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Thread: How many feeds?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    11

    Default How many feeds?

    Our son feeds about every 1 1/2 to 2 hours and sometimes more often, especially at night. He likes to stay on the breast for over an hour sometimes. He often has a fill then drops off for a sleep and comes back for more after a small nap. Is this normal?
    He has gained 450 grams since birth 2 weeks ago at 3 kg and his nappy output is normal (3-4 dirty nappies and more wet nappies). He seems happy - it is just such a drain to feed every 1 1/2 hours through the night.
    tks and best regards,

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    1,064

    Default Re: How many feeds?

    Yes, this is normal. Some babies will nurse VERY frequently and for very long periods of time in the beginning. It can sometimes seem like just CONSTANT nursing. This helps to establish a good milk supply, keep baby fed with a very small tummy, and helps comfort baby (after the jolt of being brought out of the nice warm comfy womb ). It sounds like you are off to a great start--your baby has already done LOTS of growing. As he gets bigger, he will probably become more efficient and won't need to nurse quite so much. For now, try to let other responsibilities go if you can and just focus on nursing and getting as much rest and healthy food as you can. Congratulations on your new LO!

  3. #3

    Default Re: How many feeds?

    Hi there
    Congratulations on your new baby boy!

    To answer your question: Yes, it's very normal for a 2 week old baby to nurse every 1 1/2 hrs. In fact, breastmilk digests in about 1 1/2 hrs, so it makes sense that he wants to nurse that often.

    Think of your weight now and imagine that you needed to double it in six month's time. You'd be eating all the time, right? That's exactly what your baby is doing! You'll probably notice that he also has frequent growth spurts--days where he wants to eat more often than usual and may even be more wakeful or fussy.

    You're doing great by continuing to nurse him whenever he signals that he's hungry! This allows your body to keep up with your baby's changing needs and it also teaches your baby to trust you to meet his needs.

    It will get easier. You'll likely find that he'll space out his feedings as he gets older. For the time being, consider taking your baby to bed with you. Many mothers find that they really like co-sleeping because they don't have to get up to get the baby. They just nurse lying down, in bed, and often find they can doze or even sleep through feedings. Here's an article on how to co-sleep safely:

    http://www.lalecheleague.org/FAQ/cosleep.html

    Hugs
    Jen
    "Mothers are designed to be available to their babies--to help them make the transition into this big, wide world. To teach them to trust, and love, and feel good about being alive."
    --Elizabeth N. Baldwin, Esq., So I Nursed Him Every 45 Minutes

    Click here to find your local LLL Group
    How to tell if your breastfed baby is getting enough milk!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    80

    Default Re: How many feeds?

    Yep I too agree with all of the above. I know it's hard but hang in there, he will slow down. Congrats on your new little boy!!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    6,959

    Default Re: How many feeds?

    can you put bottles of water and snack bags near where you nurse? That helped me alot.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    789

    Default Re: How many feeds?

    Interesting fact I read somewhere: Babies who spend their days in slings while their mothers work in the fields in more developing parts of the world and have access to the breast all the time nurse like 3 times per hour! It makes you wonder if that is "natural" and if so, why so many people are so obsessed with scheduling feedings for every three hours???

    It's tough early on when they nurse so often and for a long time, but eventually you get more used to it. Also, he will probably get more efficient at some point and hopefully (for your sake!) the feedings will be considerably shorter. At least that's what happened for us!

    Anne- Mom to two active boys: Henry 10/06 and Jamie 4/09


    Looking for an LLL leader in your area? click:
    http://www.llli.org/webindex.html

    confused about abbreviations? check this out:
    http://forums.llli.org/showthread.php?t=807

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    789

    Default Re: How many feeds?

    Let me add that I'm not knocking babies who naturally eat every 3 hours, just don't think moms should make babies wait to eat if the baby is hungry but it isn't the appointed time yet!

    Anne- Mom to two active boys: Henry 10/06 and Jamie 4/09


    Looking for an LLL leader in your area? click:
    http://www.llli.org/webindex.html

    confused about abbreviations? check this out:
    http://forums.llli.org/showthread.php?t=807

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    207

    Smile Re: How many feeds?

    Think of your weight now and imagine that you needed to double it in six month's time. You'd be eating all the time, right? That's exactly what your baby is doing!
    I love that analogy! Really puts things in perspective!

    Yes it's normal. We.ve all been through it. It's hard though sometimes, that's for sure! It's how babies were designed.

    Also-about the scheduled feedings,
    A study found “ that many women experience success in schedule feeding their breastfed babies during the first couple of months. However, these women have an unusually high rate of milk supply failure around 3-4 months”

    Goes to show that you should nurse on demand.

    Try side lying nursing--you can get rest as baby feeds.

    The best advice I can give is to remember
    You CAN'T nurse too often--you CAN nurse too little.

    HTH and congrats on your bundle of joy!!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    1,712

    Default Re: How many feeds?

    When my baby was 3 months, I came here with the same concerns. This article really helped me put things in perspective, realize that what we were going through was normal, and embrace breastfeeding on demand. Hope it helps.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    miles from nowhere
    Posts
    11,107

    Default Re: How many feeds?

    I had a lot of problems with my lo being fussy the first 4-5 weeks. I thought she was gassy or colicky, but eventually realized she wanted to eat at times when she wasn't 'supposed to'. At about 5-6 weeks I started feeding her whenever she seemed hungry and for as long as she wanted instead of following the strict routine laid out for me in the hospital. I also took her into the bed with me at night (although I know this doesn't work for everyone). It worked sooooo much better for us. She is a much happier baby and I'm a much happier mommy. I only wish I had figured it out sooner so I could have saved her from weeks of being hungry all the time and saved myself from a miserable maternity leave!!!!

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