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!

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This entry was posted on Monday, January 4th, 2010 at 10:17 am and is filed under Babies, Home Management, Mothering, Time Management. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

8 comments so far

1.  mommi
January 5th, 2010 at 2:17 pm

Hi there,
I just want to say I know you have a lot of great info to share with other parents after 8 babies. And how old is your oldest? Blessings to you all.

2.  Beth
January 5th, 2010 at 4:25 pm

Thank you for being my very first commenter on my new blog! 🙂

My oldest is 19. It caught me off guard the other day when I realized that she will turn 20 this year. 😮

Blessings to you, too!

3.  Blia
January 5th, 2010 at 10:21 pm

I don’t know how you manage with 8! I have my hands full already with 5, especially when 4 of them are little energetic little boys.

4.  Beth
January 5th, 2010 at 10:57 pm

LOL – sometimes I don’t know, either. 😉 I have five energetic boys, but my 5 yo girl is the most energetic of them all! It does get easier in some ways as they get older, but then, of course, there are new challenges. 🙂

5.  megscole64
January 7th, 2010 at 4:45 pm

Oh wow…we don’t follow a schedule for my 3+ month old either. Whenever he seems hungry he gets food. Now that he’s going to daycare =( he seems to be getting on more of a set schedule and eating more at one time instead of a little here and a little there. I like it when he eats plenty right before bed because he sleeps longer. =)

6.  Beth
January 7th, 2010 at 5:56 pm

I did try to keep about 3-4 hours between feedings, because then she would get more of the higher-fat hind milk. Since she was below the 10th percentile for weight, that was important. However, if she was acting hungry sooner, I fed her. And, since it could be 3 hours one time and 4 hours the next time, the times varied from day to day. I could never look at the clock to decide if she was more likely tired or hungry. It was also harder to plan for being on the road for an hour plus!

Sleeping longer is a nice thing. 🙂

7.  marie
January 9th, 2010 at 7:36 pm

i’ve never been able to get my baby on a schedule. she’s now 13 months and it’s i just make sure she now eats 3 times a day. amazing that all your babies were feeding on schedule.

8.  Beth
January 9th, 2010 at 9:10 pm

It does take effort to put the baby on a schedule – some more than others! My babies’ schedules aren’t perfect, but they are very worth the effort. I’m surprised, though, that your 13 month-old is already down to 3 times a day. Mine have all still been at 4 times a day at that age!


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