Feeding on demand makes smarter kids

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Rebekah - posted on 04/05/2012

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How many moms that use scheduled feedings actually ignore the cries of their child?! I've never met one.

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Candi - posted on 04/09/2012

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I fed my kids when they were hungry. My son would sleep for 6-8 hours straight. When he got hungry, he woke up and ate. He has been in the gifted classes since first grade and he is in 7th grade now...still in gifted classes and earning high school credits. My middle child didn't sleep as long as he did. Maybe waking every 3 hours or so. She is a straight A student. My youngest was also a long napper, she is in 1st grade and also in the gifted classes. I don't believe in schedule feedings. Adults don't eat on a schedule. We eat when we're hungry. Maybe the kids who sleep longer have higher IQs. lol. It allows their brain time to grow!

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Unfortunately, I have met parents who feed their babies on a pretty strict schedule and want their kids to nap at certain times. I think many babies fall into their own routine. That routine will change as they get older. My take on this study is that if you make your kid eat every 4 hours even though they may be hungry earlier then they might miss out on vital nutrients needed to grow properly. So if you feed on a "schedule" but also allow follow your child's cues and feed them earlier if they're hungry then they'll be fine.

Shelley - posted on 04/06/2012

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I used a schedule same time for feeds and sleeps each day but from birth. My girls just seemed to be tired at that time and would then wake up and be hungry at the specific time. I never and would never ignore a crying child maybe for 5-10 minutes to see if they were just having a mumble before dropping off to sleep.

I disagree that a scheduled or unscheduled child makes one or the other better, brighter, more beautiful or any other random garbage a study wants to tell us.

I believe we need to meet the Physical (feed, sleep and activity) Emotional (encouragement, nurture and discipline) and Mental(Learning opportunities) needs of our children. Personality, Environmental and DNA determine the rest.

Sally - posted on 04/01/2012

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I love this article. It is about time we recognize that what is "easier" for mom is not better for baby. Adult imposed schedules are not healthy for babies or toddlers either. When we force our own personal agenda ahead of the childs, the child loses. A crying baby needs to be held, fed, cuddled. Her brain health depends on Nurture from her caregivers. I wish more and more studies would come out and show these results. I wish it would make the news. I wish more people would acknowledge that babies & children are not mini adults. This article is a start in the right direction.

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For the first 6 weeks my daughter was on a schedule. But that was because everything I read said that newborns had to feed every 2 hours. I remember calling my mom in tears asking if it was ok to wait 3 hours when my daughter was 2 weeks old, or if I had to wake her because I was so sleep deprived.



Even now it worries me to not offer my son something in the middle of the night. He sleeps easily from 7/8pm to 7am.

Sherri - posted on 03/23/2012

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My kids eat anytime they want as infants. Not sure how you would do it any other way and not become insane from the crying.



I wish my little guy 5wks would sleep 3hrs. He eats every two hours almost on the dot, except when he is in a growth spurt then it is about every hour for half the day.

Celeste - posted on 03/22/2012

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I nursed my twins on demand, sort of.. If one woke up, I'd try to nurse the other one. Didn't always happen, but that's ok. However, the boys were on a schedule in the hospital only because they wouldn't wake up to be fed (jaundice does that) and were losing weight. Once we were past that, they were fed on demand and usually nursed every 2-3 hours. But, in general, I'm not a big fan of scheduled feedings



Having said that, I'm not sure if there's direct causation with this study, though..

Mother - posted on 03/22/2012

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I hear ya Teresa.....my poor sister had twins and the baby boy almost killed her. she didn't breastfeed for long and had to supplement formula for the little guy as he was just hungry ALL THE TIME!!



three hour feeding schedules sounds pretty average....doesn't it?? I think that was about what my daughter was. Except the last feeding of the day was about 10-11pm and she would feed FOREVER. It was like she knew it was her last time to eat and got good and full. She slept thru the night until 6 am the morning. I was so fortunate.

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My girls were on a 3 hour feeding schedule from birth. I wouldn't have been able to survive otherwise cuz as it was I was a total zombie for the first 3ish months (major anemia in addition to caring for and feeding newborn twins). All I did was eat, sleep, and feed.. at least that's what it felt like. Thankfully they were very adaptable. If they had been like my son (who would sometimes eat every 45 minutes)... There's no way I would've been able to still take care of them. I would've needed full time help.

Mother - posted on 03/22/2012

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Call me odd but.....isn't the schedule we set put in place because THAT was when baby initially was hungry?? I didn't know a schedule when I had my daughter. When she was hungry, I fed her. As it turned out she was hungry at pretty much the same time each day.....so am I missing something??



Do Mother's actually put a baby on THEIR schedule and expect the baby to adhere to it??

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My schedule fed twins are in the tops of their 5th grade class. They've been at or near the tops of their classes since K. Wonder how genius they'd be if they were fed on demand.... lol

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