When I think about having a newborn it seems so overwhelming I just about cry. I can’t get through the day now with one kid. How on earth will I ever do it with two and no sleep?? I keep reminding myself being not pregnant will help a lot. Still, I barely survived the first seven weeks of Meg’s life (she slept for a 5 or 6 hour stretch for the first time at 7 weeks) and I’m really worried about doing it again with the addition of a toddler.
I am hoping to be a bit easier on myself this time. I can’t remember what sources I got this from, but I remember the prevailing consensus last time to be that you shouldn’t give your baby a bottle until 6-8 (or 4-8?) weeks to avoid nipple confusion. I, of course, decided that I was going for eight weeks or bust. In retrospect, this was kind of ridiculous. Meg drank a lot of bottles when she was 4-6 days old because my milk didn’t come in until day 6 and we had to supplement. She had zero trouble switching between breastfeeding and bottlefeeding in that time. I do think that was part of the reason I was so against bottles, though. Breastfeeding had been so hard to establish I refused to do anything that might jeopardize it. Plus, I already hated the breast pump and had no interest in pulling it out of the closet again, even if a bottle of breastmilk would have gotten me more sleep. So I was there for every single feeding she had the first eight weeks of her life. Even the first week when Thomas was giving her a bottle, I was pumping. In fact, I was up longer then, since I would pump until I had enough colostrum for her next feeding (2 oz, I think), which sometimes took 40 minutes.
I honestly don’t know how I did it, but you can bet I’m not doing it again. I will not fear the bottled breastmilk! I’m still not sure at what age to start giving it, though. Any suggestions? Do I wait a month? Only a week or two? I’m leaning towards two weeks-ish. But if baby boy shows starts preferring the bottle, he’s not getting any more of them until I go back to work. Pumping at work was bad enough; I’m not going to do it all the time. This time we’re going for the maintain-mom’s-sanity plan. I will only pump during working hours. The rest of the time, if he absolutely refuses to nurse, formula it is! (I say this now, but only because I really doubt nipple confusion will ever be an issue. I bet if it actually happens, I’ll surgically attach myself to the pump.)