Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Nature vs. Nurture

Diego has now been born for exactly 3 weeks, and yet it seems so much longer than that. He's taken over my whole life it seems. I can't even get a few minutes in before he starts to cry and needs to be held. I don't want to spoil him, yet he won't stop crying unless you hold him.
The nights have been the most difficult because he does not like to sleep in his crib. I'm not sure if it's because it's been cold lately (though I turn on the heater through most of the night) or if he's just being spoiled, but most nights he ends up getting his way and sleeping with us. And by "us" I mean "me" because Javier can't take it and sleeps in the office most nights. His work schedule makes it much too difficult with a crying baby to top things off.
Other than his constant crying to which his new nickname is "grumpy old man", my other struggle has been whether to breastfeed or pump breastmilk and deliver via a bottle. Most women I've talked to seem to have taken to breastfeeding very easily and naturally. I'm not saying that I haven't, I just think there are some inconveniences and I prefer to pump and bottle feed when I can.
As of this week, I believe I finally found the perfect blend of breast vs. bottle: breast during the night, bottle during the day.
Why this works for me: I prefer to bottle feed during the day and would also do it during the night, but I just don't have the stamina to keep it up. Bottle feeding helps me have more control of the milk supply. By pumping, I know exactly how much milk I am producing (2-2 12 oz every 3 hours), and how much Diego is consuming (the whole thing). The pump gets all the milk out, that Diego may not have been able to suck out had he breast fed, therefore he's eating more via bottle. Diego is not a strong breast feeder so I know that he is not getting all the milk naturally; plus I've had leaks in the night when he has breastfed, indicating surplus. The pump is also quicker and less painful than breastfeeding. I thought I had a lot of patience, but sitting in an uncomfortable position for at least 45 minutes while the baby breast feeds and holding his head in place causes stress on my body. I already feel like I've got carpel tunnel on my right hand. Another nice thing about the bottle is that family members like Javier, my mother and sister have been participating in feeding time, which allows them to bond with Diego as well.
Why breastfeeding at night works for me: By the time night falls, I am exhausted. If I were to continue pumping, it would require me to get up in the cold night and wash the pump horns and bottles each time. Then I have to attach all the pieces prior to pumping. Not to mention the loud noise that the pump makes. I also know the importance of breastfeeding to bond with your child and aid in milk supply production. Therefore, nighttime is our time.
Now if only I could figure out the constant crying!