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Thread: Baby wants to be at the breast for hours

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2011

    Default Baby wants to be at the breast for hours

    I'm a first-time mom and wondering if this is normal: my 2 week old baby seems to want to spend HOURS at the breast. Actively sucking for 5-10 minutes, then hanging out with a lazy suck here an there for 10-20 minutes, then actively sucking for another 5-10 minutes. She could go on and on an on.

    Last night I spent 5 continuous hours with her at the breast. I think I'm going to lose my mind if this continues.

    At her 2 week pediatrician appointment she showed a very good weight gain (an ounce a day) and while her latch is on the shallow side because she is small (so I have to always use both hands: one to compress the breast, and another to support her head), her diaper output is good and when LC consultant measured her weight gain before and after a feeding it was great as well, so she is getting the milk she needs.

    Should I feel more free to break the latch if she is not actively sucking for 5+ minutes and simply offer the other breast or let her sleep in my arms? This non-stop nursing is driving me bonkers!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2008

    Default Re: Baby wants to be at the breast for h

    It's normal for little ones to want to nurse continuously for the first few weeks. Some of that is due to growth spurts (which are pretty much non stop for the first few weeks) and some is that connection with mama. She spent nine months listening to your heartbeat, it makes sense that she wants to be close to you now Nursing not only provides nutrition, it also provides comfort and security. The world is still a brand new place to her and YOU are what she knows.

    Hang in there it will slow down eventually

    mother of 2 boys!

    Birth: 7lbs 12oz, 1 year: 22lbs 11oz
    until he self-weaned 4 days before his third birthday ... still on occasion ... and happily

    ************************************************** ************************************************** *****************
    People need to understand that when they're deciding between breastmilk and formula, they're not deciding between Coke and Pepsi.... They're choosing between a live, pure substance and a dead substance made with the cheapest oils available. ~Chele Marmet

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2006

    Default Re: Baby wants to be at the breast for h

    I hate to say it, but it sounds normal to me. They are still so new at this age and navigating the big cold world can be scary. Being at the breast is comfort and security just as much as it's about food. But certainly, you don't need to feel bad about breaking a comfort latch. With both of my children I settled into the couch with remote in hand and a glass of water close by and just sat. For hours. I know it seems tough now.
    If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun. - Katharine Hepburn

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2011

    Default Re: Baby wants to be at the breast for h

    Thank you for the kind words!

    I'm OK sitting with her for hours, it's her being at the breast (which renders both of my hands occupied) for hours that's much harder to manage. I guess I'll try breaking the comfort latch after 5+ minutes of no active sucking to see if she still wants the the other breast or if she just wants to cuddle.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2011

    Default Re: Baby wants to be at the breast for h

    Perfectly normal. Babies do a LOT of growing during this time, and they also enjoy being with mom for comfort and security. I know exactly how you feel as not too long ago, I felt like I was "on call" 24/7 those first six weeks. I finally realized that yes, this demanding schedule would eventually slow down (typically around six weeks for me), that I would not have these kind of snuggle moments forever, that I was making her feel secure and content, that it would help establish a good milk supply AND it forced me to rest! I would have kept pushing myself to do household things, but with the constant feeding session, it helped me to slow down and let myself enjoy this time with her and for my body to heal. I tended to forget that I had just given birth and that the house could wait. I needed this time for me also. I know it doesn't feel like it through the fog of constant feeding, but it does get better. The other thing is your baby is learning how to nurse, so it takes lots of practice. However, if you can tell she's only comfort nursing and not feeding, there is certainly nothing wrong with breaking a latch here and there so you can have a break for yourself. You have to take care of yourself in order to take care of her! Hang in there...it DOES get better! And she sounds like she is doing wonderfully!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Southern NM

    Default Re: Baby wants to be at the breast for h

    If she is just comfort sucking, you probably don't need to be doing compressions. Just wait until you are not hearing any more active sucking.

    My current LO would have stayed attached for hours if I had let him. I did (and still do) detach him when it is clear he is not actively sucking anymore. If he objects, I would put him back on. After I was certain he was good at nursing I would also use a pacifier when I detached him but I would keep him snuggled up to me.

    It sounds like you are doing great!
    I am Erin--happily married to the nerd of my dreams for 15 years
    High School Science Teacher
    Mother to: Thing 1 9/23/01, bf 15 mo, diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblastoma 1/29/02, officially cancer free for ten years in August 2012
    Thing 2 6/6/05, bf 12 mo, obsessed with dynamite
    Glowworm 2/18/11, bf 15 months and counting

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2010

    Default Re: Baby wants to be at the breast for h

    I don't want to sound like a commercial but I love my brestfriend pillow, it frees up at least one of my hands/arms. And it helps my arm not get tires/sore and my back hurt. It also doesn't need to be constantly adjusted like a boppy does. I highly recommend one, you may be able to even find one on freecycle or craig's list. It's helped me tremendously.

    Wife to
    Vincent since 2001
    SAHMommy to
    Lela 2006 EPed 2 1/2 Years
    ~Donavon & Jeremy~ 2009
    Belle 2010 Nursed over a year
    Raphael 2011 Nursing like a champ
    Raphael & Hubs

    My Blog
    ~Heather's Prairie~

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2010

    Default Re: Baby wants to be at the breast for h

    I agree about a pillow. It can really help. Also, side lying is comfortable as well. And, try to keep everything you need nearby, like drinks, snacks and the remote
    SAHM to all my boys

    Wyatt 2/23/99
    Isaiah 7/11/00
    Hunter 2/9/10- made it through our dairy allergy!
    and loving from afar, my DSS Kaleb 3/30/97

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2010

    Default Re: Baby wants to be at the breast for h

    My DD was constantly at the breast. So I got a boppy, a couple of of small pillows and an over the shoulder baby holder and would sit and work at my computer while she nursed and slept. DD still naps this way and is sleeping in my lap now at 22 months. I keep one arm under her so I've learned to type one handed fairly well.
    being a SAHM to DD born 12/09

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2008

    Default Re: Baby wants to be at the breast for h

    I second the recs for a sling and a nursing pillow!!! also set up your own comfy spot with water, snacks and a remote plan to relax and just let her suckle
    Moma to *Silas* 10-30-07

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