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Thread: Why so obessed with the number of feeds?

  1. #1

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    Default Why so obessed with the number of feeds?

    I was wondering why people are so obsessed with the number of breastfeeds a baby has? To me it is becoming an annoying question similar to "is she sleeping through?"

    I let Maggie show me when she needs a feed, so I have no idea exactly how many feeds she has, some are full feeds, some are snacks. Some days she rejects the breast in preference for solids and other days she does the opposite. So I just don't know how to answer people when they ask me that question. Have I got the concept of demand feeding wrong somehow or is it that some people just don't understand it (even other breastfeeding mothers). Or is it like sleeping where people can say "Oh my baby sleeps for 10 hours", so with feeding they say, "I'm down to 3 feeds a day."

    Sorry if this is a confusing post, it is part vent, part trying to get things straight in my head.


  2. #2
    angelfish Guest

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    You're right, it can be annoying and difficult to work out. I had a night recently when I put Milly down in her cot, and in the morning I woke up to find her in bed, breastfeeding. i had no recollection of getting her and couldn't have counted how many feeds she'd had to save my life. It's a bit like asking how many drinks of water or tea or whatever we have. I think the idea of scheduled feeding is coming back into fashion along with sleep training. My daughter is the same age as Maggie and I have actually stopped demand feeding her now. She would like to have me topless all the time (no way, not in Tassie Winter!) and take little "sips" whenever she wants, plus feed about every half hour through the night. I couldn't cope with it, so I have reduced her from maybe 20 feeds (and snacks) a day to 4-6 per day. But if you're happy to feed on demand/cue then keep it up, it's nobody else's business. But if you want to tell them, you could just answer "she's having exactly as many feeds as she needs each day".

  3. #3

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    I don't see that it matters with breastfeeding either, Astrid. They seem to get exactly what they need without too much measuring.

    I think sometimes all this sleep/feed talk is just a way of making conversation ... I've lost count of the number of times I get asked questions about both by relatives, friends, people on the tram ... =)

  4. #4

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    Astrid, I also get the same. And most of the time its from Doctors. Are you still feeding her? How manyfeeds a day, Oh anywhere between 5 to 10 feeds. What? Why? Because she wants it, she wakes frequently through the night and has a 5 minute feed. She comes for both snacks during the day and has big feeds to go to sleep.

    Honestly, whats the problem, we feed when our babies ask for it. That is the whole point of demand feeding a baby!!!

  5. #5

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    I don't really understand what the big deal is with the number of feeds... To be honest, I have never counted the number of times I feed Tamsin, especially as she feeds quite frequently overnight as well as during the day. I just work on the theory that since she's growing and obviously happy and healthy, whatever I'm doing must be fine

  6. #6

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    I have always been confused by this too. I dont really ever count and like you with Maggie sometimes Sammy will snack on and off and sometimes he will much prefer solids and water...his breast feeds tend to vary from day to day. So you arent alone in thinking this!

    Jo

  7. #7

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    Yup.. I get asked this too. How many feeds. I just say I have no idea. LOL. Coz I don't!

    I had someone visit once, and she said she won't stay coz she knows that babies feed at 10am, so she'll leave me to it. Wha?? LOL. I don't think we've ever had a feed at the same time every day! The only feed that's around the same time is his last feed before bed.. but even that's inbetween 9 and 11pm depending on how he's slept through the day LOL

    My answers to these questions.. are he feeds whenever he wants, and he sleeps whenever he wants. They don't really have a reply to it, coz they can see that it works for us.

  8. #8

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    Astrid, thank you so much for posting this. Maddy is a breast-fed baby to whom I have only just introduced solids. She sometimes eats a few teaspoons worth, other days she refuses them all together. Even before I introduced solids I was always stumped whenever a MCHN asked me 'how many feeds a day does she have?'. I still have no idea...I too feed her when she indicates to me that she is hungry.

    Like Ivana_baby, the only feed that happens with regular occurrence is her 'big sleep' feed which is generally somewhere between 9pm and 10pm; although sometimes it's at 8pm and other times 11pm. She feeds for a long time and often is just drifting off to sleep when I put her to bed for her 'big sleep'.

    I don't eat at exactly the same time every day, nor do I eat the same amount of food every day. Why should I expect Maddy to?!

    Oh, and a question for other mothers of breast-fed babies....how much does your child drink during each feed? Does it drive anyone else crazy when you get this kind of question? I've never managed to successfully express so it's not like I can just weigh a booby in my hand when she's finished a feed and say 'oh, about 150mls?'. *L*
    Last edited by Beckibee; July 9th, 2006 at 01:30 PM.

  9. #9

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    Becka - my mum has suggested weighing Tallon before and after a feed to see how much he's had. LOL. Why bother?? if he's full.. he's full! Altho, I have expressed a couple of bottles, and they've been no-where near enough.. so it would be kinda handy knowing how much he gets in a feed for that purpose. hehehe.

  10. #10

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    Oh, and a question for other mothers of breast-fed babies....how much does your child drink during each feed?
    LOL, I used to get ticked off at this question.......in the end I had a stock reply:

    "No idea......last time I checked, I didn't have a bowser gauge on my boobs"!

  11. #11

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    LOL! Good one!

  12. #12

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    I guess doctors or MCHN like to know so that they know that baby is getting enough to drink/eat, I think they also ask about wet nappies too - but friends and relatives don't ask how many of them baby has a day !

    Maybe it is also a good introduction into getting into a breakfast-lunch-dinner rountine that will eventually work in with the rest of the family. Since Alex went onto bottles, I know he has three-four a day and three solid meals at roughly the same time we eat. It works for us, but probably wont for everyone.

  13. #13

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    Good to see I am not alone in this and not strange for not counting feeds.

    Ivana - the visiting MCHN weighed Maggie after a feed when she was a week old, we found out that she was a lazy feeder and would need to be attached 24/7 to gain weight, so it is useful in the early days if there is already some concern. Thankfully now she is an eager feeder, if not way to eager at time

  14. #14

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    Demand feeding here as well, I have no idea how many feeds, just that there is alot day and night hehe

  15. #15

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    astrid my answers to questions about the amount of feeds are:

    "just enough"
    "how long's a piece of string"
    "i can't remember, ask oscar"
    "between 6-20"
    "as many as he needs plus 1 for luck"
    or i just say i'm not sure but he is happy, healthy and has lots of wet nappys.
    yay for us following our baby's cues.
    beckles

  16. #16
    Fire Fly Guest

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    Demand feeding mum here to. Its just past lunch and i couldnt tell you how many feeds his had. His asleep right now which i can tell you is the second time his been down but feeds, no idea.
    Its hard enough remembering which boob your on let alone how many feeds theyve had hey. Lol.

  17. #17

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    sheesh, who's got time to be counting feeds???

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