Babies started sleeping longer at 8 weeks, so for the last three weeks our schedule has changed. They’re 11 weeks old now and they eat every 3-4 hours (before, they were pretty regularly eating every 3.5 hours). We now actually look for their cues (rooting, eating their hands, sudden crying)–sometimes they’re hungry in 3 hours, and sometimes they’ll nap until it’s been four hours. The last feeding is anywhere from 12 to 2am, depending, and I usually stay up with them for this last part. Andy gets them up for the morning feeding (between 6 and 7am, usually) while I sleep a little longer. They take 5 ounces before and after that stretch, and 4 at the other feedings.
They’re still doing fine with that 5-6 hour stretch overnight. Both of them apparently don’t actually sleep that whole time–one or both start making noise–but they are fine going without eating. I figure that’s an important step and soon they’ll start sleeping longer.
Since all of these feedings depend on the babies, we never know ahead of time what our days will look like. That’s frustrating. I feel like I can’t schedule outings or agree to them ahead of time. I suppose soon we’ll be able to get them on a firmer eating/napping schedule, maybe once they can eat a little more at a time so they don’t start getting hungry sooner than four hours. I think at three months their tummies must be more ready for that, since that’s when sleep training/schedules might start working.
In other, slightly related news, this past week I’ve successfully changed my pumping schedule. Instead of 30 minutes every 3 hours, now I’m doing 40ish minutes every four hours (plus the six hours overnight). The good news is A) that means I only pump five times a day instead of six, and B) my supply has kept up, and even gone up slightly. (That’s a relief because for now we won’t have to supplement more with formula and spend more money.)The bad news is that the feeding and pumping sessions often don’t overlap, which means there is even less time to do anything non-baby related.
My next step is deciding if/when to further extend that schedule. Perhaps next week I’ll see if I can do every five hours. Eventually I’d like to get to only pumping a few times a day, but I don’t know if I want to do two or three, and what that will look like, or how long I’ll continue.
I should be going back to work (part time, at home) at the end of this month, and I’m starting to worry about being able to fit in work with feedings and pumping, let alone the naps I try to take in the mornings! It makes me tired and cranky just to think about it.
Our nanny has been with us for four weeks now. She’s here on Mondays and Fridays for eight hours. She is so great with the babies, and she does laundry too! In the mornings, I pump, take a nap, eat, pump, and then in the afternoons run errands and try to take a walk. I feel weird sometimes that I’m home while someone else is taking care of my babies, but quite frankly it’s a relief to have some time off, especially to have time to take a nap. Knowing that I have that ‘guaranteed’ time twice a week helps get me through the other days when I don’t have a chance. We are very privileged to be able to afford a nanny, and very lucky to have a great one.
We’re also lucky that the babies have been doing pretty well with sleep. In the next few weeks we’ll have to start working on a bedtime routine, and a feeding/nap structure to the day. Hopefully their sleeping will get even better–and so will ours.