When you’re pregnant there is this long list of food and drinks that you can and can’t have; stuff that, 30 years ago people probably consumed on a regular basis, but in today’s world, we’ve got rules. So all you do while pregnant is fantasize about the day when you can finally have those no-no list items again; such as sushi, WINE, or for me, Diet Pepsi (like 3-4 a day!). I don’t drink coffee, so Diet Pepsi is my caffeine of choice – and I love it a lot a lot a lot. And it drove me nutty that I could only drink one a day during pregnancy. So post pregnancy I was thrilled to be able to drink it again and more frequently throughout the day, especially since I’m a bit more sleep deprived these days. But crap, since I’m breastfeeding, the food and drinks I consume can still have an effect on my baby. Damn it.
While in the hospital, I asked the pediatrician if it was ok to drink soda during my nursing days and she said I should limit it to one a day. DEAR GOD, when am I going to have my body back?? But if I’m being honest, I’ve totally ignored that and had about 2-3 per day since bringing the baby home! (Oops!) In the first couple weeks, Annabelle slept like 18 hours a day. But as the weeks progress, Annabelle’s daily naps have become fewer and far between to the point where there are some days where she never has more than a few 15-20 minute cat naps. And as I said a couple blog posts ago, these dang cat naps are the death to any new moms’ sanity! So I wondered…maybe it’s the caffeine. Damn it, damn it, damn it.
So, as you do when your breastfed baby starts to show unwanted signs of whatever (lack of sleep included), you start eliminating things from your diet and see what it is that is causing the situation. So in the past three days I’ve eliminated caffeine from my diet and replaced it with Caffeine Free Diet Pepsi when I feel like having a soda. And little Ms. Annabelle has been napping several times per day, anywhere from a half hour to an hour and a half! And the best part is; she’s sleeping for longer stretches at night! The last three nights she has slept for 6 hours straight, from 10:45pm-5:00am! Hip hip HOORAY! She has totally skipped her usual 3am diaper change and feeding! Great for our sleep, not so good for my boobs – missing a feeding makes you ultra engorged and it HUUUUUUURTS! But I hear your body begins to adjust to a change in your feeding schedule after a few days.
With the extra sleep she’s been getting lately, my husband is now telling me: “NO MORE CAFFEINE, EVER.” Great, I’m back to lemonade and Sprite – my pregnancy beverage selections. *sigh* But oh well, if it means Annabelle is getting more sleep and I can get more things done around the house and longer uninterrupted sleep at night myself, I’m willing to cut out my dear, dear Diet Pepsi.
We’ll see how consistent this new and improved sleeping pattern is… I sure hope we’re turning over a new leaf! And who knows; better sleep could just be a product of Annabelle getting older, where she doesn’t need that middle of the night feeding and such; but for now all I can do is assume this change may actually be producing some results, so I’m going with it!
Parenting a new baby is all about trial and error. It’s not easy and to be honest, it’s not always fun, but when you do find those things that bring forth positive results (Read: non crying moments, sleep, smiles and coos), then it is fun and in those moments, all is well in the world with sugar on top!