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Thread: Count time from start or end of last feeding?

  1. #1

    Default Count time from start or end of last feeding?

    I have a one month old and things are going pretty well. I know everything says the recommended frequency of nursing is every 2-3 hours or more frequently if needed. However, I have received conflicting information on when to begin counting the time. At the hospital we were told from the start of the feeding. My little guy is a slow nurser and spends 30 min on each side. The pediatrician told me at the 2 wk checkup to count from the time he finishes nursing. He also said to limit to 20 min per side but since looking through the information on the forum I have stopped that and allowed him to nurse as long as needed. I do think he cluster feeds at night and has been very fussy for the last week between the hours of typically 10pm-2am and the schedule goes out the window and he seems to nurse almost constantly. I will nurse him to sleep but he wakes back up easily and we try to get him back to sleep with shushing, rocking, and a paci but typically after 15-20 min I give up and put him back on the breast. He mostly sleeps so I know it's more for comfort than nourishment. At first I was really worried about forming a habit of every time he cries, comforting with the breast, but the info I have been reading here has really helped to reassure me that it is ok and nothing to worry about. Thanks!

    Does LLL have a recommendation for this?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Central FL
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    1,576

    Default Re: Count time from start or end of last feeding?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*skelley11 View Post
    I have a one month old and things are going pretty well. I know everything says the recommended frequency of nursing is every 2-3 hours or more frequently if needed. However, I have received conflicting information on when to begin counting the time. At the hospital we were told from the start of the feeding. My little guy is a slow nurser and spends 30 min on each side. The pediatrician told me at the 2 wk checkup to count from the time he finishes nursing. He also said to limit to 20 min per side but since looking through the information on the forum I have stopped that and allowed him to nurse as long as needed. I do think he cluster feeds at night and has been very fussy for the last week between the hours of typically 10pm-2am and the schedule goes out the window and he seems to nurse almost constantly. I will nurse him to sleep but he wakes back up easily and we try to get him back to sleep with shushing, rocking, and a paci but typically after 15-20 min I give up and put him back on the breast. He mostly sleeps so I know it's more for comfort than nourishment. At first I was really worried about forming a habit of every time he cries, comforting with the breast, but the info I have been reading here has really helped to reassure me that it is ok and nothing to worry about. Thanks!

    Does LLL have a recommendation for this?
    Timing is from the start of feeding to the start of feeding. And with a slow nurser it may seem that you don't get a break. This is early days, nurse, nurse and more nurse, it is good for your milk supply. You can't spoil a newborn. If you are lucky you might get some one to hold the baby while you pee and shower. Learn to nurse side lying or layed back so you can get some sleep yourself. And it is perfectly fine to wake a sleeping newborn to nurse if you feel it's time. Then again you will probably discover that he can nurse while he sleeps even.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    8,833

    Default Re: Count time from start or end of last feeding?

    Is there any question that baby might not be getting enough milk? Slow weight gain?

    Assuming baby is gaining normally, the LLL recommendations are "watch your baby, not the clock" and to "let baby finish the first breast first."

    The first means, nurse when baby cues, no matter how long or short it has been since baby finished nursing before, and let baby nurse as long or short as baby wishes. (It also is fine to, above and beyond that, offer to nurse whenever YOU feel like it, especially if you think your baby is sleeping long or not cueing as much as baby should, or you are feeling full and "like nursing" yourself.) The second means, there is no reason to make baby switch sides at some particular time. Baby can take one or both sides per feeding as baby (and mom) prefer.

    If a baby is gaining poorly, or there is some other breastfeeding issue, the above may or may not need some adjustment. But those are the general LLL 'timing' guidelines.

    When someone tells a mom to nurse every such and such hours, yes, they do mean from the beginning of the last feeding to beginning of next. But at LLL, we generally refrain from telling moms to nurse every such and such hours, because it simply is not a typical nursing pattern and usually leads to more confusion. This does not mean it might not be helpful for some moms to look at it that way, of course. But when a mom ask me how much her baby 'should' be nursing, I try to approach that with an answer that is 'around (or at least) such and such times in 24 hours' rather than "nurse every such and such hours."
    Last edited by @llli*lllmeg; June 10th, 2014 at 07:16 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    23,795

    Default Re: Count time from start or end of last feeding?

    Count from the start of the feeding, do not limit time at the breast, and try to roll with the cluster feeding- it's a stage and it will pass!

    Please do not worry that using the breast as a source of comfort or a sleep aid is a bad habit. There is nothing more natural than using the breast to deliver both food and comfort! And it won't last forever. Both my kids were nursed on demand, nursed for comfort, and nursed to sleep, and they are now great sleepers who go to bed pretty much on their own. I sort of miss the days when I could nurse them down and watch them drift off... Wish I'd taken the opportunity to cherish those moments!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    662

    Default Re: Count time from start or end of last feeding?

    It's great that you've also been throwing the "schedule out the window" when baby asks, too. Generally speaking, scheduling feeds is often the enemy of breastfeeding. If everything is going well as you've said, I think you would be well served to just ignore the clock and go with your baby. I always offered the breast at the first sign of fussiness or discomfort, and it was a tremendous tool for keeping my newborn calm, happy, and content enough to sleep!
    Apologies for the short responses! I'm usually responding one-handed on my smartphone!

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