Your stomach is growling for your dinner that’s sitting cold at your place at the table because you haven’t yet mastered eating with one hand while soothing a baby in the other.
The bags under your eyes are so dark you might as well have gotten into a bar fight.
You haven’t taken a shower today, despite the spit up crusted in your hair, and your living room floor is a sea of blankets and burp cloths and soiled onesies.
And then, amazingly, in a moment of awe and wonder, the heavens open up and your cuddly bundle lets you gently put him down without protest.
First order of business? Eating that cold dinner. You’re so hungry you don’t even care about the temperature.
But a mere three bites in, you hear it.
It pierces the hard fought silence and reverberates through your whole house. And it’s unmistakable—it’s your baby’s hungry cry.
Your eyes dart to the clock. Only two hours since the last feeding!
And that is the moment you utter the phrase a breastfeeding mom should never say:
“He can’t possibly be hungry again already!”
I get it because I’ve said it before. With my first child I said it quite a bit, actually.
But I’ve since come to accept that while it would be very convenient for babies always to eat every X number of hours, like clockwork, babies are not clocks. They’re people.
That means sometimes they eat big meals and sometimes they eat small meals. Sometimes they have growth spurts. Sometimes they feast and sometimes they snack—and when you’re breastfeeding it can be hard to tell which they’re doing.
So while you might expect your little one to go three hours between feedings like he usually does, there will be times he only goes two…or less. And there will be times his belly is full for four hours or more.
The only guarantee is that it won’t be the same every single time.
It can be inconvenient and annoying the way that so much of parenting is. But you didn’t want a robot for a child, right?
So breastfeeding moms, let’s stop questioning our babies’ hunger so much. Let’s stop looking at the clock all the time, and instead spend that time looking at our babies’ sweet faces. We’ll all be happier for it.