Schedule for Breastfeeding?

Updated on February 06, 2008
T.M. asks from Victoria, TX
35 answers

EDIT AFTER READING SOME RESPONSES:

My baby WILL NOT take a bottle/sippy cup/etc.

Absolutely WILL NOT. I have tried - believe me.

Also - he was eating 5 jars a day when he was 6 mos old - but he had to stay in the hospital for 6 days and didnt feel like eating solids. After that stay - he went down to two jars a day and just will not eat anymore. It is a fight to get him to eat the two jars!

I am afraid to give him anything like puffs because he wont eat anything with texture and everytime i try puffs, etc. he chokes because he doesn't know how to chew. So - that is a no go.

Sorry - after I read responses I realized I didn't explain everything fully! :)
My 9 month old eats 2 tubs (jars) of stage two (Gerber) baby food a day - on a good day! Morning is a fruit and nighttime is a veggie. I breastfeed him 2-4 times a night and he sleeps about 10-12 hours a night (not all at once though). My 3 year old never took naps and won't take naps, so neither does my 9 month old. I nurse my 9 month old on demand - meaning if he fusses and is pulling my shirt off of me, I feed him. So - my question(s) is:

Is this wrong?

Should he be on a schedule?

How often should he nurse a day?

Is he eating enough solids?

What can I do next?

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So What Happened?

I have to just give a HUGE thank you to EVERYONE that responded and emailed me personally.

The biggest part of everything was that I was feeling like a bad mom for doing what I felt was right. The reason: People were telling me what I should and shouldn't do.

I feel confident that what I am doing is right. He is happy and I am happy.

I am tired - and I want more "me" time, but I keep reminding myself that I am just "doing the time" for a better outcome.

In the grand scheme of his life, this is a TINY TINY part of it, and in a few years this will seem like NOTHING.

So - I am going to keep doing what I feel in my heart is right and best... and be thankful that I have the opportunity to do so.

Thank you all SO much again - I never expected such heartfelt and numerous responses!!!

More Answers

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M.B.

answers from Dallas on

I never had a schedule on feeding any of my kiddos--they nursed on demand. It worked well for us--they had somewhat of their own schedule, but it wasn't time specific. Nursing is not as easy to put on a schedule since it is easier digested than formula.

Two of my three would nurse every couple of hours and my other nursed at four and five hour intervals towards the end. It depends on the child. If they are nursing at least five times a day --i think you are doing good.

I used a cookie with all three of mine that was by nabisco--sometimes it is hard to find, but it is nabisco's arrowroot cracker--in a blue box--it dissolves almost instantly and it taught my three how to gum and chew better.

If you want to introduce more solids i would try to offer those first instead of the breast and offer the breast afterward. I would also offer him a sippie of water while trying to offer the solids, even if he doesn't use it he eventually will and will associate a meal with a cup.

Some kids just prefer the breast and you can work with him on this if you are trying to wean at cetain times, but i had a nephew that was 85% breat fed at age one, and the doctor said it was okay as long as he was not losing weight--he has poorer eating habits now, but is very healthy.

EDITED: I WOULD ALSO LIKE TO ADD THAT I USED A BOOK CALLED SUPER BABY FOOD AND MADE HOMEMADE BABY FOR FOR MY THREE--AND THE TWO WHO ATE IT MORE HAVE BETTER APPETITIES. MAKING HOMEMADE FOOD IS EASY AND IT TASTE MUCH BETTER. INSTEAD OF BUYING BANANAS IN A JAR-- I MASHED A FRESH ONE AND SO ON --FRESH AVACADOS, ETC.)

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C.T.

answers from Dallas on

If you are happy with the arrangement, and your son is happy and growing, then its fine! I absolutely love having my 9 month old on a schedule; it works great for both of us. My friend and her 8 month old are equally happy with an on-demand life-style! Similarly, my boy gets a lot of solid foods whereas her girl gets only breast-milk, but both are growing and developing fine.

If, on the other hand, you are unhappy with the lack of sleep or with nursing on-demand, try guiding him to something that works better for you. I liked Suzy Giodorno's sleep method, but there's lots out there and I'm sure you can find something you are comfortable with.

Since you do feed some solid foods, you might want to consider adding some iron-fortified cereal to your veggie or fruit, because sometimes breast-fed only babies get a little low on iron around 9 mos. or a year.

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A.J.

answers from Dallas on

I have never put my kids on a schedule or limited their nursing for up to 2 years old. They weaned (mom led) between 2 & 3.

I also didn't worry about solids under a year.

I'm a pretty laid back mom though, some people need a little more control ;)

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C.M.

answers from Dallas on

Hey T.. Sounds like you are not having a great time trying to feed your baby, I am sorry to hear that. I have breastfed both of my boys, one is 4 months old and the other is 4 years old. I weaned my 4 year old at 9 months and I am currently breastfeeding my 4 month old. My four month old is on a on demand schedule and I feed him rice cereal in the evenings (once a day). I am a firm believer that every baby and mom is different, I don't believe in the baby having to have a schedule. My mom had 7 kids and none of us were on a schedule and were all breastfed. My pediatrician said that babies who are breastfed do not need any other foods until 6 months. Maybe you could try starting over. Just breastfeed and give him rice cereal mixed with your breastmilk at night. Slow down, relax and your baby will too!! Take care and I hope you work something out. BTW, my 4 year old still takes naps...but he goes to preschool and they do that there as well.

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K.W.

answers from Dallas on

You have recieved such good advice and resources for your own research of educated opinions (World Health Organization WHO) for example.
The truth is no matter how hard you try to schedule your baby he will rearrange it to meet his hunger needs. A breastfed baby as you already know eats a lot less of the jar foods when you nurse first. That is the correct order to maintain your milk supply so you are on the money. I may suggest that you give cereal and veggies in the morning and perhaps a protein at night with a little fruit after nursing him and that may accomplish several objectives. Sleeping better and extra protein helps him feel full longer without the rebound hunger effect of carbohydrates (cereal, milk, fruits are all carb's)
Good luck and just remember, no matter what, this too shall pass. For many of us way to soon.
K. @ The Nestingplace

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V.B.

answers from Houston on

If you want him to be sleeping more at a stretch through the night, then you should be feeding him more often during the day. Sometimes a schedule can help with this. As for the solid foods (baby foods), at this age, it is really just to help them learn how to eat it, but you could try some cereals as they are a bit more filling than the fruits and veggies. Just make sure you introduce them one kind at a time (start with either rice cereal or oatmeal) and wait several days to see if there is a reaction before moving on to something else.

When my daughter was that age, she was eating mostly table foods cut into smaller pieces. At 9 months, she decided she wouldn't eat baby food anymore. You might try this too. Just give him some soft pieces of bread, cottage cheese, yogurt, small pieces of cheese, etc. so that he can start feeding himself (again, introduce these slowly and look for reactions). I also breastfed her and she had 4 feedings per day at that age in addition to the food. She was sleeping through the night at 5 weeks old though, so I never had the problem with her waking at night to feed. The advice her pediatrician gave me very early on was to "tank her up" during the day, meaning feed her more often starting in the early afternoon, so that she would have enough in her to get through the night. You may want to give this a shot.

Here is what her schedule was at that age....just in case you want to try a schedule:
She nursed when she woke up and then had some cereal and a fruit for "breakfast" about an hour later. I then nursed her mid-morning. Lunch time was food first (table food or cereal and a veggie and fruit) then nursed if she still wanted something. Mid afternoon nursing. Dinner of food (cereal, veggie and fruit or table food), then nursed her again right before bed. You could also nurse him after his meals if you wanted to just to be sure he's getting enough. So, she had small meals throughout the day with breastmilk in between, but got plenty to keep her down throughout the night.

I hope this helps! I had it made with my daughter since she slept so well from the beginning. I am preggo with #2 now and terrified that he's gonna be at the opposite end of the spectrum. :-) Best of luck to you!

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C.W.

answers from Dallas on

Is this wrong? Nope

Should he be on a schedule? Nah

How often should he nurse a day?as often as he needs too

Is he eating enough solids? yes

Remember that solids up until 1 are just to experience with foods and to encourage social behavior not for nutrition, so he could be eating les then 2 jars a day and be fine as long as he is nursing well. Also make sure you offer the breast first before solids because you want him to be full of milk not empty calories. Milk and cereal both have about 20 calories per oz but cereal is missing all the fat and protien of breastmilk, the very things your baby needs to grow muscles and healthy brain tissue, so don't worry about the solids, just make sure he is eatting enough breast milk and he will be fine.

I don't even start solids until 10 months or so, and my kids are healthy, normal sized kids and doing just great!

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C.J.

answers from Dallas on

I know that when I went to my son's 6 months doctor visit they gave me a Gerber chart which said they need to eat at least 2 1/2 jars of food a day to get their 5 servings of fruits/veggies. He should probably be on a 4 to 6 times a day nursing schedule and not nursing at night. I would really call a lactation consultant and get some information on how to stop nursing at night. My doctor told me when my daughter was 3 months that if I kept nursing her in the middle of the night I would need to prepare myself to do this until she was at least a year old. Otherwise stop doing it and let her learn to self soothe. The was right she was just using me as a pacifier to get herself back to sleep. I stopped and we had a rough couple of nights, but she learned to self soothe and stopped nursing. I agree with the last post you have to nurse more often during the day so that you will not have to at night. Also I don't agree with just pulling your shirt off and feeding him everytime he is fussy maybe he just need some time with you. Try cuddling him, reading to him, singing to him or just rocking him and see if that helps with him fussing. If it does not help try offering him cherrios, gerber puffs, water to hold him off until it is time to nurse again (you should be nursing every 3 to 4 hours). I know it is going to be hard to keep him from nursing on demand, but it will only take a couple of days to get him on a schedule and you will be glad you did good luck.

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E.M.

answers from Dallas on

Sounds to me like like you are doing great! Having been through two kids, I now know that it is important to offer food/breastmilk even if they don't ask. Offering at specific times of the day, like meal times, can help you remember to do it. Also, most babies and toddlers like prediciability, so a regular routine can help them feel secure. But, it is also very important never to refuse them food when they are hungry. And never force food when they refuse it. At this point babyfood is just for practice eating food, not for nutrition. Neither one of my kids would take a bottle either. I do think it would be good for everybody if you could get him to take a nap, but I know that is not always easy.

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S.Y.

answers from Dallas on

I do NOT think you are doing anything wrong by nursing on demand. Some kids just aren't big eaters, or are picky eaters. My first child, now 5, didn't eat much solids at all until I weaned her at 15 mo. Before that, I nursed on demand and fed her other foods when I could get them in her. She would take a sippy cup occassionally with ONLY juice inside. She was never given formula, and didn't like bottles. Once I weaned her, she took a bottle occassionally and a sippy pretty often (she had to have milk in a bottle-- she's very picky, has always been, and I assume will always be). My son, now 17 mo, would only take certain bottles (like the Gerber Breastflow) with only soy milk (he hates cow's milk), was offered formula twice and spit it out both times, hated jarred baby food and has always gone right for the real thing.
With all of that in mind... I would suggest getting a baby food mill thing (about $10 at Babies R Us) and grind your food in that for your son. Right around 9 mo is when both of my kids refused baby food and we started with table food. I guess they just start getting ready for something with a little more flavor...
For your sake, I would pick a time in the middle of the night and only nurse then, so you're only getting up once, but I think that is a preference thing for you. I don't think you're doing anything wrong. You're following what your child wants and that's what we're supposed to do.
Good luck with everything!!

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R.G.

answers from Austin on

Absolutely nothing you are doing is wrong. Many mothers exclusively breastfeed their kids until well past one year. Their is a style of parenting called Attachment Parenting, check out the author Sears (last name). In this approach they recommend nursing on demand, which sounds like what you're doing. It helps build a strong bond and you never have to worry about the food thing because breastmilk is absolutely the best possible nutrition for you child. The World Health Organization and the FDA recommend nursing until the age of 2! And those are conservative organizations. Very extreme liberal theories say to breastfeed until the child weens on their own or around the age of 6 or 7! Wow! too long for me.
I have a 22 months old and 2 month old, both whom I nurse. My 2 month old is obviously only having breastmilk, but my 22 monther is eating full meals and supplementing his diet by nursing. I always feel reassured that he is getting all the nutrition he needs because he is still nursing and it is perfectly normal for their appetite to fluctuate.
My advice:
You are right.
No schedule.
Nurse as often as he would like.
He's probably eating whatever he needs and will eat more and less as he grows up.

Good luck!
R.

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D.S.

answers from Dallas on

I definitely second what Christy said!

Everything is fine the way it is, he is getting most of his nutrition from YOU right now, and that is more than fine!!
You are doing a GREAT job!

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L.S.

answers from Memphis on

You should immediately read "The Baby Whisperer for Toddlers" by Tracy Hogg. It'll get both kids sleeping if you follow her system - I PROMISE. My daughter (10M) was sleeping through the night at 6 weeks and all night at 10 weeks. I just put her in bed and she sleeps beautifully I wouldn't worry about the solids; all he really needs the first year is breastmilk. Solids aren't overly important until after the first year.
Seriously, this book has been a lifesaver for me and every other mother I know who has read it. It's awesome!!!!! Good luck!

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L.B.

answers from San Antonio on

T., I had some of the same anxiety with my son and I had a wonderful older woman give me the best advice I've ever received. You're the mom, you will always know what is best for your children. And children will not let themselves starve. Why should he be on a schedule? I went though many of these same questions when my friends said my son should be taking a bottle so I could have "free" time. He would take a bottle. And I spent a fortune trying them all, non of them worked so I figured hey, I enjoyed breastfeeding and I had a flexible schedule so I gave up all the other advice and just enjoyed being his mom.

Maybe instead of should he you can ask why should he.
and as for the woman who was given the Gerber chart on how much a baby should eat at a certain month - Who (Gerber) made the chart and Who (Gerber) makes the food?

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C.A.

answers from Houston on

My 2 cents on the not taking a bottle thing is try the cups with the straws or the nubby sippy/bottles are amazing!

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L.F.

answers from Austin on

I guess your question is what kind of schedule should your 9-month-old be on for nursing? Are you trying to schedule around something?
I have nursed two kids and never paid attention to any kind of schedule, except to nurse on demand. That way their needs are met, and your milk supply is kept up to the demand.
As for how much he eats, why are you concerned? Sounds like he ate too many solids before the recommended 6 month mark and now is down to a more normal food amount. Is his weight gain OK? If it is, I wouldn't be concerned.
Just sit him and down to eat with the family at meal times and let him eat as much as he wants. Kiddos have growth spurts and know their own needs.
One other thing to keep in mind, baby food is not flavorful. My 11 month old would NOT eat the stuff... we skipped right to good, home cooked table food. (his faves: banana, strawberry blend, or banana avocado blend)

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T.S.

answers from Longview on

I nursed mine till they were around 6-7 months old, so I can answer from that angle. But I can tell you that at around 9 mnths all of mine dropped in their eating habits and weight gain. Their 9 mth check-up they had not gained as much and hit a little stall with eating. Then they picked it back up again suddenly. So it may just be a phase they all hit at that age.

As for food texture--my oldest was like that. I just fed him lots of what he liked--bananas, oatmeal, etc. I mixed all veggies with his favorite fruits. LOL snuck it in so to speak.

He slept through the night but that was because formula and b food is slower to digest and satisfies them longer. Breast milk is so easy for their stomach to digest and just does not last them as long.

I would worry less about the schedule thing than the food thing. You need to start him in another month on all types of teething biscuits, toast, things he can gum. Not neccessarily chew or swallow. Because as more teeth come in he will need/want to chew and gum things. It helps the discomfort of the gums and also indirectly prepares them for the chewing and swallowing of real food.

Then you can graduate to things like plain cheerios (I never bought the special baby ones), and real bananas, and real oatmeal. Soft things they like. My picky eater loved real oatmeal by age 1.5 yrs. age.

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J.M.

answers from Corpus Christi on

I breastfeed on demand, and am a firm believer in it. Not only is it the best nutrition for children, but it also promotes bonding and eases various difficulties, from a scraped knee to hurt feelings to moving to a new house.

I nursed my son (now 3) until he was 2. My youngest just turned one and is still being breastfed. They are both very happy, healthy children, and they are exceptionally secure.

My advice is to feed them when they are hungry. Give them solid, nutritional food and breast milk on demand, and they'll do just fine.

Sounds like you're doing great. :)

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S.D.

answers from Austin on

It sounds like you're doing awesome! You know what's best for your baby, just trust your instincts.

My daughter was diagnosed with gastro-reflux at 4m and it was an uphill battle trying to find a medication that worked and of course trying to get her to eat! She's now 19m, off medication and finally eating real table food. During the course of her medical treatment, we saw a pediatric gastroenterologist and she gave me the best advice - babies are self-regulating when it comes to food, they go through developmental phases, growth spurts and teething and these all effect the volume of food they consume, the texture of food they're interested in and how often they want to eat. Trust your baby!

It sounds like you're doing perfect! You're offering food and it's his job to eat it, don't worry too much if he doesn't. I know it's tough, believe me I know. But trust your baby. If he has a tough day with eating, then just let it be a tough day. And breast-feeding is SO important, don't worry about a schedule, or how often you should be doing it - whatever feels natural and right to you - is exactly that. :)

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M.A.

answers from Houston on

I dont have much of an opinion with a schedule for breastfeeding, however, I do have a comment about baby food. My daughter (just at 11 months) will not eat baby food. Can you blame them? That stuff is gross. I give her regular old "people food". As long as its pureed so that she can swallow it. Just this past Thanksgiving (at 9 months) she had turkey, mashed potatoes, collard greens and the whole works. The one thing I dont do is "push it" If she eats, she eats, if she doesnt, she doesnt. Also, could his teething be a factor?
Hope things work out for you!
Margaret

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S.S.

answers from Wichita Falls on

Let me preface with the statement that I didn't wean my kids until they were 2. And even then, my 4 year old got a nasty nasty nasty bug and we ended up nursing again at 2yrs, 3 - 5 months.

So I'm weird.

Let me respond with some questions of my own:
1. Is his growth on target? Is he still following the same curve that he was before he went on a solid food strike? My pediatrician told me my son should be on straight solids by the time he was a year, but they're supposed to be on formula until at LEAST a year, and now they have a special formula for the second year, so I kind of think my pedi just doesn't know much about breastfeeding - to be honest, I got so tired of his advice that I told him he could handle the medicine until I get my M.D., and I would handle the breastfeeding until he could lactate.

If your son's growth is on target, he's getting enough food - through the combination of breastfeeding and solids. If he's slowing down in both weight and height, he may not be getting enough, and if he's going up in one or the other, he's probably pretty good.

2. Schedules - haha. Do you follow a schedule? If your three year old doesn't take naps, you stay at home, and you nurse on demand - my guess is that you are a go with the flow kind of gal. And that's okay (I hope, because I'm a math teacher and I still don't like schedules). I still eat when I'm hungry, and I expect my children to do the same. There is some research out there that relates feeding schedules and set amounts to eating disorders, especially overeating, later in life.

3. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics website, you should nurse exclusively for the first six months and as long thereafter as is mutually agreeable for mom and baby. He should nurse (IMO) as often as you both want to. As far as the bottle / sippy cup thing - odds are good that he won't take one from you for a while after he's decided it's pretty cool from anyone else. Why use a cup or bottle to drink second choice beverage when the gold standard is available from the source? FTR, my children started drinking from a straw- first I held the liquid in with my finger at the top, they learned to suck it pretty quickly - they have sippy cups with that now.

4. He's eating about what mine did at that age, for what it's worth. My 4 year old is 95% height, 85% weight - a tall, thin cowboy who (weighing 40 lbs) can pick up 25 lbs of dog food and fling it into a buggy like it's a bag of q-tips. He is my (VERY) picky eater - still no meat, lactose intolerant, choosy on his vegetables. My 2 year old is 90%, 90% - and will now eat anything that is put on a plate in front of him.

My advice is to stop worrying - if what you're doing is working for you and your child, tell anyone who's interested that you've got it handled - thanks.

S.

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C.S.

answers from Amarillo on

I am a firm believer of a schedule. My 3 year old is still on a feeding schedule. As far as not wanting to take a bottle, I nursed my first baby til 9 mo. and it was really hard to get him to take a bottle/cup. Just keep trying. He'll get it. I don't think it's a good idea to nurse just bc he fusses. Especially at his age. Just keep trying with the bottle and maybe even try some gerber cereal with fruit (baby food) mixed in. Good Luck!!

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A.S.

answers from Lubbock on

the best schedule for breastfeeding is on demand.Also something important that i dindt know is to let your baby finish with one side before switching.They will believe it or not let go eventually then offer the other breast.there is foremilk and hindmilk. the foremilk is the thirst quencher and the hind milk is the imporatn high calorie stuff that comes at the end of the feeding.So letting him finish with one side will help keep him a little more full.And by the way go you.Unless you have bteast fed before you dont fully understand how time consuming it is .So good job on making it 9 months that is a major accomlishment.I made it for 3 months and then I dried up.It is a full time job.

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H.H.

answers from Houston on

Is this wrong?NO!

Should he be on a schedule? a feeding schedule? NO! A nap schedule? If you could do it, yes.

How often should he nurse a day? as often as he needs to

Is he eating enough solids? his primary nutrition should be from breastmilk, not solids, for the first year. solids are merely for experience and texture and taste. You should visit kellymom.com, as it's a wealth of info about breastfeeding and starting/giving solids. others will say he's not eating enough, but I think he should be nursing more!

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A.E.

answers from Sherman on

At nine months old it might be time to slowly wean him from immediate on-demand feeding although I wouldn't worry about the amount of solids he is or is not eating.

Does he have at least three wet diapers a day? Does he have one poopy diaper every day or maybe every other day? Is he generally happy with good defined sleep and alert/playful times during the day?

Than don't worry!

Many cultures nurse exclusively for a year - no solids - so don't worry.

I would consider getting him checked by a chiropractor since times of stress like the hospital stay can create misalignments in the spine.

Also - try developing other ways to comfort him. For example, giving him daily massages might really help. It sounds like he is nursing to feel connected to you ....and it's no wonder since he had that time of seperation in the hospital. So yes - nurse him and reassure him that you ARE there for him. It's ok. But begin finding other ways to reassure him as well....massage is one of the best ways to do so.

Blessings, A. <><

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S.T.

answers from Houston on

Wither he's eating enough is Dependant on his growth. If he grows appropriately (from post hospital not pre hospital weight) then he is getting enough. You might want to explore sensory issues (does he have problems with loud sounds, swinging, bright lights, ext. Some children just have trouble with oral sensitivities. You could contact Early Childhood Intervention and they should have some ideas on helping him get used to eating. also, they are free, depending on your income...so you might be able to get a therapist to come at meal times to help you help him.

As for wither it's wrong to not have your baby on a schedule, that depends on your viewpoint. I don't look at the clock before my 9 month old nurses. And yes, she does nurse twice during the night, but I wait until she is really crying because sometimes she'll go back to sleep. My pediatrician said some babies sleep less then others. My babies only have one nap from birth (no sleepy new borns for me!) By the time they are 15 months they don't nap at all! But for 9 months, although my baby CAN go all day without a nap I try to put her down for her daily nap about 3 1/2 hours after she got up.

S., mom to four girls under 5

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K.T.

answers from Houston on

NO schedule is necessary. Your son does seem to be eating too much solids (2 tubs ... tubs is a powerfully large word to use for 'jar')

He may not even be wanting solids. He is nursing as much as he does because he is attempting to meet his bodies nutritional need. How much does he weigh?

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L.M.

answers from Dallas on

If your child is gaining weight normally and developing normally then you can be pretty sure he is getting everything he needs. For the first year, all he really needs is mom's milk, and since you are feeding on demand he should be getting enough. It isn't unusual for a child to stop eating solid food suddenly; they don't need it, the novelty wears off and it's too much work. Schedules are more for parents than kids. If you don't need it, neither does he. Trust your instincts. Like I said, if he seems healthy, whatever you're doing must be working.

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H.B.

answers from San Antonio on

ya know, i am a stay at home mom of 3 kids and our schedule is that there is no schedule...my baby is the only one i breastfed and i feed him on demand too. it just works for us. we have a regular bed time of 10-1030 and wake up between 730-830. (my 8 year old IS on a schedule because he has scool. he is in bed at 830.) but my 2 babies we go with the flow.

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T.W.

answers from Austin on

Mackenzie was and still sort is on her own schedule. She knows when she hungry and I would rather have her eat when she is hungry and not when she "has too." She used and still will do a small snack (nurse as baby, now fruit, yougart, cheese) whenever she needs, which is what she did as a baby. I think as long as he is nursing he is most likely fine. She did that as well, and grew VERY well, and now at 3 she is very proportioned for her age. The only thing that would make me more concerned with his feeding is if he is not growing or gaining back what he lost while sick.

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L.S.

answers from Phoenix on

You are doing it right. The best schedule is the one your baby is on. Only he knows when he's hungry and it sounds like he's communicating it to you just fine. Solids the first year are an experiment. They should be getting the bulk of their nutrition from breast milk. It has a lot more nutrition for the calories compared to solids.

www.kellymom.com has a lot of good information regarding solids, feeding schedules, etc that you should take a look at. As long as things are working for you two, I would say don't fix it.

J.B.

answers from San Antonio on

Hi T.,

You have received some great advice and I hope by now you have a feel from the variety of responses that your son will let you know what he needs and when. He will not starve and you can relax and let him take the lead on when to eat. I would, however, track that your pediatrician is satisfied with his growth.

However, if you find nursing him 2 to 4 times a night is interfering with the quality of your sleep and that of your son, you might try the concept of "tanking him up" beginning in the afternoon and into the evening. I nursed all three of my sons, who were born over a 4 year period. Even though I was a stay at home mom, I would be exhausted if I had to get up more than once or twice a night - which affected my ability to be a loving and patient mom with my sons during the day.

When each of my sons was old enough, I used a combination of nursing and solid food to tank up the baby, being sure to nurse him just before putting him down for the night. That ensured he slept longer and we both were better rested in the morning. At nine months, you should be able to allow him to fuss a bit before picking him up to nurse in the night. He may very well settle back down and sleep a bit longer.

The natural outcome of this will be that your son will gradually become hungrier during the day and wake less at night.

By the way, the suggestion of using a straw for sipping is great. My sons had fun learning to sip that way. We found some toddler cups that were fairly spill-proof and had plastic straws that inserted into the lid. They enjoyed drinking from these. Remember to keep it all as fun as possible! He will master it all in time.

I would love to hear what you decide to do!
Good luck!

J. B
Parent Coach

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C.R.

answers from Dallas on

Hi T.,

I would start introducing some solid foods; bannas, pears, cereal, small pasta.

If you go to the grocery store you can find little gerber meals that may be more filling for your little guy.

Best of luck!

C.
C. Roeschen
The Trinity Group
Keller Williams
###-###-####
[email protected]____.com
www.TheTrinityGroup.org

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S.W.

answers from Amarillo on

It was thought that children should nurse only up to age 1. I added cereal and fruit to my daughter's routine and breast feed her up to 8 months old. She and I both mutually parted ways by playing and that was it. You could try to schedule your nursings for about every 4 hours to see if this works. Also, it sounds like your baby is not getting enough to sustain him through the night and that is why he wakes up. You could use your milk and add it to a cereal (thin) and see how this works after a week. Do you nurse him before he goes to sleep or does he stay up a while afterwards. It may be that you will have to change his routine or put him on a routine and stick to it to get him to sleep through the night. He may be pulling at your shirt to feel secure. YOu will figure it out.

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L.S.

answers from Odessa on

I was badgered by relatives to put my babies on feeding schedules, but I always believed in feeding on demand. Both babies tended to eat small meals, but fairly frequently. I simply fed when they acted like they were hungry. I also used to keep stuff down that they could reach to munch on in between meals. Now, my 8 year old has a beautiful, muscular body, and my 12 year old has a figure that any grown woman would give her right arm for.....so I believe that I did the right thing. They still, to this day, pretty much eat when they are hungry, and whatever they want to eat within reason. Sometimes I have to put my foot down on the sweets, but they are really good about eating healthier foods as well. On the flip side, the relatives who insisted on schedules now have either very over or underweight children who are sick all the time. They've always got a cold, the flu, some kind of infection, and my own children are rarely ever sick, and if they do get sick, they recover very quickly.

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