(Note: I’m not complaining at all… I loved every minute of it!). He was on a feeding tube for the first 10 days. Until Dr. Spock came along in the late 1940s, most babies were fed on a strict schedule. Baby Feeding and Sleeping Schedule: Formula-Fed Newborn. Feeding on Demand The goal of feeding on demand is to let your baby guide you and feed when she feels hungry or thirsty (since breast milk and formula is also their source of water for the first 6-12 months of life). You do it, then they grow up and eat on their own. This is most common for babies born prematurely, babies with jaundice, babies with tongue ties, and babies who are having a difficult time gaining weight. What if baby wants to feed 15 times a day, or maybe only 7? On-demand feeding is absolutely the *best* way to feed your baby in the early days, weeks, and months. Look, your baby isn’t going to starve himself. At 3-4 months old a pattern may develop but the schedule may shift as your baby grows. One of the biggest challenges we hear from mothers about on-demand feeding is that they feel overworked and tired from being available at all times. This is what doctors recommend for young babies. I personally feel demand feeding is the way to go, but I wouldn’t villainize a mom for choosing scheduled feedings if she’s making sure her baby is happy and healthy. What Age Should I Stop Feeding My Baby Formula? It will seem like your baby is feeding ALL.THE.TIME in those first 6 weeks or so, but it will pass. Google can be an amazing resource - but it can also provide WAY too much information for a first-time mom. Another thing to keep in mind is that there is so much more to breastfeeding than just the nutrition and calories your baby consumes. After the first few days: Your formula-fed newborn will take from 2 to 3 ounces (60–90 mL) of formula per feeding and will eat every three to four hours on average during her first few weeks. It’s got to be demand feeding at the start for a good few weeks. If your baby is back to birth weight by two weeks, then this parameter is lifted and on-demand feeding can commence! Today, we’ll examine both types of feedings and figure out which is really best for your baby. Demand feeding is exactly what it sounds like: your baby demands to be fed and you feed him. Your email address will not be published. Scheduled Feedings: Which is Better for Your Baby? Still, we’re fair and balanced here, so let’s talk about scheduled feedings a bit. I was totally in disagreement with pretty much every word in the book. There is nothing easy or convenient about getting up in the middle of the night to feed your baby. Don’t let a book, dr, or anyone else determine what is best for your baby and situation as long as your baby’s needs are being met. He was on special formula, but he was a preemie, so I had to at least try every 3 hours. Take a look at a few of the pros cited by those who are for scheduled feedings. Required fields are marked *. In the early days, if your baby is not put to the breast when hungry, it can have a negative impact on your milk supply. Feed on demand or on a schedule? Early in your baby’s life, it’s best to feed on demand. Child care practices in … Scheduled feeding. To me, it seemed that this doctor and his followers were trying to make parenthood more “convenient.” Being a parent isn’t about convenience. Helps baby develop his own schedule. What if baby seems hungry before 2 hours? By the time your baby is crying you have already missed the early queues. My son ate a lot and is a big kid, I hate to think if I fed him less he would have grown up shorter! Remember that your newborn has a tiny stomach, so it fills up quickly. ... What this means is that when the baby manifests signs of hunger (rooting, chewing on hands, crying), you feed her. Sign up with your email address to receive news and updates. As a mom, I always tell new moms to do what is best for you and your baby. Sounds weird, right? You feed your baby whenever he/she shows you that he/she is hungry. Once he reached a “normal” weight, we switched to demand feeding. Feeding your baby “on-demand” simply means not worrying about the clock. When my son was born premature, I had to at least try to get him to eat every three hours. I love scheduled feeding but that doesn’t happen for a while. I’m on my third so do have some experience. Sometimes you HAVE to do scheduled feedings to make sure your baby is getting enough, at least for a little while. My older 2 were formula fed and they set their own schedule. There is nothing wrong with that! Lastly, not putting your baby to breast when baby is asking to feed causes your baby to miss out on the non-nutritive benefits like the bonding and comfort your baby craves. By 6 months most babies’ feeding schedules consist of a breast milk or infant formula plus solid food feeding every 2.5 to 3 hours. Scheduled feeding. Let me make something clear: I’m not talking about those of us who had to schedule feedings because of specific issues. But they told me I had to basically teach him how to eat on his own. Still, he’s basically telling you when he’s hungry and you’re responding. Scheduled feeding also doesn’t allow for growth spurts - a time when your baby will ask to feed much more often than normal, helping to increase your milk supply as your baby grows bigger. Moms hear a lot of differing information about when to feed their babies in the early weeks - every 2-3 hours, 8-12 times in a 24 hour period, etc. *** There is ONE small parameter that we often recommend during the first few weeks postpartum with respect to on-demand feeding. Baby's age will dictate if you should be breastfeeding on demand or on a schedule. Another great solution for the over-tired mom is to bring your baby into your bed at night.