I was wondering if any of you moms are doing Parent Directed Feeding instead of Demand Feeding? Someone suggested it to my DH yesterday and now he's wanting to do it. Our DS is 6 weeks old and I think it would be too late even if I wanted to.
I have a lot of questions and concerns about this program. Have any of you tried it? What was your experience?
I'm not familiar with the method of PDF (is it an actual method with instructions?), but I guess I feed her on a schedule more so than on demand. I remember when Ava was brand new (less than 2 weeks old) I called the Ped office with a Q about my milk & feeding, and the nurse told me to feed (we breastfeed) every 2-3 hours...and she was very clear on this...to make sure at least 1½ hours passed before thinking about feeding her again...and not let more than 3 hours go at the longest. She was 6 lbs, 6 oz at birth.
At the time, I was so overwhelmed with everything going on that I didn't ask the reason why we had to make sure at least 1½ hours passed before feeding again. I still don't know why. But, I did that.
The only time I've ever fed her on demand was when she was going thru growth spurts. Otherwise, I've always stuck to feedings every 2-3 hours.
When she hit 4 months, the Ped also told me to stop feeding her at night (let 8-10 hours pass from the last feeding) because she was past the 10 lb mark and going on solids. I stopped the middle of the night feedings cold turkey and it hardly phased her. She was just waking to eat out of habit.
I guess I'm telling you what we are doing because I can say that we don't feed "on demand" and she's happy & gains weight just fine.
I don't understand how you only fed on demand during growth spurts. All babies have growth spurts at different times. Yeah, there is an approximate schedule to follow, but I know DS didn't follow that schedule. He had growth spurts before the norm.
And for the pediatrician suggesting no more night feedings after 10lbs, isn't that kind of rediculous? Some babies are born at 10lbs even higher, DS was 12lbs at a month, there was no way I could stop feeding him at night at that point. Is it the combo of solids, weight, and age?
PDF is the method from the book Babywise. It's highly controversial. I feed him every two to three hours, but this book says that if you stick to their schedule, your baby will be sleeping through the night at 8 weeks.
Roxy, I was concerend about young babies sleeping long, but I just learned that my when my DH was a baby, he slept through the nights. My MIL never once got up to feed him!! She said she called her doctors and freaked out but he was just fine.
He was 9 pounds at birth.
My DS is only 6 weeks old and he already weighs 11 pounds. My ped. told me that he would be starting to sleep through the night when he he is around two months old.
Gayle: How did you stop cold turkey? Did you listen to crying all night long? How does it work? I just would hate to hear my son screaming for food. That breaks my heart. My DS starts screaming if he's been awake for more than a minute hungry. He's a little heffer though He is currently in the middle of his growth spurt and there have been times where I fed him for 3-4 hours straight. I couldn't set him down because he was hungry.
Noah Daniel 12.29.05
Last edited by Mommie-2-B; 02-10-2006 at 01:18 PM.
I sure hope someone does not come along and make me eat on a set schedule. I can be hungry at different times and on different days. How frustrating that would be.
Really, what does it hurt to feed your baby on demand? My son was completly feed on demand. I never made him wait if he was hungry. He is now 2.5 and has great eating habits. He eats when he is hungry and stops when he is full.
I agree with rouge. you can read this in the thread "I'm in trouble", but my SIL is feeding her 3wk old on a schedule. She will not feed her for 3-4hours regardless if the baby cries or not. She gets no food until then. Rediculous? I think so!
She's probably feeding her on the schedule because of this system Gary Ezzo wrote about in his book Babywise. Supposidly more than a million families in 93 countries follow this system (since 1995), and this book has been translated into 17 languages. It's wildly popular and controverisal at the same time.
I just wanted to hear success and failure stories from people so I have some ammo when my DH comes home from work tonight. I never considered this before, but I can't help but wonder why is it so popular?
I fed both my kids on demand, and have no problems with them, I agree with another poster about I would not want anyone to tell me when to eat also. My ds is 6 months old and he still eats once in the night. He is gradually growing out of it on his own. at his 6 month visit I told his ped about this, and he had no problems with it, and did not discourage it in anyway. I cannot see letting a baby cry while being hungry. How would you feel if someone kept you from eating, til they felt like feeding you hours later. Not too happy. anyway, I think you should do what you want, your baby will outgrow it if you feed on demand, I think baby is too young to be on a schedule, though many people do it. I still don't have a SET schedule for my ds, as his eating varies from day to day, he puts himself on a schedule. good luck
MommietoBe...on the quitting cold turkey on the night feedings...she didn't cry all night. The first 2 nights she'd wake up like clockwork at her normal feeding times. Instead of breastfeeding her like I'd always done, I'd just give her a pacifier and a few pats, and she'd go right back to sleep within a couple minutes. It only took 2 nights and all of a sudden slept right through the times I'd normally feed her. She normally sleeps about 9½ hours from the time she goes to bed until she wakes up wanting to eat. So, she eats, then goes back to sleep for another couple hours. She's not starving, and she's not crying all night...she's asleep.
Also, my baby was 4 months old and 12 lbs when we started this...not 6 weeks like your baby. I personally think 6 weeks would be too young to do something like that.
Roxyfoxy...I never had a growth spurt guideline I followed as to know when she was having one. It was pretty obvious when she was going through a spurt because her rooting relex would start up about every hour...that's how I could tell. I never had to wait for her to cry to tell me she was hungry...that rooting reflex is pretty obvious. When she wasn't in a spurt, she never rooted around looking for food between feedings.
Oh my gosh! How would you like someone saying " oh, it hasn't been an hour and a half, your sure acting hungry, but you must not be, and I was told not to feed you, so I'm not!" How terrible! Why in the world would you listen to someone other than yourself and your baby when it comes to something like this? You can't teach a baby that young dicipline?!! I'm sorry, but that is a major control issue there.
Bad idea. There have been many babies diagnosed as failure to thrive by following this whacko's ideas. I haven't read the book and don't want to but I think I saw somewhere that he has even changed his stance recently regarding scheduling feeds. Babies have needs that should be listened to, not disregarded. It sounds like you want to do the right thing. Don't be pressured by anyone. I honestly don't know why Ezzo so popular other than people just don't want to deal with following babies cues. Good luck.
Some moms just want the easy way out. They want to make their babies more conveinient. I think that is why that crazy book is so popular. My SIL told me when I was pregnant "At nighttime you have to put your new baby into the bouncy seat in the living room and just put a pillow over your head in your room" Their baby was only weeks old at this time. I could not believe she told me this.
She raved about that Babywise book.
I don't want to offend anyone here or start a huge debate. I am sure some have read the book and felt like they did the right thing. I just personally dislike the book and it's principals.
Maybe this is the book my SIL is reading. ITs the dumbest idea I ever heard. Let's think about this, when we are hungry, we eat. Nobody tells us to eat, we just do. When babies are hungry, they cry, they open their mouth and nudge, they can't get themselves food on their own. Its our job to feed them when they are hungry. Babies are growing fast, they need food at different times of the day. At the evenings, DS would get so hungry all of the time. He would eat when I fed him. IT was a pain in the butt for me, but I knew he needed to eat, period. Babies metabolisms are faster at certain times then others. That is why we have to feed them when they want to be fed!
I personally have never read the book or heard of the book. A couple of you are assuming quite a lot about my abilities as a parent, my baby's feeding habits, and her ability to thrive in the future.
Dizzygirl...what have I said to make you think my baby is begging for food every 1½ hours? What have I said to make you come to the conclusion my baby has EVER begged for food? You certainly have insinuated that...it couldn't be farther from the truth...it's coming across as if you WANT everyone to think my baby is starving to support you view.
quote from, dizzygirl..."You can't teach a baby that young dicipline?!! I'm sorry, but that is a major control issue there."
dizzygirl...you really need to clarify to us what exactly you mean by that. You're telling us you think a baby's need for food and discipline at the infant stage go hand in hand. Now THAT is messed up. Sounds like you're the one with the contol issues.
Gayle000-" I remember when Ava was brand new (less than 2 weeks old) I called the Ped office with a Q about my milk & feeding, and the nurse told me to feed (we breastfeed) every 2-3 hours...and she was very clear on this...to make sure at least 1½ hours passed before thinking about feeding her again...and not let more than 3 hours go at the longest. She was 6 lbs, 6 oz at birth."
First of all, the comment about the control issue was about the book that was mentioned. Please don't think I meant that about you. Second, many babies cannot go 1 1/2 hours in between feedings. Doing so can result in a hungry baby. I really don't believe in feeding a baby by looking at a clock. That is not an opinion, but a fact. I can't help if you took it the wrong way, I'm sorry, but I just happen to disagree with that.
I fed my baby on demand...he was eating every 2 hours..I've never heard of pdf and don't think i would even try it! I agree with the other posters about "us eating when we're hungry and how would we like it if someone told us we could only eat when they said" kind of thing.
Babies are little human beings and they need to eat when they want! I think when they get older then you can try stretch the times inbetween feeds.
My ds is 6mos old and is nursing 3-4 times a day along with solids. He's sleeping through the night..well he was but i think he's going through a growth spurt at the moment because the last few days he's been up once through the night to eat.
Congrats on your new little baby and I hope you end up doing what's best for the baby!
IUI's-4 to conceive Troy July 25/05
m/c *angel* 10 weeks July/04
IUI's-2 for bfp Sept 27/07
In the hospital, when I had DS, they told me to feed him every 3-4 hours. I am bottle feeding. I started feeding him every 3 hours. When I first got home from the hospital and about the first 2/3 weeks my mom was telling me to feed him every time he cried. But baby's obiviously cry for more then food. Most time he cried because he was tired and refused to sleep and having a bottle would put him to sleep. So I would try getting him down without first and then I would give him one, if all else failed. But for the most part I stuck to every 3 hours. The only time I would break from this habit was if he was crying and nothing else worked. I am not sure if I was feeding on demand or making my own schedule. It was a little of both, I guess. By the time he was 2 months old he knew what exactly 3 hours was. Now that he is getting jar foods 3x a day and he is not crying at the 3 hour mark but is more flexible. What was best about holding 90% of the time to the 3 hour thing, is we could plan outings and things and know exactly when he would want to eat.
Seems to me that the PDF system has worked in favor for some moms. I couldn't do it myself, but it seems to have helped with the night time sleeping. I guess, if you think about it, not feeding on demand helps put the baby on a schedule. Just like sleeping, bathing, naps.........As for the issue with my SIL, I haven't seen the baby, but other people have told me the baby does the rooting and she still won't let her eat until its time. This, to me, is rediculous. I think whatever works for you and your baby, great, as long as mothers understand when their baby is hungry, then its feeding time. I think this book may make mothers think they can't feed the baby for a set amount of time, regardless if the baby is hungry or not.
We kinda did the PDF and demand feeding combo I guess. We did have set times DS ate every 2-3 hours. What we would do is give him the full, maximum amount he'd eat at those times. If he started to cry in between those times, we'd do everything else possible before we tried the bottle. If nothing worked, we'd give him about 1/2 what he'd normally get. After he'd eaten the 1/2, we'd try everything else again. If he was still upset, we'd go up about a 1/2 an ounce each time until he was happy. Once they scheduled feeding time hit, we'd offer him the full amount again. If he finished it great, and most of the time he did, or if he didn't we didn't force it. I would say most of the time if he cried between feedings, we were able to calm him down with something else rather than food. Even the times when we did have to give him something, 1/2 was normally enough. After a while the mid-feedings just tapered off completely. When he got bigger, we just moved the schedule farther apart and did the same thing.
When he started sleeping through most of the night on his own at 13 weeks, we just stopped getting up immediately when he got up. If he went in to full cry we got up right away but if he just wiggled around or made a couple fussing noises we didn't. About 90% of the time he just put himself back to sleep.
DS is 5 months now. He never cries for food and sleeps from 8:30 p.m. till 7:30 a.m. Setting up a feeding schedule shouldn't be about starving them, it's just getting a routine set up that they are happy with as well.
I'm glad we have this board and each other. We're all here because we care about doing what's best for our babies. Just wanted to say I appreciate hearing everyone's experiences and opinions.
I agree with Celestine and did a lot of what she did.
I have the Babywise book, and I read it during my pregnancy but I do not practice the premises. There were a few concepts I found helpful in the book. I think many people misinterpret or misread the book. Gary Ezzo,the author, makes a distinction between Parent-Directed Feeding, which he advocates, and scheduled feeding, which he feels is too rigid. PDF does require the parent to look for the baby’s hunger cues and to feed the baby when he or she is indicating hunger. In fact, it was after reading this book that I learned how to look for the cues to be able to feed my baby before she cries and becomes upset. It also taught me what other things to consider other than just hunger.
The difference between Parent-Directed Feeding and Demand Feeding is that the Parent is aware of a general time schedule that you would like to keep the baby on. It is not a rigid schedule and it allows for flexibility for growth spurts, special circumstances, traveling, etc. It introduces the concept of the schedule so that a baby can be led to be able to sleep through the night. You would not ignore his cries. You would make little incremental changes in the times you feed him, stretching it out a bit here and there by entertaining him or giving him a pacifier to help his body adapt to the schedule. You do it gradually—you don’t ignore the baby. The goal of sleeping through the night is for the child’s best interest, not the parents’. I don’t think anyone would ever implement PDF out of laziness. It actually requires a lot of effort. It is done because parents feel it is the best for their child.
The concept of discipline is incorporated in Ezzo’s books because, just as feeding is parent-directed, not child-directed, other things in life will follow suit, according to Ezzo. Therefore, naptime will also be parent-directed, and later playtime, mealtime at the table, etc. This helps the child know that the parents are in charge, not the child. I can see how some may interpret this as controlling. I have actually seen this toddler part implemented with my friends’ kids and they were amazing. The parents would put them to bed and they knew it was bedtime and they would fall asleep for the whole night with no struggle. They also had awesome table manners because they practiced the Babywise toddler stuff.
Every child has different needs. I found that with my baby, her own needs to eat coincided with the suggestions of the book for the most part. For example, the book tells you how many times per day to try to help them eat and sleep, and she naturally followed that same schedule by demand feeding without my direction. I didn’t have to work at it to keep her on the schedule. Her own body followed the schedule that was suggested.
There is another book with similar principles called The Baby Whisperer. I like this book better. It gave the suggestion that when the baby wakes out of habit in the middle of the night, you could give her some time. If she talks herself back to sleep or just slightly fusses, that is great—you can try to eliminate that feeding. But if she cries and is truly hungry, then she still needs to eat and you should respond to her. It also suggested “tanking her up,” which means giving her a lot to eat before she goes to bed. For a week now I’ve tried to let my 3 mo. old talk herself back to sleep and she’s been sleeping through the night.
I just glean helpful bits from various books, and if something doesn’t fit my baby and me, I nix it. I have used lots of helpful ideas from all of you, as well!