4 reasons your breastfed newborn doesn't need a feeding schedule
The Doc Smitty looks at your breastfeeding baby's needs
Here are four reasons I don't recommend putting a breastfed newborn on a feeding schedule:
- They need comfort and bonding. Imagine being thrown into a brand new, anxiety-provoking environment with no skills for calming yourself and no way of escape. Plus, the person who can give you comfort is right there. Sure, you can cuddle them to help, but sometimes they just need to nurse.
- They are hungry. I can't wait three hours to eat. I'm pretty sure if I could only eat 1-2 ounces of a liquid meal, I'd be starving before three hours came up again as well.
- Scheduling can hurt your milk supply. Frequent feeds help your milk come in. I've seen too many babies who've been on a rigid schedule come in at 1 week with lower weight gain. Then we are scrambling to get mom's milk supply up so that they can maintain breastfeeding.
- They will find their own schedule. Implementing a rigid schedule out of the nursery is not necessary. By paying attention, you can discover an ideal schedule for you and your child and help them keep to that without having a rigid schedule.
Justin Smith is a pediatrician and the Medical Advisor for Digital Health for Cook Children's in Ft. Worth, Texas. He has an active community on both Facebook and Twitter as @TheDocSmitty and writes weekly for Cook Children's checkupnewsroom.com. His interest in communications started when he realized that his parents were relying more on the internet for medical information. He believes that strategic use of social media and technology by pediatricians to connect with families can deepen their relationship and provide a new level of convenience for both of their busy lifestyles. Dr. Smith’s innovative pediatric clinic, a pediatric clinic “designed by you,” is set to open in Trophy Club in the fall of 2016.