Feeding schedule...

Paula - posted on 05/19/2009 ( 11 moms have responded )

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My son is 7 weeks old (almost), and I am trying to get him more on an eating schedule so he isn't "snacking" so much throughout the day. Right now he is eating about 28-30 ounces per day (he is bottle fed breast milk and a small amount of formula) or just a bit more. Most of what I have read says he should be eating 4-5 ounces every 3-4 hours. He eats 4-5 ounces but wants to eat every 90 minutes to 2 hours. How do you get them on a schedule and how do you know if you are overfeeding your baby? My doctor seems to think I am as he weighs almost 12 pounds. Any help would be appreciated... from how much you are feeding your baby to how to get them on a schedule.

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Anne - posted on 05/19/2009

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Hey Paula, yep all you can do is feed him when he's hungry then. At this age it can sometimes feel like that's all they do (feed and sleep!). My baby is 11+ months now - the time flies by so quickly! When he was really young it was difficult for awhile but it definitely gets easier over time.
I think they do know when they are full so all you can do is feed him as required as see how you go. :)

Paula - posted on 05/19/2009

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Hi Anne, I am only guessing he is hungry because he is turning toward the breast and screaming (it is beyond rooting), he is a very easy going baby until he is hungry. He does use the pacifier and if he just needs to suck, this works but most of the time, he will take it for a few minutes then spit it out and continue crying and rooting, even if I am not holding him. I think tomorrow I am going to try feeding him on demand and hope that he regulates himself. I just find it difficult to believe that after I have given him a 5oz bottle, that he is still hungry... (do they know when they are full?) Who knew it would be so difficult?

Alison - posted on 05/19/2009

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my son who is breast fed, at that age, was also eating every 2 hours, eventually on his own started stretching out that time, but i was told to let him eat as often as he likes cause they go through growth sprits, every couple months, like 2, 4, 6 months so they will eat more often around that time. and i was also told that even bottle fed babies are being told not to schedule the feeds, babies know when they are hungry and you shouldnt discourage this.they are learning to eat when they feel hungry, which you want them to know to do so,

Anne - posted on 05/19/2009

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Hi Paula
My breastmilk didn't really come in either and hence by 6 weeks my baby was basically on formula plus whatever breastmilk I could express. Because I was bottle feeding I knew exactly how much my baby was getting which made it easier to get a routine into place.

This may be a silly question, but how do you know your baby is actually hungry? How do you know he's just not grizzly, or just wanting to suck (I've read that babies just sometimes want to suck which is why a pacifier can be good).

As Bethany suggested, I did an Eat, Play, Sleep routine. At this age, my bubs fed every 3 hours. So, when I got up, I'd feed him, then change diaper and play which took around 1.5 hours. Then he'd sleep for approx 1.5 hours. The process would start over again. During the day, I'd wake him if he didn't wake himself. At night though, let him sleep as long as he wanted.

As you say, you may just need to try a few things so see what works best for you and your son. Good Luck in going back to work! :)

Paula - posted on 05/19/2009

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Thanks for the advice, please keep it coming. My son doesn't go to the breast as my milk didn't come in for 10 days (I would only get an ounce from both breast combined) and it took another two weeks to build up any amount of supply (4-6 ounces combined-24-28oz per day). He also had reflux which he had to be taken off breast milk to make sure it wasn't a milk allergy. At the start he was mainly on formula but is now on mainly breast milk, one 4oz bottle of formula per day. We have tried to go back to the breast but he struggles with it and I am returning to work next week so he will have to be bottle fed anyway. I try not to worry too much about how much he eats but it is hard. I also don't want him to have food issues later on either do to my psycho-ness with all of this. He is sleeping in about 5 hour stretches now but must be going through a growth spurt as he is sleeping tons during the day as well. I would love to see him sleep 8 hours in a row... guess I have some things to try...

Bethany - posted on 05/19/2009

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Also, I'd never let my daughter go more than 3 hours during day between nursing sessions. Then at night by that age I let her sleep as long as she wanted. And a consistent morning wake up time is really important for a schedule. We started our days at 7am, then I'd feed every 2.5 hours throughout the day and her bedtime was around 8, with another late evening nursing session at 11. Then I'd let her sleep until whenever she woke up. By doing this, her first night of sleeping through (8 hours) was at 7.5 weeks, and she's been a great sleeper ever since! There are no cranky babies in this house. :)

Bethany - posted on 05/19/2009

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Bottle-fed babies do tend to eat more than breastfed babies. I exclusively breastfed my daughter, so can't help with how much to eat, but we did have a feeding routine. To get her into it I'd feed her until she showed no interest in nursing, sometimes having to wake her up to finish a meal. Then when she was hungry I'd do the same thing. One thing that really helps with routine is to feed your baby right when he gets up from a nap, and then have a little time of being awake before taking a nap again. So it's wake up, eat, play, sleep, etc. That helps lengthen the times between feedings and gives baby time to digest the milk. One book that's good is called "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child" by Marc Weissbluth (I think that's how you spell his name). Good luck! A schedule is SO nice to have!

Simone - posted on 05/19/2009

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with breast feed babies they can feed anywhere from to 1 to 2 hours a day or may go longer. and my midwife just told me you cant overfeed a baby they only take what they want. i was breast feeding every 1 to 2 hours now only bottle feeding every 4 hours.

Amanda - posted on 05/19/2009

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You know your baby alot better than any doctor ever will, and if he is hungry, you feed him!

My son is 8 months old, your child tells you when he's hungry, wet, not feeling good. you just have to listen to your baby.

hopefully this helped you :)

Andrea - posted on 05/19/2009

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If you're worried about him overeating, I would recommend breastfeeding exclusively. Formula fed babies tend to overeat.

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