• Insist on having
  • A very firm statement that you want something eg an outraged public demanded retribution.

Recently we have heard a lot about “feeding on demand”, but I really don’t think it accurately describes the breastfeeding relationship. Demand suggests insistence, provoking an almost hostile image of a mother with no choice but to yield to her babies demands! Why not request feeding, or need feeding?

A far more accurate term is “cue feeding”. We now know that crying is in fact a late sign of hunger, and by this stage young infants can easily have become uncoordinated and disorganised – making feeding more difficult when it does ensue! Instead what research has shown is that infants run through a sequence of cues when they need to feed:  Regardless of how your baby is fed (breast or bottle) you can feed responsively.

1) Mouthing (Early cue): opening and closing the mouth rather like a goldfish. The infant then starts sucking their hand/fingers (sometimes a shirt collar if there’s one handy!)

2. Rooting (Active cue): Eyes open, baby begins “rooting”, some try and lay themselves down into the feeding position,  others try and attach to the nearest thing (noses and chins seem particularly popular!). Baby’s breathing may also become more rapid and he is likely to begin squirming and fussing if he cannot locate his food source!

3.  Crying (Late Cue): If his earlier cues are ignored, baby moves on to his last cue, from squirming and fussing to crying.
Remember you can’t overfeed or “spoil” a breastfed baby.  It will not create bad habits, nor create a “snacking” baby always at the breast – as they grow things naturally change and he will find a regular feeding pattern for himself.

1 Comment

Hayley · August 3, 2011 at 2:01 pm

Simple. Perfect 🙂

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