Motherhood has a way to test your limits. I thought I would slide into the mom status with no hiccups. Schedule changes, midnight feedings, breastfeeding troubles, and colic… I felt ready for it. Boy was I wrong. I didn’t rip my hair out, scream or cry endlessly but it was difficult. I needed advice all the time in order to properly care for my baby girl. I needed other moms to calm my worries and answer my never-ending list of questions. So naturally I turned to Google.
Questions such as, how much should she be drinking? How do I know if she’s getting enough milk if I can’t measure how much I breastfeed? Why are my boobs so sore? How do I get rid of a diaper rash? What’s that peeling skin on her scalp? Why does she have so many hiccups? Will eating less cabbage make her have less gas?
So many questions.
Of course you might say: ‘Well, Scott’s done this before, couldn’t he help?’
To be honest, he didn’t remember much. It’s crazy how much your brain lets go of, as your kids grow older. Even now with Samuel, I have a hard time remembering details of Adèle’s schedule. I sure wish I had written everything down back then.
I found talking to other mothers extremely helpful. Even though you shouldn’t compare yourself to other mothers; it helped to hear some feedback on what worked for them and what didn’t. So I wanted to share Samuel’s sleep and feeding schedule to contribute to those midnight feed reads.
When I first had Adèle, I had hoped to exclusively breastfeed her from the start. However, like babies do, she threw me a curve ball. When she was only 4 days old, she stopped having wet diapers. At that time I was only breastfeeding and didn’t own a pump. When we called our family doctor around 2PM, he asked us to give her 2oz of formula so that we would be able to measure how much she drank. If she still hadn’t peed by 7PM, he asked us to bring her to the Children’s Hospital (CHEO in our area) since the issue might have been with her kidneys. Yikes! Thankfully, the issue was that my milk hadn’t come in fast enough for her needs. We decided from that point on that her last feed of the day was going to be formula so that I could pump and store milk. It worked out wonderfully for her. Scott got to contribute and I could store milk for nights that I was away from her.
I didn’t plan on putting Sam on any kind of schedule since I don’t stick to schedules all that well. I wanted him to settle into his own routine and let me know when he needed me.
I have to point out that Samuel is exclusively breastfed.
Feeding was on demand. That means when he asked, I offered the breast. It’s hard to know when they’re hungry, uncomfortable or tired since their cues all look and sound the same. I found that if I touched his cheek and he turned towards my finger, rooting, then he was hungry. If he kicked his legs, he had gas.
He fed every 3 hours.
I grabbed a comfortable nursing pillow, my phone, the remote, snacks and water bottle. When Samuel hit a growth spurt, it took a while for my milk production to catch up to his needs. He suddenly needed 4 oz of milk per feed and my body was only making 3. So he needed to be fed more often.
8:00AM : Wake and Feed
9:00AM – 11:00AM : Sleep
11:00AM : Wake and Feed
11:30PM – 12:00PM : Play
12:00PM – 2:00PM : Sleep
2:00PM : Wake and Feed
2:30PM to 3:30PM : Play
3:30PM to 5:30PM : Sleep
5:30PM to 6:00pm : Wake and Feed
6:00PM – 11:00PM : schedule would change day to day. Mixture of catnaps and short feeds
(Sometimes he slept 2 hours at a time, sometimes he fed every hour. )
9h30pm : Bath
1:00AM : Feed
3:00AM : Feed
7:30AM – Wake and Feed
(I also pump to keep my milk production up and stock up my freezer. It’s never a problem since I am engorged in the morning)
8:30AM to 10:30 – Sleep
10:30AM – Wake and Feed
11:15AM to 12:00PM – Play
12:00PM to 1:00PM – Sleep
1:30PM – Wake and Feed
2:00PM to 2:45PM – Play
2:45PM to 4:30 – Sleep
4:30PM – Wake and Feed
5:00PM to 6:30 – Play
7:30PM – 8:00PM – Short Nap
8:30PM : Bath then Final Feed
9:30PM : Bed Time
11:30PM – Dream Feed
(Without waking him, keeping the lights and noise to a minimum, I feed him then gently put him back down for the night)
4:30AM: Feed (only if he wakes up, otherwise let him sleep until he needs to eat.
If he doesn’t wake at 4:30AM to feed, I feed him when he does need it, usually around 6AM but I make sure to feed him at 7:30AM to start his schedule for the day. Otherwise his schedule is all messed up and I never know when he will need milk.
I always make sure to feed him from both sides; alternating which side I start with. I also change his diaper mid feed to make sure he stays awake for the full feed.
Also I should mention that anytime we are home or have our SNOO bassinet with us, that’s where he sleeps. That’s where he sleep the best and it gives me a good 1-2 solid hour to regain my energy as well. Keep reading on more info.
A good feed = a good nap.
Around 6 weeks, sleep exhaustion hit me hard. I had read a lot about the SNOO. It seemed like a miracle for slept deprived mothers and fathers so I took the plunge and invested.
It was an easy decision for me since I’m the first in my family to have children. I knew that the bassinet would get a lot of use in the long run.
I’ve linked it so you can check it out but I do highly recommend it, if you can afford it.