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Thread: how long does it last?

  1. #1

    Default how long does it last?

    Hi there again. I have read so many threads and relys and you are all so welcoming and thoughtful! A problem that I am having like many others that post is that my baby wants to he hours on end and is really fussy. Every says that it is ok and it will pass which is wonderful but here are my questions just so I can look for the light at the end of the tunnel....

    1. How long does this hour on end feeding go for? I know all babies are different...but can anyone give me a roug estimate?

    2. Will his feedings always be 40 to 60 minutes long? I know I don't need to be doing housework now, but I will need to do things when I go back to work....

    3. How do I know when he is done feeding at the breast? He falls asleep ... I try to wake him...he wont so I assume he is done feeding so I try to put him in the bassinet so I can get some sleep but 10 minutes later he is up screaming wanting the breast

  2. #2
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    Default Re: how long does it last?

    1. Since you are absolutely right that all babies are different, I'll give you my personal experience rather than a broad generalization. I'd guestimate that the first three months are the hours and hours of feeding. That feeling of just finishing one feeding before you start another usually goes away by 12 weeks. It eases some before then if you're lucky, but even with a colicky baby I found that 12 weeks was much smoother. So I'd say twelve weeks is the long estimate, but it will likely get better before then.

    Keep in mind though, that sometimes longer breaks during the day will also mean cluster feeding at night, which feels like a nursing marathon but is completely normal.

    Also, growth spurts will kick in and make it feel like you're doing nothing but nursing. The link has a general time span of growth spurts, and knowing that will help you keep your head on straight when it feels like you're doing nothing but nursing. Just knowing that perhaps it's a growth spurt and will settle soon really helped me to breathe through things and enjoy time with baby.

    2. Nope, not always 40-60 minutes. But assume each feeding will vary. I found morning and evening feeds lasted longer, but again, every baby varies.

    DD1 was a non-stop nursling, and it lasted at about 1.5 hours/feeding every 2 hours until she was almost 12 weeks. She was also colicky. But It drove me batty to hear from people that some sort of 6 week time span was likely, because then at 6 weeks when I got no relief, I was positive I was doing something wrong. This was not the case. She was just not reading the same books that I was But eventually she did get efficient and nursing was only about 20 minutes per side, then dropped to about 10 minutes per side at about 4 months.

    DD2 on the other hand could nurse for hours in the beginning, but quickly got the hang of it, and went down to about 15-20 minutes per side by about 6-8 weeks old, and got more and more efficient pretty rapidly from there. So, long story short, it may be soon.... it may take a little while. But there will be relief, and it won't take forever.

    3. Is it possible that he is waking with gas/reflux? Are you getting a good burp before putting him down? Otherwise even if he's done eating, he may be just searching for the comfort. What sort of cues is he giving you when he wakes?

  3. #3
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    Default Re: how long does it last?

    How old is your baby?

    1. It's too variable to say. My son started shortening up his feeds sometime between 4-6 weeks, but I had really horrible overactive letdown and oversupply. I think it usually takes a little longer than that, but I would have take hour long feeds over the misery of OS/OALD. Sometimes it can take 3-4 months for babies to get really efficient, and occasionally even longer. I would just invest in a sling, wrap, or other style carrier and just roll with it; otherwise you can end up making yourself crazy waiting.

    2. Probably not, but some babies nurse longer than others. Feeds will likely shorten up significantly, but it's difficult to say by how much. Again, a sling will let you get some things done while nursing.

    3. Your baby probably just needs to be close to you and being alone in a cold bassinet rather than in mama's warm arms is pretty jarring. Nap with your baby. Your baby is more likely to sleep longer, and you get some extra rest too. Or get a sling and let him nap in the sling.


    It will get easier. Try to just go with the flow and enjoy the snuggle time; it doesn't last long and you'll miss some of it once it is over.

    ETA: Obviously with PP.
    Last edited by @llli*phi; July 1st, 2012 at 10:26 AM.
    K. Sophia - Mama to my little lactivore, the amazing Mr. X (11/10).

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    Default Re: how long does it last?

    Oops - double post.
    K. Sophia - Mama to my little lactivore, the amazing Mr. X (11/10).

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    Default Re: how long does it last?

    OK, I just read one of your other threads, too. It sounds like your baby is about 4 weeks old and has gas and burps a lot. I'm thinking reflux on the bassinet question. Does he wake and cry to eat if being held upright after a feeding, or only when you place him in the bassinet? If it's only when you place him in the bassinet, it is likely either what PP mentioned (seeking comfort rather than a cold place alone) OR he may be waking from reflux which makes laying flat extremely uncomfortable for babies.

    There are a number of techniques to help ease reflux, and although you mentioned being hesitant to try medicine, for some babies it is a night and day change in their pain levels and ability to eat and gain weight properly.

    ETA: Also, 4-6 weeks is right around the time for another growth spurt, so it's possible he really is just that hungry. The up side of this, is that "usually" just after all the insane nursing marathons, baby sleeps a bit more in order to grow and you get some brief rest. Hang in there. It will improve, and it won't take forever.
    Last edited by @llli*aphimama; July 1st, 2012 at 10:35 AM.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: how long does it last?

    Reflux babies like to nurse a lot too in an attempt to ease the pain. If it is really bad, then you should at least discuss medications with your pediatrician. Keeping your baby upright can help a lot with reflux. A sling/wrap/carrier will still help. It will let your baby nurse, nap, and be close to you while staying pretty upright in the carrier.
    K. Sophia - Mama to my little lactivore, the amazing Mr. X (11/10).

  7. #7
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    Default Re: how long does it last?

    Hi there,
    the stage where it feels like the feedings are never-ending for us was as soon as my milk came in (after 3 days of birth) up to around 2-3weeks. I didnt have sleep during those 3 weeks, I was kind of like a zombie.... i so desperately wanted to get a break so i bought DD some pacifiers cause the comfort sucking just got too much and painful. like you, i was about to lose it and could hardly function... then thank goodness i found this forum. number 1 thing that helps is support. there is light at the end of the tunnel. DD rejected the pacis by the way...
    by the 4th week, i could wear normal clothes again after having lived in my PJs for a month... you will realize that baby will become less and less demanding as time goes by. by the 6th week, i was exercisng (P90x) and managed to get an hour away from DD daily.
    Hang on in there, this time you are devoting to your LO is such an investment but with big rewards in the end.
    To stay sane: look after yourself as well. Get a massage. Reward yourself even in small ways. you CAN enjoy bf ing. Don't wait for people around you to give you the 'pat on the back' . Get yourself a big 'sticker' that says WELL DONE ME for BFing! and look at it every time you are feeling discouraged or having difficulties.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: how long does it last?

    Agree with everything said above! I didn't feel like I'd be able to do anything outside of the house until ds was 6 weeks...and all I did was a trip to Target. 8 weeks is when I felt more confident in his routine, and now at 10 weeks I feel much better taking him places. But he still feeds every 2 hrs or so. I go grocery shopping or run errands right after I feed him.
    Becky

    Mommy to Owen b. 4/20/12

  9. #9
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    Default Re: how long does it last?

    i agree I had similar experiences. Reflux included. The meds helped but 13-14 weeks things were noticeably different in a good way and almost overnight. BTW I went back to work at 11 weeks to the day with a 2 hour round trip commute. If things haven't leveled out by the time you go to work they should soon after.
    Married to the best husband ever since Nov 2009
    DS born 1/7/12 at 36 wks after PROM and Gestational diabetes happy and healthy ~

    Taking it one day at a time.

    Currently and !!!

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