When Should I Feed My Baby
As a rough guide, your baby will feed at least eight to 12 times over 24 hours during the first few weeks . That means theyll probably need to feed every two to three hours.
Watch our video for tips on how often and how long to breastfeed your baby for.
Breastfed babies tend to feed more frequently than bottle-fed babies, or those combining breast and bottle . This is because formula milk takes longer to digest .
Its best to feed your baby on demand rather than sticking to a feeding schedule. This is also known as responsive or baby-led feeding . Letting your baby feed when they want will help them get the milk they need. It will also stimulate your milk supply .
How Often Should I Wake Up The Newborn For Feeding
As a thumb rule, you shouldnt let your baby go unfed for more than two hours during the day and four hours during the night.
It also depends on your babys weight and age. Most newborns lose weight after birth. Until the lost weight is regained, you need to feed him frequently, which means you have to wake her up from sleep often.
Once your baby gains weight appropriate to his age, you can wait until she wakes up for feedings.
Can I Still Breastfeed With More Than 1 Baby
Twins, triplets and other multiples can be breastfed. In fact, because multiple babies are more likely to be born prematurely and have a low birthweight, breast milk is especially important for them.
When you start breastfeeding, you may find it easier to feed each of your babies separately. When you feel more confident, you can feed them at the same time. This may take a few weeks.
It can be really helpful to talk to other mothers who have breastfed twins, either at an antenatal group or at a twins group in your area. Triplets can be breastfed, either 2 together and then 1 after, or all 3 rotated at each feed.
Also Check: What To Do When Newborn Constipated
Why Does My Baby Want To Breastfeed So Much In The Evening
It’s expected and normal for your baby to choose a time when she wants to have very, very frequent feedings. This is commonly called “cluster feeding,” during which she typically has long feedings with short breaks between. She might breastfeed almost nonstop for several hours. She may also be fussy or unsettled during cluster feeding time. Understandably, some parents get the wrong idea about this behavior and think that it means Mom has a low milk supply. It’s important to remember that the way your baby behaves is not a reliable sign of how much milk she’s drinking.
How Do I Know When To Feed My Baby
When your baby is hungry they may give you little signals, known as early feeding cues . They might:
suck their fist or fingers
make murmuring sounds
turn their head and open their mouth .
Looking out for and responding to these cues is important. It can help prevent your baby from becoming upset and frustrated, which will make it more difficult to feed them . Here’s what you might see…
Recommended Reading: How Many Layers Should A Newborn Sleep In
Between Days 11 And 14 Prepare For A Growth Spurt
Near the end of her two weeks, your baby will likely have a growth spurt and will want to nurse more often than normal, acting ravenously hungry. This can last for a few days until your baby meets his increased milk needs, and your milk supply will likely adjust to meet these increased demands.
Your breasts may not feel as full as they did during the first two weeks. This does not mean that you dont have enough milk. If your baby seems satisfied after feedings and is gaining weight, he is getting enough. Weekly weight checks with your babys pediatrician can help you stay on track in the first month, until breastfeeding is fully established. Babies who are breastfeeding well will gain 5 to 7 ounces weekly.
Nursing your baby is a special experience. Though there may be challenges along the way, breastfeeding often becomes much easier, more enjoyable and more rewarding over time.
How Can I Tell If My Babys Eating Enough
New mothers, especially breastfeeding moms, are often concerned that their infants may not be getting enough to eat. You can be assured that your baby is getting enough to eat if he or she:
- seems satisfied and content after eating
- produces about 4-6 wet diapers a day
- has regular bowel movements
Your baby may not be getting enough to eat if he or she:
- does not appear to be satisfied after feeding
- seems hungry often
- isnt making several wet and soiled diapers a day
- is fussy or cries a lot
- isnt gaining weight
If youre concerned that your baby isnt getting enough to eat, call your doctor. Breastfed infants should also be seen by their doctor 24 to 48 hours after a mother and newborn leave the hospital. During this visit, the baby will be weighed and examined, and the mothers breastfeeding technique can be evaluated. Its also an opportunity for nursing mothers to ask questions.
Even if a breastfed baby is doing well, the doctor probably will schedule another visit for when the baby is around 2 weeks old. These postnatal checkups can help you be sure that your baby is gaining weight and getting enough nutrients.
For your own peace of mind, it can help to keep a notebook or first-week breastfeeding log to write down each time your baby feeds, how long the baby fed on each breast, and each time the baby stools or makes a wet diaper.
If youre concerned or notice any signs that your infant isnt getting enough nutrients, call your babys doctor.
Also Check: What Do I Need For A Newborn Baby Checklist
How Can I Avoid Sore Nipples
Sore nipples are common in the first weeks and are often caused by poor positioning. To avoid sore nipples, follow these guidelines:
- Make sure your baby’s mouth is opened wide before he or she latches onto your breast.
- Change your position for breast feeding.
- Be sure the baby’s mouth is latched deeply to prevent soreness.
- Rub colostrum or breast milk into your nipple and areola after each feeding, let air dry.
- If your nipples are sore and dry or cracking, start breastfeeding with the less sore breast first.
- Use acetaminophen , an anti-inflammatory , or other pain medicine, as prescribed by your healthcare provider, for short- term relief.
If your nipples remain sore or are painful, call a lactation consultant.
Month : Mastering Your Pumping Routine
Many new moms head back to work at this time. If you’re planning to keep breastfeeding and will need to pump at work, let your employer about your plans so that you can work together to find the best place for you to pump. “It will help things go more smoothly if you can figure out where and when you will pump before you actually get back to work,” Panchula says. You should have begun pumping when your baby was 3 weeks or 4 weeks old, both to get him used to taking a bottle and so you’ll have a supply of breast milk stored in the freezer. If you haven’t started, get going!
Since you’ll be returning to work full time, you’ll probably want to rent or buy a double electric pump because it expresses both breasts at once and therefore cuts down on pumping time. When you return to work, try to pump as oftenand at about the same timesas your baby normally nurses.
- RELATED: 12 Easy Fixes for Pumping at Work
You May Like: How Many Newborn Pajamas Do I Need
When A Baby Is Unable To Breastfeed
Occasionally, there may be times where your baby is not able to breastfeed for a while. Hospital grade electric breast pumps can provide the needed suckling stimulus for your milk production and are readily available. At first, you may be able to only express a few drops of milk. This is very common, especially if this is your first baby. Begin double pumping as soon as possible and continue pumping on a regular basis . Your milk supply will increase over time. Do not worry about how much milk you are pumping. When you are able to breastfeed your baby, your milk production will be better.
Should I Wake My Baby Up To Feed
In most cases, healthy, thriving newborns will wake up for feeds and get all the milk they need . But there might be reasons why a newborn might be more sleepy and therefore need to be woken up for feeds.
This includes medical reasons, such as jaundice, infection or a heart problem, or perhaps because the pain relief used during birth is still affecting them . If youre worried your baby might be sleeping too much and this is affecting their feeding, talk to your health visitor or call our Infant Feeding Support line on 0300 330 0700.
You May Like: How Often Do You Bathe A Newborn
How Will Teething Affect Breastfeeding
Teething often starts from about four months. Your baby might become fussy and pull off your breast, crying with discomfort, if his gums are sore, which can be frustrating.
However, breastfeeding can also be soothing. A study showed babies who are breastfed during immunisations cry less and recover more quickly from the pain,15 and this calming effect could also help your baby while hes teething.
An unwanted side effect may be that your baby starts to use your breast to try out his new teeth.Occasionally some babies will have a little game and bite their mum playfully. If this is about to happen, you might notice a subtle change in your baby during the feed hell have to move his tongue out of the way before he bites, says Cathy. Its not usually a big problem and might only happen for a couple of feeds. Just stop the feed, tell him gently that its not good to bite, and hell soon cotton on.
You Asked: How Often Do You Breastfeed A Newborn
Newborn babies should breastfeed 812 times per day for about the first month. Breast milk is easily digested, so newborns are hungry often. Frequent feedings helps stimulate your milk production during the first few weeks. By the time your baby is 12 months old, he or she probably will nurse 79 times a day.
You May Like: Can You Lotion A Newborn
How Should I Hold My Baby
Hold your baby close to you, “tummy to tummy.” Your baby’s whole body should face your body. Remove your baby’s clothing, except for the diaper. Hold him or her as close to you as possible. Skin-to-skin contact is best. Keep your baby’s head higher than his or her stomach.
Here are two examples of positions to hold your baby while learning to breastfeed. Choose a position that is comfortable for both you and your baby.
How Can I Tell If My Baby Gets Enough To Eat
Your baby’s diapers are excellent signs of whether your breastfed baby is getting what he or she needs. Because the first milk your newborn gets is concentrated, your baby may have only one or two wet diapers until your milk comes in, which is usually about 3 or 4 days after the birth.
After 4 days, here are some signs to look for:
- six or more wet diapers per day, with clear or very pale pee
- two or more yellow, seedy bowel movements per day, usually one after each feeding through 4 weeks of age. After about a month, breastfed babies usually have fewer bowel movements and many may not have one every day.
Your breastfed baby is also probably getting enough if he or she:
- seems alert and content
- is steadily gaining weight
- feeds between eight to 12 times per day
Also Check: Why Is My Newborn Crying All Day
Support From Partners For Breastfeeding Mothers
Partners can do a lot to help mothers feed and care for their baby. They can provide support and encouragement to assist them through the difficult patches. Partners can help by:
- finding out about breastfeeding
- believing in their partners ability to breastfeed
- taking an active role in the day-to-day care of the baby. Taking the baby for a walk, cuddling, changing nappies or bathing the baby gives partners an opportunity to get to know their baby and gives you a rest and some time for yourself.
How Many Breastfeeds Your Baby Will Need
Each child is different, but a young baby usually needs to feed 8 to 12 times in 24 hours. Your milk supply adjusts to your babys needs, so it helps to feed whenever your child is ready. You will know that youre providing enough milk if your baby:
- has 6 to 8 really wet cloth nappies or 4 to 5 heavy disposable nappies in 24 hours
- has soft bowel motions
- generally settles after most feeds
- has bright eyes and good skin tone
- is gaining weight appropriate to their age.
Some signs your baby is feeding well are:
- After some initial short frequent sucks to stimulate milk flow, your baby begins to swallow. Sucking becomes slower, deeper and more rhythmic with rest periods between each sucking burst. As the feed progresses the sucking bursts become shorter and the rest periods longer
- You can hear or see your baby swallowing.
You May Like: How To Take Care Of A Newborn
My Baby Wants To Nurse For Comfort Is This Ok
If your baby seems to be getting enough milk, but continues to suck longer than usual, he or she might be nursing for comfort rather than for nourishment. So, how do you know? Once your baby has fed vigorously, he or she may stay on your breast but show these signs of non-nutritive sucking:
- seems satisfied
- moves the jaws but stops sucking and swallowing
- plays with your nipple
Early on, its OK to let your baby nurse for comfort, but it can become a problem as your little one gets older because he or she may need to nurse to take a nap or go to bed at night. So, at some point you may want to wean your baby off of sucking for comfort and make breastfeeding sessions only about nourishment.
Instead of nursing, you might offer your baby his or her thumb or hand to suck on. You also could give your little one a pacifier if your child doesnt seem to be hungry. Because pacifiers are associated with a lower risk of sudden infant death syndrome , experts now recommend letting babies go to sleep with a pacifier. But only do this after breastfeeding is well established .
If possible, also hold off on introducing a bottle until breastfeeding is well established. Some babies have nipple confusion, though the likelihood of this happening is much less after 4 to 6 weeks.