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Thread: Single side feeding- is it okay to continue?

  1. #1

    Default Single side feeding- is it okay to continue?

    My pediatrician told me to single side feed my son two months ago because he gained alot of weight (He was born 9 pounds, but was 14 pounds at 2 month visit making him 90% for weight). He is almost 4 months now and nurses every 2.5- 3 hours, even at night. I can't get him to sleep any longer stretches and he wakes crying to be fed.
    I like single side feeding, it seems faster (which helps since I have a toddler), and he seems to be satisfied after the feeding, but I am wondering if he would go longer between feedings if I wasn't single side feeding?

    Do some people only single side feed forever, or should I be switching him back to both breasts at some point? He is only breastfeeding, no supplementing.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Single side feeding- is it okay to continue?

    Some people use just one breast per feeding throughout their entire nursing journey, but many, maybe even most, eventually transition to using both breasts as supply adjusts downward and baby grows and requires somewhat more milk. I would try offering both breasts and see if the baby seems interested. He may be, he may not be. And if he does take both breasts, it's still no guarantee of longer sleep stretches- teething, development, and baby's need for mama may keep him nursing at night even when his caloric needs are all met during the daylight hours.

    I'm sorry your doc gave you such foolish advice about limiting your baby's nursing to just one breast. There's nothing wrong with gaining weight fast during early infancy, and nothing bad about being in the 90th percentile! It sounds like using just one breast per feeding has worked for you and your LO so far, but that doesn't change the fact that your doc's advice was pretty silly!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007

    Default Re: Single side feeding- is it okay to continue?

    It might be possible to get him to sleep a longer stretch at night if you nursed him more before bedtime. When I nurse my baby on demand, he will nurse 3-4 times (both breasts) in a two-hour period before sleeping for a longer stretch at night (anywhere from 4-7 hours). It's called "cluster feeding" and babies are "programmed" to nurse this way. It tends to happen more in the evening, too, since the breasts are usually less full during this time; in the morning, it's possible to go longer stretches between feedings because there's simply more milk to be had and so the baby gets more full.

    Wife to Nick, m. May 2005

    Mommy to Gabriel (b. January 2007, 8lbs. 15oz.), nursed 18 months.

    Isaac (b. August 2009, 9lbs. 1oz- naturally), nursed 22 months, through PPD/PPA and emergency gallbladder surgery.

    and Corban (b. March 2012, 11lbs. 6Oz.- naturally in the water), my NICU baby, still nursing strong at age 2!

    Daughter of God

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    The Armpit of the Universe

    Default Re: Single side feeding- is it okay to continue?

    What is with these doofusy docs that want it both ways? Well, FWIW, my son was about that size at 2 months when I had been only feeding from one breast at a time just because that's what DS decided he wanted. At 4 months was 20 and a bit lbs, and now at 9 months is 25, lol (and yes I'm disregarding my ped's criticism that he's too big and my milk is "too rich" so we'd better scale it back). DS went through what I can only assume was a growth spurt or a phase a couple weeks ago where he wanted to switch sides and now we're back to one at a time. When he was doing a lot of evening cluster feeding up until around the 6 month mark, we did switch, occasionally. Now he sleeps and guzzles most of the night so I don't even pay any attention I just switch when I get uncomfortable.
    So this fat baby over here says let your baby tell you whether or not he wants to switch sides.
    mama to a little raccoon, born under the full moon, Nov '11

  5. #5

    Default Re: Single side feeding- is it okay to continue?

    Urg, how much weight is too much according to your Dr.? My guy was 8lbs 14oz a birth and was around 16 lbs at 2 months and then 21 lbs at 4 months...we were never told to change his feeding habits and the Dr trusted that he would likely plateau eventually (which he did at 7ish months). DS gained this much as a single side nurser, while my first DD ate from both sides every feed and was petite. My DD#2 was a single side nurser but mirrored her sister in weight gain.

    Just wanted to let you know that you continue to do what works for you and your DS, as you can see, weight gain differs with each child!
    Punk-rock luvin mate to DH and mama to DD1 (born '03) , DD2 (born '08) and nursling DS (born '11) who survived infant botulism.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: Single side feeding- is it okay to continue?

    that sleep pattern is normal, (there is wide range of normal when it comes to infant sleep.) And some babies prefer one side, some prefer both, some prefer back and forth a few times, and most mix it up depending on time of day, mood, etc, and change patterns over time as mom and baby prefer. As long as baby is gaining weight, all ways are fine and normal. Certainly there is no reason to limit a baby to nursing only one side at a time ever.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Northern Cal.

    Default Re: Single side feeding- is it okay to continue?

    Sometimes one side is enough, sometimes both sides would be better. I often gave Joe one side at a time for the whole day, except in the evenings when he really wanted to tank up/cluster feed. Just follow your baby's cues.

    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.

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