Hey friends! It’s 2019 and another wonderful year has begun. This time last year I was a new mamma just trying to figure out how to care for this tiny person who depended on me for everything. Now a year later (we made it though the first year!!!) so much has changed while some things have also stayed the same. In today’s blog I am going to go over what my current breastfeeding schedule looks like and what my feeding plans are going forward.
So currently I am still breastfeeding my daughter. She just turned one on December 31, 2017. So much has changed in these last few weeks though and I can totally tell a difference in her development and growth through how she nurses now. So here is a basic break down of what most of our days look like at this point in our breastfeeding journey:
*I tend to follow more of a nursing-on-demand format but of course by now we have fallen into a schedule and it tends to be pretty consistent. Plus my daughter has always been a naturally routine-driven person. I have no idea where she gets that from…
6-7am (no later then 6 on the days I work, but on my off days she is able to wake on her own, usually sometime around 6:30) wake up and nurse. This is probably her longest nursing session of the day. She will usually nurse anywhere from 7-15 minutes. She still only will nurse on one side per session so in the mornings after she is done, I will pump on the other side. I usually get anywhere from 5-8oz on that side.
7-7:30am- a breakfast of solids. Usually about 30 minutes after she nurses we offer her breakfast.
8:50/9am She will either nurse if I am not working or she will have a bottle with her care giver if I am working. If she gets a bottle then it’s 5oz of breast milk and she usually drinks all of that. If she is with me then she normally will eat for about 4-8 minutes.
11:30-12pm Again she will either nurse if I am not working or she will have a bottle if I am. This feeding is the same as above. She either drinks 5oz from the bottle or nurses anywhere from 4-8 minutes.
12-12:30pm. Usually about 30 minutes after she has milk we offer her a solid lunch.
3pm. She will either nurse if I am not working or she will have a bottle if I am working. With the bottle she will drink about 5oz and if nursing she will eat for about 4-8 minutes.
*The evenings tend to be less scheduled.
5/6/7pm. At any of these times she might nurse. She will nurse for at least one of the times, but here lately she’s been wanting to nurse at two of these times. For about the first 11 months her schedule was always to have her last nursing session at 6pm. Lately she has been wanting to nurse at both 5 and 7pm. So we just follow her lead. At any of these sessions though it lasts for about 4-8 minutes. Sometimes the 7pm one will last longer for about 10-13 minutes.
6-6:30pm Around this time we will offer her a solid dinner.
7pm is her bed time and she will sleep all through the night.
9:30pm. Last pumping session of the night. I will usually pump each side for about 10 minutes.
*If it is a working day then I will nurse at the 6am feeding, pump at work at 10am and 2pm, and then nurse the rest of the night when she wants from when I get home around 4 and on.
The things that have stayed the same are that she is still nursing pretty much every three hours during the day. The major change has been the amount of time she nurses. She has always been a fast nurser with her normal times being around 10 minutes. She now tends to stay around the 5-minute-mark during the day with the longest one in the morning and some times a long one at bed time. Remember that this doesn’t necessarily mean she is getting any less milk or not enough milk. By this age toddlers are very efficient at getting the milk out. The other thing I have changed from my last breastfeeding blog is that I have moved down to only pumping twice at work instead of three times and I only pump at morning and night on the days I am home with her versus pumping at every nursing session.
So the big question now that she is one is when will I be weaning her from breastfeeding. Currently I have no desire to wean her and she isn’t showing any signs of wanting to be weaned. So I plan to continue to nurse her for as long as we both are comfortable doing so. Even after baby is one there are still so many benefits to continuing nursing for both the child and mom. One thing to keep in mind is that the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that babies be breastfeed until age two. “Health outcomes for mothers and babies are best when breastfeeding continues for at least two years. Breastfeeding should continue as long as mutually desired by mother and child.” (https://www.aafp.org/about/policies/all/breastfeeding-support.html#Key Recommendations) Benefits that the toddler still receives includes immune factors from mom to help them keep sickness away, cognitive achievement is higher in those who are breastfed longer, nutrition, connection between mom and child, etc. For mom the benefits include reducing the risk of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, uterine cancer, endometrial cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, cardiovascular disease, etc. It protects against osteoporosis and type 2 diabetes and helps keep mom at a healthy weight. The benefits are endless!
So for now we are going to keep on keeping on for as long as possible. If anyone has any tips on nursing a toddler please share them below. I am always open to learn more, especially from those who have already done this. I never thought I would be in the extended breastfeeding group so I need all the help I can get! This past year of breastfeeding has been amazing and I’m so thankful for my experience and for the ability I’ve had to not only feed my baby, but to also donate close to 10,000 ounces to many local mammas that I have since come to call friends. This beautiful and strong community is something I will cherish forever.
Baby Dust To All,