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Feeding for hunger or comfort?

(5 Posts)
APMama Fri 20-Jan-17 13:09:01

I'm exclusively breastfeeding my 3.5 month old without any issues. I've been reading the baby whisperer and in there is says about baby feeding out of habit and comfort rather than hunger, as mum has been misinterpreting her cues for hunger rather than anything else so feeds her when she doesn't really need to be.

I know I'm guilty of this as I offer her my boob as a first thought when she cries and then rule other things out if she really won't take it. Its not incommon for her to feed every hour even now at 3.5 months, whcih is why I wonder if some of it is habit or comfort. The book suggest giving a dummy in those times to break the habit but my question is - if I do try a dummy when she has only recently had a feed, will she then feed more at her next feed to compensate for the feed she normally has? I don't want her to go hungry but equally if she is able to go longer between feeds I would like her to! smile x

Hyggemama Fri 20-Jan-17 16:01:43

Hello, congratulations on your DD, and well done for giving her your liquid gold! My LO is 5 months and I suspect I am guilty of offering her the boob for every little thing! However I don't really see why this is a behaviour that the author wants to stop.

I believe that as they are babies they cannot understand what our words and cuddles mean. What better way to reassure them that they are safe and loved than by offering them the boob whenever you and they feel like it?

As she gets older you may find she is more clear about what she wants. I've found my DD plays more and wants the breast less frequently, probably due to her stomach growing and her developing other interests besides milk grin I still offer her boob to rule it out and now she lets me know quickly (and loudly) if that's not what she wants!
I suspect you will find that over the next couple of months she naturally develops her own routine and other interests. For now just enjoy that your baby chooses you as her favourite past-time. Sounds like your doing a great job! smile

YellowstoneRoses Fri 20-Jan-17 16:09:02

It sounds like in the book breastfeeding for comfort is seen as a less valid reason to be on the breast, is that right?

Imo that's nonsense. Your baby's need for closeness and comfort at the breast is every bit as real as its need for food. I'd say there's no need to feel guilty for responding appropriately!

EdenX Fri 20-Jan-17 16:10:10

Breastfeeding is supposed to be a comfort. No harm in giving a dummy substitute if you don't want to feed but breastfeeding is about much more than food.

MoreThanUs Fri 20-Jan-17 16:14:36

If you're happy feeding her every hour, there isn't a problem. However god lots of people this leads to exhaustion. I couldn't have hacked feeding any of my children this regularly (DC1 and 2 exclusively breastfed until 6 months, and now feeding my 8 week old) and would want to sort it out.

Of course you want to comfort your DC, but part of this is helping them to sleep when they're tired etc - not just feed.

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