Q+A: Tips on Breastfeeding, Choosing Schools, and Balancing More Than One Child
Question: Hi. I just had baby #3. He is 2 months old. We were just recently in the hospital for three weeks. He had feeding issues due to his breathing condition. The surgery he just received has helped his breathing almost completely, since then feeding as improved. While in the hospital he was on bottles (breast milk plus a small amount of formula) to help him gain weight. He is very under weight. They wanted to measure out his intake and calories very close My question is I want to breast feed. How do I get him back on the breast without hurting his weight gain or confusing him? Or should I stick to pumping and bottle feeding until he gets some more weight gain? I’m afraid if I wait too long he’ll never go back to breast. Then it won’t last long cause I can’t keep pumping and bottle feeding. With my other two kids i went over two years. I really want this to last but any help would be appreciated
Answer: Congrats on Baby #3! Here are some suggestions to get your baby more interested in feeding at your breast. First, make breastfeeding a special time, in a special place, for you and baby. We call this a Nursing Station: your favorite chair next to a window, your favorite music, a sanctuary, with any supplies you’d want handy. When you are relaxed and not worrying about how much milk your baby is going to get, you will naturally produce more milk. Next, just before latch-on, express several drops of your milk onto your breast/areola area – baby will find this much more “tasty” than a rubber nipple. If you must supplement with formula, do what is recommended by the World Health Organization: use donor milk either from a friend you know well, or from a milk bank, instead of formula. When giving supplemental milk, see a lactation consultant to learn how to use an SNS (supplemental nursing system) where baby gets the milk through tubing taped onto your breast at the nipple level.
Next, keep a diary of the number and nature of your baby’s bowel movements. Your baby’s doctor will want to know this information, as an average of three BMs a day, yellow and seedy, is an indication that your baby is getting enough milk. You will find additional ways to get extra milk into your baby on our website, AskDrSears.com, and in our book, The Breastfeeding Book.
Question: I just had my second daughter. My older one is 21 Months. In my late pregnancy and since having the baby my husband has been a lot more hands on with our 21 month old and now I find her preferring him often times pushing me away and asking for him instead. I feel so guilty that I am not as available to her as I am nursing and caring for our newborn. But my heart hurts sooo much that she senses this and has replaced me with her dad. Any advice??
Answer:What your older baby is doing is both normal and healthy. Celebrate it! This is good for Dad, and it frees you up to focus on your newborn. This is a natural kind of weaning, from mother to father, when a newborn comes along. Also, it would be nice to have Dad sit next to you, holding your toddler and “father nursing” (“nursing” means comforting, not just feeding) while you breastfeed your newborn. Finally, encourage your toddler to help you care for the new baby, such as with dressing and diapering and to enjoy story time with the three of you together. Your feelings of guilt are natural, there is always a bit of bitter sweetness to any weaning.
Question: Montessori preschool vs. regular preschool if they have comparable quality programs.
Answer: We have had good experience with Montessori schools with some of our children and some of our grandchildren. It really depends on the individual teacher and each Montessori school – some are better at upholding the philosophy of Maria Montessori than others. If you have not already delved into the work of Maria Montessori, read what she herself has written. Her work with and her understanding of children and their periods of sensitivity in the learning process, and how that can be fostered in the home as well, is worth investigating when comparing Montessori to other preschool programs