Different Feeding Philosophies For Babies

Different Feeding Philosophies For Babies

As you are getting closer to D-day, you have probably been reading up on a lot of material, ranging from how to change a diaper to how to breastfeed properly. Among the things that you need to decide before you actually give birth is the kind of feeding philosophy you want to adhere to. This is the perfect time to learn about your options, as if you try to decide when you are already holding your baby, you might already be too pressured or tired to think clearly.

There are numerous philosophies for how a mother takes care of her baby, and the most popular ones include attachment parenting, demand feeding, clock feeding, and parent directed feeding.

Attachment parenting is one philosophy popularized by many baby care experts, and firmly believes that it is the mom’s responsibility to stay as close to the baby as possible. The belief stems from a premise that the baby underwent some sort of trauma when he left the womb, and as such the mother is recommended to recreate the womb environment as much as possible.

This includes using a carrying sling to carry the baby wherever the mom goes in order to give the baby a similar environment to the womb. The mother also typically sleeps with the baby and is never allowed to leave the baby with any other caregiver. This is a faulty premise, because after all, the baby came out at the time when he was designed to leave the womb, so it does not make sense to make everything similar to the womb. Also, mom and baby will most likely benefit much more if the mom is given some time to rest.

Highly connected to attachment parenting is demand feeding, which means that every time the baby cries, the mother is required to nurse him. The extreme is that she has to do this regardless of whether the baby is actually hungry or is crying for something totally different. As a result, the mother typically gets exhausted beyond measure, which also results in a poor milk flow.

Clock feeding on the other hand is much more mechanical. The mother usually sets a time in which to feed the baby, such as every two hours. While this gives some routine to the mom and baby, it does not always meet the right needs of the baby as well, which is crucial especially for the first few months of life.

Parent directed feeding is considered the compromise between the two. Although there is some routine designed, the mom takes into account the child’s actual needs and then decides the best route to take. For example, if the baby is crying, the mom may learn that he only needs to have his diaper changed. Perhaps the baby only wants to be held.

When that kind of consideration is thought out, the parent decides when the feeding takes place. Also, the mom aims for a full feeding every time so that the baby is full at every meal, which results in a more predictable routine. This kind of feeding assumes that the baby does not know better and the mom knows best for the baby. Under this philosophy, not only feeding is parent-directed, but basically everything the baby undergoes will be guided by the parent as the child is still unable to make decisions for himself.

These main philosophies will form the basic framework of how you will be dealing with your baby after delivery. You can pick which one seems to be most reasonable to you and which one suits your lifestyle best. But based on numerous mothers’ experiences, the parent-directed feeding philosophy will most likely result in a more manageable schedule, giving the parent ample time for rest in between feedings versus demand feeding wherein every cry will mean the mom has to nurse the baby.

This is considered crucial, because a mother can only give the best care when she herself is well-rested and can give her best for the baby and for the entire family, too. Remember, as a mother, your health and well-being is very important, too, and should not be compromised. After all, there is a balance that can be struck between taking care of your baby and taking good care of yourself.

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