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Thread: 2 hour feedings

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    Default 2 hour feedings

    I am just wondering for how long do babies feed every 2 hours? Elaina is 4 weeks and has consistently bf'd every 2 hours as if she is on a clock. How long does this last? Will she eventually be able to hold out longer?

    Thanks!

    Diana

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    3,900

    Default Re: 2 hour feedings

    Most breastfed babies do stretch out their feedings as they grow older. I can't give you an exact timeline as every baby is different, but I can tell you that many babies tend to nurse less frequently as they "wake up" and become more aware of their surroundings at around 12 weeks or so.

    HTH!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    135

    Default Re: 2 hour feedings

    My son is 6 1/2 months and still rarely goes for more than two hours. My daughter was the same until she became quite established on solids. One reason for this may be the maternal storage capacity. Some women only make a relatively small amount of milk at any one time, so baby needs to feed more often.

    If this is your first baby and you have no other committements, you could embrace this situation as an opportunity to get lots of rest. For months, I nursed my daughter while lying in bed reading books - it was a luxurious time. Best of luck to you!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    New Orleans, LA
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    5,036

    Default Re: 2 hour feedings

    The night before my daughter turned 3 mos. she slept for 6.5 hours. That isn't every night though...now that she's 3 mos. she usually nurses every 2.5 to 3 hours during the day. She feeds at around 9pm, wakes up for a midnight feeding then doesn't wake again until 5:30 a.m.

    Once they reach 12 lbs. they can fill their tummies up enough to get them through the night, provided they are nursing enough during the day.

    I remember feeling like I was going to die when dd was 4 wks. Now things are great.

    As for everyone who swears they will eat every 2 hours until they are a year or two.....I don't agree. I've been talking with other bf mothers and they all told me at 3 mos. it would magically happen, and it did. It seems like forever now, but once this passes, it will be a memory - you'll be so happy with your newfound sleep!
    Mother - Wife - Artist - Cook - Writer - EnvironMENTAList - Cloth Diaperer (but we are soooo done with diapers) - Organic Health Nut...I'm sure there's more.

    DD1 - 12/15/05 Breastfed for 16.5 months
    DD2 - 8/6/07 Breastfed for 3 whole years and 3 little, extra days.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    28

    Default Re: 2 hour feedings

    Every child is different therefore there is no exact timeline on when they establish a set pattern for feeding times. When babies go through growth spurts, they tend to nurse more frequently as they are burning up the calories quicker while they are growing. There are days where my DS will nurse every 2 hours like clockwork and other days where he will feed every hour and a half to two hours. I just go along with it since this is just a phase in their early life that will soon pass. She will eventually go for longer stretches as she gets older.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    5

    Default Re: 2 hour feedings

    Hi Diana,

    I breastfed my fourth child every 2 hours until she was almost 6 weeks old.
    I didn't get much sleep at all. Not only does she feed every 2 hours, she also
    needed changing every time after she fed.

    She's now 2 years old and among all my five children, she eats the most.
    And needs to go to the toilet the most too

    - Lina

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    31

    Default Re: 2 hour feedings

    Dear Diana,
    There is a very good article entitled "Anatomy of the Working Breast", which can be found at:
    http://www.lalecheleague.org/NB/NBMarApr05p44.html

    Here is an excerpt:

    Physiology and Milk Supply
    Understanding how milk production works can help a mother ensure that her baby is getting enough milk at the breast. For example, sometimes mothers feel that their baby has completely emptied their breast and that there is no more milk available, even though the baby wants to nurse. Knowing that new milk is constantly being produced in the alveoli will give a mother the confidence she needs to put her baby to the breast, even when it feels "empty." One study found that babies removed an average of only 76 percent of the available milk from their mother's breasts in a 24-hour period (Hartmann et al. 1993).

    Emptying the breasts is what keeps milk production going. A baby's sucking sends messages to the brain, which then releases the hormone oxytocin. Oxytocin causes the muscle cells around the alveoli to contract, pushing milk down through the ducts to the nipple. This movement of milk down the ducts is called the milk-ejection reflex. Mothers may experience it as a tingling feeling or a sense of release in the breast -- which is why it is also called the "let-down." The let-down empties the alveoli and makes the milk available to the baby at the nipple. When the alveoli are empty, they respond by making more milk. Recent research suggests that a special protein in human milk, called feedback inhibitor of lactation (FIL), regulates milk production (Wilde 1995). When there is a lot of milk in the breast, FIL inhibits, or prevents, the alveoli from making more. When milk is removed from the breast -- and FIL is not there to stop milk production -- the alveoli get busy and manufacture more milk. This is why it is important to nurse often and to encourage the baby to empty the breast as much as possible for optimal milk supply.

    Another consideration related to milk supply is the breasts' storage capacity. Sometimes small-breasted women worry that they may not be able to make enough milk for their babies, but the milk production process makes adjustments for breast size. Smaller breasts may not be able to store as much milk between feedings as larger breasts, but if they are emptied often enough, they will make as much milk as the baby needs. Women with larger breasts and greater storage capacity may be able to go longer between feedings without affecting their supply. On the other hand, women with smaller breasts may need to nurse more frequently since their breasts fill faster and milk production slows down as the alveoli become full. Frequent nursing is not only good for supply, but it is also a healthy habit that helps mothers avoid plugged ducts and breast infections.

    Does a mother need to know how much milk her own breasts can store in order to know how often she should feed her baby? No. Healthy babies with good breastfeeding skills take as much milk as they need when they need it, without mothers giving much thought to the whole process. But knowing how the whole process works can help a mother solve any problems she may be having with milk supply. It can also help her think through some of the myths and misunderstandings people have about breastfeeding. For example, she will know that she doesn't have to wait for her breasts to "fill up" between feedings -- there is always milk there for the baby. She will also know that if her baby seems hungry or is going through a growth spurt, nursing more often will speed up her milk production almost instantly.

    Beth B.
    Mom of 2

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    31

    Default Re: 2 hour feedings

    Diana,
    If you're giving her only 1 breast per feed, try both breasts. Let her feed on the 1st breast for as long as she wants, until she comes off herself. If she slows don't don't remove her, just wait until she comes off herself. Then offer her the 2nd breast and let her feed on that one as long as she wants without removing her.
    Beth
    Mom of 2

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    119

    Default Re: 2 hour feedings

    My son (just passed 10 weeks) still nurses pretty much every 2 hours during the day, and usually every 1 to 1.5 hours in the evenings. He sleeps 3-4 hours in chunks at night, but didn't start that until after his 6 week growth spurt. I'm not holding my breath that this will change once he's a little bigger, but I totally know how you feel. It's exhausting having to do that feeding every two hours, I just try to remember that he's eating because he needs to to be a healthy little baby and I try to enjoy the closeness we get.

    Just remember that all too soon your baby will be all grown up and you'll be wishing you had more time with them.

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