Caroline asked the following questions when I mentioned nursing as part of our daily schedule:
Do you schedule Samuel's feedings or feed him on demand?
I have been in both camps on this issue. With Emily (my first), I was strict, strict, strict about trying to get her on a schedule and keeping her on it. She did get on a schedule and it worked great - but I did try to start her on a schedule too early. We were both stressed out by this! Live and learn.
With Samuel, I have really let him set the pace. I do have certain limits - I will not nurse for an hour (ahem, Emily) and I will try to have him go at least three hours between feedings. But, he does not eat at specific and set times every day and you know, it is working and it is relaxed. He does always wake in the morning between 6 and 7 to eat and always wants to nurse around 7:30 for bed time. The rest of the day is just kind of whenever.
Having said that, I am not one to offer nursing at every little whimper. As I mentioned above, I do try to have him go at least three hours. If he is napping and goes over three hours, great - but if he wanted to eat at after two hours, I would probably try to hold him off for a little bit. Maybe five minutes at a time until he stretched it out. I would not try to hold him off if he was screaming, only if it was easy to do so.
How long do you nurse each time?
Oh, I have a history here too. Emily wanted to nurse and nurse and nurse. Seriously, she would nurse for about an hour and I thought it was my duty as a mother to let her so she would get enough. I took her to the dr. for her two month well visit and the dr. insisted I stop that (I was also very sore from this). He said to take her off after 15 minutes per side. I started it that day and have never gone back!
Both Rachel and Samuel were/are very efficient nursers. I probably only spend about 15 minutes TOTAL nursing Samuel at each feeding.
Do you supplement with formula?
I do not. I would be willing to do this of course, if there was some reason I needed to - but honestly, I love nursing and would have a hard time accepting the need to supplement. Nursing is so easy - milk is always ready, always the right temp, not messy to clean up, no bottles to wash, etc... Yes, you can not be away from your baby very long - but I don't mind that either.
Is he on any baby food yet?
No. Samuel isn't even four months and honestly, I am not big into rushing solid foods with my babies. Emily was nine months before she started eating baby food and Rachel was at least six. I am not a doctor and I know that our pediatrician suggests starting earlier - but this is what has worked for us. I do not plan to start Samuel for a few more months unless there is a more pressing reason that I need to do so.
I will say that I have learned this is a touchy subject with a lot of people. The things I share here are strictly my opinion and what I have found works for us. If something else works for you, great - go for it! I am not saying this is the only way, just our way. Also, I am not a doctor and I know that everyone will have to consider what is best for their baby and for what they are comfortable with.