Feeding on demand
Dorofey Apaeva Pediatrician, Scientific Center of Children's Health, RAMS
Currently, there is much talk about the benefits of natural feeding of babies. At the same time, the main criteria for "naturalness" are breastfeeding without breastfeeding and supplementing other fluids and feeding on demand (it is also called free). Today we have to figure out what it is.
In fact, everything is very simple: the baby is given the leading role in determining the feeding regimen. In this case, the crumb is applied to the chest as often as it will require, and let it be at the chest for as long as it wishes.
The typical regime of a healthy newborn's day is as follows: the baby wakes up with a persistent cry, indicating that it's time to have a good snack. Mom comes to him, takes him in his arms, but my child does not think to calm down! Here you need to quickly change the baby diaper, not to force him to wait, and put it to his chest. Once again, we need to apply the baby to the chest every time he cries.
Indeed, at present there is a lot of talk about the fact that a child can not be hungry if he woke up, for example, forty minutes after feeding, and, therefore, it does not need to be applied to his chest in this case. Meanwhile, leading nutritionists agree that it is impossible to overfeed a baby with mother's breast milk. That is why modern pediatrics have adopted a "gold standard" - putting the baby to the breast "at the first cry". Until the breast can calm the crumb, you need to use it. If he does not want to suck, then he will not, then have to look for other ways to calm him down. In a word, do not be afraid to offer your baby a breast every time he cries.
Children of the first three to four weeks often suck for a long time - about thirty to forty minutes, sometimes up to an hour. This is due to the fact that, firstly, breast sucking for a newborn baby is hard work. The child will fall asleep at the chest to rest, and then suck again. After the first 10-15 minutes he will suck and sleep. When the karapuz is finally satisfied, he either releases the mother's nipple himself, or ceases to suck, and you can "take away" his chest to put it in the crib. In addition, sucking for crumbs is not only a way of eating, but also the satisfaction of a sucking reflex. Babies are born with a high sucking reflex (more precisely, with a high need for its satisfaction). The matter is that sucking starts the process of inhibition in the central nervous system. This means that for a quiet well-being during the day, the baby needs to spend some time on sucking. Therefore, during meals, he not only absorbs food, but also takes a sedative procedure. If you quickly take the baby from the chest, inevitably there will be a need for pacifiers. And, finally, being at the breast is also a way to be with mom. Indeed, it is the dream of all babies - to be in the hands of my mother, and they at all costs get this, but nothing but how to suck, they still can not. It's not surprising that they so often ask for a breast and stretch the procedure for a long time: just show your mother that you're full, just like you are "overloaded" into a crib and left alone ...
It's strange, after all, that adults pay so much attention to the organization of proper care, cleanliness, quality children's cosmetics, beds made of environmentally friendly materials, enough walks and rational nutrition, but for some reason they often deny their children the main thing - in recognizing them as people: it seems that they so far represent only a set of reflexes and physiological functions.
What does this give?
Free feeding best stimulates lactation, since the baby is applied to the chest, as a rule, more often than one might expect when fed on a regimen. Breasts are better emptied, which reduces the risk of milk stagnation - lactostasis and subsequent inflammation of the breast - mastitis. Children recover their weight after birth much faster, and then grow better and gain weight.
Since feeding on demand is the most physiological (corresponds to real, not hypothetical biorhythms of the body), the kids feel more relaxed. This means that the mother will not have to withstand the cry of a child, then reach the "right" feeding time, and then be tormented by doubts and guilt, trying to wake him to the "right" moment.
A few tips
Probably, it has already become clear that the simplest and right thing is to let the baby decide for himself when and how much there is. As a rule, many young mothers easily agree to offer the baby a breast every time he asks for it, but somehow flatly refuse the second part of this provision: they do not agree NOT to feed the child when he does not ask for it. If the baby wants to take a nap for four hours in a row, they begin to worry that the baby is malnourished, and they are supposed to wake him up to feed him. Think about how you would react to such a "sympathetic" attempt of relatives! Meanwhile, sleep for a little man is much more important than for adults, since his central nervous system and higher nervous activity are only being formed. Maybe, in a sense, it is even more important than food! All the basic processes of information processing occur in toddlers in a dream. Therefore, if the child "slept", go to the crib, check if it's sweet enough to sleep, and move away. Do not worry: as soon as he really gets hungry, he will not hesitate to report it.
If the baby wakes up often (say, every 40-60 minutes), a young mother may be in doubt, to what kind of breast is it to put: alternating the breasts in each feeding? There is a fairly simple scheme: it is considered most appropriate to shift the baby to another breast every 2-2.5 hours or after it empties one of the mammary glands. With this approach, there is almost no stagnation of milk in the breast.
Needless to say, keeping night feeds is one of the most important criteria for natural feeding. From a purely physiological point of view, a child must gain weight not less than 5.5-6 kg to withstand the interval between feedings of 5 or more hours. For children with a lower body weight, the rejection of night feeding is a gross violation of natural mechanisms. And in regard to children who have already passed for this weight line, pediatricians still have a strong belief: a child should refuse to feed himself by night, and adults should not forcibly deprive him of food at night.
How long ...?
It should be noted that as the baby grows, the baby will eat more and more orderly. First, the feeding itself will be shorter. Everyone will have this in their due time: someone will start releasing the breast by the month, as soon as it's eaten, - in ten minutes, and someone and in six months will stretch the pleasure for 20-30 minutes. The shortening of feeding is due to the fact that children, growing up, getting stronger and sucking out the necessary amount of milk in a shorter time, they will have less need for sucking as such, and finally they will find other ways of communicating with their mother. Secondly, the feeding hours will increasingly approach the regime ones, and the intervals between them will become increasingly equal. Soon, Mom will be able to predict exactly when the baby wants to have a snack.