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Thread: how often should he be eating and how long

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2006

    Default how often should he be eating and how long

    My baby boy is 10 days old and is not eating on a regular schedule. He will eat anywhere from every hour to 4 hours. Is this normal? I am having a hard time getting him to eat for more than 7 minutes on each breast. I have tried to keep him awake. Any ideas or will this go away??

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006

    Default Re: how often should he be eating and how long

    This is normal, unless you have check ups in the next week or two that your Ped says the baby is not gaining enough weight.

    With my two the schedule chaned every day. Sometimes it was every hour and sometimes every 4-6 hours. It is natural I think for them to want to sleep alot, they did this alot inside of us as well.

    Ways to keep him awake, take his clothes off, tickle behind his ear or behind his shoulder blade.

    What your baby will need to gain weight is the hindmilk (sp?) so the milk that comes in after that intial surge of milk when you first place him on the breast. So keep him on one side for as long as you can and then pump the other to keep that one stimulated if he is not interested. That hindmilk has the good stuff, the fat and that in the long run will help him keep gaining weight.

    Keep us posted. Share with us if tomorrow is different! Be sure to mention concerns to your Ped if you feel like this is an ongoing issue.

    You are doing GREAT!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    Default Re: how often should he be eating and how long

    welcome to the forum!

    heres a link about telling if baby is getting the milk they need

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2006

    Default Re: how often should he be eating and how long

    Welcome new mom, and congratulations on your new baby!

    It is normal for babies to have no predictable pattern in their feeding and sleeping times. Just nurse when he cues to nurse, and don't watch the clock.

    The same goes for the length of his feedings. Some babies are quite efficient and get plenty of milk in just a few minutes. The clock isn't going to tell you anything helpful here.

    What IS important to watch is his diaper output and the total number of feedings each day, and his weight gain over time.

    To be sure he is getting enough milk, track his diapers. He should make a minimum of 5-6 good wet disposable diapers (more if you use cloth) and 2-3 dirty diapers in each 24-hour period.

    To make sure your breasts are getting enough stimulation and frequent emptying, and to make sure your baby is getting enough "practice" and frequent nourishment, track how many times he feeds during each 24-hour period. There should be 8-12 feedings MINIMUM (lots more than that is fine, but this is the minimum) in each 24-hour period.

    At each feeding, let him finish the first breast first. If he falls asleep or comes off the breast on his own after nursing well for a bit, then offer the other breast. Whether or not he takes it, begin with that 2nd breast at the next feeding.

    It is NOT necessary to pump the unnursed breast after each feeding -- doing so this early can easily lead to engorgement and other problems with oversupply. It is more important to nurse frequently (remember, at least 8-12feedings/24 hours) and to track his diapers.

    The third thing to pay attention to is his weight gain over time. We generally like to see a newborn back up to birth weight by the age of 2 weeks. If he is slow to gain, then there are breastfeeding-friendly steps that we can discuss if necessary.

    Good luck -- sounds like you are off to a good start. Let us know if you have any questions or concerns!


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2006

    Default Re: how often should he be eating and how long

    I'd be really careful about pumping at this point--it's easy to end up with oversupply. If you just nurse on one side (I agree with pp there), I would just start with the other the next time. If your baby is anything like mine, there won't be a "normal schedule" ever. I think the 2-3 hour feedings is a myth of breastfeeding. It sometimes works out that way, but more often it's just a total of 8-12 feedings in a day. DS would feed every hour in the morning, then space it out a bit more the rest of the day when he was little.

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