Demand Feeding Infants: A Dunder Mifflin Guide

demand feeding infants

You know the saying, “you’re the sum total of the five people you spend the most time with.” I feel like The Office belongs in my inner circle of five. For those days you just want to play something in the background, The Office trumps all. Always and forever. That’s what she said. But on to the important stuff, demand feeding infants.

Caveat: If you’re looking for some wisdom on demand v. scheduled feeding, I am most definitely NOT your woman.

I’ve demand fed all three of my babes. Although we strive to find a daily rhythm (thanks to Ann Voskamp’s post “Hummin’ Along: How to Compose New Habits)…….

I have found my daily

Not saying demand feeding is better than scheduled feeding. It’s just been better for us.

So you’ve decided to demand feed, meaning when little bambino is hungry, you feed her. Simple as that, right? I wish!

I could tell you to just watch for hunger cues like:

  1. the smacking and licking of lips (the apple never falls far from the tree)
  2. trying to shove fingers, fist, feet into the mouth
  3. opening and closing the mouth like fish
  4. rooting around, which is when a babe bobs its head back and forth or side to side in search of the Promised Nipple Land. Quite closely resembles an animal in the wild.

But that would be super boring and there’s a gazillion other better breastfeeding websites out there where you can read up on such.

I have learned that each babe is its own little unique snowflake, with its own little demands and ideas about how to be handled. And if you can figure out how to read that little snowflake personality, demand feeding is so much easier.

So to help you decode your little bambino’s snowflake, let’s figure out which character from The Office your baby most resembles.

 


Is your little bambino a focused feeder, totally transfixed by the boob in his face? Is he such an over-achiever that he sometimes over eats, resulting in a spit up post-feeding? Does his passionate suck put other sucks to shame? Is he intense about mealtime and easily frustrated with any kind of waiting?

You may have a mini-Dwight Schrute on your hands, mama.

Demand Feeding InfantDWIGHT’S POSITIVES:

Feeding baby Dwight in public? No problemo. He could care less about the madness swirling about him. He’ll get right down to business and drain you in 2.5 minutes. And baby Dwight ensures he’s getting enough milk always. His “feelings regenerate at twice the speed of a normal man.” =)

DWIGHT’S CHALLENGES:

However when baby Dwight decides he’s hungry, you have exactly two seconds to get him latched or else. His intensity and passion for eating will translate to uncontrollable crying/screaming if you’re not quick enough. To demand feed baby Dwight, you have to be prepared. Keep an eye on the clock and be prepared to feed every two hours (from start to start), especially at the beginning. As he gets older, he’ll be able to go longer, but super-human Dwight digests milk at super-human speed.

Demand Feeding InfantsI’ve never used it myself but had friends swear by this little gadget called Itzbeen Pocket Timer. You use it to keep track of feedings, diaper changes, sleeping, etc. May come in especially handy when you’re brain cells start taking a leave of absence.


Mid-meal does your babe often just look up at you and gaze into your eyes and smile gummily? Does she keep an eye on her surroundings, frequently pulling off to make sure she’s not missing any celebrity sightings? Does she take forever to get her meal on, cooing chattily at you with her big personality?

OMG, you might have a baby Kelly Kapoor.

Demand Feeding Infants

KELLY’S POSITIVES:

The good news is, you’ll get puh-lenty of sweet bonding time with baby Kelly so you both can catch up on what Paris Hilton has been up to lately. According to Psychology Today, all those smiles you’re sending her way, are building her self-confidence. Not that your mini Kelly will need the esteem boost as she’s guaranteed to be the biggest personality in the room!

KELLY’S CHALLENGES:

There really is no better feeling than snuggling that sweet, soft skin, BUT we don’t live in Fantasia, and those dishes and laundry aren’t going to do themselves. It will be a huge temptation to assume if baby Kelly pulls off, she must be done. But resist, resist, resist rushing her! If she doesn’t eat to satiety, you’ll end up feeding every hour rather than every 2 – 3. Before you latch her on, hit up the fridge, give your toddlers something to do, and choose your entertainment vice of the hour (I love me some Bachelor), so that you’re ready to be held hostage bond.


Does your little bambino act like he’s won the lottery when you start to turn him sideways to nurse? Do those little fists start pounding in excitement? Does he get so thrilled about let down that he pulls off transforming you into a milk-spurting machine gun?

You may have a mini Michael Scott. That’s what she said.

Demand Feeding Infants MICHAEL’S POSITIVES:

Need an excuse to escape dinner with the in-laws/awkward mingling at a party you really don’t want to be at/a long-long-winded conversation, your little Michael is the perfect excuse! No way, he’s going to nurse in public without exposing far more of your boob than you’d like, so whisking him away to a quiet, secluded area is the perfect excuse to find some peace and quiet. And hey, with demand feeding, he could be hungry at any time……..

MICHAEL’S CHALLENGES:

Baby Michael’s excitement to eat sometimes makes latching far more difficult than it needs to be, often leading to a poor latch, leading to the gulping of air. Gulping of air = gassy gas pants for wee one = misery for parents of wee one. So demand feed baby Michael at the very first sign of hunger. Help him out with the latch by doing the hamburger hold. We have made many an emergency trip to CVS for gas drops!


Does your babe eat ever 90 minutes one day and then go four hours between feedings the next? Does he seem like the Happiest Baby on the Block at 1:00 and then transform to colic champion of the world at 1:03? Is he loving the cross cradle hold one day and insistent on the football hold the next?

You may have an enigmatic mini Creed Bratton.

Demand Feeding Infants

CREED’S POSITIVES:

Creed babies will keep you on your toes. No one day will look like the next. You’re pretty much guaranteed that the toddler years will be easier than the baby years. How was that for an optimistic spin on the baby to confound all babies! If life with baby Creed is downright awful in a pull-your-hair-out kind of way, hang on, mama. This too shall pass.

CREED’S CHALLENGES:

Mini Creeds may be the hardest to demand feed. Their lack of consistency may prevent them from getting adequate milk. So if you have a baby Creed you may need to forgo demand feeding and lay out a schedule to ensure babe is getting enough nutrition. There are a ton of baby apps out there where you track the frequency of feedings and wet and dirty diapers to ensure babe is getting enough. Baby Connect is my personal favorite.


Is your baby no-nonsense about feeding? Does he want to eat at the same times, in the same position, in the same places? Does he have zero tolerance for anything that messes with his most favorite thing in the world, eating that is?

You may have a mini Stanley Hudson.

Demand Feeding Infants

 STANLEY’S POSITIVES:

You know what baby Stanley likes and how to give it to him. So when you’re out to dinner, and he loses his mind, all you have to do is stick a boob in his face and you can (kind of) enjoy the rest of your meal. Is he insistent on cluster feedings in the evening? Well at least you know what to expect and can anticipate snuggling down with him and some prime time between the hours of 6 – 10 PM.

STANLEY’S CHALLENGES:

However what baby Stanley wants may not be what baby Stanley needs. (Welcome to the big bad world.) For example, if he insists on using your boobage as a pacifier, try wearing him in a sling or a carrier to soothe him (My babies LOVE our Boba!). If he’s cluster feeding into the wee hours of the night, try nursing him while in motion, i.e. rocking, swaying, or walking. When he clearly needs no more nutrition but just won’t tolerate being put down, try sound machines, dark rooms, swaddling him snug and tight.


Here’s the real dirt, a study lead by Dr. Ken Ong, from the Medical Research Council Epidemiology Unit in Cambridge found that, “Breastfed babies cry more, laugh less, and generally have ‘more challenging temperaments’ than formula-fed infants.” Fan-tastic.

According to the study, “Humans often perceive infant crying as stress, but for infant animals irritability is a normal component of signalling to parents.”

In an ideal world, we would be able to read our little bambinos and know when to feed them before they hit the crying stage, but let’s be honest, babies are babies and they’re going to cry. Breastfeeding, whether you demand feed or schedule feed, is hard.

Demand Feeding Infants

You can do this mama.

Please do tell, which character from The Office is your little babe? I most definitely have a little Kelly on my hands right now =)

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