No Cry Sleep Solution for Newborns

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Tip for Helping Your Breastfed Baby Sleep

by Heather Evans, Breastfeeding USA Counselor

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As someone who works with breastfeeding mothers regularly and sees how “sleep training” negatively impacts the breastfeeding relationship, I began reading, The No Cry Sleep Solution for Newborns, with skepticism. I figured it would be like other “sleep training” books where you are instructed to “schedule” sleep times, feedings, etc.

I was pleasantly surprised to find Ms. Pantley’s book nothing of the sort. It was actually geared toward and encourages the mother who is “in tune” with their infant and encourages feeding on demand and realistic sleep expectations for a newborn.
She discusses the fact that a newborn’s sleep is erratic and unique to each child and discourages the use of forms and logs to track sleep at this age. Instead she focuses on tuning into your baby and learning your baby’s sleep cues as well as 15 keys to helping everyone achieve better sleep.

She encourages meeting your baby’s needs quickly and lovingly which creates a trusting bond between parent and child and fosters confidence and independence. She also understands that not all parents will want to use all the keys she outlines, all babies are different, and that it is perfectly fine to take what works for your family and leave the rest. Since this is our second child I was already familiar with and following several of the keys.
We have used key #6, which is soothing sounds, for both our kids. We have apps on our phones and tablets so we can have the soothing sounds available all the time. My son prefers white noise and it was the only way we achieved semi-decent car rides. My daughter on the other hand prefers the softer pink noise for sleeping and soothing. One that is very important to me as a breastfeeding mother and breastfeeding counselor is key #9, which is understand and respect your baby’s sucking reflex.

N&P

She talks about the innate need to suck not only for nourishment but for comfort and soothing as well as the fact it’s absolutely normal for a baby to fall asleep on the breast due to hormones released during nursing. She advises after the first few weeks of life that you sometimes removed baby from breast when very sleepy but not quite asleep in order to achieve a place where baby does not always need to be nursed to sleep.

Key #11 deals with swaddling your baby. This worked very well for my son until he was a few weeks old and we began bed-sharing. My daughter, however, was having none of it and we began bed-sharing almost from birth. Key #13 discusses providing motion for sleep. Both of my kids loved not only sleeping in mine (or someone else’s) arms, but also in a baby swing or when worn in a carrier or wrap. They have taken many a long snooze while in a carrier or wrap while I was doing household chores or shopping.
I was also really happy with the fact that she addressed “normal” infant sleep patterns and unrealistic expectations that many parents have. She talks about how not even adults “sleep through the night” and so expecting a newborn to do so is unrealistic. She talks about their need for frequent feedings due to how small their stomachs are and how easily digestible their food is, so their wake sleep patterns revolve around eating.

She also talks about looking for early sleep cues because babies require a lot of sleep as they grow and an overtired baby is much more difficult to get to sleep than one who is just entering a sleepy time. The most important aspect to me is her No Cry philosophy because let’s be honest no one wants to listen to their baby’s cries. Our natural instinct is to pick them up and sooth them, whether they are a newborn, toddler, or older child. This was an easy read, that just makes sense, and I would recommend it to all new parents.

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Have you Been Breastfeeding Allll day?

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Have You Been Breastfeeding Allll day?

Great! That’s exactly what you should be feeling in the first few months with baby. Here are some other tips/ tricks so you will know that breastfeeding is going well:

Your baby is feeding 8-12 times in 24 hours. Considering it may take up to an hour to nurse a side, burp, change a diaper, nurse other side and burp again. To you it will feel like every hour. Indulge your baby, they are doing exactly what they are supposed to do. By about 2-3 months your baby will start going longer between feeds.

You hear or see your baby swallow when she feeds. Click on this link to a Jack Newman video to see a baby swallowing while latched.

Baby has 6-8 wet diapers and a total of 3 yellow poop diapers by day five. Simply take 6 diapers out of the pack and put them on the changing mat. If you’ve used them all by the end of the day, baby is outputting well 🙂

Significant Moments Photography

Significant Moments Photography

 

Baby begins to gain weight after day five and is back up to birth weight by 10 days old. Yup, it’s normal for them to lose a few ounces after birth, then start gaining it back when they are being fed your wonderful, nutritious breast milk.

For those of you that have survived the newborn stage- what would you add to this?

Breastfeeding Advice: From Moms Who Have Been There

 

We asked our followers for their best advice on breastfeeding and of course, they delivered! Here are the top 5 breastfeeding tips from moms who have been there.

1. Knowledge is Power
Allison B. – “Read a breastfeeding book before baby is born! Go to a LLL or hospital breastfeeding meeting while pregnant. Making that connection now will make it easier to attend the meeting after baby is born!”
Lacey L. – “Have these websites bookmarked on your favorites tab: http://kellymom.com/ and http://www.llli.org/webus.html and start reading about breastfeeding so you are prepared.”
Delilah J. – “Attend classes on breastfeeding and get a breastfeeding pillow.”

2. Build a Support Network

Nikki V. – “There’s a learning curve just like with anything. Be patient and give yourself & baby time to learn. Join the AZ Breastfeeding Bag Project support group.” Here is the link to the facebook support group ? https://www.facebook.com/groups/627367134048048/

Abrinna V. – ”Don’t be afraid to ask for help on day 2 or day 100. Read as much as you can before baby comes.”

Christina G. – “Ask for help if you need it! Do a little investigating before you let someone tell you, “a lot of women just can’t breastfeed”, do not introduce a paci or a bottle for at least several weeks, have a support group of mama’s who have successfully nursed, be patient, take care of yourself by eating healthy and drinking lots of water!”

3. Keep Calm and Breastfeed On

Angela T. – “When in doubt/pain/frustration, ask a qualified lactation consultant. Each baby will nurse differently! Whether you breastfeed for 6weeks or 6 months or 6 years you are providing the most optimal nutrition for your baby.”

Jessica B. – “If at first you don’t succeed keep trying. My CJ was two months old almost to the day before she latched on. Then for a month I had to slowly wean her from the bottle to just latching on.”

Serena S. – “If it seems hard in the beginning stick it out it will get easier and be well worth it for baby and you and no matter what negative comments people throw your way just remember you’re doing what’s best for both you and you’re baby it’s your decision and that’s all that matters.”

Katie E. – “You don’t have to love it. Not everyone feels empowered or amazed by breastfeeding and that’s okay. Keep trying, you’ll get the hang of it.”

Amber H. – “That just because breastfeeding is natural doesn’t mean that it comes naturally. It is a learned art that takes time to get the hang of but it gets easier and becomes second nature. It can be difficult but stick to it and it will be worth it. When you feel like giving up, just give it one more day. If all else fails, it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Breast is best and the more the better but if you can’t exclusively breastfeed some is better than none!”

4. Eat Healthy and Stay Hydrated

Crystal – “Eat well, drink tons of water and don’t stop or your supply will stop too. One beer a night helps production and stress.”

Gina E. – “Keep bottled water and healthy snacks in your diaper bag so that you have something to eat at any given time. It is crazy how hungry you can get while breastfeeding!”

Melanie B. – “Eat lots of healthy fats and whole grains to keep you feeling full.”

5. Good Latch is Essential

Holly T. – “Hold your boob like a sandwich to get a good latch. Sounds weird but really works, it is also called the C-hold. Take any blankets and clothing off of yourself and baby so that you and baby are skin to skin, do this as often as you can to help a sleepy baby eat more. “

Kristen C. – “If you are having latch issues, ask about tongue tie.”

Chloe L. – “If you are not so comfortable having an audience, don’t be afraid to ask for some space. If you are nervous, the baby will sense it and it will be harder than it needs to be.”

If you have any additional tips, please share them in the comments!
Photo credit: Kelly Harris-Lawson of I Shoot Stuff. https://www.facebook.com/photosbykelly