The idea of scheduling a young baby to eat at scheduled times sends shivers down my spine. It is the opposite of everything that HeartMark Health stands for on many levels.
First, the baby grows at different rates and changes their periods of activity. This means that the baby will need different amounts of nutrition at different times. Because they are so small, any change in movement or change in growth will make a significant difference on their hunger level. Adults experience more hunger as a result of a great workout. Just as adults need to listen to the changes in hunger and feed themselves more, the same is true for babies, but their bodies are so small so listening to these changes is more critical.
Babies need to feel that they have control on their environment through their communication. A child that requests food and gets ignored will not feel that communication really works well for them. They can get aggressive. They certainly get cranky. If they are cranky, it is not their fault. It means a need that they have has not been met. It is typically food or rest.
Second, children are born free of psychological baggage about food or self control. They are born a blank slate. Why on earth should the nurturing mother listen to some psycho advice from someone other than herself about the feeding of her tiny newborn? Children know that food is what you take when you are hungry. They also like to nurse because it is soothing and gives them confidence. Their needs should be fulfilled. There is no reason to train them to be unfulfilled and miserable and cynical from day 1.
I cannot stand the school of thought that says that children’s requests for something so basic should be ignored or scheduled.
The entire point of HeartMark Health is to teach people to listen to their bodies. We must not ignore signals. When you schedule the time to eat, you are telling the body that it should ignore its needs. This kind of thinking strips away any sense of real control. You are letting outside forces control the body as if you cannot listen to it and control it on your own. I think you can. I think all people have the ability to listen to their body and give it the amount and type of food that it truly wants.
I HeartMark You!