What are the pros and cons of feeding on demand?

What are the benefits of demand feeding?

And breastfeeding on demand comes with important benefits:

  • It’s the ideal way to keep milk production in sync with a baby’s needs.
  • It helps ensure that babies, especially newborns, get enough milk.
  • It even might benefit emotional and cognitive development.


Is it better to feed on demand or schedule?

The few studies which have investigated feeding schedules find that demand feeding produces better outcomes, in terms of pre-term babies’ growth and health6,7; breastfeeding duration and exclusivity8,9; and infants’ psychological adjustment.

How long should you feed on demand?

In the first few weeks of life, breastfeeding should be “on demand” (when your baby is hungry), which is about every 1-1/2 to 3 hours. As newborns get older, they’ll nurse less often, and may have a more predictable schedule. Some might feed every 90 minutes, whereas others might go 2–3 hours between feedings.

Is it OK to feed baby on demand?

Health professionals recommend “responsive” or “on demand” feeding – this means following your baby’s cues and feeding them when they are hungry. Although most babies gradually settle into a feeding routine, they vary in how often they want to feed. Feed your baby when they show signs that they are hungry.

Does feeding on demand cause colic?

Despite the relatively huge volume of liquid in its stomach, the baby will then be wanting another feed before long, because low-fat feeds are processed quickly, leading to a pattern of very frequent feeding. This can cause mental illness-inducing sleep-deprivation, but worst of all, it will cause colic.

How long does it take for breasts to refill with milk?

As mentioned, the breast is never completely empty, but milk flow is greatly reduced by nursing to the point where no significant amount is expressed. It typically takes 20-30 minutes to rebuild to an adequate flow and closer to an hour to rebuild to peak flow.

When can I stop 3 hourly feeds?

Bottle-fed babies



Newborn: every 2 to 3 hours. At 2 months: every 3 to 4 hours. At 4 to 6 months: every 4 to 5 hours. At 6+ months: every 4 to 5 hours.

How do you transition from on demand feeding to a schedule?

#1 Aim for longer feed times and longer between feeds over time. Each day encourage longer sucking time, a few minutes extra from one day to the next. Don’t let feeds stay at the 5-minute mark as I did. By the time your milk has come in, aim for at least 10 minutes sucking.

When can babies go 4 hours between feedings?

Baby is at Least 12 Weeks Old



Baby needs to be old enough to go 4 hours between feedings both for the length between feedings and also because going 4 hours between feedings means dropping the number feedings in a day.

Why do breastfed babies cry more?

But they say this crankiness in babies is normal and just their natural way of communicating their needs to their mother and is no cause for alarm. For example, some cries will be down to tiredness not hunger.

Do breastfed babies sleep less?

But scores of other studies find the same pattern: breastfed babies spend less total time sleeping and wake up more frequently at night. Some studies even find formula-fed babies sleep more at night than breastfed babies as early as four weeks of age. The evidence is strongest, though, for older babies.

Why does baby pull off breast and cry?

Some babies pull off the breast crying due a fast or slow flow of breastmilk. If your baby pulls off your breast soon after your let-down (when milk begins to flow from your breast) and is coughing or gagging, you may have an overactive let-down reflex.

Can a woman produce milk forever?

There is no maximum age, up to which a mother can produce breast milk. Whenever the pregnancy happens, the lactogen process starts immediately. Usually after the age of 40, there are certain hormonal changes in the body, due to which the production of the breast milk is hampered.

How do I completely empty my breast?

How to Hand Express While Pumping. To use this tip to ensure you are fully emptying, simply apply massaging pressure and work your way down your breasts toward the nipple as you pump. I find that this method works best if you are pumping one breast at a time without a pumping bra getting in the way.

Will baby unlatch when breast is empty?

Ideally, by draining at least one breast per feeding, Baby gets both kinds of milk, which is optimal for brain development. How do you know when Baby is done nursing? A baby will unlatch naturally when she’s finished breastfeeding. You shouldn’t ever have to take your baby off your breast.

How do I switch from demand feeding to scheduled?

#1 Aim for longer feed times and longer between feeds over time. Each day encourage longer sucking time, a few minutes extra from one day to the next. Don’t let feeds stay at the 5-minute mark as I did. By the time your milk has come in, aim for at least 10 minutes sucking.

What does it mean to nurse on demand?

Nursing on demand simply refers to feeding your baby anytime they show hunger cues and feeding until they decide to be done. Feeding on demand is also referred to as baby-led, responsive feeding, and feeding on cue.