On demand or on schedule?

At the first child no one told me clearly and unequivocally feeding, napping, waking and sleeping the night are closely related. I lived in the belief that waking up at night, long periods of whining, demanding constant wearing, difficulty falling asleep is the norm that it must be that the baby has the right to suck at night and I have to come to terms with interrupted sleep until the child is at least half a year old.

Similar knowledge was provided to me by "wise" guidebooks or some websites for parents. All attempts to "do something with it" and try to find answers in the forums ended with comments: "comfortable", "bad", "you wanted to have a child, take care of him now", "you will rest when he grows up", "iron and make dinner how he falls asleep. "

Unfortunately, I think I'm really comfortable and broken because I decided to do something about it. With the "you will definitely fail" stigma, I started to look for answers on how to make my child feel cheerful and let me have more time for other family members.

When I fed on demand

Perhaps other mothers have been equipped by radar, which always flawlessly tells what the child needs at a given moment, why she is crying and what to do to calm down. I apparently represent defective mother species, because in the first weeks I had a huge problem with it.

I fed my daughter all the time. When she cried, I was convinced that she wanted to eat. I deduced that since nothing like this happens, I wear it, hug it and cry, it means that she must be hungry. Because if she were tired, would she fall asleep? I thought so ...

That is why I fed often, sometimes every hour, sometimes every hour and a half, sometimes every two hours. The tiny girl sucked every time and really liked our shared moments with her boobs. Unfortunately, as soon as the feeding ended, her delight passed.

She was gruff, tearful, we had big problems lulling her to sleep. Falling asleep lasted 40 minutes, an hour, longer ... I felt something was wrong.

Only after some time did I realize that my child instead of eating, he always eats, he does not get valuable food as much as he needs, he has a problem with stomach ache, he sleeps restlessly, wakes up to suck, is restless during waking. However, I was devoted to the mission of "satisfying my daughter's needs" and I fell into the trap of "feeding on demand". As a representative of the "inferior" mother who doesn't know, I had a problem assessing when my child is hungry and I fed them too often.


  • spit
  • colic
  • anxiety during wakefulness
  • intermittent sleep
  • my fatigue and my husband's

Feeding according to the scheme

When my son was born, I knew that older daughter style care is out of the question. I didn't have the possibility to wear it all the time (even in a sling or a sling, because my older daughter also needed attention and hugging, she wanted to have her mother sometimes only for herself). In addition, my professional work, which I combine with looking after children, required me to be calm at night. I decided to try differently.

I had many conversations with my mother, grandmother, neighbors, friends and ... I decided to introduce a feeding schedule. I came to the information that scientists confirmed that after two weeks the baby shapes its rhythm of eating and that most babies in the second month of life suck every 3-4 hours. Sticking to this principle and understanding that it is us as parents we shape children's habits, I waited the first days of my son's life, closely watching him and decided to feed him at the following times:

5.00, 8.00, 11.00, 14.00, 17.00, 20.00, 23.00, 2.00.

When his son was 1.5 months old and weighed almost six kilograms I gave up feeding at 2am. Initially he woke up at this time, but it was enough for a few days to stop.

Thanks to the schedule I gained peace. It was easier for me to manage the needs of the whole family, plan a walk together, reconciling the needs of my older daughter and son.

I also knew that after feeding and time to play, the toddler would get sleepy and I would be able to put him to sleep, without fear that the child would still have to eat, that he might be hungry, he would not eat, etc.

Timetable I used in a flexible way (of course, that I happened to feed 15-30 min or even an hour earlier, but generally the hours coincided).

This approach to care allowed me with ease take care of your own needs and fulfill yourself professionally. I could easily leave my son, less than two months old, between feeding in the care of my dad or grandmother.

There was no problem finding a person willing to help, because controlling the situation and being aware of the subsequent phases, I could pass this knowledge on to others, thanks to which childcare was simpler and the baby's day more predictable. Everyone knew what to do, without "instincts" or "additional teachings of reading son's grimace."

The schedule helped me with something else. Thanks to him, I knew that my son waking up after 45 minutes from a nap with a cry does not wake up from hunger, but because he cannot sleep more soundly alone. In this way, instead of pulling him out of the cot, I knew that it was enough to rock the cradle a bit to make him fall asleep again.

Equally important at the age of two or three months my son slept through the nights, he woke up joyful, he was definitely a more cheerful child than his older daughter. And although this may not be the rule, because you can always say that he apparently has a different temperament, I know that it was not the personality that was crucial here, but that as a mother I simply knew what to do.

Perhaps some people do not care about the child sleeping through the nights, but I belong to those who kindly accept amenities.

And finally, something else: I fed both my son and my daughter nine months (the first six months were only breastfeeding). And the food production schedule didn't hurt in any way. However, for this to happen, it must be remembered that concessions in the schedule occur. We feed more often when the child is sick, in hot weather, during developmental jumps and during lactation crises. However, the change time does not last long, usually a day or two.

I am aware that the feeding schedule is an unpopular solution today that most pediatricians have to feed on demand. I am aware that many mothers are convinced that the baby should be fed at night for half a year or even longer. However, in my opinion and those who followed the feeding hours, this case looks a little different. And if someone has similar needs to mine, they can use the schedule for both bottle and breastfeeding. However, those who do not mind feeding on demand do not have the ambition to convince anything.