On May 27th, Saxon tuned 5 months old!
Just a little disclaimer…this post is heavy on breastfeeding, so if that doesn’t interest you, just skip it, and enjoy the photo of my super cute little guy.
This past month has been pretty tough. Eating and sleeping have not been going well at all. For the past 2 months or so, I’d been suspecting that Saxon had some food sensitivities. He doesn’t sleep for long periods of time, and he poops A TON. I was about to start eliminating things from my diet to see if we could pinpoint the issue, but this past month I discovered what the issue is—forceful letdown. Basically when my milk lets down, just like the name says, it comes out forcefully. I’ve noticed that Saxon will unlatch and cough a lot when feeding, and when he was younger, he would cry a lot during feedings. Being overwhelmed by milk obviously is not pleasant for a little one, but the main problem is that the ratio of foremilk to hindmilk is off, and he gets way too much foremilk. Too much foremilk leads to digestive problems, like gas pains, frequent green poops (yuck), and not staying satisfied for very long. And obviously, all of that interferes with sleep.
There are different breastfeeding techniques that help with this, like only feeding on one side during each breastfeeding session, only using that one side during a 3-hour period to insure that he gets to the hindmilk, and basically letting him nurse as long and as often as he wants. Also, making him unlatch when the milk lets down, and allowing the excess milk to spray into a cloth, and then letting him to continue to feed after the spray stops. Uggghhh…it’s exhausting. Using these techniques though, I’ve seen a ton of improvement. He went from waking up 3+ times night—and sometimes as often as every hour—to waking up about twice a night.
We also started him on solids this past week and that seems to be helping him a good bit, too. So far, he’s tried rice cereal, bananas, and sweet potatoes. The sweet potatoes are his favorite, by far.
Even with those issues, Saxon is clearly getting everything he needs. He’s growing like crazy, and is wearing 9-month clothing now. I’ve never really followed a strict feeding schedule with him, and have pretty much just let him eat on demand, so I think that has helped. His digestive issues have really only been a problem at night when he goes longer periods of time between feedings and my breasts get engorged. During the day, he’s always been a happy, calm baby who rarely fusses.
Anyway, I’m glad to know what the problem is, but because feedings are so frequent and long, I’ve decided to start weaning him. It’s just too difficult to keep up with when I have another child who needs my attention. Only one problem though…Saxon refuses to eat from a bottle. Since he was born, I’d leave a bottle of formula for him whenever Michael or someone else would watch him, or we’d send him to the church nursery. He’d never drink much, if any of it. I’d never been away for him for more than a few hours though, so I guess he never got to the point of really needing it.
Since I decided to start weaning him a couple of weeks ago, we’ve been offering a bottle every day, to no avail. We’ve been trying every tip I’ve read about, too. Michael gives him a bottle every day when he gets home from work, so someone besides me is feeding him. We’ve tried different bottles, different formulas, pumped breast milk, a mixture of breast milk and formula, different feeding positions. None of it is working. I stayed away from the house the weekend before last, and Saxon refused the bottle for six hours straight. He’s one stubborn boy. We will keep trying though.
I’m just so glad he’s started sleeping better at night. It’s so hard to face the day with optimism and patience when you’re running on little sleep. I hate not being able to be the best mom I can be to Rosen particularly, who requires a lot of energy to parent. These past couple of months she’s been allowed way more TV and iPad time than I’d like, but we’re chugging along. I know this stage is temporary, and things will get better. We still manage to get out and have a lot of fun most days. Sure, a lot of other stuff is getting pushed to the side right now. My house is usually a mess, I don’t get much me time, but my kids are, overall, happy and healthy, and I can’t ask for more than that!