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Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>What Do You Think Of Strict Feeding Schedules For Babies?
crazydaycarelady 01:55 PM 06-13-2013
I've been doing this 22 years and I have only encountered this twice but am dealing with it now. Both of the strict scheduled fed babies have been pretty miserable in general!

This particular dcm of 9mo asked me to feed dcbaby dinner tonight since she will not be here until 5:30. He eats dinner at 5:30 and with her picking up she won't get home until about 5:45, and well, that would be a late dinner!

Why do people want to set themselves up for these strict schedules? Why do they think this kind of schedule is better for a baby?

Neither my assistant nor I enjoy having this baby in care when he is "on schedule." Sadly, we have started feeding him when he demands and telling dcm what she wants to hear.
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littlemommy 02:11 PM 06-13-2013
DCM is making a fuss about 15 minutes? I'd give him a small snack, but not a meal. She can feed him dinner when she gets home, if it's only 15-20 minutes late. The kid pry won't even notice that short of a time change!
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crazydaycarelady 02:22 PM 06-13-2013
I don't think the kid would notice either, but if I don't feed him dinner then that would mess the WHOLE thing up because he wouldn't be ready to eat at 9:30p.m.! And we wouldn't want to get off schedule! LOL
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MarinaVanessa 02:46 PM 06-13-2013
In all honesty I'd probably do what you have done.

I don't feel that a feeding schedule for infants under 1 year benefits them at all and is extremely difficult to do at daycare. I feed infants under 1 year old whenever they get hungry and I can notice if a feeding routine begins or changes by paying attention to the baby's cues and so I can usually get a feel for when the baby gets hungry before the baby gets fussy but I wouldn't follow a schedule or force or keep food from a baby without a doctor's order AND if it was for medical reasons (not personal beliefs).

If the baby is hungry at that time then I'd feed that baby at that time, if not then I wouldn't worry too much. I'd keep doing what you are doing. In 6 months or so the baby will be old enough to start trying to transition to your normal feeding schedule anyway so you won't have to worry about this by then anyway (hopefully)
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Leigh 04:39 PM 06-13-2013
In my state, we are not allowed to follow a "strict schedule". Licensing requires that kids under 12 months are fed ON DEMAND, as it should be.
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bunnyslippers 04:48 PM 06-13-2013
My first son was on a strict feeding schedule the first 6 months of his little life. He had pyloric stenosis, and we had to keep to a strict schedule in order to monitor is intake (and subsequent output) in order to ensure he was getting what he needed and to keep track of what he may be losing. It was horrible!

Barring a medical reason....strict schedules are not necessary.
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sharlan 05:21 PM 06-13-2013
I think strict schedules are rediculous.
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Cradle2crayons 05:24 PM 06-13-2013
I won't do anything of that sort without a medical reason and a doctor order.
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EntropyControlSpecialist 05:37 PM 06-13-2013
That sounds horrible and if I took infants, I would not be willing to accommodate that.
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sharlan 05:58 PM 06-13-2013
We were talking about this the other night with sil's niece (T). I'll be watching her baby come August.

Sil's other sister (C) is a firm believer in strict schedules. She didn't raise her kids that way but is now advocating it with her grandson. He's now a year, but has always been fed on a strict schedule and it didn't matter how long he cried or screamed, he was not given a bottle. Even now, if he cries or acts hungry before his scheduled meal time, he is not fed. I believe niece said that the baby is fed at 7, 11, 3, and 7, with nothing in between. They don't want him to get fat.

He is also not allowed to hold his own bottle or self-feed.

Sil's sister, niece's other aunt, offered to watch niece's baby with her grandson for free. Niece politely declined and said she would bring the baby to me as I lived closer to her mother. She didn't want her baby fed that way.
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Leigh 06:30 AM 06-14-2013
Originally Posted by sharlan:
We were talking about this the other night with sil's niece (T). I'll be watching her baby come August.

Sil's other sister (C) is a firm believer in strict schedules. She didn't raise her kids that way but is now advocating it with her grandson. He's now a year, but has always been fed on a strict schedule and it didn't matter how long he cried or screamed, he was not given a bottle. Even now, if he cries or acts hungry before his scheduled meal time, he is not fed. I believe niece said that the baby is fed at 7, 11, 3, and 7, with nothing in between. They don't want him to get fat.

He is also not allowed to hold his own bottle or self-feed.

Sil's sister, niece's other aunt, offered to watch niece's baby with her grandson for free. Niece politely declined and said she would bring the baby to me as I lived closer to her mother. She didn't want her baby fed that way.
I would report that to CPS. Honestly, I would. There is no excuse for denying a hungry child food.
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preschoolteacher 09:38 AM 06-14-2013
Originally Posted by sharlan:

Sil's other sister (C) is a firm believer in strict schedules. She didn't raise her kids that way but is now advocating it with her grandson. He's now a year, but has always been fed on a strict schedule and it didn't matter how long he cried or screamed, he was not given a bottle. Even now, if he cries or acts hungry before his scheduled meal time, he is not fed. I believe niece said that the baby is fed at 7, 11, 3, and 7, with nothing in between. They don't want him to get fat.

He is also not allowed to hold his own bottle or self-feed.
In my opinion, what they are doing will set him up to have problems with food, not the other way around.

I recently spent time with someone who feeds her infant on a strict schedule. The baby cried for a half an hour before the mom got the bottle ready. This baby also only eats pureed food (no solids) even though she is almost 1 year old.

My son has been fed on demand since birth, and I did baby led weaning with him, so he never had pureed food and has been eating table food since 6 months.

He eats everything very well and neatly with his fingers, loves vegetables, and is beginning to attempt using silverware (scooping at foods like yogurt with a spoon.) I know this could very well just be him, and have nothing to do with how we're feeding him, but I have to think he's on a good track at least.

I wouldn't care for an infant if the parents required me to feed on a strict schedule.
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littlemissmuffet 10:08 AM 06-14-2013
My daughter was schedule fed for the first half of her little life (being a NICU baby)... and we continued this after she came home because that's what she was used to - eating every 4 hours - at 7, 3, 11, 7 and 11. But, within a couple of weeks of being home she had a growth spurt and her schedule changed. A few days later, it changed again. She eats when she's hungry and that's the end of that (though, it still usually around 4 hours between feeds).

I too would report a parent who witholds milk/food due to schedules. No way.
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Laurel 10:51 AM 06-14-2013
Originally Posted by crazydaycarelady:
I've been doing this 22 years and I have only encountered this twice but am dealing with it now. Both of the strict scheduled fed babies have been pretty miserable in general!

This particular dcm of 9mo asked me to feed dcbaby dinner tonight since she will not be here until 5:30. He eats dinner at 5:30 and with her picking up she won't get home until about 5:45, and well, that would be a late dinner!

Why do people want to set themselves up for these strict schedules? Why do they think this kind of schedule is better for a baby?

Neither my assistant nor I enjoy having this baby in care when he is "on schedule." Sadly, we have started feeding him when he demands and telling dcm what she wants to hear.
I agree with everyone else. A baby needs to be fed on demand.

That said, I did have a mom that wanted her baby fed at 9,12, and 3 and she picked up at 5:30. I figured I would give it a try and to my utter amazement this baby did well with it. He was never cranky. It was her second child. But, if he would have been cranky, I couldn't have done it.

At the point you're at, I'd do the same as you. I'd feed on demand and tell the parent what they want to hear. Hopefully you can change her mind though.

Laurel
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