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Demand feeding and routine

(7 Posts)
user1472205009 Mon 03-Jul-17 11:04:03

Hi all,

I am new to this and so this is my first thread but the threads have been a godsend through all the issues I have encountered in the first 12 weeks of my parenting journey.

Having made it through in one piece I am keen to hear how you lovely mummies got into a routine whilst demand feeding. And is a routine the be all and end all, I feel like there is a lot of pressure to form a routine and focus on the fear that your child will never be settled without one?

Dd has slept quite well at nights for a good while now, usually a 12 hr period with one or 2 feeds through the night, more recently going down for 5-6 hrs before first night feed. She doesn't ten dB to take long day naps but when she does can last up to 3 hours, it seems to change from week to week.

One thing that hasn't changed is hourly feeds when she is awake and this is what I find draining and fail to see how you can set a routine around this?? I suspect some of it is for comfort and out of habit more than hunger but it can be a real chore to make her go any longer. Family have suggested that now she is 12 weeks u can let her cry when trying to stretch it out but I'm not happy with her screaming and feel awful Esp as it is out of my desperation for a routine! She also has mild reflux so I don't like to lay her down straight away which means we usually play feed sleep rather than feed play sleep and she will feed to sleep, sometimes only sucking for a matter of seconds before she is asleep. Although, if she is really tired she has fallen asleep on dh or in my arms, and occasionally I have just put her down and she has settled herself.

I am away for a weekend in September so have introduced a bottle of formula this week(just to know she will take it) . I gave it during the day at first but trying to get her to go another 3 hours was a nightmare and proves to me that she isn't always hungry when she acts it. The last few days I moved it to last feed and she has slept upto 11 hours!! I don't know how long this will last and I know I should be happy but the fact remains that we r unable. To do much at all during the days due to her being permanently attached to my boob.
I just feel so confused and worried that I'm doing her wrong by not trying to enforce a routine..... I'm inclined to just go with the flow and let her do her thing, it won't be long until we introduce solids now so I expect the feeding will reduce.

I don't even know if my rambling makes sense, just so many factors to consider confused

Helbelle75 Mon 03-Jul-17 11:13:31

Our dd is 11 weeks old and we're not worrying about routine. She's far too young. We're bf with one formula top up a day and she feeds approximately 40 minutes every 2 hours, but this changes day to day. She has a vague pattern with maps and bed to.we, but I follow her lead unless she is tired and resisting naps, then I will try to make sure she sleeps.
I wouldn't stress about it. Enjoy the time with her.

user1472205009 Mon 03-Jul-17 11:33:29

Thank you helbelle,

12 weeks has gone so quickly(although didn't feel it at times) and dd has grown and changed so much I forget that she is still so young! I think I have expected too much from very early on in the way of routine, I tell myself to just enjoy her and this time as I'm sure it won't be long until she is running around not wanting to be permanently attached to me!

We went through quite a few issues with feeding in the early days, I had to bribe her with bottle to get her to latch on, more recently she wouldn't take a bottle at all and when she finally did I felt emotional about it haha, just one big roller-coaster! 😬

teaandbiscuitsforme Mon 03-Jul-17 16:40:00

I have a pattern that we follow throughout the day but feeding is out of that! I think that feeding on demand is much easier for BF babies and they will start to space feeds out naturally. And then they'll probably have a phase of feeding more again! grin But that's just how it is with BF.

The way I see it, I couldn't tell you when exactly I eat and drink throughout the day so I'm not going to dictate it to my baby.

Aria2015 Mon 03-Jul-17 16:56:28

I did the baby whisperer routine at about 10 weeks and it worked great. It's basically based on eat, play, sleep and even though I was demand feeding lo, he seems to naturally fit the routine because the routine is age based and changes as they get older. The great thing about it was getting established naps. He'd be up 1.5 hours and then nap for 1.5 hours and then repeat. When he was small (around 3-6 months) he'd take his naps out and about in a sling, bouncer chair, park etc... so I could time meeting friends around this and have some time to chat and relax. I could also catch up sleep myself.

Although it's an effort to establish a routine, I also found it freeing as I knew roughly when lo would take his naps and for how long. He was also very content because he was getting regular sleep.

The breastfeeding like I said wasn't an issue. I did sometimes do a 'top up' feed before his nap which isn't part of routine but it didn't hinder it.

The only bit I didn't do was was the dream feed. Lo had reflux so I couldn't.

It might be worth a read. I'm a first time mum and the routine was recommended by my seasoned second child mummy friends!

mollyfolk Fri 07-Jul-17 23:56:40

I think you just need to go with the flow on the breastfeeding. Ever hour is normal and it doesn't really matter if it's just for comfort or whatever. This is a great article www.emmapickettbreastfeedingsupport.com/twitter-and-blog/the-dangerous-game-of-the-feeding-interval-obsession

However with the sleep, I found structure helps everything go better. My babies seemed to have their own rhythm and it was just a matter of following it. I think at that age they slept every 1.5 hours. Babies seem to come much more structured after 6 months. Solids are introduced and that helps too as you'll have set meal times etc...

sycamore54321 Sat 08-Jul-17 00:14:49

I don't get the hate for routines and if you want to try for one, good for you. With the demand feeding, I guess the main thing is to explore all other options before feeding if you feel she can't be truly hungry. So try distraction, play, nappy change, check for too hot or too cold, move to look in the mirror or out the window, or whatever else when she starts to grumble a little. Then if it isn't hunger, you may have bought yourself another 20 minutes or whatever before another feed. Demand feeding now doesn't have to mean immediately offering food at the first hint she's discontented. So no need to leave her to cry but try to meet her needs other than feeding first. Could you try a soother/dummy also?

Best wishes.

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