If you’re reading this, perhaps you’re a new mom who is unsure about how often to feed your child. It’s best to seek help if you’re still getting the hang of things and have heard different versions from other mothers. This guide will provide you information on how often and how long you should breastfeeding your baby.
For New Born Babies
For newborn infants, this is a little trickier because they don’t feed at a certain time; it’s basically feed-on-demand. On average this could be about eight to twelve times during a period of 24 hours; this cycle will last for 2-4 weeks.
We spoke about the ‘advice’ you get from other parents and family, who claim to be experts in the area because they’ve had a few children themselves. They may mean well when they insist on feeding less often.
Looking out for Cues
If you’re unsure of timing, you can also watch out for cues that the baby signals when they are ready to be fed. This could vary from each baby, but you will see that they become more alert and increase their activity. They will also root, and suckle, and start mouthing as an indication that they’re hungry. If the baby is sleeping and doesn’t show hunger for about 3 – 4 hours, you can wake your baby.
What are the Other Facts you need to know about Feeding?
Your baby should be fed through the day and night in cycles of three to four hours a day.
If the baby is yet to regain its birth weight, you can try waking him or her up every few hours to feed them because they may be sleepy to wake up on their own.
Some parents provide children with a soother to lengthen the timing of the feeding times, this is not advisable. You should look for the cues we have listed above that would be the right indication as to when they are ready for the feed (breastfeeding your baby).
If the baby is crying, this would make feeding them harder, so don’t wait until then. Learn your baby’s routines and activity so that you can feed them when the time is right.
Timing for Each Feeding Session
Again, there are no set times for this as well as it could vary from each baby. However, the recommended duration for each feeding session should be between 20-45 minutes. If it’s the case of newborn babies, you will find that they may prefer to sleep over being fed, as mothers you will be required to have patience and persistence to keep this pace.
How do decide when Enough is Enough:
You will note that once you have started with one side, their hands will no longer be fisted and that they will stop suckling. You will notice that the baby has become less agitated and increasingly sleepier.
Next, stop the suction and burp the baby. Move on to the next breast and continue until the baby stops feeding. Alternate the sides of your breasts for the next feeding. Some babies will be satisfied after being fed from one side, others may not.
This is a condition when the baby will feed several times in closer cycles and then go on for longer times without being fed. Normal babies, especially newborns who aren’t familiar with their surroundings just yet may prefer to be fed a few times in an hour. This is perfectly normal; they will feel satisfies with this may (breastfeeding your baby).
When is it Time to Consult a Lactation Consultant?
If you are confused about feeding and your baby doesn’t show any interest in sticking to a schedule, it might be comforting to talk to a consultant in the area so that you can share your feelings, concerns, and even fears.
These are the most Common Periods where you may consult an Expert
- If you feel that your milk supply has not increased by the fourth day of birthing your baby, this could be a time where you consult a breastfeeding expert to understand what methods you can follow to increase your milk supply (breastfeeding your baby).
- It’s very common that women are riddled with pain from sore nipples. Especially first time mothers who are feeding for the first time. These experts might be able to help you remedy this condition.
- Helping you with the correct position for feeding so that you and your child both don’t feel discomfort.
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