I am currently breastfeeding my fourth child. I successfully breastfed my first baby for 12 months, my 2nd for 19 months, my 3rd for 16 months and plan to breastfeed this one for at least 18 months.
With my first baby – a son – I went by the book and tried to keep him on a “schedule.” What resulted was a fussy baby who stayed up all night the first 3 months of his life and a tired frustrated mommy who almost gave up on breastfeeding altogether.
It was a rough year with my son because I was determined to stick to the “schedule”. He turned out okay – he did sleep finally all night at 3 months. Slept in his own crib and room at 7 months. What I do feel is guilty – guilty because I let him cry waiting for my milk to come in and for that appointed time on the “schedule” to arrive.
So I learned from that experience and when my second baby was born, a daughter, I was much more relaxed and determined to do things differently. From the very beginning, I allowed her to nurse on demand. She turned out to be such a docile baby – sleeping through the night from day 1 and always in a good mood.
I found that nursing on demand did not spoil her at all. In fact, I had no problems when it came time to wean her. Everything went smoothly. My 3rd baby weaned herself because I was 4 months pregnant with my 4th.
Now that I have my fourth baby I have been breastfeeding on demand from the moment she was handed to me after she was born. She too is docile and calm. I have learned from my experiences and will advise any mom who wants to breastfeed to do so on demand.