Tuesday, February 7, 2012

On Feeding

Already parents will find this pretty obvious, but I didn't know you had 2 option when feeding a baby: On Schedule feeding, and On Demand feeding.
Basically, on schedule feeding involves waking the baby up at a steady schedule to feed. It means less crying, and is easier on the parents sleep. It's also easier to plan you day around scheduled feeds. Of course, if the baby was to wake up before her time, you would have to adjust...
On demand feeding means you let the baby sleeps when it sleeps and feed it when it cries hungry cries. One advantage is that the baby can sleep uninterrupted and be on its own natural schedule.

Apparently, there is a raging debate over this (Really?!?).

Because of attachement, this issue can have a particular signification in an adoptive family. I think a baby who is anxious and worried that its needs won't be met may benefit from a feeding routine, because the parents wake their baby up with a ready bottle before he is hungry. This is good for attachement.
However, I have read that a child who spent a long time in an institutionnal setting may have learned that asking is useless in getting its needs met. These kids are passive and not very fussy, and they may not get all they need because they don't ask for it. In such cases, I guess it would be beneficial to teach the child to cry for milk and use an adaptation of the on demand method...
These are all just thoughts, of course. I am no pediatrician!
As adoptive families of non-newborn babies, we won't have much choice. When we pick up our Cinnamon Baby, he will already have a routine. I expect the caregivers will tell us what times and what quantities our child is used to. And that's fine, we'll adjust. But it's good to know other methods exist. I think you can gradually change your child's routine to fit your new family life better.

1 comment:

  1. On demand is crucial for breast fed babies: mother's milk is more watery at the begining of the feed (for thirst) and more fatty towards the end (main dish). So if it is hot outside, the baby will feed frequently and for short periods to remain hydrated for example.
    Bottle feed is heavier and does not have this variety in composition, and it is probably easier to control amounts on schedule feeding.
    In any case, the little one's temperament is also to be taken into account! :) -g