Breastfed babies' mealtimes

I'm bf feeding Lily on demand. We've been lucky and had no problems, so I'm happy with the arrangement - but I was wondering when, if ever, I need to stop doing it on demand and try to make her go longer inbetween feeds, or if we'll naturally fall into a pattern. Lily is only 5 weeks which I know is early days, but there is no pattern or consistency to when her mealtimes are, or how long she feeds for.

What did other other breastfeeding mummies do? When, if ever, did you start to notice a schedule or pattern with your LO's feeding, or did you enforce one?


  • Evie was fed on demand and then we just fell into a pattern, shes 8weeks and feeds at 8am, 10am, 12pm, 2pm, 4pm, 6pm and then usually about 4am but has started to sleep through some nights. she has short feeds each time, we have pushed her to four hourly but the she doesnt sleep through the night. hope this helps xxxx
  • As Queen Bee says, try writing down when she feeds for 2/3 days, you might find that there is more of a pattern than you think. We found that Beth had settled into a fairly good routine by about 10 weeks. It was never exactly the same, but I knew roughly when she would need a feed each day. She did need a little encouragement, for instance offering her a feed if she had gone longer than normal, or trying to distract her with a dummy if it was still early. But mostly it was Beth that chose the routine!

    Hopefully Lily will also settle down soon so that things get a little more predictable for you.
  • Well, I kinda did the on demand at the beginning, but soonish I started to feed first every 2 hours, then every 3 hours, now at 4 months Hugo takes long feeds at 6 am, 10 30 am, 3 pm, 7 pm and 10 30 pm.

    It is great! Because I know when he will be eating. Each feed though he eats a minimum of 30 mins, usually 30 - 45 mins. So he gets a good full feed.

    I think this has also helped him to sleep longer at night, he sleeps from 11 pm till 6 am, and would sleep longer if I didn't wake him up at 6 am (I do for the moment, cause if I don't, I will have to rework the whole day feeding times lol).
  • hey,

    I feed Louise on demand. I find that she naturally gets into a routine and then she'll have a growth spurt or she'll be ill and then she'll get into a new routine.....I think it was by about 8 weeks that she was in a routine that got disrupted by her jabs.....
  • You will notice a pattern emerge. You're milk would not have settled yet, this happens at around 8-12 weeks. When this happens you won't leak as much and your breast would have adjusted to the right amount she needs and the right nutrition like fatts and carbs etc. I noticed Kyra went 3-4 hours between feeds during the day and had 2-3 dream feeds at night. Every baby is different so there's no telling what Lily will be like!!

    Glad you're happy with BF it is so rewarding. Kyra is over 7 months now and we are still going strong. xoxox
  • I've just had to stop bfing due to no milk (not happy but hey!) but in the early days I fed on demand and Reiss naturally fell into a pattern of sorts. I tried to force a routine when he was around 9 weeks, but he wasn't having any of it - and as you probably know, it's sometimes just easier to whap it out!

    It happened more when I weaned him (at 4 months).

    Good luck honxx
  • Gabe was bottle fed pretty much from birth but I still demand fed, it's the best way. He fed every 2-3 hours from birth and didnt feed every 4 hours until he was quite a bit older. I wouldn't try and enforce a routine too early, just follow her lead and you will find that a routine emerges on its own (thats what we did and Gabe slept through from 7 weeks). There is no need to enforce a routine or encourage her to go longer just yet cos her tummy is so tiny, soon it'll grow though and she'll be able to take bigger feeds and go longer. Also hopefully the more milk she takes in the day the less she should have at night!
  • oh yes & well done on bf I wish I'd gone longer than when I was in hospital!!!
  • Hi you will notice a natural pattern forming. Just give it some time. It quite funny cos when it time for a feed I find my boobs start to tingle!!! image enjoy the breastfeeding x
  • congratulations for bf!grace started to settle into a routine of about 3 hrly feeds from about 8 weeks and she also started sleeping thru the night at 9 weeks.She is now 8 mths and only has a bf morning and night,it does settle down and you will get into a routine b4 u know it!its hard in the early days but so worth it xxx
  • Thank you! Seems that you're unanimous in saying that a pattern will start to emerge without me enforcing one (and that their routines change as they get bigger, anyway!)

    apple_jack - I get that too! If we're out & about, which seems to knock Lily out, my boobs tingle and I look at my watch and realise it's been a few hours or more since the last feed.

    Also good to hear that the leaking boobs will stop soonish - during the day breast pads sort this out fine but at night they leak and we wake up soggy :roll: I think the problem is when I feed from one, the other one leaks.
  • It is good letting them decide their own routines with feeding etc, if you aren't too bothered about a strict bedtime. If Oscar goes a bit longer/bit shorter between feeds his bedtime changes depending on that, but as he's gotten bigger i've never had to get into a flap over times of things changing because he his changing (ie. doesn't need as much sleep, eats different amounts). We have somehow found our feet and are chugging along nicely at the moment, and all i did was follow his lead, which is very rewarding xx
  • i wasnt able to stop using breastpads in day until grace was about 5 mths and had to use them at night until she was about 6 mths!
  • evie is 8m and i still need em! grrrr,lol
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