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question for more mum's of older children(50 Posts)
I'm not one of the mums you're after (mine are 15 and 1), but my MIL has an advice booklet about feeding that she was given in 1979, and it is very similar to advice given today (for bf anyway). She was definitely advised to feed on demand.
I've got 5 ranging from 30-3 and I have fed them all on demand.
Crying is so annoying I like to stop it.
In the 60s my mum was told to feed 4-hourly, to let us cry if we wanted feeding sooner, and not to pick us up to comfort us until a feed, as that would spoil us. There was no rooming-in at the hospital, where you stayed until the baby was at least 1 week old, and the baby was brought to you every 4h for a feed - except at night, when the nurses gave a bottle.
The first time that mum actually spent longer than an hour at a time with her own baby, or even changed a nappy on her own, was when they had come home. Though she was taught how to bathe and dress the baby.
They lasted about 24h before mum threw the 'advice' out of the window and started feeding on demand. For subsequent dcs' births she fouls hospitals that allowed you to keep the baby with you, although none of them allowed that at night.
My eldest is 26, and for bf we were definitely advised to feed on demand. For ff, if I'm remembering correctly, we were advised to stick to a schedule of every 3-4 hours with water or dummies in between, but that just lead to a very annoyed dd so I fed her when she wanted instead, which was a lot less stressful all round
My now teens were fed on demand. I'd spend hours watching Open University in the middle of the night, feeding. It does get better!
My MIL for told in the seventies to feed for ten minutes each side when breastfeeding and no more. Her milk dried up unsurprisingly.
Thankfully she was polite enough to keep her shock quiet when my DS would feed for half an hour a time easily.
Feeding to a schedule was invented in mid century industrial society - for the thousands of years that humans lived on this planet before that babies would have been fed completely on demand ...
My mum was a victim of a cruel kind of routine - every four hours for ten minutes feed then down to cry .. This was her mum - my gran - following the advise of a man called truby king .. Her milk dried up and decades later she still talked about siting on the stairs listening to my mum cry but thinking it was wrong to pick her up
It's tragic what so called experts put mums through .. My own mum says it affected her relationship with her mother for life
My mother was given very 'modern' advice on bfing in the late 70s. I think it was rather different if you were ffing though, and there were still some older midwives who would spout nonsense about minutes per side and length of gaps.
Her mother, however, was told to feed four hourly and park the kids in the massive pram at the end of the garden between feeds!
Mine are 19 and 16.
I just fed them when they cried. That's all really.
Breastfed so I don't know about oz but sometimes it was a long feed and sometimes short. Never more than 2 hours between feeds in the first 6 months though.
My eldest is 27 and my youngest is 11 I fed them all to a routine. They were all easy contented babies sleeping through from six weeks and only ever waking once in the night. Obviously I was advised to demand feed my youngest but at the time I had 4dc in 4 different school and the youngest has a disability and so she had to fit in with our routines and she just did even before the midwife discharged me.
I didn't leave them to cry, I invariably had to wake them but none of them had a dummy and so if they woke before time I'd carry them round and pat their backs. They never woke hungry anyway more for a nappy change or for a cuddle.
My mum was advised to breastfeed on demand in the 1970s.
However, when I had my DS 10 years ago and switched to formula at about 6 weeks, I was told to feed him every 3-4 hours. I just used this as a guide, and still fed on demand.
When my mum had me in the 80s she said there wasn't any "official advice" like there is nowadays, you just did what you thought was best or what your mum had done. HVs would all have had different advice depending on their training/experience. (Bit like now then ) I do seem to remember her saying she was told not to feed for longer than 20 minutes, though.
Dated advice doesn't necessarily mean it was official advice ever, it just means that it's often the kind of thing that was more common in previous generations. It's only fairly recently that things like baby care guidelines have been standardised and published, in the past it would have differed from area to area. And there have always been books published saying opposite things, too - there was Penelope Leach and Dr. Spock in the 60s for attachment parenting, and there are still books being published today which advocate a strict breastfeeding routine and leaving to cry.
When PIL babysat DS1 for the first time for an evening I left plenty of expressed breast milk. Returned to find them trying to distract him from howling with the lights in the hall. He couldn't possibly have needed feeding because "it wasn't four hours!"
I'm currently expecting my fifth. My oldest is twelve. I have bottle Fed all of my children. Most were happy with four hourly feeds pretty quickly, but I fed as when they needed it. This caused friction with the midwife after my youngest was born as she was tiny and slightly early (born at 37 weeks exactly) and she just didn't want to feed in the early days. Midwife wanted me to wake her up every two hours to feed her! No chance! I cluster fed in the evening and she slept six hours. I did try and wake her during the day but if she didn't want to feed she would be sick so seemed pointless to me!
She is now a perfectly healthy, perfectly average sized five year old!
waterrat I was also raised by the Truby King method and spent many hours screaming on my own down the garden/ in my room
Needless to say when my DC were born in the 1980s I spent a lot of time feeding. Nobody was left outside in a pram.
OP we were advised in the 1980s to feed on demand.
I bf fed all mine on demand. My eldest is 34.
In the 50s and 60s my own mum bottle fed and I think she fed by the clock. 6, 10, 2, 6, 10, 2. We all had dummies with jam, sugar etc on and we spent lots of time outside in the pram. We survived somehow!
To encourage sleeping though the night parents dissolved a farleys rusk or baby rice in the last bottle once baby was a few weeks old. If baby screamed they were given grip water.
We were told (in the 80s) not to add solids to the last bottle but I know lots were still doing it.
My MIL bf for 10 minutes each side every 4 hours. She says that her children "just learnt" that they would be fed then and took "proper" feeds. Not sure how long she bf for though as she went back to full time work at 12 weeks, by which time they were on three meals a day() after being weaned at 8 weeks. I've often thought that the houses of new parents must have been alive with the sounds of crying but from this thread it looks like most people just (wisely)ignored the advice!
My own parents fed on demand and never left me or my sister to cry but, as my Dad points out, "they were hippies".
I read a really interesting article about newborn feeding, and how if we were to live in a more simple hunter/gatherer type of set up where you carry your baby around and sleep next to it (like all other mammals basically) then a baby would typically feed 24 times a day! It was fascinating and when I watch the sheep on our farm with their lambs, the lambs do feed very frequently when they're small.
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