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How to get my newborn on a feeding schedule?

My son is breastfeeding. This is the first time I am breastfeeding and sticking with it. My other two kids were bottle fed and on a schedule when they were a week old...eating every 2 or 3 hours. My son is different....he eats ALOT. Like every hour on the hour he wants to feed and for an hour at a time sometimes. I am trying REALLY hard not to give up breastfeeding but with two other little ones running is just alot to deal with. How can I get him on some kind of schedule?

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Asked by Anonymous at 8:07 PM on Dec. 2, 2010 in Babies (0-12 months)

Answers (12)
  • You cannot put a breastfeeding newborn on a schedule. To try to do so is actually kind of mean. Feed him on demand. It should get easier in a few weeks. Eventually he will be filling up more and won't need to eat as often. Don't give up. It is hard in the beginning, but so worth it.

    Answer by CarriePM at 8:09 PM on Dec. 2, 2010

  • I BF'd all my kids. I never shceduled them. They built their own schedules. Everyone 's body uses food at a different rate, including babies. And, when they're hungry - they're hungry. Sorry, I guess I'm really not much help. :-/

    Answer by specialwingz at 8:11 PM on Dec. 2, 2010

  • You're living in a fantasy world.

    If you'd like your son to thrive, he needs to eat whenever he is hungry for however long it takes him to be satisfied.

    And it doesn't matter what you're feeding him, it's still true.

    There is nothing about a clock that is related to hunger. The time is as unrelated to his need for food as it is to the air temperature. Even if knowing what time he's going to eat tomorrow is super convenient for you. It is not healthy for him.

    Answer by LindaClement at 8:11 PM on Dec. 2, 2010

  • You can't is the simple answer. A breastfed baby needs to be fed on demand and each one determine their own schedule. He will get into a routine quickly enough. Get yourself a sling so you can nurse hands free and chase those other little ones around.

    Answer by aeneva at 8:12 PM on Dec. 2, 2010

  • You can't. He needs to build up your supply and that's the way he does it. The first 6 weeks can be hard, but they pass and it gets easier.

    You also need to rest and thats one reason they nurse so often... to force mom to rest. My second was a preemie who put himself on a 3 hour schedule from birth and I pushed myself too hard and nearly ended up passing out in the grocery store at 5 days post pardum. REST!

    Get a sling or wrap so you can nurse while doing other things. It's helpful when you have other kids whether he's nursing that often or not!

    Congrats, hang in there, stick with it... head over to the breastfeeding moms group to get tips on dealing with other kids and frequent nursing newborns. Yes, the TV won't kill them for a few weeks, your house won't fall down and your hubby can learn to do dishes and laundry.

    Answer by LeanneC at 8:15 PM on Dec. 2, 2010

  • Give it time. After a couple of months he should naturally fall into his own schedule. Don't force it, though.

    Answer by Christina807 at 9:29 PM on Dec. 2, 2010

  • All 5 of my breastfed babies have been on a roughly 3 hour schedule from birth. It's what the hospital put them on when they were born (and we had to wake them to feed) and I just kept up with it once we were home. I couldn't have lived without a schedule - especially with my 5th since I'm having to keep up with the other 4!

    Answer by missanc at 8:54 AM on Dec. 3, 2010

  • I tried to breastfeed exclusively, however my son wanted to eat every half hour. I never got any sleep at all, and my breasts got raw from breastfeeding all the time. I didn't have enough milk coming in to feed him as he wanted. I switched completely to bottle feeding. I'm not saying u should do that, but maybe u can supplement the bottle a couple times a day to help u.

    Answer by mamaziller at 10:47 AM on Dec. 3, 2010

  • He will fall into his own schedule. You cannot force one. HOWEVER, you can make things a little easier on yourself. A sling is vital for you. Gives baby continual access. Also, no timing of feeds. First side till baby comes off on his own. Burp, repeat on side two. This helps get more hindmilk into baby.

    Keep in mind his tummy is ridiculously small... he can't take a lot at once and needs to refill often. This WON'T last forever.

    Answer by gdiamante at 11:04 AM on Dec. 3, 2010

  • I had my son on a scedule/ and demand. I started the schedule where I fed him when he was hungry and then pumped after, he ended up getting accustom to a schedule quite quickly. On osscasion he would be hungry before the time, I didn't say "nope its not time" but slowly you can get a little rountine of some sort, it's the best thing for you so you can have an idea of what your day wlll look like.
    Good luck to you!

    Answer by Sillylins at 1:39 PM on Dec. 3, 2010

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