If you have chosen to demand-feed are you feeding to your baby’s hunger or to their crying? Many mothers fall into a trap when demand-feeding and are actually snack feeding their baby and teaching them to cat-nap. A well-fed baby will, of his or her own accord, begin to ‘demand-feed’ every three and a half to four hours if encouraged to do so from the beginning.
Feeding baby to sleep, except for the two night feeds, is not a good idea, as he/she begins to associate feeding as a technique to get him/herself to sleep. If he/she falls asleep during a feed, wake him/her up and make sure he/she feeds well so he/she is not hungry later and wake early. If baby wakes after a one hour sleep and you know he/she has fed well at the last feed it is not hunger that has woken him/her, resettle him/her.
Tips: Babies that feed well are generally settled and sleep well. The exception to this is when they have never learnt to resettle themselves after the first sleep cycle, or there may be a problem with reflux or an infection.
Remember: Baby should be getting enough if –
- he/she is content directly after a feed,
- putting on weight and
- has plenty of wet nappies. If the nappies are light and urine is dark and smelly, your baby may not be getting enough to drink.
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