Scheduled vs. On Demand Feeding

Discussion in 'Pregnancy - Third Trimester' started by RebeccaR19, Jun 3, 2011.

  1. RebeccaR19

    RebeccaR19 Well-Known Member

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    For those of you who have had children, which method do you prefer? I don't want this question to spark any arguments or debates as I have found discussing the way to feed is a sensitive topic. But I am personally curious.

    I've been doing my own searching on google and have found a few things. But I want to know from people's experiences what they've tried and think. Thanks!
     
  2. Mother of 4

    Mother of 4 Mom to 5 & pregnant

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    I would personally just use what method will work best for you. I always fed on demand and that worked for me. I worked my schedule around baby. Baby would usually regulate it's own schedule early on anyway.
     
  3. faun

    faun Mum to 2 boys and 1 girl

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    I have always fed on demand and by about 6 weeks they have worked out their own routine.
     
  4. littleblonde

    littleblonde kacey and sophie

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    fed on demand. By 5 weeks kacey had her own routine anyway. I dont think you could routine from birth. Cause if baby hungry your gonna no bout it?x
     
  5. Celesse

    Celesse Well-Known Member

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    Demand feeding. Most babies don't listen to the schedule and I cannot imagine trying to sooth a hungry newborn whilst I make them wait until I think its time for a feed. I tried a schedule with my daughter when she was 3 months old and put onto gaviscon for reflux. Making her wait for her meals was horrible and at 3 months she could be distracted. Most demand fed babies will get into some kind of routine anyway. For example they may not feed at 10am on the dot every day, but would consistently start a feed between 9:30 and 10:30.
     
  6. Mummy~L

    Mummy~L Mummy to 2

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    Bobby was fed on demand but by 5/6 weeks he had his own routine which would typically have 4 hour gaps. I personally think that until you have fed on demand you won't know what kind of schedule to go by :shrug: Bobby was also a very slow weight gainer at the start so I was really encouraged to feed on demand xx
     
  7. mons75

    mons75 Well-Known Member

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    This is my first so no experience.
    I think in the beginning I'll do on demand but want to try use the routine of The Contended Little Baby Book. My friends did this and they now have a nice routine for their babies 4 months and 1yr. They started a few weeks after giving birth. They say its an effort to start but pays off later. they didnt follow it to a T, but used it as a guideline.
     
  8. ChristinaRN

    ChristinaRN Mother of 3, pg with #4

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    I have fed on demand for all 3 of my babies and plan to do it again. They ususally get themselves into a good routine by 6 weeks but then there are always those growth spurts which you will notice due to the sudden increase in demand of feedings. Those usually only last 7-10days max and then they are back on track. Good luck!!! Do what works for you AND baby!
     
  9. lynys

    lynys Charley's Mommy

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    I am feeding my two week old on demand, and it is pretty much a set schedule because of it.
     
  10. Jollybean

    Jollybean Well-Known Member

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    I can't say from experience as this baby will be my first but i plan on combining the two. If baby demands it, I'll give it, but they say newborns won't always know to demand and can go longer than they should without a feed
     
  11. lynys

    lynys Charley's Mommy

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    Not my newborn! lol
     
  12. Freya

    Freya Toddler and baby

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    Initially I fed my newborn on demand, we were bf though, so I had to go with it really to help bring the milk in. She soon developed her own routine and time wise you could set a clock by her! My personal opinion is to go with the flow, be relaxed and a routine that suits you and your baby will naturally happen anyway. Imposing a schedule so early is just setting mums up to fail, and who needs the extra stress?

    xxx
     
  13. oaklvr

    oaklvr Well-Known Member

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    On demand for the first 2 or 3 weeks. After that, no. Their constant urge to suck was too much for me. My boobs needed a break. I used a pacifier for between times. She got used to every 2 hr feeds. And she nursed for like 30 min-1 hr in the beginning. There is no way I'd let her feed everytime she screamed. If you know when your baby is really hungry vs just fussy then that helps too. I know people who have used themselves as a pacifier, and it might work for them, but I didn't and couldn't handle the constant sucking on my nipples. Plus it helped her know when it was time to feed and things worked out nicely. She was a good weight and a healthy baby, so no problems and was very happy also. I have no idea about on demand with bottles, I'd say I'd do the same thing with those too, except formula is digested slower, and baby will prob be able to wait 1 hr longer. I'd worry about the screaming with formula though, since they tend to get gassy and constipated, some people might think they're actually hungry soon after a feed when the opposite is true.
     
  14. aliss

    aliss Well-Known Member

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    Babies have multiple growth spurts that REQUIRE extra calories (hence extra feedings) at various times, a newborn can feed every 30 minutes sometimes.

    To ignore this and expect a newborn to be on a "schedule" is to allow a baby to go hungry, which is just plain miserable for an infant who doesn't understand why their need for hunger is not being met, and disrupt your milk production if breastfeeding.

    Scheduled feeding except for exceptional circumstances (ie. NICU necessities) is really for the birds and against a newborn's biology... I really don't see this as a debate. Babies were not designed to run on a clock.

    Our expectations of a newborn's behaviour may have changed in the past 100 years (for the worst, IMO) but their biology has not. To be fair, I think most first-timers who plan to schedule feed end up realizing very, very quickly, that this does not work without leaving a baby to cry in hunger.

    BTW I'm not referring to a baby-led routine that they develop themselves, I'm referring to an actual schedule (as is promoted by some "baby trainers" such as Ezzo, ie. "parent-directed" feeding practices).
     
  15. scuffer

    scuffer Mum to 3 lovely boys!

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    I've done both, with my first I was young and followed the advice of my 103 year old hv who said I must not feed on demand. So I had a miserable baby and a miserable me. Second tome round I did what felt right and fed on demand, sometimes I was feeding a lot, but it did settle down and we got a good routine together. I'm demand feeding now, sometimes he'll feed almost constantly and then he'll go hours, I'm just going with what he needs.
     
  16. ellie27

    ellie27 Well-Known Member

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    On demand - when babies cry I would try a feed.

    Babies cant talks so if you do scheduled feeding how do you know your baby is not hungry? If they cry an hour before the scheduled time, do you just offer a feed anyway? I dont understand it!!

    We fed on demand til Anna was around 4 months then she got herself into a bit of a routine.:flower:
     
  17. jobee2222

    jobee2222 Well-Known Member

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    Feeding on demand, it breaks my heart when i think of a baby going hungry :-(
     
  18. Sooz

    Sooz Paige & Mason's Mum!

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    Given Paige lost 8% of her birth weight, as most babies do, and needs to regain it I can't imagine restricting her feeds in anyway. The MWs encourage you to feed regularly on demand and not to let a new baby go more than 4 hours without one....the first few days she'd happily go 6 at times! So I've had to wake her a few times to get extra feeds in!
     
  19. CharlieKeys

    CharlieKeys Well-Known Member

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    Stephen was not a feeder on demand! He'd have his bottle every 4 hours and had his last bottle at 11pm, and then slept through until 6-8am! We were lucky, so I'm just hoping it works with this baby too :haha: :)

    ETA: Stephen has never cried because he is hungry... or anything else. The only time he cries or gets upset is when he's bored/in pain!
     
  20. sinead266

    sinead266 Mother of 5

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    i did it on demand with my other 3, my 2nd baby was latched on every 5 mins at the start because he was a big baby and needed plenty and the colostrum the first few days wasnt filling him, but they soon settle down into a rountine themselves. also if any of mine cried i leaked like mad :)
     

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