reverse-cycling makes it very difficult to get anything done around the house, but now that I'm through the most demanding part, I'd do it again in a heartbeat. It ain't gonna last forever....

Good luck!
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I think my DS reverse cycles, but probably not to the extent of Morgans mom! His schedule is: big nurse at 7:30 (waking), breakfast at day care at 8:30, (cereal & fruit), mid-morning bottle at 10:30 (5 oz.), lunch (veggies), mid-afternoon bottle at 3:30 (4-5 oz.), and then he is SOOOO ready to nurse when I get back at 5:30 - that's usually a 30 minute marathon. He usually then nurses before bed at 8:00 or so, at midnight, 3:00, and then he's on and off until we get up around 6:30. It's not easy, but I'm fine with it, since I can only get in 2 pumps a day, and basically produce exactly what he wants to drink. Good luck!
Thank you both for your responses. DS definitely ate a LOT at night last week--probably nursed about 4-5 times. He nursed some when I got home (but not a ton), again a couple hours later, then nursed to sleep.

He isn't that hungry when I feed him before leaving for work
:--maybe because of his chowing down throughout the night, I suppose.

Anyway, thanks again. We'll see how this week goes. But if it's anything like last week (where I pump 11-12 oz a day and he takes 3), I'm going to have one heck of a freezer stash in no time!
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