Feeding On Demand

Image showing Feeding every 2-3 hours in cereal that is spaced equally apart, and on the bottom Feeding on demand where blueberries are spaced radomly.Robyn Price, RD 

Feeding on demand. Yep, I used cereal and blueberries to illustrate the difference between the expectations and reality of many breastfeeding parents.

Were you told your baby should breastfeed every two to three hours? I was. Did you know that recommendation only came from figuring out how often feeding was needed for a baby to feed eight to 12 times in a 24-hour period?

So yes, parents are often told (or often think) that babies should feed around eight to 12 times, but the way it all plays out in a 24-hour period is very different for each baby.

Reality: babies feed like the blueberries. Lots of feedings. Some small. Some big. Some close together. Some far apart.

Babies do not feed like clockwork where every cereal is spaced equally apart and is the same size. You can relax if your otherwise healthy baby goes longer than three hours between a feed. You don’t need to think “you can’t still be hungry” and delay a feed if they are showing signs they want to feed earlier than two hours.

Listen to your baby. Trust your instincts. Let go of the cookie cutter “ideal” and develop your own relationship that works for you and your baby.

Do you feed on demand? What works for you and your baby?




Please send your story ideas to Amy at [email protected].

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