Anyone else happily schedule-free when it comes to nursing your EBF baby? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 16 Old 05-25-2012, 09:43 PM - Thread Starter
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The other day, a mom-friend of mine asked how long my ds (6months old) goes between feedings. I was totally at a loss. I have no idea! AND I have no idea how many times a day I feed him (12 times? I don't know, but it's a lot). She didn't really know what to say to me, which I found kind of hilarious. It was on my mind for the rest of the day and I concluded that I really like that I'm not concerned about how often my baby eats or how long he goes between for us!

Anyone else happily schedule free when it comes to your EBF baby?

And just out of curiosity, if you DO have your wee one on a nursing schedule, what does it look like?
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#2 of 16 Old 05-25-2012, 10:03 PM
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I am! my bubs is 10 weeks and loves the nursies! In fact were NAK right now. I couldnt tell you how many times a day we nurse..I just offer it all the time. Hes growing like a weed so we must be doing ok. smile.gif

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#3 of 16 Old 05-25-2012, 10:13 PM
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When I was still breastfeeding my daughter, it was schedule-free and I loved it. After giving birth in a hospital the nurses kept telling me to nurse every two hours for 30 min. I thought that was such BS. I breastfed baby anytime she was crying.. and guess what? She stopped crying! lol. I wouldn't BF any other way smile.gif
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#4 of 16 Old 05-25-2012, 10:13 PM
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There's, like, a way to do it with a schedule?


I just feed him when he seems hungry or when he fusses for any reason. If he doesn't latch on, I was wrong and he wasn't hungry. My son ate really frequently for months and when I actually counted, it was like 20 times a day. Now it's less (he's 5 months).


Honestly, I think everyone should do it this way. I have an abundant milk supply and a rapidly growing baby because I feed on demand.

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#5 of 16 Old 05-25-2012, 10:35 PM
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My DD is 7 months and we have no schedule either.  She eats when she's hungry and it works for us lol.  My peds office always asks about her feedings and I never know how to answer eyesroll.gif

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#6 of 16 Old 05-26-2012, 07:40 PM
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We have no schedule, at all.  DS is 6m and just eats when he is hungry.  Sometimes he goes 3 or 4 hours sometimes he goes a 1/2 hour.  Whatever.  he it thriving and that is all that matters.  I strongly believe when you freefeed your baby you know more about when they are actually hungry vs if something else is wrong.

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#7 of 16 Old 05-26-2012, 07:50 PM
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We have never imposed a schedule with the girls.... by around 18 months they were pretty consistant with when they nursed, but i was still very flexible if they wanted more....

SAHM to Chloe«- 6/2008 (10 lbs, 5 oz), Hannah- 9/2010 (9 lbs, 12 oz), Liam- 2/2013 (9 lbs, 6 oz)

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#8 of 16 Old 05-26-2012, 08:59 PM
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i've never had a schedule either, nor do i nurse for specific amount of time! i had a mom ask me recently how long i fed on each boob for - and i answered with 'when he pulls off..?' apparently she was feeding 12 minutes on each breast. :) DS is almost 5 months and he eats when he's hungry, which seeeems to be every 3-4 hours. If I put him on the boob too soon, he reluctantly eats, pulling off every other second and swallowing a bunch of air. When he's hungry it's very obvious, he drains my boobs in minutes flat! I prefer not having a schedule, feeding on demand and letting him kinda run the show in that respect. works for us too!

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#9 of 16 Old 05-26-2012, 09:18 PM
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Never been on a schedule here for my 7 1/2 month old!! How is a schedule even possible?? I cant even tell when/if she cluster feeds!!
I did count one day just to see and it was a lot less than I thought it would be. My guess was 12 but in reality it was about half that (not including night feedings).
I love being schedule free!!
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#10 of 16 Old 05-27-2012, 04:03 AM
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I kept waiting for DS to naturally find a schedule (which I've heard of), but he never did. When I was trying to wean him, a lot of the advice was like "drop one feeding per day," and I realized that if you didn't have a schedule, that didn't make any sense...this would have been at 15 months. He's a nice big kid, no problems growing, so I guess it worked out ok.

Mama to Silas Anansi, born 9/9/10 and Petra Eadaion, born 10/1/12.

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#11 of 16 Old 05-27-2012, 08:56 PM
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...There's a way to nurse on a schedule and have a happy healthy baby?  I feel like that's kind of like the "nap schedule" thing for 2-month-olds.  I'm sure there are babies that nap on a schedule at that age, but mine sure didn't!


I fed her when she seemed hungry or upset, and she took naps when she seemed like she needed them.  She's always had a "kind of" schedule that arises naturally, but it's very approximate and varies from day to day.  Right now (9 months and still almost EBF--miniscule amounts of solids) she nurses about every 2-3 hrs and takes 2ish naps a day...but that is a very rough average!  Yesterday morning she went 3.5 hrs between feedings, then fed twice in an hour and a half.  Schedule shmedule! :)

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#12 of 16 Old 05-28-2012, 06:05 AM
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Hi tanyato!  I'll be the odd Mom out;  I did go ahead and schedule my wee one around 2-3 months or so.  She was fed on demand prior, and she would go longer stretches at some points during the day at that time, up to 5 or 6 hours.  I never declined to nurse her due to her schedule, let's be clear.  If she asked, she got.  But I implemented a 3-hour schedule at first, starting when she woke up, and would feed her, play with her or otherwise spend time with her, and then let her nap until she woke up.  She would almost always wake up about 3 hours after her last feeding, then we'd start again.  That schedule worked fabulously for us, and she seemed to actually know what would happen next, which she seemed to enjoy.  For example, after eating and burping she'd hunt around for a toy and smile.  About an hour after eating she'd look to find me, rubbing her eyes, and drop her toy. 

At about 4 months we moved to a 4-hour schedule because she was not hungry every three hours.  You can't stick a nunnie in a baby's mouth unless they want it, we learned.  I stressed out about it, because this was about the same time she started her slide off the charts in terms of height (weight stayed 50% or better) and I noticed she wasn't outgrowing her clothes or shoes.  A couple of very kind people finally got me out of panic-mode by pointing out that there wasn't all that much of Mama, either, and small Moms don't tend to make big, strapping baby girls.  We coasted along on the 4-hour schedule until maybe 6 months or so, when separation anxiety hit.  Prior to that, we weren't nursing to sleep.  But now, she has associated falling asleep with me being more than .01 inches away, so nursing is the only thing that works.  We also started solids at about 6 1/2 months, so our schedule evolved to meet those new needs.  Now, our schedule starts at 8am with breakfast.  Her last overnight nurse, if she's nursed all night or only twice, is usually at 6:30am or 7am.  So 8am breakfast of yogurt and prunes, 10am nurse to sleep.  At noon she gets lunch, and at about 1pm she nurses for a few minutes and cat-naps on my lap afterwards.  It's probably more about wanting comfort than hunger at that time.  At about 4pm I nurse her off to sleep again for her afternoon nap.  At 6pm she eats a solid dinner and then at 8pm I nurse her to sleep for the night.  I should mention, though, that lately she's been trying to crawl and trying to cruise (she's keeping her options open!) and so her stress level is high, and she's been nursing once or twice more in the afternoon.  She usually spits up after those nursings too, since she's over-full.  She's still in the 25th percentile for height on a good day, but she's well-padded and stays above 50% for weight, so I'm satisfied she is not starving to death.  That's my schedule, for what it's worth.  Until solids and water, she was EBF - we kept an emergency ration of formula in the cupboard which I just happily donated to charity. 

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#13 of 16 Old 05-29-2012, 11:54 AM
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No schedule here! I nurse on demand and have no idea how often she nurses. She falls asleep when she's tired but I can count on her sleeping till 12pm each day after a few 8am dream feeds. She usually naps after she's eaten. The doctor's office always asks how often she nurses and I just guess at every 3 hours. No idea really. She's 3 months now and at 2 months she was 97th for height and 90th for weight. She just had a growth spurt so not as chunky around the middle but definitely taller! She also started a one 5 hour sleeping stretch at night.

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#14 of 16 Old 05-29-2012, 08:24 PM
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When the doctor asks us how often we feed, I say every 1.5 to 3 hours, with a longer stretch at night when she's sleeping. I have no real idea how often she nurses, it changes frequently depending on what's going on developmentally, whether we're out and about and she's too distracted to eat, whether she's in the midst of a growth spurt, and what time of day it is. Lately she's been attached to the breast for what seems like hours in the early morning until we wake up and begin our day. In the afternoon she'll go 3 to 4 hours between feedings. Sometimes I've considered keeping track for a day, just because I'm curious, but then life happens and we just get on with it.Maybe if I find an app... To be honest though some days a schedule sounds like a good idea, and for some mamas and babes, it likely is the best route to take, but for us schedule-free is a better fit. I wouldn't know where to start to schedule feedings, and I guess I like how we communicate, she tells me what she needs and I meet her needs.

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#15 of 16 Old 05-30-2012, 07:01 PM
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When DS was EBFeeding I was in the same boat as you. I just nursed him whenever he wanted regardless of any set schedule. He nursed a lot too! I think a schedule is a strange way to nurse. I can't imagine waiting to feed your baby when they are crying to nurse. Anyway, that was the route we took and it worked great for us! DS is turning two in July and will be a weaned individual after two years of great nursing!

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#16 of 16 Old 05-31-2012, 07:01 PM
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Me!!! I used to get such a dumbfounded look on my face if I was asked how often my son eats or how many times he eats at night.


I EBF on demand - but now I offer solids from my plate f he's awake for a meal we're having - and he shares our family bed and when he nurses neither of us actually wake up.


Honestly, it's very very easy for me and it's the best for him. He's 9.5 months.

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