Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Sleep training from baby's point of view

This is from one of my lists:

Sleep Training...

OK, here's my situation. My Mommy has had me for
almost 7 months. The first few months were great--
I cried, she picked me up and fed me,
anytime, day or night. Then something happened.
Over the last few weeks, she has been trying to
STTN (sleep through the night).
At first, I thought it was just a phase, but it is only
getting worse. I've talked to other babies, and it seems like it's
pretty common after Mommies have had us for around 6 months.

Here's the thing: these Mommies don't really need
to sleep. It's just a habit. Many of them have had some 30 years to
sleep--they just don't need it anymore. So I am implementing a
plan. I call it the Crybaby Shuffle.

It goes like this:

Night 1--cry every 3 hours until you get fed.
I know, it's hard. It's hard to see your Mommy upset over your
Just keep reminding yourself, it's for her own good.

Night 2--cry every 2 hours until you get fed.

Night 3--every hour.

Most Mommies will start to respond more quickly
after about 3 nights.
Some Mommies are more alert, and may resist the
change longer. These Mommies may stand in your doorway for hours,
shhhh-ing. Don't give in. I cannot stress this enough: CONSISTENCY IS
If you let her STTN (sleep through the night), just once, she
will expect it every night. I KNOW IT'S HARD! But she really does not
need the sleep, she is just resisting the change.

If you have an especially alert Mommy, you can
stop crying for about 10 minutes,
just long enough for her to go back
to bed and start to fall asleep.
Then cry again. It WILL eventually
work. My Mommy once stayed awake for 10 hours straight,
so I know she can do it.

Last night, I cried every hour. You just have to
decide to stick to it and just go for it.
BE CONSISTENT! I cried for any
reason I could come up with. My sleep sack tickled my foot. I
felt a wrinkle under
the sheet. My mobile made a shadow on the wall. I
burped, and it tasted like pears.
I hadn't eaten pears since lunch,
what's up with that?
The cat said "meow". I should know. My
Mommy reminds me of this about 20 times a day. LOL.
Once I cried just because I liked how it
sounded when it echoed on the monitor in the
other room. Too hot, too
cold, just right--doesn' t matter! Keep crying!!

It took awhile, but it worked. She fed me at 4am.
Tomorrow night, my goal is 3:30am.
You need to slowly shorten the
interval between feedings in order to reset your Mommies' internal

P.S. Don't let those rubber things fool you, no
matter how long you suck on them, no milk will come out. Trust me.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

One session with a lactation consultant improves your chances of success!

January 8, 2007 — A single antenatal counseling session with educational materials improved breastfeeding practices up to 3 months after delivery, according to the results of a randomized trial reported in the January issue of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
More here.

"Both the World Health Organization and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend exclusive breast-feeding for the first 6 months, followed by the introduction of suitable complementary foods and continued breastfeeding up to 2 years of age. Despite increasing clinician awareness of the many advantages of breastfeeding, many mothers in the United States and worldwide do not maintain exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months."

A US survey in 2001 revealed that at 6 months' postpartum, only 27% of mothers were still breastfeeding, and only 7.9% were exclusively breastfeeding, which means without any additional formula or food or drink. In Singapore, the National Breastfeeding Survey 2001 showed that only 21.1% of mothers continued to breastfeed at 6 months, and that fewer than 5% were breast-feeding exclusively.

"The challenge therefore remains to implement programs that can effectively improve rates of exclusive and predominant breastfeeding both in the short and long term. In these surveys, significant factors affecting the decision not to breastfeed included a lack of support from healthcare professionals (reported by more than 10% of Singapore mothers) and a lack of knowledge about breastfeeding.

Although programs aimed at promoting breastfeeding through patient education and caregiver encouragement have yielded mixed results, systematic reviews conclude that educational programs are more effective at improving breastfeeding practice than are informative pamphlets dispensed without accompanying educational intervention. Seeing a lactation counselor before delivery establishes contact with someone who can continue to provide postnatal care and support. Breastfeeding counseling should be part of a broader program aimed at educating pregnant women for motherhood."

If you are in Tokyo, once a month classes with a Lactation Consultant are available here.

Private consultations are also available on request.

Once a month La Leche League meetings are held in Tokyo at 2 locations. Meeting the group Leaders and the other mothers can also help you establish the network of support you need.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

The mystery of mother's milk

Happy New Year!
If you are here because you saw us in the January 2007 edition of Tokyo Families magazine, welcome! For people outside Tokyo, my article from their latest edition, the Mystery of Mother's Milk can be read online. This blog and my classes are also listed, along with other post-natal resources.