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Thread: 6week old eating too often? Too much? Please help.

  1. #1

    Default 6week old eating too often? Too much? Please help.

    I will preface by saying that i feed my six week old on demand. things have gone smoothly from the start for us as far as latching, diaper output, and weight gain. he weighed 9 lbs at birth, was back up to that within a week after going down to 8 lbs 5 oz, and was 12 lbs 4 oz at his one month checkup.

    He does not have any sort of consistent schedule for eating. He probably eats every 1.5 to 2.5 hours during the day (sometimes maybe just an hour) nd usually goes 3 hours and occasionally 2 or 4 hours at night. However, his daytime feeding sessions are odd. He likes to eat for 5-15 minutes and then rest or interact. Them he will go back and eat some more after a little while. So this means that I am feeding even more often. But he seems happy and content apart from occasional fussiness, gas, and pain when pooping (however this seems to be improving).

    None of this bothers me, but my family consistently remarks that he eats all the time. The pedi suggested that I try to slowly increase his daytime feedings to 3 hours by distracting him when he shows signs of hunger. This is apparently more to prevent soreness for me which I don't have so far. In two weeks I have not been able to do this.

    I am starting to wonder if I am doing the right thing. Am I allowing him to eat too much or offering too much (I tend to offer frequently). More importantly. Will he suffer any negative effects from eating so frequently? My family seems to think his tummy issues (gas, fussiness, and occasional pain when pooping) result from my frequent feedings. My mom recommends a pacifier to help stretch out feedings. i know some people have great eating and nap time routines for their babies by now. Should I encourage an immediate and full feeding from both sides (he usually eats from one side during a feeding...occasionally both)? Please help. We've been pretty happy but I am starting to doubt that I am doing this right and I don't know how or if I should be more scheduled and careful.
    Last edited by @llli*monbebe; August 18th, 2013 at 10:58 AM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: 6week old eating too often? Too much? Please help.

    Hi monbebe, welcome to the forum and congrats on new baby boy!

    I am starting to wonder if I am doing the right thing.
    You are

    Am I allowing him to eat too much or offering too much (I tend to offer frequently).
    NO

    More importantly. Will he suffer any negative effects from eating so frequently?
    NO

    My family seems to think his tummy issues (gas, fussiness, and occasional pain when pooping) result from my frequent feedings. My mom recommends a pacifier to help stretch out feedings. i know some people have great eating and nap time routines for their babies by now.
    Stretching out time between nursing sessions actually tends to increase tummy discomfort. Pacifiers are not necessary, ever. They are there for a parents convenience and should be used for that, if used at all. Scheduling nursing sessions every such and such hours with the idea of reducing the amount of sessions is not a good idea ever, really, but at this age is definitely not recommended. And a nap or sleep routine at 6 weeks sounds very odd to me. You child will develop his own sleep routine all on his own in the months to come, and it will change as needed to reflect where he is, developmentally. At 6 weeks, the prime directive for a baby is to GROW as fast as possible and that means lots of eating and very short, frequent sleeping stretches. Sleep routines dictated by a parent get in the way of what biology is trying to accomplish here.

    Should I encourage an immediate and full feeding from both sides (he usually eats from one side during a feeding...occasionally both)?
    It is normal for a baby to take one side at a time. As long as baby is gaining well no need to change anything. If baby seems to have “finished” at the first breast, it is fine to offer the other. How many sides per session varies from baby to baby, feed to feed, and may change as baby grows. Follow baby's lead on this just as with feeding frequency and you will be fine.

    Please help. We've been pretty happy but I am starting to doubt that I am doing this right and I don't know how or if I should be more scheduled and careful.
    It sounds as if you and your baby are doing perfectly. If YOU have breastfeeding concerns, please let us know but these concerns about scheduling and feeding frequency etc, are not issues at all.

    Your mom may like to read this, http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...sbreastfed.pdf

    or you both could attend an LLL meeting, or get the book The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding (8th edition.)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    19,894

    Default Re: 6week old eating too often? Too much? Please help.

    It sounds like everything is going perfectly well, and you are doing everything right! Therefore, no need to change anything.

    Is your family more accostomed to formula-fed babies? If so, they may may not be aware of the differences in how formula-fed and breastfed babies eat. Breastfed babies tend to take small amounts of milk rather frequently, because breastmilk digests quickly and completely, because infant tummies are tiny, and because breastfed babies stop eating when they start feeling full. Formula-fed babies tend to take larger amounts less often, because formula digests slowly and because bottle-fed babies are routinely overfed due to the mechanics of bottle-feeding.

    If your family is used to breastfed babies, then they may simply not remember how often newborns eat, or maybe they are just used to a more mellow, less demanding type of baby. And most people forget just how fussy, gassy, and confusing newborns are! They also forget that the experience of pooping is a new one for a new baby, and many babies exhibit signs of discomfort as they try to figure out the confusing new sensation.

    Stretching out feedings is one of the major enemies of breastfeeding success. As LLLMeg pointed out, limiting the baby's ability to demand milk from the breast can have a negative impact on supply, and stretching out the intervals between feedings is likely to make the baby miserable because he can't understand why you won't nurse him! Stretching feedings to 3 hours will do absolutely nothing for sore nipples. If a baby is latched on properly, he could feed literally nonstop all day long and mom still wouldn't be sore. But 5 minutes with a bad latch- now that CAN make you sore! The fact that you're not sore at all suggests that breastfeeding is going just great. So- if it's not broke, don't fix it!

    You're doing great!
    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!"

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
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    65

    Default Re: 6week old eating too often? Too much? Please help.

    It sounds like you're doing great! Tiny babies just do eat ALL the time. As they get bigger, they will naturally space out their feeds a bit more, but the first few months it can seem like the baby is never off your breast.

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Default Re: 6week old eating too often? Too much? Please help.

    Sounds like you are doing it perfect! Keep it up!

    Way too lazy for formula

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