breastfeeding schedule

Molly - posted on 02/05/2010 ( 11 moms have responded )

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Should I put my breastfed baby on a feeding schedule? My baby is almost 4 months old. Up until now I have been doing on demand feeding. She nibbles all day long...:) she is gaining wieght every month and everything with her is fine. she sleeps through the night without waking (12 hours). I have been reading a book by Gina Ford talking about schedules and was wondering if anybody can give me any advice on this. thank you!

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Darcie - posted on 02/05/2010

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Scheduling is an idea that was invented for formula fed babies to avoid overfeeding. You cannot overfeed a breastfed baby - they will not take more milk than they need. Scheduling is counterproductive because the baby controls the supply of milk by feeding longer/more frequently when she is growing - if you schedule her and limit her feeds, your supply will not increase with her needs and she may slow/stop gaining weight. And nibbling is not a bad thing, it is simply her style. She controls the composition of milk by spacing out her feeds - watery foremilk quenches her thirst, then richer milk for her main course, followed by rich, creamy hindmilk for dessert. It is as nature intended! Those babies you hear about who nurse every 3 hours all the time are the exception, not the rule. Also note that the sleeping thru the night may not last - often this changes around the 6 month mark. Just follow your daughter, she knows what she is doing ;-)

For good breastfeeding info, check out reputable sites such as www.llli.org, www.drjacknewman.com, and www.kellymom.com.

Good luck!

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Luisa - posted on 02/09/2010

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YES! he should be in a feeding schedule now. He should be feeding every 2 1/2 -4 hours. This is very important. If he snaks during the day, then you will not learn to read his hunger cues and also he will not have a good full meal, becuase he has been snaking the whole day. You also do not want to teach him to always be on your breast, just in case you need to step out or something; you are getting him use to depending on your breast for soothing purposes, this is alos confussing for your baby. He is old enough to stop the "on demand" feedings.

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It's really up to you and your baby.

My twins were on a 3 hour feeding schedule right from birth. Some slight variances, but we stuck to it pretty close most of the time. They did fine. I couldn't understand how anyone wouldn't have their baby on a schedule. Then I had my son..... Didn't work for us.

If you want your baby on a schedule I don't think there is anything wrong w/ guiding her towards one to see how she does. Although, I'd be a bit nervous to mess w/ her eating habits at this point if she's already sleeping 12 hour nights. That is a wonderful, wonderful thing. :)

Nicole - posted on 02/05/2010

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Yep, your instincts are correct! On demand (I like "cue feeding" better) is healthiest for a breastfed baby.

Geralyn - posted on 02/05/2010

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Darcie and the other moms are so right! I totally agree.... There are some growth spurts ahead for you, and feeding on demand will help you meet your baby's growth and nutrition needs.... Good luck!

Molly - posted on 02/05/2010

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thank you darcie for the helpful websites. i am living in Istanbul turkey currently and am on my own without breatsfeeding support. Everything seems to be working out, I just have met some people that have schedules and was wondering if what I was doing was the right thing. Good to know my insticts are correct. :)

Shela - posted on 02/05/2010

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Keep up what you are doing and don't try to do a feeding schedule! You are lucky your baby sleeps through the night! My 5 month old doesn't sleep through the night yet! So I would feed on demand as that is best for breastfed baby.

April - posted on 02/05/2010

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if she sleeps through the night..don't mess with things. don't change things that don't need changing. i have a 13 month old who still doesnt sleep through the night. you don't want to end up like me.



also you should demand feed AT LEAST until she is 6 months old because right now she's not biologically ready for any other food. if something happens to your milk supply then you could run into difficulties.

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