My son is 2 weeks old and we're suddenly doing marathon feedings of 3 and a half hours. I don't know how much longer we can keep it up. Because I'm starting to go crazy, especially in the middle of the night.
A little background: he had a lot of latch problems the first week, and we've been through a few different feeding routines. Our latest routine from the nurse is: feed on demand, making sure to burp/wake him up every ten minutes or so. He never ever pulls off the breast, so I'm never sure if he is done or not. I've tried switching from breast to breast every ten minutes, and I've tried staying on one breast for an entire feeding. I can't tell a difference either way. There is always milk in his mouth when we stop to burp, and he's having plenty of wet and dirty diapers. At his two week check up on Monday, the midwife said he had a good latch and he gained 6 ozs in the last week ... so, it seems like he is feeding well. But.
He acts hungry all the time, whenever he is awake. We had a few clusterfeeding days last week -- he'd eat for 20 minutes, sleep for 20 minutes, and then repeat. This week, the patten is just eating for hours on end. I am having a hard time believing that he is really eating for hours at a time, but whenever we take a break, he acts milk drunk for about five minutes and then he acts hungry again. He sucks on his hands, on my shoulder, and then cries if I don't let him eat again.
I think maybe I could deal with this, but last night when I got worn out after a 3.5 hour nursing session and handed him off to my husband, the baby just instantly fell asleep. I repeat: when I take him off the breast to see if he's tired enough to go to sleep, he gives hunger cues and then has a huge meltdown of screaming. When my husband does it, on the other hand, he goes to sleep.
How can i tell when he's really actually hungry and when he's just tired? How long should he eat before I hand him off to my husband? What should I do? Is this normal?