Do you feed on demand or by schedule? — The Bump
Breastfeeding

Do you feed on demand or by schedule?

Hi,

Just lurking here and I have a question.  My freind just had a baby, she is 3 weeks old.  Last night she was showing hunger signs only 2 hours after last feeding (of breastmilk) so she gave her some pumped breast milk, but only 1.5 oz and then wasn't sure when she was going to feed her again.  My question is, when they are this young, do you just feed them on demand?  And isn't there a growth spurt at this time that can make thm more hungry?  DO you wait until they are a few weeks older to try and stick closer to a 3 hour feeding schedule? 

TIA

Re: Do you feed on demand or by schedule?

  • Combination right now...DS is a slow gainer so we are feeding him every 2-2.5 hours. But if he acts hungry in between sessions I'll feed him again. He's pretty mellow and can sleep through a feeding, else I'd just let him dictate totally.

  • On demand at that age...but, no longer than 3 hours between feeding even if it means waking up Lo. Now I'm exclusively on demand. That sometimes means feeding after 1.5 hours if he wakes up early from a nap (he doesn't stay asleep in a car seat once the car stops)
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  • image amy0105:
    On demand at that age...but, no longer than 3 hours between feeding even if it means waking up Lo. Now I'm exclusively on demand. That sometimes means feeding after 1.5 hours

    This. 

  • Feed on demand. They have frequent growth spurts and this young a good, supply is still being established. DS ate about every two hours until a couple months ago, and now he goes about 3 hours. I generally feed him on a schedule now that he is older and eating solids as well. But if he is hungry before it's "time" to eat again, I nurse him.

    When he was a newborn, I had to wake him up to eat every 2-3 hours but he was waking generally every 2 hours anyways.

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  • On demand, but no longer then 2-3 hours.  Our DS was sleepy and lost too much weight and would have slept for 6 hours or more if we let him.  Once he started to gain, he woke himself every 3 hours on. the. nose.  Like, if he ate at 4:37 he wanted to eat at 7:37.  It was amazing.
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  • Yes, you should always feed a baby when they are hungry. You're not a mind reader, you don't know when their tummy is empty. Three hours is the absolute outside limit for time between feeds for a newborn, most won't last that long, particularly babies who sleep for long stretches at night and who need to tank up during the day.

    As an adult I *can* go six hours between meals, but luckily no one has ever forced me to.

  • On demand - the schedule was only a guideline to predict when he might be hungry (esp when he was young and we were still learning to decipher his cries, or if we were going out of the house).
    Jude Wayne - Born 4/23/10 Violet Patricia - Born 12/5/12 Breastfeeding, baby-wearing work-at-home mom of 2 living in Rockville, MD
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