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Demand Feed or Routine??? Lock Rss

Hi Lovely Mummy's

I'm preparing to be a mummy and am deciding whether to demand feed or try a routine such as Gina Ford from Day 1 or after the first week.
Just wanting to hear about different women's experiences with demand feeding and/or routines.
This would be a huge help as I haven't had the chance to ask many mothers what option they chose, if they initially chose that option and how its worked for them and baby.

Can't wait to hear your response, thanks so much!
Jes xo

I demand fed, and still do. Kylara has made her own routine which works perfectly for me.
In my opinion, you shouldn't start a routine for the first few weeks at least, as you're only just establishing breastfeeding (I assume?), and newborns will feed every hour or so for a few weeks as they establish your supply, and while their stomachs are still very small.
From what I can gather, Demand feeding is the "old school" of thought. Babies change their minds all of the time, and go through growth spurts etc, so telling them they can only feed four hourly (or whatever) will just make them more upset.
For me, when DD got to 3mths old, I chose to do the sleep, feed, play routine... but there were no strict times, or if she was really upset, the boob was the best place to calm her down!!!
Good luck with Bubs
Routine feeding is the old school of thought. Demand feeding means feeding your baby when they demand. It is great for the establishment of breastfeeding. I wouldnt bother with routines until AT LEAST 6 wks. your milk supply should start to regulate then and its best for both of you if you just go with the flow until then. Most babies make up their own routine though...
Good luck with the bub smile

Apologies for my replies, hope they make sense. I am usually typing one handed or interrupted halfway through wink

We have a dinner/bed time routine which I do think is important but no real routine for the rest of the day and it has been working well for us with DD sleeping through since birth.


You may be suprised at how fast they adapt and sort their own routine out, it doesn't take them long to get the hang of things smile

Agreed. I have a set routine and time to put Kylara to bed every night, but aside from that she's worked it out herself.
Definitely feed on demand... which is feeding your baby when they are hungry, makes alot more sense than feeding your baby to a schedule in a book. Adults dont eat the same volume at the exact same time frame - nor do babies... humans should eat when they are hungry, not at set time intervals.
DS is on a routine of 3hrs but if he wants it earlier say 2 1/2 hrs then thats when I feed him. This was because the clinic nurse wanted him to feed at 3hrs. This works for us as DS has become a much happier baby since we started this. All you need to do is figure out what works for you grin
With DS1 we tried routine....was an absolute nightmare and surprised I didn't end up with PND because he didn't do what the book said he should. He never 'conformed' to the routine so I stopped trying to force it.

With DS2 we did what we needed to do; we shared a bed with him, I fed on demand often feeding and/or rocking him to sleep, we wore him and generally let him decide when he was hungry/tired/etc. Everyone was much happier and it didn't mean I had to spend all my time looking at a clock and making him wait to be fed because the book said he couldn't possibly be hungry yet or wake him up because the book said he'd had enough sleep. The only time I ever woke DS2 was if it had been more than 4 hours since his last feed, to do anything else but let him keep sleeping otherwise seemed nuts to me.

Just as an aside, I would never take advice from someone who has never actually had children and Gina Ford hasn't...she may have nannied for forever but she won't have the same emotional bond with a baby that a mother would have and IMO that makes it easy to say leave baby to cry, only feed every x many hours etc. and never do things like feed/rock to sleep or share a bed with your baby.

You need to do what works for you and your family but in my experience the baby decides whether a structured routine suits them, not the book or the author of the book.

Well for the 1st 6 weeks i demand fed, then after that my little man put himself into a 3 hourly feeding routine around his sleeps. I took his lead and then routine fed him thru the day, but allowed demand feeding at night. Remember however, there will be days when they break their routine and feed hourly, or 2 hourly or 4 hourly especially when growing or sick.
I never look at books because the baby cant read it, so they do whats right for them. You as the mother just need to listen to what your baby is telling you and go with it. The more you try and force baby into doing things your way, the harder things will be and the more stressed out you will get. Within 6 weeks baby will tell you what routine it wants.
The first few weeks need to be spent getting to know your babies cues, learning how to bf together (they need to learn too), getting to know each other etc To routine feed (if bf) a newborn is EXTREMELY detrimental to the whole bf process. Babies need to change how much they drink and how often they drink in order to change your milk supply. Boobs are not taps that always have the milk there. The milk needs to be made and it has to be made to order. If needed they can make milk at the same time as the baby is drinking. (the days where they feel drained and bubs is drinking heaps!!) If you stick to a routine or even implement one within the first 6 weeks - you are on a very quick rd to an unhappy baby, stressed mum, low milk supply, formula.
the first few days until your milk comes in, babies can be feeding hourly.... its normal and its needed to get your milk going. you really have to hand over control of this to the baby as they are the ONLY ones who know how much they need and when. when its hot babies drink more, when they are getting sick they may too, when they are in pain they might need a feed again.

babies get in their own routines and don't need to be taught. You are better off just listening to them, trusting them, they will tell you what they need. wink

All the best!

I can't believe how much pressure is placed on mums these days!!
Let me assure you that your child will not suffer if he/she is not fed on demand. Some mums would have you believe that you are starving your child if you do not feed at the precise minute they begin to cry for it.
I went with the flow for the first four weeks but found that my baby wouldn't settle and was often upset. I had major problems with breastfeeding and didn't know what to do. I also had no idea how many feeds, how much sleep and how much awake time a baby needs. I decided to try Tizzie Hall's routine at five weeks of age and haven't looked back. From that first day I had a settled baby who slept through the night (7am to 7pm with a dreamfeed at 10pm). My breastfeeding problems virtually disappeared and my baby rarely cried.
Now my baby is almost 9 months old, still breastfed and still sleeping through the night. He has a huge appetite and now has 3 solid meals as well as the four beastfeeds. He is a very happy, settled child who doesn't need to cry if he's hungry because he knows when his next meal is coming.
I know some mums completely disagree with routine feeding but you really need to do what is best for you. Routines can be challenging in the beginning and may not work if you don't follow them exactly for the first few weeks. If you can get past that you will be able to deviate from the routine when you need to. My little guy does not eat and sleep at the exact same time each day, it's just a guide now.
Great idea starting the research early - wish I had! Good luck with any decision you make - just try not to let other people's opinions sway you about what you SHOULD be doing. Do what's right for yourself and your baby!!

It isn't about people thinking you starve your kid if you don't feed them the second they cry..... demand feeding for the first few weeks is about establishing breastfeeding, after that it is about letting your baby have control over their own food and their own needs.

My babies rarely cried for food.They made little noises that meant they wanted food, they only cried if that need was not met such as if we were in a car, or I was in the shower. At 9 months old I would hope that babies weren't crying for it! My eldest dd could sign that she wanted milk by that age and my second could certainly indicate she was hungry without tears!

Routines are fine if it works for your family, but to implement them for a newborn and even an older bf baby (and a lot of the routines from "baby gurus" are responsible for this) are at the demise of breastfeeding. bf is not designed to be done by routine,it is designed to be done on demand. thats why animals don't need clocks. wink

While i agree with feeding on demand in the early days which is what i did with DD, i also found it very hard as whenever she cried she got fed (as a newborn) but this turned into snack feeding and she would never get the hind milk that would fill her up IYKWIM.

Which in turn turned her sleep to crap and she was always hungry, so i next time round i would have a balance of both. More of a guideline than a routine because if i had fed her then half hour later she cried and i fed her more she was just getting topped up instead of getting a nice full feed each time which can be hard to break the snack feeding cycle. I think if you had an idea in your head to feed maybe 3 hourly but if baby wants it at 2hours then obviously feed them but at least you have a guideline in your head as to when they might need it next, sorry if i don't make sense! (makes sense in my head lol)

So thats what i'll be doing next time as first time it was so hard as it was all over the show even at 6 months plus, for me it was quite stressful.

hope this helps a bit, just keep an open mind i guess!! Goodluck

oh forgot to say when they are sick etc that changes things to!
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