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(22 Posts)
Zooropa Tue 29-Sep-09 13:32:27

I'm guessing - say nothing and keep nose out, but I just want to make sure.
My friend has a 10 week old baby, she's breastfeeding but on the advice of a paed (her father in law) she is making her go 4 hours between feeds in the day - basically not feeding her when she's crying unless 4 hours are up. She is quite a big baby and as yet no weight worries, but it seems so unnecessary. She said the other day "I know it may seem mean but she has learnt to take the food when she can get it". I am worried her supply is going to suffer or she will be in for a hell of a shock at a growth spurt time, on the other hand her baby seems to be thriving though obviously screams when hungry and is just rocked or given the dummy. Would you mention anything about demand feeding or the way breastfeeding works? Or leave it?

Danceaway Tue 29-Sep-09 13:43:17

Personally it breaks my heart to think of baby not being fed on demand but I know a lot of people who swear by it so I guess you have to leave it to personal choice. Get her onto Mumsnet and have her ask the opinions of a more people than just her FIL if she shows any signs of being open to persuasion!

tiktok Tue 29-Sep-09 15:47:32

This is unkind and unnecessary - why on earth does a baby have to learn 'to take the food when she can get it' ??? This is control freakery applied to a tiny baby.

It might be her choice, but it sure isn't her baby's

How about saying , 'not everyone thinks this is a good way to go....would you like to read something on the web, just to see other views?' and apologise for sticking your nose in.

CuckingFunt Tue 29-Sep-09 15:50:19

Cruel and totally unfair to the poor wee hungry baby sad sad

Makes me feel quite upset to think of it.

Newborns are not out to ruin your life by mucking up your routines. They don't have routines. They sleep when they're tired and feed when they're hungry which is very very often.

I wish people would stop trying to 'train' babies to fit in with their own selfish ideals.

Longtalljosie Tue 29-Sep-09 17:19:42

Plus I'm amazed her supply hasn't been affected.

Is her FIL still practising, or retired? He sounds like he came out of the ark...

If she insists on a routine, there are myriad baby books which tell you that the 4 hour advice is out of date and you should be aiming for 2.5 to 3 hours...

Skillbo Wed 30-Sep-09 12:43:27

Poor little one sad

Oh, this does make me feel sad for him! I think the 4 hour thing is only really recommended for bottle fed babies (and not even sure of that).. I think bf are 2 hours as LTJ says.

If nothing else, I don't know how she can take the crying... when my DD is hungry there is no calming her. Maybe it's cos she knows the boob will appear though...

Skillbo Wed 30-Sep-09 12:45:02

Oops - just spotted it's a little girl!

I now feel sad for her!

belgo Wed 30-Sep-09 14:43:56

Does she have ear plugs or something? How ridiculous to put up with a baby crying when it can be so easily solved by feeding the baby.

I'd tell her that however clever she thinks her baby might be, 10 weeks is just too early to be able to tell the time - so the baby's stomach tells the time for the baby.

earplugs Wed 30-Sep-09 21:55:38

Blimey, 4 hours is a long time to go without any food or drink for an adult let alone a baby. After all if you had a drink at 10am in the morning, would you not allow yourself another until 2pm in the afternoon?

Its a very difficult think to mention though without running the risk of being told where to go! Good luck!

ParanoidAtAllTimes Thu 01-Oct-09 09:40:00

Oh that poor baby!
I don't know how your friend can stand the crying, knowing that she could easily solve the problem with a feed.

Perhaps you could ask how her baby's doing at night? If she's waking for a couple of feeds you could suggest feeding more often in the day. Im FAR from an expert but IME and that of several friends of mine, feeding 2 hourly or so during the day seems to help them go longer at night.

My 10 week old ds has always fed every 2 hours or so in the day and very early on had his longest sleep at night. He now often sleeps for 7-8 hour stretches.

I would certainly much rather sitting on my bum, feeding ds for a large proportion of the day if it means a decent night's sleep!

Perhaps your friend may feel the same?

ParanoidAtAllTimes Thu 01-Oct-09 09:41:58

BTW his long night time sleeps aren't through any 'training' or letting him cry- he just does it of his own accord!

hanaflowerhatestheDM Thu 01-Oct-09 11:47:08

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

wellbalanced Thu 01-Oct-09 12:45:57

I had a friend do this, baby was even younger, i was sooo upset for little one but kept my mouth shut-i knew she would do it her way anyway, She wanted baby to 'fit' into her life.
She always told me baby was doing well-but i dont actually know (long distance friend)

Zooropa Fri 02-Oct-09 12:36:18

thank you for the opinions here. I will try pointing her in the direction of some info maybe but I am not holding out much hope. Her father in law is stil practising - and he lives in a very pro breastfeeding community which has shocked me. He told them to use a dummy as much as they could too! I know dummies are ok and can be a godsend but surely not great in an exclusively bf baby if used excessively? Oh well.

VirginiaLoveGlove Fri 02-Oct-09 12:43:20

she is sending such confused messages to this poor baby. never mind the one she thinks she is teaching her. "I will only attend to your needs when it suits me." seems to be one. the end product could be an insecure attachment.

verylittlecarrot Fri 02-Oct-09 17:40:52

Ask her how she would feel if asked to fast for 4 hours between every drink and between every meal, whether it be a tiny snack or a three course feast. And then ask her how she feels a tiny baby is physically and mentally equipped to deal with hunger pangs and thirst compared to her.

Small babies need more sleep, more frequently, than adults.
Small babies need more cuddles and comfort than adults.
Small babies wee and poo more frequently than adults.

And small babies need food and fluid more often than adults.

I expect she wouldn't deny her baby sleep, or cuddles or changing as soon as her baby indicated these were needed.

I wonder if she can see that denying her baby food and drink when needed is as mind boggling as denying the other basic needs.

GreenMonkies Fri 02-Oct-09 17:49:29

Ask her to go for four hours without a drink or something to eat, not a cup of tea, a glass of water or anything. See how much she likes it.

Like so many people she is seeing breastfeeding only as a food source, but it's so much more, it's a relationship, for the baby it's comfort, security, interaction, as well as a drink, not just food.

Perhaps you could gently query how long ago her FIL last did any training in Infant Feeding, particularly breastfeeding. Or, if you're feeling brave exclaim, in a horrified tone; "good grief, even Gina Ford doesn't make babies go 4 hours between feeds!!!! shock"

You are absolutely right, this will impact on her milk supply. She is approaching the 12 week growth spurt, if she continues to ration feeds like this it will result in her supply not meeting her babies needs (no doubt her FIL will recommend a top-up bottle of formula at this point hmm) as well as damaging the trust and security that should be the basis of her loving relationship with her baby. Very sad.

GreenMonkies Fri 02-Oct-09 17:51:22

(Is his name Truby and has he also told her to strap her baby into the pram and leave her outside in the garden and ignore her until the clock says it's time for a feed?)

1stMrsF Sat 03-Oct-09 21:46:13

This sort of thing breaks my heart. Not quite as extreme but a friend is bf her twins every 3 hours in the day, 4 at night (they are 1 month now, she was doing this from 1 week). I have also bf my twins (now 5 mo) but on demand. I couldn't say nothing, so what I did say was 'you are doing really well being in a routine that works for you so soon, but when they go through growth spurts it can be difficult to keep that up. I found it easier to demand feed during that time as it's important that they feed frequently enough to increase your supply, so don't feel that you have failed if the routine breaks down - you can settle them into a new routine after the growth spurt' I also often mention things like 'Oh mine often only make it 2.5 hours between feeds even now'.

The reason might not be selfishness (although of course it could be!) but lack of confidence or feeling pressured to do things a certain way (particularly with the FIL 'advice'). My MIL told me I 'would be better off' feeding the twins on a 4 hour schedule hmm, but the difference is that I felt the confidence to ignore her

shuffle Sat 10-Oct-09 22:28:44

This post and the responses have really annoyed me. How patronising and judgemental. The key words are that the there are no weight issues and the baby is thriving. Babies cry. I know a bf on demand baby who screamed for 4 months due to latch problems. Was it "cruel and uneccessary" for the mother to persivere? Just because you do it differently doesn't mean your way is the only way! For goodness sake there are much more upsetting things to "break your heart" over.
If you hadnt already guessed - say nothing its not even a problem. I am sure your friend has the gumption to review 4 hourly feeds during a growth spurt!

cory Sun 11-Oct-09 11:59:26

Don't be too sure of it, shuffle. I failed to spot that my baby needed more milk than she was getting. Lots of mums come on here desperate about their milk supply, because they have failed to spot a normal growth spurt. The FIL's advice sounds very antiquated and totally unnecessary to me.

cancantcan Sun 11-Oct-09 12:16:36

This is really bad advice, research has shown that not feeding a baby on demand in the early days can lead to problems with supply further down the line. I would make sure your friend is aware of this research, as clearly her FIL isnt and as a paed, really should be aware of the current best practice with regards to breast feeding. Once your friend is aware of the research, its up to her to read it, and I would leave it at that.
research there is much more research out there on this topic, this is just one example.

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