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Feeding on demand/routine??!

Hi mummies image

I am g/c from pregnancy - hope none of you mind! I was just wondering if you are feeding as and when your LO's need it or are you in a more established routine? Not sure if that makes sense, sorry! I have always presumed I will feed as and when my baby needs it, but I was just speaking to someone who was really against feeding on demand like this...just wondered what you ladies thought about it??

Thank you!!

Ruth xx


  • I breastfeed on demand. Monty is 3 weeks tomorrow and I'm pretty sure I'd have no joy explaining to such a young baby that he has to wait another 40 minutes for a feed according to the routine irrespective of how hungry he is image you can still have a routine if you want, eg a sequence of doing things but I don't stick to any strict timings anymore (at the start though I did make sure to wake him to feed if he was going too long between feeds as he was v sleepy due to jaundice). So far this works for both of us and we're happy!
  • I personally don't see how you could NOT feed on demand in the early months, whether bf or ff. I still feed on demand at 5.5 months, but my baby has put himself into his own routine, only wanting milk every 4 hours. I think the best thing is to go with the flow at the start, but you can definitely have a 'routine' or pattern once your LO is 4/5 months.

  • Hello .

    My boy is just a few weeks younger than Coco's and he is the same. He has always been fed on demand (or request as I have heard it called which makes it sound all polite!). It is only in the last few weeks that he has really settled himself into a pattern of feeding every 3-4 hours on average, probably longer if we are out and about busy.

    I couldn't let him go hungry just to feed when I wanted him to. It is also better for your milk supply to offer the breast lots, especially at the start to get things going.

    Good luck image
  • Thanks for the replies ladies! I don't really understand how not feeding as and when would work, at least for the first few months. My friend is due in the next couple of weeks so I will see how she gets on with it!! x
  • in order for your supply to be good for baby you must demand feed, and it trully is demending at first but after a few 1-2hrs demend feeding weeks it settles into a nice pattern that you will start to notice and before you now it its easy and relaxing, good luck x

    [Modified by: M + K on February 20, 2010 07:39 PM]

  • Hi Ruth

    Can't believe you are 33 weeks already!! image

    Anyway, I completely agree with the other can't really not feed on demand. Baby will take what it needs and how much it needs...which can change each day.

    I think it's much better to just go with the flow because if you try to get into a routine and expect that from a baby then you're just setting yourself up to fail!

    No two days are the same but I definitely think it's best for baby to let them lead the way :\)

    You must be super excited now - are you all ready?

    Love NN and Olyvia xxx

  • Hi NN!

    Oh my goodness, Olyvia is beautiful - I love your pic!! And I can't believe she's over a month old already!!!

    We are really really excited, this has been a LONG 7 and a half months and I can't believe I still have perhaps another 9 weeks to go!!! I am hoping my LO will head out dot on 37 weeks!! Unlikely I know, although we do have a history of earlyish births (nothing drastic, all 36 weeks+), and bean is doing everything he/she can to help - 3/5ths engaged at last MW appt - so fingers crossed!

    So how are you finding it? Is Olyvia one of the 'angel babies' I have read about?? I am sure my LO will be... :lol:


    [Modified by: Ruth77 on February 20, 2010 08:00 PM]

  • Im going to slightly disagree with everyone. (nothing personal). Ive just had my 3rd baby and the first one was bottle fed and the next 2 are bf.

    Im a big believer in establishing a routine. I ve done it with the last 2 kids and am putting the new one into the same routine.

    Yes is is vital that the first week or 2 baby gets fed as and when, but now my lo is 3 weeks and im working hard to establish a routine. Personally i cant feed a baby every hour, and i dont think its good for them anyway. I know that if he is starving i would feed him, but i would maybe go and change him to string him out a bit longer. If he has been fed too often, he wont take a big enough feed to last him a while so its a catch 22.

    I find by establishing a routine, i feel in control and i know in advance what his needs will be, ie he will be tired now etc

    Everyone is different and it is all trial and error, but that is what works/has worked for me

    Gemm x
  • I'm new to all this but just wanted to say that my DD is only 5 days old and she actually doesnt wake up to demand a feed. She would quite happily go for hours during the day without a feed - and then wake up every hour or so at night. So i am having to stick a kind of routine where i wake her every 3-4 hours during the day and let her take a feed to try and limit loads of night feeds. Obviously i am still in the early days but she is already starting to take notice and is getting better at waking herself for a feed.

    L and Emily x
  • Hey LB, Arran did that the first few days but he just didnt want fed at all day or night. They soon pick up, but you are obviously doing well and def doing the right thing to try and limit night feeds. I think if you do it now you will get the benefits later and not end up with a 2 year old that doesnt sleep!!!

    Chat soon

    Gemm x
  • Thanks for the post Gemm, it is good to know what other people do - I think it is just a case of seeing what works for you! Glad to hear it has worked so well with you!

    Ladybird, sounds like you are doing really getting Emily out of her nocturnal habits so early on!

  • We started off doing demand feeding and after about 3 weeks we started to get on a more structured routine. We don't follow a really strict one thought but go with the Baby Whisperer's routine of e.a.s.y on a roughly 3 hour cycle.

    Like gemm said if the feeds are too close together then they are not taking a full feed and only snacking. Also generally if you can get them onto a good feeding routine then the better they will sleep as well.

  • I am a mum of three and am short on time to sit around feeding all day so I have to establish a routine withy Amy and sometimes that means leaving her to cry it out. She is fed every 3-4 hours during the day and when ever she wants it at night. I am usually willing to feed every 2 hours if I think its time for a growth spurt and my milk supply seems low but I will also pump between feeds to help get it higher. Demand feeding Amy just ends in her over feeding and screaming her head off because she has a belly ache. I am having to leave her to cry today because for the last two days she has insisted on feeding every hour-2 hours and I am sure it has given her belly ache because she has done nothing but cry so I am forcing her to leave a three hour gap between this feed in order to get her back on track because I am only making her worse by feeding her.

    You really need to go by your baby's needs and personality as to how you feed and do everything with them. Some babies thrive on demand feeding and others like Amy do best with a strict routine. Honestly my advice if you are going to survive breast feeding get yourself a good breast pump. ;\)
  • Thank you so much for all the advice, I really really appreciate it image

  • I found it harder to establish bf with my dd when I demand fed as she was using it for comfort and wanted to be permanently suckling but wasn't taking that much milk. I read what to expect when you're breastfeeding which was brilliant and actually advised that feeding too often means that your milk supply doesn't have time to replenish and 3-4 hours between feeds is ideal. I didn't follow a strict routine but made sure I left 3-4 hours between feeds and used a dummy in between when she needed the comfort of sucking rather than the milk itself.
  • I bfeed on demand - dont know how you would put a routine on baby when bfeeding?? (formula I can understand as you know how much they have).

    IMO its like this: I have half a sandwich at 10am, I then fancy something at 12pm but someone tells me I am not allowed to eat (but they dont know how much I have eaten, they can only guess). I am thinking but I only had half a sandwich at 10am, dont they realise this, then at 1pm I finally get to eat. As time goes by my belly gets used to waiting, so i fall into this routine.

    My baby fed basically all day for the 1st 3 weeks. I didnt move from the sofa. I know she was suckling and sleeping and eating...but being a first time mum, it was hard to tell what she was doing and when at first.

    We have fell into a routine now of feeding evey 2 - 3 hrs. My lo weight gain is perfect - so I am v. happy.

    Both my sisters are mums of 3 and they both bfeed on demand - it is very possible. One sister used the rugby ball position to feed - so that she cld cuddle her toddlers/read them books etc. My other sister invested in a sling you cld bfeed in.

    every hv and midwife i saw (and La Leche group) told me bfeeding on demand was the only way to make sure baby was having enough i.e. let babies belly decide when they are hungry.

    good luck
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