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BF- Extend time between feeds- possible?

(8 Posts)
MumToBeInJuly2012 Wed 26-Sep-12 10:41:55

Probably not, but just thought I'd ask! I mean, feeding on demand is fairly recent, didnt breastfed babies used to be on 4 hour schedules? How did they do this- just let them cry?

We're still on 2 hours day and night- just wondered if delaying feeds might make him take more on next feed and enlarge stomach? (sounds awful- sorry!)

Don't worry, Im not prepared to do anything mean, quite prepared to suck it up and do 2 hours (day and night!!!!!!!) til weaning- totally in the mindset that 'this is my lot'. But if anyone should have any tips..........!

ZuleikaD Wed 26-Sep-12 11:37:40

Back when bottle-feeding took over as the 'right' way to feed your baby in the 50s you had to space feeds so that you didn't overfeed (you still do, I think? Don't really know about bottle-feeding!). When breastfeeding came back into vogue they tried to restrict the feeds to four-hourly there too. (Because if you have to have all this hippy Sixties nonsense about breastfeeding then it should be Strictly Regimented! You can tell they'd all been in the army, can't you?)

So there is STILL a lot of nonsense talked about four-hourly feeds when breastfeeding. Babies' stomachs are tiny and bm is so easily digested that it goes through fast. Feeding on demand is better in every way. Both mine fed every two hourly around the clock until about 9 months - when they weren't cluster-feeding or waking up every forty minutes overnight (though to be fair that was only DS).

nomoreminibreaks Wed 26-Sep-12 11:44:06

My HV recommended trying to go 3 hours between feeds and DS gradually went to 4 hours on his own. Providing BF is established, I was told that a dummy (if that's your kind of thing - I totally changed my mind!) was a good way of making them last a little longer.

Obviously if your DC is crying with hunger then feed, it might take a little time for them to last longer. Plus things like the size of your baby and how efficient they are at feeding makes a difference.

That's just what I was told and it worked for us. I know there's a lot of conflicting advice around! As the other reply said, it's more difficult to over feed a BF baby as breast milk is less filling I think.

rubyslippers Wed 26-Sep-12 11:48:59

IME you cannot space feeds easily

If a baby is feeding every two hours that's ok smile

It's exhausting but well within the realms of usual feeding for a little one

Seriouslysleepdeprived Wed 26-Sep-12 13:30:19

How old is your Lo? DS started going 3-4 hourly at around 5 months. He feed around two hourly before then.

Feeding schedules were initiated by men in the 19th century as they felt women were incapable of going it properly hmm Have you read The politics of breastfeeding? It's a real eyeopener.

NellyTheElephant Fri 28-Sep-12 15:23:58

You definitely can encourage longer times between feeds. With mine, i'd say that two things helped me to work out a routine that suited us (i) working on a clear schedule of naps and (ii) a dummy. Some babies just love sucking, all my 3 had dummies from a week or so old (and then dropped them in favour of their thumbs at about 4 months old), I never found I had any trouble knowing when they needed feeding (the dummy would no longer satisfy so they would spit it out and cry), but it was a great help in getting an extra 10 / 15 mins grace before a feed if necessary. If you are trying to work towards longer spaces between feeds then pushing feeds back by and extra 5 or 10 mins is a much calmer process with a dummy than without.

Naps - I found that it was a sleep schedule that really helped to govern feed times and routine and it was sorting out naps that also then helped to space out feeds. So, my general approach was when they woke, I would feed then about an hour later put them down for a nap and so by the time they woke up again ready for a feed it was generally closer to 3 hours or more.

I found that as I managed to space feeds a bit more it became a virtuous circle as if they had had a longer stretch before a feed they would feed better and more consistently and presumably take more, meaning that they were then happier to go a bit longer before the next feed.

MumToBeInJuly2012 Sat 06-Oct-12 20:42:25

Just seen this, thanks all, esp nelly! Will start tomorrow, so tired! He's 3 months to whoever asked x

KD0706 Sat 06-Oct-12 23:36:38

I think they did use to leave babies to cry back in the day. My DH is 37 and his mum breastfed him four hourly, put him in his pram at the foot of the garden between feeds, and if he woke overnight after three months old she gave cool boiled water on a spoon. I can't imagine that went down well with baby DH!!
(my mum was a hippy, sling wearing demand feeder who mil would not have approved of!)

I've found that if I'm not around somebody else can jiggle my baby to keep them going till I'm available to feed. But if I'm around I tend just to feed as its easier than 'keeping them going' between feeds.

It does get better though honest. As they get older they're more easily distracted and of course once you're weaning you can eke out time between feeds with some solid food.

Two hourly feeding is tiring I know from my dd1. You're doing grand, soon this will just be a (very bad!) memory.

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