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Parent-Directed Feeding Concerns

StorkNet is an advocate of parent education. While we don't endorse any one particular parenting philosophy over another, we encourage parents to familiarize themselves with many different parenting styles so they can best choose what feels comfortable for them and their babies.

Despite our stance on not endorsing one particular parenting method, StorkNet is concerned about a program called Parent-Directed Feeding (PDF) based on this Media Alert issued by the American Academy of Pediatrics:

Recent media reports have focused on the issue of whether scheduled feedings or demand feedings are best for babies. In response to these reports, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) reaffirms its stance that the best feeding schedules are ones babies design themselves. Scheduled feedings designed by parents may put babies at risk for poor weight gain and dehydration.

The AAP has always advocated breastfeeding as the optimal form of nutrition for infants, and in December 1997, the AAP issued its latest recommendations about breastfeeding infants. The policy statement says, "Newborns should be nursed whenever they show signs of hunger, such as increased alertness or activity, mouthing, or rooting. Crying is a late indicator of hunger. Newborns should be nursed approximately eight to 12 times every 24 hours until satiety . . . In the early weeks after birth, nondemanding babies should be aroused to feed if four hours have elapsed since the last nursing."

The AAP's opinion is based on solid research and years of experience. StorkNet recommends that parents listen to their instincts, follow their baby's cues and discuss any concerns or questions with their pediatrician.

Please visit our parenting channel for more information.


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