Breakfast. Lunch. Dinner. REPEAT. As adults, we typically eat three meals a day based on the time, but should your baby eat on a schedule, too? Today we’re talking about the two main feeding styles: Scheduled vs Demand.
Scheduled feeding adheres to an established routine, much like adults do. Ideally, a baby’s natural patterns would help to stablish when these exact times are, though the idea is to create set times for baby to eat. The pros for this? Some people think that it will guide baby into knowing what to expect and when (this goes the same for bath time and sleep, too!), while parents often opt for this method as the predictability means it’s easier to plan around the rest of life.
As one would assume, this feeding style means you feed your little one whenever he or she signals that they’re hungry. This method is recommended by both the American Academy of Pediatrics and World Health Organization for newborns. Just as adults have preferences on how much and how often they like to eat, babies can have different patterns as well. Those in favor of this style feel they’re more in tune with their baby’s needs. Additionally, the baby may learn to eat when she’s hungry, not only at a set time. In turn, this is believed to encourage healthy eating habits later in life.
No matter what type of feeding is more your style, the great thing is your decision is not set in stone. It’s never too late to switch methods if one isn’t working out for you! As always, consult with your pediatrician to determine which method is best for you and your baby.