Yesterday I was checking on my 9-week-old daughter Peony during her nap to ensure she was still breathing. I thought it was a total amateur move for a seasoned mom like me (although does having a 3-year-old make me seasoned or grizzled?).
Then later in the afternoon I called up a dear friend who has a son four weeks older than Peony to complain that she seemed to be eating too frequently.
“She’s a big baby,” I said. “I know she has it in her to go six to seven hours in between feedings on occasion, but she’s eating every 90 minutes to two hours today.”
My friend told me her doula told her to wait at least three hours in between feedings to avoid “snacking.” So while my husband and I didn’t relish letting Peony cry, we did it a couple of times and everyone survived.
Then I fed her at 6:30 last night and vowed not to do it again until 9:30. However, it turned out to be a non-issue — she slept straight through from 8 last night until 5 this morning. I think I should be happy about that, but I can’t help but worry.
The problem is me, not my baby, right?
I mean, sleeping 9 straight hours is an accomplishment, not a cause for concern. I get that.
But on the one hand I’m worried she’s eating too much, and then I’m worried she’s not eating enough. (Well, with rolls of chub, clearly she’s eating enough.) Instead of enjoying the full night’s sleep that Peony kindly handed to me on a silver platter, I kept waiting for her to wake up to eat and almost woke her up to get it over with a few times, although ultimately I knew better and left well enough alone.
At nearly 10-weeks-old I keep waiting to detect a pattern in her feeding schedule. But I just keep letting Peony feed on demand and I’m starting to think I should dictate when the kitchen is open and closed. It would make my life easier, for sure, and I’m starting to think it would make hers easier, too (although of course she’s an infant; how tough is her life now?).
I also wonder if it’s true that the more babies eat during the day, the less they’ll want to eat at night. Like, if they’re going to eat X ounces of milk total over a 24-hour period, does it matter when they eat it? Or will they still want to eat at night no matter how much they eat during the day?
I’ve been going with the flow for nearly 10 weeks now. I guess I can keep on keeping on, although it would be nice to at least think about starting to form more of a plan. For the sake of my sanity, anyway.
How old was your baby when you tried to get him/her on a feeding schedule? Did you ever worry when they started really sleeping through the night? Or am I certifiable?
Image: Meredith Carroll