Discuss some of the controversies involved in infant routines
Discuss some of the controversies involved in infant routines (e.g., scheduled vs. demand feeding, handling sleep problems, breast vs. bottle feeding), and state your opinions on which technique is superior. Locate research that supports your opinion.
There are several controversies involved in infant routines, including scheduled vs. demand feeding, handling sleep problems, and breast vs. bottle feeding.
Scheduled vs. demand feeding refers to the debate over whether infants should be fed on a set schedule or when they show signs of hunger. Some experts argue that scheduled feeding is more convenient for parents and allows them to establish a routine, while others argue that demand feeding is better because it allows infants to regulate their own food intake and prevents overfeeding.
Handling sleep problems is another controversial topic, with some experts advocating for strict bedtime routines and others advocating for more flexible approaches. Some experts argue that strict routines can help infants establish healthy sleep patterns, while others argue that flexible approaches are more natural and less disruptive to the infant’s development.
Breast vs. bottle feeding is another controversial topic, with some experts advocating for breast milk and others advocating for formula. Breast milk is considered to be the best source of nutrition for infants, as it contains all the necessary nutrients and antibodies to protect against disease. However, some mothers may not be able to breastfeed due to medical or lifestyle reasons, and in these cases, formula can be a suitable alternative.
In my opinion, demand feeding is the superior technique, as it allows the infant to regulate their own food intake and prevent overfeeding. Additionally, it is more natural for the baby to feed when they are hungry and this is also supported by research. (e.g. “The Science of Mother-Infant Sleep and Feeding: From Prenatal to Postpartum” by James J. McKenna and Thomas McDade)
As for sleep, it is important to consider the individual needs and preferences of the infant and family. Therefore, both flexible and strict routines can be effective depending on the context.
For feeding, breast milk is the superior option if the mother is able to breastfeed, as it provides the best nutrition for the infant and also has several other benefits for both the mother and baby. But if the mother is not able to breastfeed, formula can be a suitable alternative.