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Scheduling feeds....

(20 Posts)
deliakate Wed 09-Sep-09 14:49:51

I have read Gina Ford, Baby Whisperer etc. and they do appeal to me in one way as I like to be organised.

I haven't followed any of them religiously however, just taken on board a few general principles.

But my question is, for those people that do follow them, what on earth do you do with the baby if he is screaming for food, and there are still a few hours before the next feed? Gina doesn't really answer this - she does state that you should not deny a hungry baby food if it needs it, as it will interfere with supply and starve the baby. In which case, how on earth can you stick to her schedule? Surely if you feed the baby inbetween, it will sabotage the efforts of having a timetable.....

Can anyone help me out here - how would you stretch out the time between feeds?

LuluMaman Wed 09-Sep-09 14:52:53

i would not stretch the time between feeds ever. well, mabye after the age of 1.

a new born needs feeding responsively, whether breast or bottle and milk is the main source of nutrition for the first year, so i would always give a hungry baby milk

a baby who is left to scream and cry for milk will feed less efficiently , be windier and often fall asleep exhausted after a small feed, setting up an awful routine of frazzled , exhausted, hungry baby and distressed parents

i really do not like the set routines for babies, IME, it is far better to learn your baby's cues and respond to your individual baby and ignore anyone who says to feed only at certain times

twirlymum Wed 09-Sep-09 14:53:02

IMHO if a baby is hungry, feed it. Simple.

Meglet Wed 09-Sep-09 14:57:51

When I did gf I didn't really have many problems with my dc's being hungry between feeds. With DS he was bf and ff when we did gf and it went like clockwork, but I didn't do it with DD until she was no longer ex bf at 4 months and was having some formula. As much as I love gf I wouldn't have put an ex bf baby on the routine as I wouldn't have been sure they have had enough. IME if a baby is happy + thriving in a routine then even if they are hungry and need an extra / early feed at a different time it's not going to make the routine fall apart.

thehairybabysmum Wed 09-Sep-09 15:07:04

I broadly followed GF in terms of sleep times, bed time at 7 etc but i cant stand to have my babies cry. For feeds i would feed if they were hungry. Apart from when they were very tiny they both seemed to go 3 hours between feeds no problem.

I also used to wake ds1 for feeds 3 hourly in the day but he lost weight after birth and was v. sleepy. I liked the teory of feed a lot inthe day so they do a longer stretch at night and that did seem to work for my 2.

I never woke to feed in the night though, that would be insane IMO. I would put down at 7ish and settle upstairs after that time (ie rarely bring baby back down). Once asleep i just let them wake when it suited in the night, never did dreamfeed or any of that malarkey. Never let them cry to sleep either other than a few minutes when they were obviously over-tired, i would shush and soothe til settled.

ZippysMum Wed 09-Sep-09 15:07:47

It is my understanding that the GF approach can seriously screw up the demand / supply system that works so well for breastfed babies.

If your baby is crying because he is hungry, feed him! Why would you put the advice of some book above what you instinctively know as your son's mum?

Leave the 'timetable' till later.

thehairybabysmum Wed 09-Sep-09 15:13:09

This applied to both BF and FF. Both mine used to cluster feed loads in the evening 5-7pm though with BF.

I think if you take the broad ideas of those books but allow the individual flexibility for your own baby within that then they are fine.

Right I am waffling, quite simply I followed the sleep times as a guide and fed whenever they wanted.

priyag Thu 10-Sep-09 08:12:04

Hi Deliakate,

In the GF book that I have she has nine routines during the first year, and at the end of each routine she explains how to adjust them if you need to feed earlier than the times recommended. She also stresses the point that no baby should be left to cry for food. The leaving to cry when hungry is nothing more than a myth.
A friend of mine who is a member of her website, successfully breastfed each of her three children for two years each, and she says that a poll on the GF website shows that nearly 70 percent of mothers are still breastfeeding past six months.
So the method clearly works for a lot of mothers.
I didn't breastfeed myself so not talking from personal experience, but she does say in her books that breastfed babies do need to feed more often than formula in the early days - HTH.

FlamingoBingo Thu 10-Sep-09 08:18:43

I think you should burn both books.

Babies don't need routines, and, IME, routines just make life more stressful, not less so.

deliakate Thu 10-Sep-09 09:06:22

Thanks Priyag - I will delve into the book again. I have to say, I can't remember the bit at the end of each routine explaining what to do if your baby is hungry or even tired before their 15 minutes of fame, but will take another look. x

preggersplayspop Thu 10-Sep-09 09:12:04

I would feed if hungry as well, not try to stretch it out. I couldn't leave my baby to cry knowing it was hungry.

I would imagine that the people who could be bothered with responding to a survey on the GF website would be those who her methods worked for, not those that read the book and thought 'sod this' and went for a demand feeding approach instead.

priyag Thu 10-Sep-09 09:15:35

check feeding on page 140 and 146 which gives an example of how to adjust the routines if your baby is not fitting into the recommended times. I think if you are an organised person some books may be of help, but as with any book you have to use it as a guide. Also I think you will find that following GF you will not have to stretch your baby out between feeds, as the adjustments she gives in each routine helps that happen naturally. At least that is what I found !

weegiemum Thu 10-Sep-09 09:15:55

People who respond to a poll on the GF website are those who love it enough to pay (I think) £40 registration fee!

deliakate Thu 10-Sep-09 09:27:57

Yes, wft is that fee about?

The Baby Whisperer website is as bad, and I think they are pretty shady for carrying it all on as normal when the Baby Whisperer is dead. They make out you can still ask her questions and she will answer you - when its actually a 'team response' that you get for your money, and could be nothing like what Tracy Hogg would have said.

preggersplayspop Thu 10-Sep-09 09:29:43

You are better off on here if you have questions, at least you will get a range of opinions and its free!

priyag Thu 10-Sep-09 10:07:36

Actually the fee to the GF Website is £60 not £40 !

weegiemum Thu 10-Sep-09 10:08:58


Maria2007 Thu 10-Sep-09 11:52:29

FLamingobingo: 'I think you should burn both books'. Thanks for a balanced contribution. hmm

I followed Gina Ford's routine after 4-5 months or so, and I made some small changes of my own that worked best for us. But mainly I followed it & am still broadly following it now (DS is 13 months). When DS cried for hunger, I would feed him! But interestingly enough, once he was in a good, steady routine, he would cry much much less for hunger, and would eat well & regularly. This changed even more & was even better once solids started, after 6 months. Gina Ford is very clear about this. If the baby is hungry, feed them!!!!! You can still keep the broad routine in mind & work on it- without obsessing about it!- and just shift & adjusts times as you like. It's not as if you have to follow every single word & not use your common sense.

(By the way, the idea that routines make life more stressful is really a very one-sided comment. For many parents good routines mean the difference between keeping or losing their sanity. For us it meant our baby started eating properly & sleeping properly after months of exhausted sleep deprivation. Not for all parents of course! I'm sure some do perfectly well with no routine)

logrrl Thu 10-Sep-09 18:23:50

deliakate I think the answer to your question should be very much influenced by the age of your LO. In the early days, you should feed on demand and not on a schedule for reasons of establishing and maintaining your supply.

Having tried the BW stuff (from the BW solves all your problems hmm), I believe the BF chapter should be shredded/burned! It encourages the idea that if your baby cries shortly after a feed that it can't be hunger, for example. I endured much anguish over my crying 6 week old baby wondering what on earth was wrong with him when he cried all evening shock...(guess what was wrong) and then, when I finally put the book in the bin, had to work very hard on building my supply back up, never mind sorting out my feelings about my skill as a mother and guilt with regards to what I had done to baby (thankfully we are both very happy now grin.

I see lots of people here say that they've followed these book schedules, but they've not really -they've worked out the bits that will work for them and binned the rest, feeding out with any schedules. Every baby and every mother is different and these books treat us as if we are all the same. Please approach the idea of scheduling feeds with caution, even if you try some of the other ideas (BW is great for sleep IMO). I completely understand your desire to feel more in control of the feeding, but once the early stages pass, this sorts itself out.

I wish I had received or even sought out the sensible advice you are much more likely to receive on this forum!

Maria2007 Thu 10-Sep-09 20:56:51

Logrrl: why do you say though that these books treat us as if we're all the same? I think any book presents a theory, an idea, an opinion. It's up to the reader (as you say) to pick & choose the bits that suit their individual circumstances. It's possible that for some parents the whole Gina Ford routine (or whichever) will more or less feel 'right'. For others, bits & pieces feel right. For others, none at all. It's not the fault of the books that they present a coherent view, all books do that. They would be pretty chaotic books if they kept saying on every page 'don't follow everything to the letter, follow your common sense too'. I think that goes without saying!

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