Schedule, demand-feeding— which one should it be? I’m not here to write about which method every mother should use. I’m just going to write about which one has give me more room to breathe and which one seems to work best for my children.
Perhaps demand-feeding works for some, but I decided with my first child to follow the schedule suggested by Babywise. Some people follow everything written in the book perfectly in line. I’ve used it more as a guide. I started both my children with feeding them every three hours the minute they were born. (I also gave them an half an hour leeway before and after 3 hours). The reason I decided on a schedule was because I had seen too many mothers exhausted and unable to function properly because they were feeding their little one very often.
The schedule helps the mother in many ways. First, she is actually able to complete tasks in between the three hours. Second, it gives her time to sleep at night (hours in between feedings will elongate as the baby grows older).
The schedule is also beneficial to the child, as well. First, the baby has enough time to digest the milk it receives. Second, it brings order to the baby’s day (many of us work much better when there is some kind of schedule to our day).
Many mothers tend to demand-feed because their babies cry often; as a result, they breastfeed them to soothe them. I am not against soothing; I soothe my children when they are not feeling well. But I also let them cry sometimes. Crying is not harmful. Many times my baby will cry because he is tired. So I wrap him up, put him down, and let him cry. He will usually cry for about 15 minutes, and then he’ll fall asleep.
Being able to differentiate a baby’s cries is important. Then one knows which action she should take whether to let them cry, to rub their tummies because they are having gas, or nurse them when it’s time to feed.