How often do you breastfeed?

Melissa - posted on 10/09/2010 ( 173 moms have responded )

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My baby girl just turned the big 1, but she still nurses very often (every 3 hrs at the most) during the day, and she wakes up a couple times a night and nurses (we co sleep so this is not a problem). She's healthy, never even had a cold, growing walking and talking up a storm. Im just curious, how often do your little ones breastfeed?



edit** when I said 'every 3 hours at the most' I meant 3 hours is the LONGEST she will go without nursing. She usually nurses more often than that, just thought I'd clear that up because I wouldnt consider every 3 hours or longer 'often'.

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Lilith - posted on 10/12/2010

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every three hours or so..i have twins so it takes a great deal of my time

Merry - posted on 10/12/2010

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http://www.kellymom.com/nutrition/solids...
Jayde, I can tell that we have been told opposite things from trusted sources, I still stand by my statement that no solids should replies breast milk for a full year. Since the natural weaning age is not started until 2.5 years there's no natural reason to push solids so early.
Many many babies get little to no solids until a year, some get little to none until beyond that! Breastmilk is more nutritious then solids for a long long time, I can't imagine that at 9 months there's anything that is better. Even the smallest recommendation is to breatsfeed for a year, and doing so much solids before thatwill cause some babies to wean early.

Cows milk CAN be given after a year, but it's completely inferior to human milk for a child.
Many moms are not giving cows milk, this is just fine, no one needs cows milk, or any other animals milk either. If a baby is going to be breastfed a natural duration they will most likely be getting more then enough nutrients through moms milk to not need any additional calcium.

Jayde - posted on 10/11/2010

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My daughter is 9 mo and she has 4 B/F a day one before bed and one in the night. After the age of 9 mo they should aprt from the early morning feed have solids first then B/f becuase the nutrition in the b/milk changes and they get more nutrients form their solid food. This is going by my child health nurse. My daughter has a feed at 7am then an hr and a half later has her cereal then she goes for her nap then sha has a sandwich and sum fruit then when she goes for her nap has a breastfeed then when she wakes she has a snack also water and then dinner and a breastfeed before bed then she will have a feed in the night. This works for us. My CHN showed me a chart of how nutritional values in breastmilk change and that the babies get more vitamins from their solids but breastmilk is still very good for the them Speak to your CHn and get some advice if your unsure. My daughter also lovesto eat what we eat and also they need to eat the food in the guidelines for their age as this can cause early problems in jaw movements and they can get "lazy" in chewing. In the end it is your decision but you can cut down if you want to you just need to offer more snacks and adult foods. Once they have turned 1 they can have cows milk as well or maybe you could express and give your milk from a sippy cup. Goodluck :)

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Recently less she's been breastfeeding about 2 times a day. I don't know if it will stay that way though. She seems to change how often she wants milk; but she always wants it right when she wakes up.

Merry - posted on 10/11/2010

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Heather, breastmilk is supposed to be the main food for the first year, meaning solids are just complementary, they should be fed after a breastfeed, and never in place of a breastfeed until after the age of 1.
There is very little that they absorb from solids before then so its essential that they are breastfeeding mostly.
Maybe your son is just has a very big stomach to only need 5 feeds a day, but i bet he would benifit from more frequent meals from the breast.
Breastfeeding that little can lead to prmature weaning, so its a tricky spot!
I think average for under a year is like 8 or more times at the breast.....

Heather - posted on 10/11/2010

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My son is 8 months and feeds about 4 times a day and once at night, My oldest who is 3 now breastfeed for 11 months and he ate about 3 times a day from 9 months to 11.

Phelicia - posted on 10/10/2010

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Hi Melissa-

My opinion on the formula is mot to start it. If she is only feeding 3 - 4 times daily, You likely have 3-4 hours between feeding times. Just nurse her before you leave and again when you return, or pump 1 bottle of breast milk the day before. It is so much better for them, and the pumping will encourage milk production in you.

Phelicia - posted on 10/10/2010

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Mine did that much at 1. Now she is almost 2 and still nursing strong. She now nurses about 3 times during the day plus before bed and when she first wakes. Loves her mommy milk!

Minnie - posted on 10/10/2010

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Laura:



I always have put my daughter back on the last breast she nursed from if I felt that she hadn't sufficiently drained it. I've never been engorged and I've never had a blocked duct because milk removal is so frequent that it's always flown freely.



I did have a bad case of foremilk/hindmilk imbalance with my first because I followed the nurses' advice: nurse no longer than 15 minutes on one side and then switch. So I began 'block feeding' from the bat with my second.

Merry - posted on 10/10/2010

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Lisa, how often do you switch breasts? And is there a risk of fore milk hind milk imbalance? Have you ever been engorged?:)

Minnie - posted on 10/10/2010

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LOL, Teresa, it ALWAYS confuses so many people. I should put a disclaimer- her nursing 'sessions' are about 2 minutes long, always have been. So when she was a newborn she nursed three to four times an hour of about 2 minutes each. It's accumulative. Basically how babies nurse in traditional cultures where the mothers wear their babies in slings all day long.

Merry - posted on 10/10/2010

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Leah, any amount of formula can cause side effects, it can cause allergies too so I'd say if you must be away from her just have her eat baby foods or pump your milk.
Formula is a risk you don't need to take at this point! Bottles have their own risks tothejaw and teeth and ears so best option is just to leave water cup and baby foods!

April - posted on 10/10/2010

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My almost 22 month old nurses about 3 times a day and 4 or 5 times at night. That averages to 6 to 12 times in a 24 hour period

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Leah, I would not introduce formula. There is really no need as she can eat solids and have water while she is away from you for short periods. If you pump, she could have that as well/instead. After a year she could have whole milk if necessary while away from you.... or just solids and water. :)

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Lisa, I have never understood how that is even possible to nurse so many times in one hour ALL the time.... Confuses me everytime I read it. ;)

To answer the op though... my 2.5 year old son probably nurses 3-10 times in 24 hours. Average is 5-7 (I think).

Merry - posted on 10/10/2010

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My son is 1 1/2 now he nurses about 9+ times a day and night. It's often in the morning, our cuddle time, then before nap, after nap, once or twice mid afternoon, before bed, twice during the night.
Like I said he's one and a half now and I'm 11 weeks pregnant. For a while he was only nursing about 7 times a day/night but when I conceived I offered more to keep my production going. Now my ob wants me to cut him back for no good reason but I can honestly say that's not happening anytime soon!
Eric eats every time I eat, which is 5 or so times a day now so I gain weight, so he isn't just breastfeeding all day but I let him do what comes naturally so if he asks for boob, I nurse him, if he goes to the fridge and says eat, I feed him from there.
It's all in his control nowand I think he regulates himself beautifully! I hope he keeps nursing until he's 4 or so. I want him to continue a natural duration and since 4 is average thatsmygoal. But it's really important to me to not stop before hereally truly grows out of the need, and I assume it will be somewhere around that age!
Sounds likeshesdoing great and you shouldn't worry about a single thing! Just keep listening to her needs and she will direct you :)

Eliza - posted on 10/10/2010

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For a one year old you can decreease the number of nursing sessions and cut part of the night ones. But as long it is not a problem for you, you can continue with the actual scheme.

Noreen - posted on 10/10/2010

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I personally do not agree with sceduling. I am a firm believer in feeding babies when they are hungry and stoping when they are full! (I'm actually the same way with my animals when it comes to feeding them.) Same as sleep, letting them sleep when they are tired. I let them set up their own routine of when they are hungry/tired. And I am defintly against crying it out.

Noreen - posted on 10/10/2010

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I nurse my 12.5 month old about 4-6x during the day (between 7am-8pm) and 1-2x at night (12am and 5am).

Janice - posted on 10/10/2010

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My 11 mo. is down to 3-4x per day and none at night.We got rid of the night feed at 10 mo. I was just feeding on demand with paying attention to how often until 9 mo. when my daughter started crawling and stopped sleeping for longer than 1hour day or night. After a month of this I consulted her pediatrician who suggested creating a schedule and sticking to despite tears. The schedule went over great. My daughter never seemed to notice the sudden decrease in nursing and her sleeping improved. My daughter loves to eat "adult" food. We stopped co-sleeping when my daughter was using me to get back to sleep every hour and I couldn't do it anymore.

Minnie - posted on 10/10/2010

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My two year old nurses about once an hour. But this is just a guess because I've never made an attempt to really quantify it. At 12 months she was probably nursing 2-3 times an hour.

Leah - posted on 10/09/2010

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Hi Melissa

My little one is 10 months and she feeds about 3-4 times a day and once or twice during the night. I think if its working for you and you arent working or needing to be away from her, then its fine as breas tmilk is the best thing! however, if you want to cut down, you can cut out the feeds and replace with snacks (fruit, yoghurt or whatever you give her)
I was wondering as to whether or not to introduce formula, (even tho i dont like ti) just incase i want people to baby sit, they can also feed her. Any thoughts?

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