Why I Don't Have a Set Schedule
“So what’s your baby’s feeding schedule like?”
One of the most often asked questions for new moms . . . right up there with “So are you breastfeeding?”
My feeding philosophy has always been FED IS BEST. I’ve breastfed all four of my children, and even though breastfeeding was a great option for us I have always found questions around breast or formula feeding a little intrusive. I mean isn’t this whole feeding thing between my baby and me? How is it anyone else’s concern? (Unless, of course, I’m asking you to help out with the feedings.) Nevertheless, the question will get asked, and I know people are just curious (or maybe just don’t know what else to ask a new mom) and thus I’ve always just been honest about it.
“I don’t have a schedule.”
Insert look of shock.
“I feed on demand.”
Insert look of confusion.
“I feed my baby whenever he/she needs or wants milk.”
Insert look of “Now I get it!”
Feeding on demand mostly looked like - a feeding when they woke up, before (and sometimes after) naps, before bedtime, and then any other time they seemed like they wanted or needed it. Does that count as a schedule?
I think what’s scary for someone who thrives on a schedule is trying to figure out how to schedule the rest of your day around the feedings . . . and I totally get that. Feeding on demand does get more challenging when you have other things to do, but you make it work - feed the baby before you have to go do something and then feed them after if they are still hungry.
But there is also the question of . . .
“What do you do when YOU are not available?”
“Pumped milk . . . and there is always formula if we run out.”
Here’s the thing I’ve learned after having four kids: As long as your baby is gaining weight they are eating enough.
How did I know specifically when my babies were hungry?? Or how could someone else (partner, grandparent, baby-sitter) that was feeding them know?
They open their mouth (like they want food), clench their fists, quick movements with the mouth/tongue like they are trying to nurse. Or mostly you know because they cry but are not tired.
If you’re worried about them not eating enough log it in a notebook,a feeding log, an app on your phone likeBaby Connect,Baby Breastfeeding Tracker, orBaby Feeding Log.
And if you’re NOT like me and are someone who thrives on a schedule, ask your pediatrician what they recommend. Shoot for that and along the way you’ll figure out what your baby needs and what works best for both of you.
You got this Mama.