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Thread: How often is normal?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    64

    Default How often is normal?

    My daughter is 9 1/2 months old and seems to be cutting back significantly on nursing. She night weaned at about 8 weeks (on her own, the child loves to sleep at night) but still nursed every 1-2 hours during the day. We started solids at 6 months, and she is finally enjoying them, she eats 3 "meals" and one snack every day. I have noticed over the last month that she has cut back to nursing only 3-4 times during the day, always once when she wakes up, once before bed, and then 1-2 times during the day. She is still having about 6 wet diapers a day. I guess my questions is whether or not 3 nursing sessions a day is enough. She sleeps a long time at night, so she is really only up for 10-12 hours with a couple of short naps during the day. It is just such a dramatic change from nursing her every 1-2 hours since birth! She is pretty small for her age, so I want to be sure she is consuming enough. Thanks for the help!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    251

    Default Re: How often is normal?

    Is it possible to estimate how much she is eating at her "meals." You say she is small, but is she still following her growth pattern? Is she also drinking water with her meals? Do you feel like she is removing plenty of milk when she does nurse? There are a lot of questions to consider, and I guess another one is: how do you feel about her nursing this little? Do you plan to wean her at a year or want to nurse longer? Do you feel you are missing out on your snuggle time?

    The point is: I don't think there is a norm that applies to everyone. My 11 month old is nursing about 12 times a day, and always has ( and definitely doesn't sleep as much as your DD!), and this is okay for us. She doesn't nurse for long when she does, isn't terribly interested in solids, and has molars coming in to boot.

    I'm sure some people would advise that you should be nursing more. I think it depends on your answers to the slew of questions I listed above.
    -Hannah

    SAHM-WAHM to lovely Lizzie, born at home 9/14/2010


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Northern Cal.
    Posts
    4,984

    Default Re: How often is normal?

    It's pretty common for babies to back off nursing around this age as they get more active and busy - there are just too many fun things going on! If the problem seems to be distractibility, you could try taking her away from the fun to nurse in a dark, quiet place where she might be able to concentrate more.

    Some babies are pretty darn efficient, though, so she might be getting plenty from fewer sessions. How is her diaper output? How is her solids intake?

    Most babies become more settled and attentive at the breast around a year, so going through a phase like this usually does not mean that your baby will wean early.


    You can call me JoMo!

    Mom to baby boy Joe, born 5/4/09 and breastfed for more than two and a half years, and baby girl Maggie, born 7/9/12.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    64

    Default Re: How often is normal?

    Thanks for the input. She still has at least 6 wet diapers a day. She eats about 2-3oz of pureed baby food twice a day, and then finger food twice a day. With the finger food very little makes it into her mouth. I do feel like she is completely emptying me out when she nurses and in the morning she has started taking both sides, in the past she has only taken one at every feeding. I plan on weaning around 12-18 months. She has dropped a little bit on the weight curve (from 25th to 10th percentile) but her height is consistent (75th percentile), and she is already walking so I think that has a lot to do with her weight. She is busy lol! I have a pedi appt this week, so we will see what the doctor has to say.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,643

    Default Re: How often is normal?

    It is very normal for a baby who started out only nursing on one side to eventually transition to feeding off both sides. It is also very normal for a baby to drop some percentiles as they become mobile- all the calories that used to get packed on as fat go into motion, instead. My pediatrician claims that it's because breastfed babies "can't walk around with a bottle hanging out of their mouth all day long.".

    Have you considered trying to offer the breast a bit more frequently? 3-4 nursing sessions per day is on the low end, in terms of frequency. And if you are at all concerned about weight gain- which I don't think you need to be- breastmilk has more calories per oz than solids.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

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