Archive for January 4th, 2010

I have been on both sides of the fence regarding schedule feeding and demand feeding of babies.  After 8 babies, my conclusion is that what works for one baby isn’t necessarily the best for another baby!  Most of my babies have thrived on a schedule and could handle a four hour schedule by the time they were about a month old.  (Mind you, these are not rigid schedules!)  They were big babies to start with (mostly over 10 pounds), and they remained in the upper percentiles for both height and weight well into their first year.

My current little one, however, has been a different matter.  She was “only” 8 pounds at birth, dropped down to 7 by the time she was 4 days old, and did not gain back to her birth weight until she was 5 weeks old.  I was feeding her every time she cried and many times when she didn’t!  Any time she acted as if she might be willing to eat, I fed her.

Well, my baby will be 5 months old this week, and she is still a petite little one.   I am no longer worried about her weight because she is healthy and happy, is developmentally on target, and definitely does not look malnourished!

I do, however, feel that it is time to get her onto a routine.  She does go 3-4 hours between feedings during the day, but they are not at set times.  She sleeps 8-10 hours at night, but doesn’t have a consistent time that she wakes up.   She “cluster feeds” at night, eating frequently from about 5pm until about 11pm.  I don’t mind the cluster feeding, because it does mean that she sleeps through the night!  However, it is very hard to schedule things during the day since I don’t have set times that I know I’ll be feeding her.  We live 30-60 minutes away from grocery shopping, church, doctors, etc., and it is hard to arrange it so that she is either fed just before we leave or she is just ready to go down for a nap when we leave.

I decided that, starting this morning, I am going to waken her early in the morning on MY schedule and hope that it will make her bedtime earlier, as well.  In addition to that, I am going to try to feed her on a schedule the rest of the day that is based on the time I wake her up.  That will allow me to know what times of the day I can schedule appointments, and will hopefully allow me to get more done in the home.  If I know what times I will have available to work on a project, I’m more likely to schedule it into my day and actually accomplish something!

So this is day one of the new plan.  We’ll see how it works!