How Often Should I Breastfeed My Newborn

How Often Should My 12 Month Old Be Nursing

How often should I breastfeed my 5 month old baby?

This can vary from toddler to toddler. Some will only nurse a couple of times during the day and some will up to 10 times a day. Frequent feeding is common during developmental milestones and growth spurts. You will want to nurse your baby when he or she is not getting enough food from the solids they are eating. You can breastfeed your toddler before every meal or whenever they desire.

When Will My Breastfed Baby Sleep Through The Night

Its normal for all babies to wake during the night. The majority of one- to six-month-old babies consume a fifth of their daily milk intake at night, so these feeds are important to ensure they get enough calories.3

Really, it depends on what you call sleeping through the night, says Cathy. If your baby goes to bed at midnight and wakes up at 05:00, some people call that sleeping through and its certainly better than waking every two hours! Ive known breastfed babies whove gone to bed at 19:00 and woken at 07:00 from six weeks, but plenty of others continue to wake frequently. Every child is different.

A study of more than 700 babies in Wales showed that almost 80% woke at least once a night between six and 12 months, and 25% woke three times or more. There was no difference in frequency between breastfed or formula-fed babies.10

So, if youre going to be waking up anyway, at least breastfeeding is a convenient option! As Minette, mum of two, Australia, agrees: At night you barely have to wake up just let your body and baby go on automatic pilot. No planning, measuring or sterilising. Its all ready and at the right temperature in your boob. Perfect for me.

How Often Do I Breastfeed

The first few months in particular you will notice huge changes in your babys growth and development there is truth in the cliché they grow so quickly. In the first few weeks you may need to breastfeed your baby every 2 to 3 hours. So over a 24 hour period, your baby will feed 8 to12 times in just one day. This may seem like you are breastfeeding all day, especially when you are still learning and each feed may take up to 60 minutes. Dont despair though, as your baby grows their stomach size will too, allowing them to take more milk each feed and they will slowly extend out their requests to feed every 3 to 4 hours. Feed your baby as frequently and as long as they want to, even at night. As your baby becomes older and more mature the feeding frequency will decrease.You may find to begin with it is usually easier to feed your baby on demand and forget anything about breastfeeding schedules. While you are learning, and your baby is too, you dont want to put too much pressure on yourself to stick to a routine. Many full term, healthy babies know best when it comes to feeding, and they will tell you when they need to feed, how long they need to feed for, and how much they need to feed.

Read Also: How Many Cc Should A Newborn Eat

How Long Should I Nurse My Newborn Baby

The duration of nursing will usually depend on:

  • Your milk supplies
  • The speed of milk flow
  • The positioning of the baby
  • The state of your baby i.e. are they distracted or sleepy?

Lastly, remember that you need to alternate your breast every 10 to 15 minutes. It will depend on you and your baby. Alternating will help you prevent painful engorgement in one.

Breastfeeding is such an exciting period for you and your baby to bond. Make the most out of it while ensuring that your baby gets all the breast milk he or she can get.


Breastfeeding Your Newborn: What To Expect In The First Week

How much and how often should I breastfeed my baby ...

The first week with your baby is exciting but can also be daunting particularly if youve never breastfed before. Read our breastfeeding advice to help you get off to the best possible start.

How do I know when to feed my baby?

After giving birth life can seem pretty bewildering youre getting to know your newborn while recovering from the delivery. Your emotions might be all over the place (especially between days two and five when many women get the double whammy of their milk coming in1 and the baby blues.2 Plus, theres often expectation and pressure to be up and about quickly and generally be a supermum. But one of the most super things you can do this week is just be with your baby and get breastfeeding on track.

Recommended Reading: How To Get Full Custody Of A Newborn

Why Is Responsive Feeding So Important

A newborn baby’s stomach is only the size of a walnut, so they need to feed little and often. Your baby can have a good feed and be hungry again quite quickly. This is why “responsive feeding” also called “baby-led” or “on-demand” feeding is so important.

The idea is that you respond to your baby’s cues. Breastfeeding is not only about your baby getting enough milk. Your baby feeds for comfort and reassurance, too.

Babies go through different patterns of feeding as they grow. Letting them feed when they need to will ensure they’re content and getting the milk they need, when they need it, and will also stimulate your milk supply.

Responsive feeding is also to do with your needs. You may want to offer a breastfeed if your breasts are uncomfortably full, or if you need to fit in a feed around other commitments, or if you just want to sit down and enjoy spending some time with your baby.

How Long Can I Keep Breastfeeding For

The World Health Organization recommends giving toddlers breast milk alongside solid foods until they turn two and beyond, as it still has a vital role in supporting the immune system, says Cathy. Its also an important way to offer emotional support when theyre feeling overwhelmed or poorly.

At eight months old, you may be giving your baby four feeds a day but after hes a year old, you could be feeding as little as twice a day. You can find a pattern that works for you both and fits into your lifestyle, as Jane, mum of two, US, found. She breastfed her children until they were around the age of two: Id feed when I was around in the evenings and at weekends, when they wanted to feel close to me, she says. It was a great help when they were sick, and my go-to method of comforting.

As my son grew older and became more adventurous, hed often come back to me to nurse, as if to ground him and allow him to recharge, remembers Amy, mum of two, Canada. When he encountered bumps and bruises along the way, breastfeeding was a great comfort to him.

If you breastfeed your baby into toddlerhood, other people may comment that hell never want to stop. But, given the freedom to choose, toddlers often self-wean between the ages of two and four years.17

Find out more about what you can expect, along with lots of support and advice, in Breastfeeding challenges after the first month

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The Following Things Are Normal:

  • Frequent and/or long feedings.
  • Varying nursing pattern from day to day.
  • Cluster nursing for several hoursusually eveningseach day. This may coincide with the normal fussy time that most babies have in the early months.
  • Growth spurts, where baby nurses more often than usual for several days and may act very fussy. Common growth spurt times in the early weeks are the first few days at home, 7 10 days, 2 3 weeks and 4 6 weeks.

Amount And Schedule For Breastfeeding Your One

How Often Should I Breastfeed? | Breastfeeding

It is common to find mothers who have questions about breastfeeding. While it may seem like breastfeeding comes naturally, for many moms especially new moms, breastfeeding has its own challenges.

Some of the questions that moms have concerning breastfeeding are like: how frequently should you breastfeed? How much breast milk does a baby need?

Well, fret not. This article is here to help.

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How Often Should You Breastfeed A Newborn


  • You should feed your baby throughout the day and night.
  • For sleepy babies, your healthcare provider may tell you to wake your baby every three hours for feedings until your baby has regained his/her birth weight.
  • Do not give pacifiers to lengthen the time between feedings. Watch for feeding cues .

How Often Should I Feed My Baby

In the first week, your baby may want to feed very often. It could be every hour in the first few days.

Feed your baby as often as they want and for as long as they want. They’ll begin to have fewer, but longer feeds after a few days.

As a very rough guide, your baby should feed at least 8 to 12 times, or more, every 24 hours during the first few weeks.

It’s fine to feed your baby whenever they are hungry, when your breasts feel full or if you just want to have a cuddle.

It’s not possible to overfeed a breastfed baby.

When your baby is hungry they may:

  • get restless
  • suck their fist or fingers
  • make murmuring sounds
  • turn their head and open their mouth

It’s best to try and feed your baby during these early feeding cues as a crying baby is difficult to feed.

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When Should I Start Breastfeeding My Newborn

Its best to try to breastfeed your baby in the first hour after birth. By latching on and sucking rhythmically, he begins switching on the cells in your breasts to initiate your milk supply.1 It isnt known as the magic hour for nothing!

Ideally, your baby will be put on your chest as soon as hes born to give him access to the breast. He might feed, he might not but give him the opportunity to do so, says Cathy Garbin, an internationally renowned lactation consultant.

Support his body and let him attempt to find his way to your breast and self-attach . However, if your baby doesnt attach, healthcare professionals are usually very skilled at helping mums with positioning. Baby-led attachment, with mum in a semi-reclined breastfeeding position, is a good way to start.

So forget about weighing and dressing your baby in that special first hour, or at least until after the first breastfeed. Enjoy relaxed cuddles and plenty of naked skin-to-skin contact with him. This will get oxytocin the love hormone flowing in both of you, which is essential for the release of your first milk, colostrum.3

As soon as they were sure our son was healthy, the midwives gave us time as a family just me, my husband and our new baby to get to know each other. It was messy, emotional and utterly blissful, and he fed twice in that special hour together, remembers Ellie, mum of two, UK.

How To Breastfeed During The First 2 Weeks Of Life

How often should I breastfeed my baby? in 2020

The most important piece of advice: Be easy on yourself.

Supported by

This guide was originally published on May 5, 2019in NYT Parenting.

Though breastfeeding can be a beautiful experience for many, it isnt always easy. As you hold your newborn for the first time after enduring one of the most physically and emotionally demanding feats of motherhood, its normal to feel a range of emotions: from joy and elation to stress and anxiety. These feelings can be compounded during the first two weeks of your babys life, which are the most challenging and important for establishing milk supply especially for first-time mothers.

As a 25-year neonatal intensive care unit and newborn nurse, a board-certified lactation consultant and the mother of three exclusively breastfed boys, I know firsthand what basic information is most helpful for nursing mothers, from how to achieve a proper latch to how to recognize your babys hunger cues.

Ive also reviewed the most current scientific research and clinical guidelines, and spoken with a neonatologist, a pediatrician and a neonatal nurse practitioner, to help you recognize what is and isnt working so you can breastfeed with confidence during the first two weeks after birth.

Also Check: Why Newborn Spit Up Milk

Colostrum: Your First Milk

The fluid your breasts produce in the first few days after birth is called colostrum. It’s thick and usually a golden yellow colour. It’s a very concentrated food, so your baby will only need a small amount, about a teaspoonful, at each feed.

Your baby may want to feed quite often, perhaps every hour to begin with. They’ll begin to have fewer, but longer feeds once your breasts start to produce more “mature” milk after a few days.

The more you breastfeed, the more your baby’s sucking will stimulate your supply and the more milk you’ll make.

Why You Should Breastfeed Beyond 12 Months Of Age

There are many benefits to breastfeeding your child after the first year and these include:

-Boosts IQ levels

-Reduces risk of certain types of cancer

-Longer breastfeeding provides more antibodies as your baby gets older.

Emotional benefits:

Give your child the best start in life possible.

You will be able to make a stronger bond with your child.

After the first few really hard months, it gets easier and you may even enjoy breastfeeding!

Its best to breastfeed for as long as both mother and baby desire. That way you can prolong that special bond between mother and child while providing them with all the benefits breast milk has to offer. It really is liquid gold!

Recommended Reading: How Do I Get A Pediatrician For My Newborn

Is Breastfeeding Enough

Among the greatest worries new breastfeeding moms have is whether their baby is getting enough to eat. In most cases, experts say you have nothing to fear because it’s likely your breasts are producing enough milk. And if your baby is nursing at least eight times a day, chances are your baby is happily fed. One way to know for sure, however, is to use your baby’s dirty diapers as a guide.

During the first seven days of life, Hanna says the number of dirty diapers should match the number of days since birth. So, when your baby is three days old, he or she should be dirtying three diapers. After seven days, however, your baby should require far more changes in a 24-hour period. “After the first week, four to 10 wet diapers daily is a good sign,” Hanna tells WebMD.

Also note: If you are using disposable diapers that pull wetness deep inside the lining, it may be hard to tell if your baby is wetting the correct amount. When this is the case, use the weight of the diaper as a guide. If it “feels” heavier than a clean, unused diaper, then chances are your baby is wetting the correct amount, says Huotari.

In addition to wetting, your baby should also be having frequent mustard-color stools — or dry dark stools that gradually lighten in color by the fifth day. What’s normal to expect here?

“Anywhere from one to as many as five poop diapers a day is normal and essential,” says Hanna.



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