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Thread: Inefficient Feeding

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
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    97

    Default Inefficient Feeding

    Hello! I've been learning a lot by reading the posts in this forum, and now I have a question of my own!

    My six-week-old typically eats in this pattern: light sucking for a few seconds, drinking for a few seconds, then a long pause with no sucking. Until recently I assumed this was normal. He is gaining weight very well so clearly he is getting enough.

    However, every so often he will spend the whole time drinking, and it's so much more efficient! It's possible he only does this on the breast with greater milk supply; I need to observe more closely to try to confirm this.

    So, does anyone have advice as to how I can encourage him to eat more efficiently all the time?

    Thanks for your help!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    381

    Default Re: Inefficient Feeding

    Hi
    Is he having enough wet diapers?
    Are you breasts still feeling full after the feeding you described?
    Babies will not always actively suck the entire time at the breast.
    Full time working Mom to 3, DH is my hero as a SAHD:
    DS July'09, nursed for 12 weeks
    DD1 & DD2 April'11, tandem nursed for 16 months

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    TX
    Posts
    2,197

    Default Re: Inefficient Feeding

    That sounds really normal to me. Breastfeeding is not the same sort of process as a bottle. It's relaxation, it's sensory organization, it's food, it's snuggling. It's connection. If your LO is content after a feed, has good diaper output, is growing and developing well, you'll know that he is feeding well. It's kind of like sitting down to a meal with friends and extended family. Some of them shovel the food in, others talk with their mouths full, still others barely pick at their food, either because they're not that hungry or because the social/emotional offerings of the meal are higher on their priority list.
    Teal

    25 May 96 and 14 January 08 and 27 February 2012

  4. #4

    Default Re: Inefficient Feeding

    If he's gaining weight well, then his nursing pattern is just fine. Like duckpond said, breastfeeding is about more than food, so it's perfectly normal for babies to be all business at one session and just want to connect with mom and have a snack or comfort nurse at another.

    Sounds like you two are doing great.
    Karen
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,865

    Default Re: Inefficient Feeding

    with the PPs. Is your baby's feeding speed an issue for you? 6 weeks is still early to expect him to have mastered efficient nursing. But even if you do absolutely nothing he will eventually figure it out! I remember reading entire novels while nursing my first newborn. But by around 4-5 months I couldn't even read a full page before she'd be done.
    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!"

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    97

    Default Re: Inefficient Feeding

    Thanks for your input, everyone! It seems that I was getting ahead of myself, to expect him to eat so quickly at every feeding! It's mostly frustrating at night when he's taking 45 minutes to eat and all I want to do is go back to bed. Since his diaper output and weight gain are both fine I will try to be more patient!

  7. #7
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    Jun 2008
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    TX
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    Default Re: Inefficient Feeding

    Are you open to spending some time co-sleeping? Lying in bed next to your little one allows you both to doze during and between feeds.
    Teal

    25 May 96 and 14 January 08 and 27 February 2012

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    97

    Default Re: Inefficient Feeding

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*duckpond View Post
    Are you open to spending some time co-sleeping? Lying in bed next to your little one allows you both to doze during and between feeds.
    I am open to it but not sure about my husband. With co-sleeping, do you not burp the baby after he's done? And how do you nurse him on the breast that's on the upper side, if you know what I mean?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    TX
    Posts
    2,197

    Default Re: Inefficient Feeding

    To burp the baby (if your baby is one that needs to be burped, some don't), stay on your side, but drape baby with his knees on the bed and his head at your upper waist or ribs, and pat him like that. It's a little awkward at first, but becomes easy. And to nurse the upper side, scoot a tiny way away from baby, and just lean over towards him until your upper breast is at his face level. Use your upper arm to brace your weight. It's actually really easy! If you and your husband are open to some co-sleeping, but not strict bed-sharing, a side-car crib is a great compromise between the two. Baby stays in his own crib, but it is butted up against your bed, so you can just roll towards baby and slightly onto his mattress to nurse him there. It also makes the transition from co-sleeping to crib sleeping much easier, since baby has already been sleeping in the crib.
    Teal

    25 May 96 and 14 January 08 and 27 February 2012

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    97

    Default Re: Inefficient Feeding

    Thanks! I may give that a try if I am really in need of sleep. I already hear all his little sleeping noises and having him right there next to me might help me not stress about them as much!

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