Saturday, May 14, 2011

New Schedule

I'm trying to figure out a new schedule for Cupcake, and I'm still hesitant to try it out.  I'm not sure why.  

She's fine, we're fine, let's not rock the boat, right?  Except that now she's sleeping longer naps (finally!  hour long naps!), and because of solids we need longer time between feeds.  I'm trying to not interfere with her breast milk intake, so I'm not feeding her food less than an hour before she's due to nurse.  This, of course, presents it's own set of logistical problems, because she'll oversleep, or we have plans out of the house, etc etc.  If my entire life was only about her food and sleep we'd be fine, but as I've discussed a couple of days ago, I need some other distractions in my life. 

Thankfully, her MCAD hasn't presented itself in a dramatic way, so we can be a bit more flexible now with her feeds.  We can go 6 hours without food, which gives a gigantic leeway throughout the day, and it's a bit overwhelming to have such freedom.  I'm realizing now that many of our early schedule/parental decisions were based on her medical condition.  I'm also realizing that we set up a day schedule about 5 months ago and haven't updated it too drastically.   It's time.

For starters, she's waking up earlier now.  Her nighttime sleep is now about 10pm - 9 am.(not straight through).   I'm thinking of going 3.5 hours between daytime feeds instead of every 3 hours, and I'm hoping that the extra half hour will give us more breathing room between nursing sessions.

I'm also torn because I always wanted to be one of those attachment parents who feed on demand (it's the best for milk supply, right?), but when we got the MCAD diagnosis we had to change our plans.  Not that you can't feed on demand with an FOD, but the practical implications were too much for me.  In order to make sure she wasn't going longer than 3 hours throughout the day (we'd been told 3 -4 hours, and we decided with our metabolic doctor to do 3 during the day and 4 at night), I would have to keep track of every time she was eating.  It was so stressful to have to worry of when she ate last, where the notebook was, had it been too long, not long enough, finally I just decided to set up a schedule and stick to it.  It was the best decision we could have made.  We had regular nursing sessions, I knew what to expect, and I wasn't constantly concerned that she would go into fasting mode.  However, now that she's 7 months old I can actually feed on demand, since the threat of fasting isn't as imminent, but I fear that I won't recognize her hunger signs and I'd be overwhelmed by deciphering is she's hungry, tired, bored, achy, etc.

So.... I'm gonna run through some options and see if they logistically work.

9 am wake up ... 9:30 milk  ... 10:30 food ... 10:45-11:00 am nap (wake up at noon?)  ... 1pm milk ... 2pm food  ...  2:30 nap (wake up at 3:30?) ... 4:30 milk  ...6 pm nap (wake at 7pm?) mmmm... usually she nurses at 9:30, but that would be 4.5 hours from her last session, and though that's acceptable by MCAD standards, I don't think it's gonna work for for her.     

9am wake up ....  Milk between 9 am - 10 am based on hunger cues  ... 10:30 am food  ... 11:00am nap (wake up 12?)  1:00 milk  1:30 food   2:30 nap (wake up 3:30?)  nurse 5 pm  6 pm nap 8:30 milk? .... won't work, it's not her bedtime.

I'm gonna try working back from her bedtime.

9:30-10  pm last milk.....   7 pm milk   6 - 7 pm last nap.  3:30 pm milk  nap 2:30-3 pm   12 noon milk  9-10 food.... this looks all scrambled, but to put it in order:

wake up: 9 ish.   
Milk: 9-9:30am   
Nap: 11 - 12  
Milk: 12 noon   
Food: 1 pm   
Nap: 2:30-3:30pm   
Milk: 3:30pm   
Food: 4 pm  
Nap: 6-7 pm  
Milk: 7 pm  
Food Snack: 8:30pm    
Last Milk Feed: 9:45pm
Bed: 10 pm
Dream Feed Milk: 12midnight
Milk: 6am

I realize that the 6 hour span between midnight and 6 am is a bit of a joke at the moment, but that's what we're aiming for.  Let's give this slightly modified schedule a try... since it's based on the natural schedule she seems to be taking.  We shall see how it works.

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