Newborn Care: 2 months
How are you holding up, Mama? Good? Glad to hear it. If you feel good but are wondering if your experience is par for the course, here are some essentials you need to know about pumping and life with a 2-month-old baby.
Sleeping: Your baby sleeps about 15-16 hours within a 24-hour period at this age. While your baby is still too little to sleep through the night, now is a good time to teach your baby how to fall asleep on her own. Do this by placing your baby in her crib at night when she is drowsy and not yet asleep.
Feedings: You should start to gradually space out when you feed your baby during the day and you are likely feeding your baby closer to every 3-4 hours. While your baby is still waking up at night to feed, you will notice he can sleep for longer stretches overnight. If you have not yet introduced your baby to a bottle, we recommend doing so by this age, so they will be willing and able to take one when you go back to work, or for any periods of long separation from your baby. Have your partner, or someone in your family, offer the baby a bottle every day or every few days in this new routine, so your baby will be happy to eat however the meal is offered.
Milestones: Your baby can see objects better now and loves the sound of your voice. Your baby can see you while feeding and will start to follow movements when you walk close by. You will hear more cooing sounds and will soon you will see that first adorable toothless smile!
Getting Ready to Go Back to Work
How to Start Pumping
If you are breastfeeding and planning to go back to work, now is the time to start pumping so you can build up a supply. If you haven’t been pumping at all, we recommend pumping right after the first feeding in the morning (not the 4 a.m. feeding, the 7 a.m. feeding). Most women find that their milk supply “resets” overnight, and they have the most supply first thing in the morning. So pumping at this time usually results in the best bang for your buck, and most women find they can pump a few ounces even just after feeding the baby.
When your baby starts to sleep for longer stretches at night, this is also time to up your pumping game. As they get a little older most babies drop the first feeding of the night first; they sleep their longest uninterrupted stretch of sleep from bedtime until the time they would have woken up for their second feeding.
For example: If your baby had been going to bed at 7 p.m. and waking up at 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. to eat, they will likely drop the 10 p.m. feeding and sleep from 7 to 2 a.m. Once your baby consistently adopts this longer stretch of sleep, you can pump at night right before you go to bed. We recommend waiting at least 1.5 - 2 hours from when you last fed your baby, before you pump at this time because your body tends to make less milk in the evening. So to get the best bang for your buck at this time, it’s better to wait to pump.
TIP: Before you go back to work, have a practice day or “dress rehearsal.” Get up at the time you would if you were going to work, and shower, get dressed, and get yourself out the door at the time you would leave for work. If you are using a nanny, have a trial run for the day. If you are doing a daycare, drop the baby off with someone during the day so you can practice being away.
Practice pumping during the day during the timeframes that you know you will block off at work to pump. Figure out what you will need in your pumping bag, practice storing milk and iron out any kinks in the routine before your actual first day back to work.
Pumping Bag Must-Haves
A cooler and freezer packs
Your pump AND its power supply
Little bits: valves, flanges, inserts
Snacks and lunch
If this sounds overwhelming, you’re not remotely alone. Let us help you shorten the learning curve and take 99 percent of the “figuring out” out of this process. When you book our Lactation Consult with Pumping Education, we’ll come to your home and give you pro tips for streamlined pumping. Or, enroll in our 90-minute, in-depth pumping class held at our South Boston Studio.