I went to the kids doctor today. Not the doctor that we have been going to the last 8.5 years, but a new one. Our old doctor -who was excellent by the way – is now treating children in Ecuador.
I posted about Gray’s weight gain troubles about a month ago. He had the flu – was sick for about 2.5 weeks (we were all sick), and had lost weight at his 6 month check up. I thought it was because he was sick – not eating much and not feeling well. She, on the other hand, thought he was starving.
His poops and pees were fine. He was pooping 4 times a day – at least. All of his diapers were really wet. His mouth was very wet – he was drooling – and teething. I couldn’t explain the weight loss. Personally, I thought it was the teething and the sickness.
Fast forward to today. Gray is 7 months. We came in for a weight check. His weight was up – and gaining about 1 oz per day. A bit fast, but he has some weight to make up – so it’s fine. She then proceeds to tell me that I need to put him on a breastfeeding schedule. I have to feed every 3 hours, or he will get hooked on the breast and will not eat solids.
Why would I put a baby, who is not gaining well, on a feeding schedule. Is that dumb or is it just me? Why would I put any breastfed baby on a feeding schedule? You can’t schedule breast fed babies – at least ones that are thriving.
Here’s the thing. Breastfed babies nurse for 3 reasons (that I can think of).
- For nourishment
- For thirst
- For comfort
I asked myself some logical questions – before I jumped to any conclusions.
- If I was thirsty – could I wait 3 hours to quench that thirst? No.
- Maybe I am more hungrier than usual one day. If I was hungry – would it be comfortable to wait an hour to eat? No.
- I’m crying and I am in need of comfort from my Mom. Can I wait 3 hours for comfort? No.
I have never ever scheduled my kids feeding. In fact, the baby should schedule his/her own feedings.
The baby needs to be able to develop trust for his/her Mother. If the baby is in need of something – in my opinion, it’s important to respond to that need right away. This way, the baby is always comfortable that his/her needs are met.
After thinking about this deeply (even during Zumba – when I should have been concentrating on exercising) I did a quick internet search on Scheduling a breastfed baby.
Of course you find the whole gamut – from the anti-breastfeeders – who think that it’s a sin to suggest that women breastfeed their infants more than a month – to people like me – who get their babies tongue tie clipped twice and will spend an entire weekend (non-stop) trying to get their baby to latch on.
Often times, I think people find articles that back up their beliefs. I really tried not to do that.
I found this article, which I thought was very good – and could be backed up by very good peer review research – that was published in established (world wide known) scientific journals.
I think it provides very good information on why babies should dictate their own feeding schedule – from both the scientific and evolutionary standpoint.
I think my doctor is wrong – so I am comfortable going my own way on this. I think she comes from the idea that the baby is totally weaned by 1 year old. I breastfeed my babies 2-3 years – so I am not on the same schedule.
What are your thoughts on weaning a breastfed baby (the term -weaning- used very loosely)?