Should you always feed on demand?(21 Posts)
My DS is 9 wks old and is feeding and putting on weight well. I bf on demand but wondering whether you can/I am over doing it. Basically whenever he's a little unsettled I offer him my boob and he always has a drink. My DH gets pissed off as he struggles to settle him as he says the only way to is by my boob! Also he thinks that 'snacking' maybe bad and he won't learn to self settle...
Should I start a more structured feeding regime?
A "more structured grading regime" sounds like a nightmare! And not compatible with breastfeeding. That said, you can try other methods with your baby before offering milk, to see if he would be happy with something else. A change of scene, some other kind of distraction, cuddles, nappies. Are the feeds he has particularly short? I think "snacking" is just how many bf babies feed, they don't have a set number of big feeds a day. Breastfeeding is probably the nicest thing he can do at 9 weeks, so no wonder he wants to do it often! How do you feel about how things are going, leaving aside your dh's opinions?
I hate to break it to your DH but babies don't "self settle" until they are much much older (over 6 months at least). Some of them are easy sleepers before that which looks a lot like self settling, but there really is very little link between what you do when they're tiny like your DS and how they sleep later on.
According to my doctor I did overfeed my exclusively breastfed baby by putting her on everytime she squalked. she had reflux and I apparently was making it worse by feeding everytime she made a noise which led to more milk and acid making her more uncomfortable.
I don't know how correct this is but it's what I was told.
It doesn't really bother me he feeds so much as he's happy (and quiet!) while he's on there. It was only when someone asked how many feeds he has a day and I realised I have absolutely no idea! I'm just so pleased he's putting weight on! I think my DH would like to spend more time with him but he's only happy with me. When I express he enjoys giving him a bottle. It interesting how time have changed as both my mum and mil says how it was always a four hour feedin regime when we were wee! I'll try some distractions first to see if I can stretch out the feeds a little but it's good to know I'm not 'spoiling' him and it won't affect his sleep/self soothing ability later.
Kraggle that wasn't overfeeding as such, but irritating the reflux iyswim? Like reflux babies may be weaned earlier too - milk irritates them.
It would be pretty hard to overfeed a baby. They stop and pull off when they feel too full.
What sweet said re sleep. My dd changed the way the sleeps several times over 8 months. After about 5 months I found I was feeding more to a pattern, her tummy was bigger so it was every 2 hours a proper big feed.
But even now in warm weather or teething she can be "on and off".
My dh has put her to nap or sleep loads of times even though I normally bf to sleep. Babies are clever like that ... If mums not there the little plastic "boob" of milk and the hairy no - boob parent will suffice.
hereharehere, your baby's feeding and settling behaviour sounds absolutely normal at this young age. As he gets older he will be more versatile. Snacking - short, frequent feeds - is normal and physiological.
Hereharehere, I fed my baby exactly the same - he squawked so I fed him, every time. Almost everyone commented about how keen I seemed to be to whap my baps out - I wasn't keen AT ALL! Now I have a very contented six month old who goes 3-5 hours between feeds and slept 11 hours a night from 9 weeks (all those hours spent feeding during the day were deffinately worth it).
I think when friends and family comment about what they did with their baby's they mis-remember what it was like early on - I bet if they had a four hour feeding schedule their babies cried a lot more than yours does.
I wouldn't try to stretch the time in between feeds. I tried it (after listening to an experienced mum who convinced me My baby was feeding too often) got very stressed in the process when it didn't work. At nine weeks if they are hungry they are hungry - no amount of singing or rocking is going to distract them from being hungry - they will just cry. Your baby will naturally lengthen the time between feeds when it's ready to - it'll feel like forever to you but it'll really only be weeks - they are only small for such a short time.
Sounds like your doing great :-)
I think at 9 weeks babies are still very mum-centred anyway. It's not a huge amount of time to be out of the womb having spent 9 long months in there!
Fwiw, my ds was the same at 9 weeks. I've always put my babies to the breast to comfort as well as feed. Now ds is 5 months and he'll sit on dh's knee and be rocked to sleep by him. For the first few months he didn't really want anyone but me.
It will all change.
Oh and snacking is fine and normal for bf babies
Do you eat when you are hungry?
That's it then isn't it.
You might need of chat with your dh; the baby is doing what it nedds
Calorie intake wise, it's not possible to over feed a breastfed baby - when they are full they either come off the breast or switch to a comfort suck rather than a milk drawing one (you'll get to know the difference soon if you haven't already noticed). As your LO gets more aware of what's going on it becomes much less about mummy - my DS2 is 7.5 months now and generally regards me as boring unless he is hungry or tired, Daddy and big brother are way more fun
I moved onto more scheduled feeding during the day at around 3 months, but this was because I found it harder to spot when he was hungry as he would just chew his hands for fun. Also he would get distracted and not feed for hours then wake up more in the night. So in fact I was feeding more often than he was demanding rather than less...
When he was younger than 3 months the main other strategy I tried was if I thought he was tired and he'd been feeding for ages so I was fairly sure he wasn't hungry I would walk him round in a sling or pram until he fell asleep.
Having said all that, if you and baby are happy I wouldn't bother changing things for somebody else's benefit - I did these things for my benefit to try to stop him waking up so much in the night and because he was getting overtired and grumpy.
At 9 weeks your breasts are the centre of his world as they should be.
Your husband needs to accept that what you are doing is exactly right for a BF baby.
He will have to make do with the brief cuddles for a bit longer.
As the baby gets older the gaps between feeds will get longer naturally and he will become generally more interested in the wider world and your DH.
You are obviously doing a good job - smile and ignore all the comments about 4 hour regimes etc.
My ds became more interested in the world, less keen to always bf and easier to settle on dh t around 12weeks.
Might be worth reassuring your dh that this will happen for you too at some point and that he will be able to comfort and care for the baby without boobs very soon
Thanks for all your replies. He doesn't really like anyone else but me at the moment and I'm getting lots of 'you're spoiling him' comments! But as you say, I'm just smiling and still letting him feed whenever. It is completely knackering at times though, isn't it! I'm craving sleep. I try and leave him with my DH for an hour or two in the early morning, before he goes to work, so I can try and have a baby-free catch-up nap but he cries...and I can hear him and my boobs start leaking ...
But his smiles make it all worth it
You can't spoil a baby. I don't understand people who say that.
It is exhausting. My 5 month old is better now in that he'll go to other people and i can leave him for a couple of hours BUT during the night its still all on me and he hasn't slept through yet.
I have two older ones though so i know this doesn't last long. Honestly, when you look back it.will seem like such a short time. Not very reassuring when you're going through it though!
I was told you cant overfeed a bf baby. My experience so far with a 3 week old is they feed constantly and everyone on here has said thats normal. Doesnt stop my fil trying to suggest a bottle constantly though! Gŕr
I was told you can 'spoil' a baby as much as you like up to 6 months and get away with it.
IME, it can sometimes be tricky for dads to find a way of settling baby when they haven't got boobs. I used to try and show DH the best non-boob ways I had of calming my babies down but it never worked, he had to find his own things that worked. But also, him feeling stressed about it seemed to make things worse.
Maybe he could take baby for a walk in the pram or a baby carrier to try and settle him.
My dh is great at settling baby, im the oposite and can only settle with a boob!
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