i am now on a strict beer and cookie diet [yes, you read that right].
let me explain.
i mentioned at the end of last week's 5 month lily update that we may have to start supplementing with formula because my supply isn't quite meeting miss thing's appetite [and that i'm pretty bummed about that].
after some initial hiccups [that we fixed by meeting with a lactation consultant], breastfeeding has become something i really enjoy. i'm not going to get into the whole drama about breast vs. bottle - this is solely my opinion and what works best for me and my family - but i do want lily to continue to get all the benefits of breast milk as her primary food source without having to supplement.
so why am i worried about my supply? let's do some math [ew, math]. currently, she's eating 4.5 to 5oz at day care... every two hours. that means for the length of time she's there, she gets 5 bottles. so let's be conservative and say that's 25oz, just for day care, every day. [my boobs hurt just thinking about it ]. i typically pump 2-3 times at work and have seemed to have maxed out at 20oz. that 5oz difference has almost depleted [my now organized] stockpile to being barely a day ahead. i try to pump i get home from work, but my supply is a little low then and after breastfeeding all evening, she's been consistently waking up at 11pm and 3am to eat so i want to make sure i'm not all empty-boobed and stuff.
how does that tie back to beer and cookies? here's how:
beer: i did some research about alcohol and breastfeeding* as well as beer and breastfeeding and decided to give it a try. the polysaccharide in the barley used to make the beer seem to stimulate prolactin, which helps make more milk. it's actually not the alcohol - so you can use non-alcoholic beer!
cookies: lactation cookies to be exact. they're almost all oatmeal chocolate chip and it's the brewer's yeast, oatmeal, and flax seed used in the recipe that help with milk production. i first tried milkmakers lactation cookiesbut they weren't the tastiest, nor did i notice a huge difference. then i had a girlfriend tell me about this recipe. jason [being the best hubby that he is] made them for me and i'm on my second 48-cookie batch this week. i eat at least 2 [or ahem, 4] a day and they're delicious!
these not the only way to stimulate supply. the more your baby feeds, the more you're supposed to produce. then there's also fenugreek supplement/teas you can take [but they're so gross].
i've been doing both beer and cookies together for a couple of weeks i have actually noticed a difference in my supply - i'm able to pump more throughout the day and even got to pump over the weekend when i exclusive breastfeed lily.
we've also started introducing her to rice cereal, applesauce, bananas, and sweet potato - but she's not really interested. so i'm hoping to have this little setup of mine last me through her 5th month and into the 6th when i want to introduce baby-led weaning. i think she'll do better with picking up a [baby safe] chunk of banana and putting it in her mouth rather than eating it all mushed up from a spoon.
i'd love to hear any mamas out there that are going through or have gone through a decrease in supply and what you did for it!
*before i get any judge-y-ness, i never ever breastfeed my daughter if i feel the least bit tipsy. i only have my beer after she's gone to bed and know that she won't be getting up for another 4 hours. i don't drink 17 beers and get loaded, i have 1. i do, however, eat about 4 cookies a day - so sue me.
5 months! baby girl turned 5 months yesterday! oh and what a month it's been. this month lily:
stopped sleeping! awesome! [not!]
transitioned to the crib
stopped being swaddled
is a full-on stomach sleeper [don't even try to turn her over, she'll flip... literally]
started "eating" "solids" [aka moved rice cereal, applesauce, mushed up bananas, and sweet potatoes around her mouth with her tongue all the while making a "wtf is this?" face]
outgrew basically anything and everything labelled 3 months
reaches for stuff she wants [and more importantly, me!]
discovered that she can splash the water in her bath [so that mama basically takes a bath with her that's how wet she gets]
lily likes: eating [but not so much the baby food], laughing, flipping over on her stomach, smiling at mama & daddy, eating her hands, putting everything and anything in her mouth, standing, toys that light up/make noise, seamus the sheep [thanks ali & kevin!], and day care.
lily dislikes: naps, baby food [so far], sleeping through the night, and not getting attention.
this next month we're going to work on her eating "solids" better, continue our sleep training, and will probably have to supplement with formula because mama isn't producing enough to keep up with a certain voracious eater [and i'm pretty sad about that].
no one told me that my wonderful sleeper who slept through the night since she was 6 weeks old, would, at the 4 and a half month mark, stop sleeping. but whenever i explain why my eyes are bloodshot and that i need to you repeat what you just told me for the umpteenth time [because i fall asleep with my eyes wide open each time i attempt to concentrate] to any parent, they make the "oh, yes, the 5-month sleep adjustment, i remember that" comment and give me sympathetic looks.
so listen up, and be prepared, there's a very good chance your baby will do the following: stop sleeping through the night at 4.5 - 5 months old.
now that we've identified the problem, what should we do about it? apparently, sleep training, that's what.
before having miss lily, i had decided to let her pick the schedule - when she eats, when she naps, etc. and it was going great until she couldn't be swaddled anymore and outgrew her bassinet.
first came the 2am wake-ups because she'd broken out of her swaddle and couldn't turn over. so we stopped swaddling her [which resulted in more wake-ups because of "crazy arms - you know what i'm talkin' bout here, mamas].
then we moved her into the crib and she started flipping over on her stomach and falling asleep [so we spent 3 nights running back and forth flipping her over because "back to sleep" you know].
next after some sage advice we figured out that we were putting her to sleep too late - an overtired baby won't sleep either [awesome], so we started watching her cues and figured out that girlfriend was ready for bedtime around the 7:30pm-8:00pm mark.
we implemented a bedtime routine - "solids" [rice cereal + apple sauce for now], bathtime, cuddles & boob, then down in the crib while drowsy but not yet asleep.
she falls asleep like a champ but wakes up at 11pm for a snack [more boob] and [and this is the killer] again at 3am.
the 3am wakeup is what's making both my husband and me walking zombies. the only way she will calm down is if she eats [whether boob or bottle] but i'm not so sure she's actually hungry or if it's just a calming habit.
two schools of thought to sleep train is to either cry-it-out [CIO] or the no-tears method. each have their own versions but it's basically either let her cry or comfort her back to sleep.
i can't stand to hear lily crying so i prefer the no-tears methods, with my personal favorite being that of secrets of the baby whisperer by tracy hogg who advocates picking the baby up when she cries as many times as necessary but avoiding "props" such as rocking and nursing her back to sleep.
unfortunately, that's not exactly working. yet.
so this is my sleep-deprived self asking for your advice - what worked for your babies so they could go the f to sleep? [or more importantly, stay the f asleep!]
[joie blazer, h&m dress (old), zara flats (old), h&m belt (in stores)]
[monica vinander bracelet, j.crew factory bracelet (no longer available)]
when your baby starts waking up a couple of times per night, your priorities change. it's no longer crucial to spend an extra 5 minutes picking out a blog-worthy outfit or heck, even to brush your hair. you're focused on possibly getting a shower and guzzling as much coffee as possible to make it through the work day.
but lo and behold, there are some days when you get home from work and drag your poor husband out to your blue deck and dang-nabbit you take those outfit pictures because you're looking half-way presentable today and you haven't blogged in 2 weeks.
so thank you for taking a second to visit the second best. we're pretty tired, but we still love clothes.