Friday, April 03, 2009

Some Answers

(Pic: Joel returning home from a swim with the kiddos. We so love where we live...a community pool right behind our backyard, a park next to that, wide open spaces that the kids can explore, and of course being able to 'travel' by red wagon. :) )

So, I started to answer questions in the actual comment section of the last post, but do people really come back and look for answers to the questions they ask in the comment section? I do sometimes, if I remember. But, just thought this was easier anyway.

First, let me just tell you that it happens so naturally and easily for me to wean my babies. I know that isn't always the case with some of you. I think that one reason is because of the way we schedule...sleep, nurse, eat, play instead of nursing right before sleep. I do nurse right before bedtime, but only at the bedtime time (our bedtime is set at 8pm). I also never use nursing as comfort. I know that it is comforting, but what I mean is that when my baby falls down and hurts him/herself for example, I don't nurse the baby to comfort...I think that's another reason. My babies aren't used to being nursed for soothing or going to sleep. We soothe and comfort in other ways...and put to bed in other ways too. I know lots of you do the same (yay, Baby Wise...even if you don't agree with all that Baby Wise has to say, that scheduling is awesome in my opinion).

Around 3-4 months of age, my babies have all slept through the night (for the most part). Our nursing schedule looked something like this: 7am, 10am, 1pm, 4pm, 7pm, 10pm. Obviously that wasn't set in stone, but it was always around those times, give or take an hour or two on either side. Not too long after this happens, the 10pm is able to be dropped. Around 6 months of age we start solids. After that, it doesn't take too terribly long until they drop the mid-morning feeding (10am) and the mid-afternoon feeding (4pm) and they are only taking 2 naps a day. So then they are just nursing right before mealtimes...the original 1pm feeding is pushed up to noon or so...they nurse and then eat lunch with the rest of the family. The original 7pm is pushed up to 5 or so and then they eat get it. Then I feed again at 8 when we put them to bed.

Anyway, all of that to say, that's how we get from 6 feedings down to 4. Now, I never produce an abundance of milk at all...even at the very first when I'm nursing every 2 hours. It just doesn't happen. I've never been engorged or anything like that (I know...lucky). So, I just have a perfect amount I guess because my babies (after I figured out what I was doing wrong with the first two anyway) have done just fine with the amount I have. Once I go down to 4 feedings (or once they reach about the 10 month age anyway) and since they are eating normal food anyway, they still love to nurse, but it's not at all necessary I guess as far as they are concerned. Some people stop nursing because they say that their babies are too distracted or not interested...usually around 9 months this happens. I remember this happenening a bit, when they just get old enough to be interested in what's going on around them. But, we always push through this, sometimes even doing things like going to another room or, if I'm here by myself, putting in a video or something so that the 3 older ones were still and quiet while I nursed. We just made it work.

With the older three, I've always been pregnant already by the time they were a year old, so I was 'ready,' I guess you could say, to wean. It was still a bit sad, but I was ready and they didn't seem to miss it at all. But, this time really it was all about circumstances. We were so very busy running here and there and everywhere in the United States that it just happened naturally that I just wasn't able to nurse sometimes during the day (either the lunch or supper feeding was almost always dropped each day). It was a completely easy transition and Cass could've cared less. When we got back here, we went down to the 2 feedings. Once I go down to just 2 feedings, I really am hardly making any milk it seems to me. I joked around with a friend the other day...I'm sure Cass was like "Is this really necessary?" :) Ha ha ha. Seriously...I could tell she just really didn't care either way. But, I'm always pretty determined to at least do it until they are a year old. So, that's what we do. But, I'm sure that makes it easier too...that by that time, I'm pretty 'dry.'

As far as 'Aunt Flo': I got a visit from her once between Grady and Hadley, once between Hadley and Eissa, and she never came between Eissa and Cass. But, strangely enough, after Cass she came very 'early' for me. Cass was only 3 months old when the uninvited guest arrived (I love that good ole Flo enables me to have children, but that's all I love about her). I know some women who breastfeed exclusively (and I mean bottle usage at all...we never used a bottle either) and get theirs back around 6 weeks (or earlier). Then I know some who never get theirs until after they stop breastfeeding...for a very long time. I had just stopped breastfeeding when I became pregnant with Hadley (Grady was 4 months can read about that breastfeeding experience and get my take on having successful breastfeeding in general here, here, and here). I was still breastfeeding and Hadley was just shy of 11 months old when I got pregnant with Eissa. I was still breastfeeding Eissa and waiting for the auntie when I found out I was preggers with Cass...Eissa was 8 1/2 months. It's interesting...and different for everyone.

As far as the dress, Leah...I don't even own a full dress. I've always been a skirt girl. :)

And Rebecca (in the comments section last post), do I know you? I just know several Rebeccas but I didn't think any of them had had a 3 child, so just curious.

Also (total subject change here), coming of our house. Just took them today. Maybe the next post.

Now, this was on a friend's blog today, so I thought I'd snatch it from her and leave you with this today. This has been a fave of mine for a while. I heard it for the first time when our friend came down to visit about a year and a half ago and left her Ipod Shuffle with me...such a gift that was. Thanks Wendy!! Seriously love this song!! It gives me chills every time too, Shelly. Every time.


Rebecca said...

Michawn, this is the Rebecca from A Good know, the one that was with MAF in Ecuador?! I didn't realize my profile wasn't available, so no wonder you didn't recognize me from my comment. And yes! We do have three kids. Brooklyn (5), Madison (2), and Paige (3.5 months).

I love,love, love Revelation Song too!

on an adventure said...

OK. Here's a fun topic, I guess. Not really, but interesting: I know everyone is different, but here's something I figured out about my body. My friend "flo" comes back 4-5 months after I introduce my babies to food, right on the money. My boys started food at 4 months, and they were 8-9 months when "she" came back. My third baby, Carys, didn't get to have food until 9 months old. "Flo" came just two weeks ago when baby was 13 months old. I reason that once your body cuts back on making milk, which happens once you stop nursing exclusively, your body knows to begin being fertile again? Is that totally stupid reasoning??? I know it doesn't happen the same for everyone, but this is what I noticed about me. I was actually wondering if I should go to the doctor by the time my "friend" returned!!

And yes, I know Carys had a harder time weaning when I tried slowly because I was her source of food life in many ways: food, drink, comfort, etc. But, weaning in one day worked for us. It would have been hard without Johan home for sure. I loved every minute of nursing her...well, until about 13 months when I was ready to be done. I struggled with feeling selfish, and I know many friends who nurse much longer for the benefit of their babies. Kudos to them! I salute you, but I also I feel really good about giving my baby what I gave her!

Great post!

Wendy said...

Great info on this post for those moms needing the details!! I could never find someone to explain all of that when I needed it!

yes, always chill bumps...and still my favorite song!

Ronnie and Leah said...

I love that song!
Dear old Aunt Flo. Oh, how I loathe her visits. Usually she doesn't return until baby is about 20 months, except with the first two that I intentionally weaned around 12 months. This time she was back at 12 1/2 months. What gives?
Could it be the new herbs I started taking, could it be the really high fever I ran in February? I have no idea. But she returned again 49 days later in full swing. Grrr...
But, I am grateful that she has made her presence known so I can be mindful to NOT get pregnant!

Blessings to you. We love you and pray for you often!