I did an experiment today:
Try not to feed Ellen more frequently than every 2.5 hours.
The thought process:
Ellen’s weight is skyrocketing faster than the rest of her, and her proportions are therefore skewed. This makes me think that I may be over-feeding her. How else do you explain the disproportionate growth?
I assumed that if she accepted the breast, she must be hungry. I also assumed that when she cried around 1.5 hours after the last feeding, it meant she was hungry.
But! What if that was just a leftover habit from her newborn days? She only ever cries when she is hungry or tired… so what if she is actually tired at 1.5 hours, not hungry?
Babies usually spread out their feedings to every 2-3 hours at some point. What if we are there and I just didn’t notice? What if I’ve been stuck in an outdated routine?
Well folks, we are there! A couple of times she couldn’t wait all the way to 2.5 hours. But she made it past 2 hours every time without complaint. And a couple other times she went 3 or even 4 hours before asking to eat (usually with a long nap in between)!
If she cried prior to 2 hours, I tried rocking her to sleep first. Sure enough, she was usually just sleepy and grumpy.
I feel very clever. The success of this experiment means that I will be pinned less and have more freedom. Plus I’m sure it is healthier for Ellen not to eat out of habit, but to instead wait to actually feel hungry.
I hope my new strategy of waiting for actual hunger results in a happy, healthy Ellen who grows to be her exact perfect size – whatever that may be.