It has become apparent through speaking to the many many parents I see on a week to week basis, that they do enjoy the benefits of the baby-led and feeding on demand approach to parenting in the beginning.
Whilst this really is the best way to breastfeed your baby and maintain supply, there is usually a point where routines must be implemented. Generally this is around the 9/12 months mark, when mum has decided to go back to work.
From my experience parents aren’t warned about this stage and its upon them before they have a chance to think about it.
It’s around this stage that your baby is having massive developmental changes and can experience separation anxiety, parents begin to move their baby into their own bedroom, so you can imagine that the month before mum goes back to work can be stressful and feels like you are starting all over again.
This situation can be avoided by implementing gentle sleep training techniques. These can be very subtle so your baby is unaware of the changes being made, or you can try the more traditional approach to sleep training like the controlled crying technique. There are many other methods in between the extremes and what works for one baby, may not work for another.
My advice is to be very clear about what your plan is when returning to work.
Will you be happy to feed on demand through the night?
Are you happy to pump at work?
Implementing good sleep habits (sleep hygiene) should be initiated a good couple of months before your return to work. This gives you plenty time to work out which sleep training method is going to work for you and your family.
If you are having problems with sleep routines, I offer a consultation service. This can be done by phone or Skype should you be out with the edinburgh area.